VGA to TV converterDesign and copyright by Tomi Engdahl
I keep all the rights to this circuit. You can freely build this circuits for your own use but you are not allowed to use those circuit designs commercially without written permission from the designer.
NOTE: There is serious lack of DOS and Windows driver for this circuit for most of currently available graphics cards. The reason for this is the very fast changing graphics card product maket and lack of resources to develop drivers for each of them (even maker of some commercial operating systems have problems in keeping up the speed of change, so this is completely out of reach for a non-commercial few persons free time project). I don't personally plan to develop any new drivers for this project. I don't provide technical support for this through e-mail (too many requests, lack of time and more interrest in this project). Use the project as it is here or forget. This project worked well with DOS with 100% VGA compatible graphics cards on standard VGA modes and quite well with Linux with many cards. If you get it working, use it (detailed success stories I can put on-line wellcome). If you can't get it work then it's your problem, I don't have time and interrests to sort out the problems with each and every PC hardware that there exists (hundreds of different graphics card models, many operating systems and dirfferent driver versions are a mess I don't go anynymore to).
Please note that the circuit described below might have a very limited use as a gaming device because the limitations of the driver support and the fact that there is no flicker reduction filtering. The concept was quite well working earlier (commercial products used same principles) but nowadays many desent games will program the video card directly over writing what the drivers so there are many games which does not work with this circuit. The circuit described below has still value for for hardware experimentals who wish to use the circuit for some special applications where they need only few supported graphics modes and are willing to spend time on making this to work. Anyway getting the circuit to work is kind od gamble, because it works perfetly with many graphics cards, but just fails on other. If your primany use is gaming or normal Windows use then you will quite propably be much happier with some commercial PC graphics card with TV output.
Note: I got the system working nicely with Matrox Millenium and Windows 95. With other graphics cards and operating systems it is hard to promise anything, because the system relies very much on the driver or other way to set the graphics card to a signal compatible with the TV. All the cards/drivers can't do it or the manufacturer does not tell how to do it. If you have the hardware where the system is tested, then you should get everythign working well, but if you have somehting else then
I can't promise anything that you get your system to work. There are many people who have get this circuit working with some hacking and also people who can't get this to work on their systems. If you are running DOS or Linux then you have quite good changes to get this work with some hacking. If you are using any Windows version and any other the card for which I have found this to work you are quite much out of luck.
Note2: The development of this circuit has has been quite much ended from my side. I tried to get the drivers to be developed as free use supported software (Like linux and GNU software), but that did not seem to work too well, because not many people bothered to send any detais back how did they get the system to work for benefir the others. I have other projects to work with. The main program is the software support for various PC graphics cards, which I am not planning to do (lack of time, resources and resource). This project is no longer largely supported because supporting this will take too much time from me too many questions coming all the time. I don't send you any drives throug e-mail and comment will this work on graphics card X on system Y running operating system Z.. Read the documentation and see what it says. If your graphics card is not mentioned in the documentation then I can't help to detemine if it works with this circuit or not. If you get the system work nicely a feedback is wellcome.
- Introduction to the circuit
- Circuit specifications
- How I do the conversion
- Possible applications
- Circuit diagram
- Circuit troubleshooting
- Driver developer information
- Frequently asked questions
- VGA to TV conversion glossary
- Using Tomi Engdahl's VGA to TV design with TV which does not have SCART connector
- What magazines have mentioned this circuit
- Tested systems where this circuit has worked
I have later also developed a VGA to PAL and NTSC converter which cna output both composite video and S-video (Y/C) output signals. This converter can handle both PAL and NTSC video standards.
Card specific information
Other VGA to TV projects
- Costruisci un convertitore VGA to SCART - very simple VGA to SCART circuit and a driver for it, text in Italian but you can try automatic translation to English by AltaVista Babelfish
- Coelho's VGATV Homepage - DOS/Windows (S)VGA to TV/Video driver utility
- Grayscale composite video adapters
- Paulo Coelho's VGA to TV circuit and driver - gives out PAL composite video, but components are hard to get because main chip iis out of production, download also the driver package with the original documentation
- Re-use of your old CGA monitors with X-Windows/Console/Win95 - programs Matrox Millenium to generate NTSC TV frequencies, settings for Xfree86 (Linux,FreeBSD), SVGAtextmode (Linux,DOS) and Windows95
- Radio Elecronics magazine published a VGA to TV circuit project at October 1991 issue. It is an add-on card which converts VGA signals to NTSC TV signals.
- TV-MODE - VGA mode 640x480 to TV, SCART RGB and PAL composite video outputs, text in German, zipped file with text, circuit diagrams and driver
- X on TV - you can make a TV compatible signal with a plain vanilla cheapo VGA card and run X-windows on it
Other useful information
- Pinouts of different RGB connectors - useful if you plan to connect the VGA to TV circuit to monitors or video projectors
- RGB to composite video conversion kits
- VGA to TV - NTSC or PAL - notes on video conversion