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Semir_DE 22nd Jun 2020 9:56 pm

Re: My 819 line French TV project
1 Attachment(s)
Dear all,

Here are the mode lines I have currently in my ".profile" file on my Mint Linux system.

one more I am planning to test is a version for 441 lines.

This is all running very nicely on a fan-less Nvidia N710 PCI Express 16 graphics card.

xrandr --newmode "819" 29.3203 1152 1168 1240 1432 738 744 745 819 -hsync +vsync interlace
xrandr --addmode VGA-1 819

xrandr --newmode "405" 8.10 664 680 752 800 377 378 385 405 -hsync +vsync interlace
xrandr --addmode VGA-1 405

xrandr --newmode "PAL" 13.875 720 741 806 888 576 581 586 625 interlace -hsync +vsync
xrandr --addmode VGA-1 PAL

xrandr --newmode "PAL-SQP" 14.750 768 790 859 944 576 581 586 625 interlace -hsync +vsync
xrandr --addmode VGA-1 PAL-SQP

xrandr --newmode "NTSC" 13.846 720 744 809 880 480 488 494 525 interlace -hsync +vsync
xrandr --addmode VGA-1 NTSC

Please take note that this configuration uses a positive vsync and a negative hsync. This is owed to the fact that I am using a single XOR gate to generate a somewhat compliant vertical sync with h-serrations. If you intend to use the simple resistor adder network for generating the composite signal please change the "+vsync" in each modeline to "-vsync"

you can find the .profile file I'm using in the attached zip file.



Semir_DE 26th Jun 2020 10:44 am

Re: My 819 line French TV project
Dear All,

just quick update on this subject matter.

As I am also experimenting with the old German 441 line standard I decided to tinker a little bit with the modeline parameters.

I found a very useful web site that allows you to tweak an existing modeline and will show you the timings of h-sync, v rate etc.

I started out with the 405 modeline I had and changed the line count and other items until I had the required timing. Here is a modeline that will generate the 441 line format:

Modeline "656x383" 8.82 656 665 744 800 383 383 391 441 -hsync +vsync Interlace

Again due to way my adapter processes the syncs the vsync is positive, for a simple adapter this should be changed to -vsync.

This modeline generates a vertical timing that is spot on, only h frequencies are slightly higher at 11.030kc instead of the 11,025 as defined by the standard.

Unfortunately I do not have a real 441 line TV (yet) but I have modified some older surveillance monitors to run on 441 and they work very nicely with my modeline signals. Also UK 405 sets can be used with this signal if the h-hold is adjusted to accommodate the higher horizontal frequency.

If anybody here has a 441 set I would be interested to know if this works on yours. As a modulator any 405 line modulator should work, especially the simple designs with LC tanks should be easy to modify to output the required frequencies.



Semir_DE 13th Oct 2020 2:26 pm

Re: My 819 line French TV project
3 Attachment(s)
Dear All,

Here is a short update to this project. A nice friend of mine who has a CNC machine kindly made me some really fancy front and back plates for my VGA 2 RF converter.

Attachment 217787 Attachment 217788 Attachment 217789

I am planning to make one for the 405 line system as well. This one is for the French system. It uses custom made crystals for channel F3. Since I have crystals for UK channel 1 I will make a VGA 2 RF for that too.

Another update is related to the 819 line modeline. I have created one that has a 4:3 aspect ratio. This is easier to set up on more modern 4.3 TVs an VLC:

Modeline "984x738" 25.066 984 998 1060 1224 738 744 744 819 -hsync +vsync Interlace

It has a slightly lower clock rate, so I am not sure if it will work with Intel GMA graphics. It is working very well on my Nvidia card.

I have also found out that the Nvidia 710 card can handle triple outputs, so I now have the following setup:

- SVGA PC monitor for control on DVI
- HDMI to Video converter on HDMI this provides a PAL output
- 405/441/819 (selectable in Linux graphics management) monochrome output on VGA

The "monitors" are lined up horizontally, the arrangement is from left to right:

PC monitor - HDMI (PAL) "monitor" - VGA (405/819) "monitor"

So I can just drag the player window to the desired screen.

Audio output can be selected in VLC to be either HDMI (PAL) or Analog (405/819) modulator.

If I run two instances of VLC I can now output PAL and 405 (or 819) at the same time. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a way to synchronize two VLC players, so I have to do that by hand which is a little cumbersome.

I am also thinking of a possibility to create a 3D file with identical left and right images and then play them in one VLC. If I could drag one image to each monitor this might work for simultaneous output. I would like to have this for demonstration purposes to show the differences of the standards side by side.

I use this setup sometimes to watch old movies. Yesterday I watched "Sabrina" a classic with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in glorious 819. This black and white film was shot in 4:3 so it is ideal for watching on an old set.

The original is from a Blu Ray and I converted it to 1440x1080 25p using "Handbrake" a very neat program that can shrink the very large BD file of ~30GB to about 3GB without any visible impact on image quality. "Handbrake" does not decrypt any discs it merely converts video formats and can change the resolution in the process as well. It uses all available CPU cores almost to 100% and thus slows down the PC notably this is probably why the program is called "handbrake" :)



AdrianH 14th Oct 2020 11:28 am

Re: My 819 line French TV project
1 Attachment(s)
Hello Semir,

I think I need to pick your brain and ask for help. I use Linux, generally Ubuntu 18.04 and ubuntu 20. I am having absolutely no success, (I think) getting your method to work. So I need to check with you if I am doing things correctly

I am at present only interested in 405 line, I have tried several Video cards from NVIDIA 510, HD8350 and now today a AMD/ATI HD2400 Pro XT.
In shell this is what I am getting for the video card.

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RV610 [Radeon HD 2400 PRO/XT]

On the card I have a DMS-59 cable to two VGA connectors.

when I try xrandr in shell I get:-

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 2624 x 915, maximum 8192 x 8192
DIN disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DVI-0 connected primary 1600x900+0+15 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 434mm x 236mm
1600x900 60.00*+
1280x1024 75.02 60.02
1152x864 75.00
1280x720 60.00
1024x768 75.03 70.07 60.00
832x624 74.55
800x600 75.00 60.32
640x480 75.00 59.94
720x400 70.08
DVI-1 connected 1024x768+1600+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
1024x768 60.00*
800x600 60.32 56.25
848x480 60.00
640x480 59.94

So the first thing that seems different is that it is saying DVI-0, DVI-1 rather than VGA.

I try the following:-
xrandr --newmode "405" 8.10 664 680 752 800 377 378 385 405 -hsync -vsync interlace
xrandr --addmode DVI-1 405

Then xrandr in shell reports for DVI-1 as follows:-

DVI-1 connected 1024x768+1600+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
1024x768 60.00*
800x600 60.32 56.25
848x480 60.00
640x480 59.94
405 50.00

So it is in there, but if I now go into Ubuntu display settings I can not select the 405 setting for the second display, it is not there for me to select?

Attachment 217876

Please can you assist?



I have just used another line in shell of :-
xrandr --output DVI-1 --mode 405

This seems to force the mode to work, but any changes even to the other screen in video settings will revert the display away from 405 lines, so not sure if that is the correct method.

Semir_DE 15th Oct 2020 8:16 am

Re: My 819 line French TV project
Hello Adrian,

I have conducted a few tests yesterday. The short version is: Use Linux Mint XFCE version.

I will post my findings in more detail later. As I had to find out there are many variables in this equation e.g. graphics adapter, Linux version used and driver used.



AdrianH 15th Oct 2020 10:10 am

Re: My 819 line French TV project
Using Linux Mint is not an option for me as I am firmly embedded into Ubuntu for other reasons, but I have asked on the Ubuntu forums to see if there is another way, or to why it is not seen in the display settings GUI. I can work around it using the xrandr line, and I could find more video cards will work if I try them again.

I will see if I get any responses from the other forum.


Semir_DE 15th Oct 2020 11:52 am

Re: My 819 line French TV project
Hi Adrian,

Too bad you are stuck with Ubuntu... Mint by the way is a derivative of Ubuntu and uses mostly the same repositories. For some reason graphics management front ends in Ubuntu and Mint cinnamon version seem to hide graphics modes that have a low resolution. I have searched online but thus far have not been able to find out why this is happening. I am pretty sure a simple tweak of a configuration file might be all that is needed to show all resolutions. But as most users out there want more rather than less resolution I believe chances of find an answer in the forums etc are slim. Out of the box only the xfce windows environment seems to list all modes. For what its worth here is what I found:

1) Nvidia proprietary (faster) drivers are not compatible with xrandr. You need to use the x-org drivers with Nvidia for xrandr to work.

2) on Ubuntu 18.4 I have been able to use an AMD (ATI) graphics card (RV710) successfully. You do need to use the "output" command line once, however, to get the correct output. After that it will continue to work even after a reboot.

I am far from being a Linux "guru" so I am also curious of anybody else here might jump in and suggest a solution.



AdrianH 15th Oct 2020 12:29 pm

Re: My 819 line French TV project
I have just plugged in a previous video card
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Cedar [Radeon HD 7350/8350 / R5 220]

and tried that with the added line of xrandr --output DVI-1 --mode 405

That card is also working for me providing composite video, it will be interesting to see how many of my other cards also work with this method.


jhalphen 17th Nov 2020 2:21 pm

Re: My 819 line French TV project
Hello to all,
Hi Semir,

I'm a big admirer of your work on standards conversion.

There is a current thread on the French RadioFil TV forum on synthesizing B&W 819 line signals using Linux or other means.
I have flagged your topic for them as "must read" stuff.

Would you care to spend a few minutes reading about their approach...

Here's the link via Google French to English translation :

Best Regards

PS : as for me, i have a bunch of Auroras...

jhalphen 30th Dec 2020 7:28 pm

Re: My 819 line French TV project
Hello to all,

Still on the topic of the French 819 E standard, here is a full description of a DIY VHF Band III modulator. It operates on a fixed frequency, Channel 8A which was used in Paris on the Eiffel Tower from 1949 to 1983 (end of service). Channel 8A was also used in Lille, northern France.

The design by engineer JC Jardine has been around for quite some time and has been used by many 819 enthusiasts.

Vision carrier is 185.25 MHz
Audio carrier is 174.10MHz

I've built a pair. It works well but serious shielding is necessary as the RF output is quite powerful.

Best Regards

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