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Dell UltraSharp 2001FP composite and S-Video capable monitor



blog-0081281001510807075.pngThis monitor sports composite and S-Video inputs in addition to the standard DVI and SVGA. It works well with the TI-99/4A with some minor limitations. I took a little time to figure out how to get the best picture from the TI and give some information on what to expect.



In 2006 I purchased two Dell UltraSharp 2001FP 20.1 inch monitors for the home office. Notably, these monitors not only have DVI and VGA inputs meaning I could switch between my Amiga 4000 and my Windows PC, but also composite and S-Video inputs meaning I could hook up my Commodore 128D, as well.


These monitors still work just fine and sit on my desk with my Windows PC, Amiga 4000, and MorphOS MacMini, and I use the input selection to select the computer each screen will use. Works nicely.


I managed to grab a third monitor for my play desk where my TI-99/4A, Commodore 128D, Amiga 1200, and Atari 130XE sit. Right now the only computer I have running due to space and time constraints is my TI and some fiddling was called for.


The TI-99/4A console is a standard TI system (non-"QI") with no video output quality hacks. I started using it on the composite port to leave the S-Video port free for the Commodore 128D but I noticed the video quality was not at a level which made me happy. I grabbed one of my active composite to S-Video adapters to try. (These adapters include a capacitor and resistor to help separate the luma and chroma signals, unlike many cheap ones which simply run the composite signal through both input ports giving an image which is sub-par even for composite.)


The difference is noticeable and much more usable than the composite input. I may use the composite input for something else, for instance an extension to connect temporary devices like the Jaxx Pacific many-in-one arcade sticks or the C64DTV.


The differences really show with white graphics on a black background as these photos of Micro Pinball II demonstrate.


Composite input


S-Video input with active adapter



Now, this monitor is not perfect and appears to suffer from the "240p problem" treating the input as if it were 480i. For certain, this means anything which flashes every frame will either always show or not show at all. In Micro Pinball II this made the game name graphic in the upper-left show as always white or always the original color, though the timing of either the monitor or the flashing is not perfect and every so often the appearance of the image will go the other way: always white then always colored, and vice-versa.


Additionally, the S-Video input shows vertical lines which I believe to either the luma or chroma signal being higher-powered than the other. There is some difference in the aspect of the 9918A's video signal and the 1600x1200 monitor, so some columns are displayed wider than others, which is also another potential source of the vertical bands. Lastly, the monitor does some rounding of horizontal lines which softens the ends of letters like "E", and makes the ghosts in Midnite Mason appear to have more pointy heads.


In this image the vertical lines do not show very well and rather the cyan screen shows more mesh-like, but you can see the widened vertical lines and rounding of horizontal lines.




The replacement for the 2001FP is the 2007FPb supposedly with the same input characteristics. I am not certain the difference over-all, but it turned out I was able to grab a 2007FPb cheaper and in better condition than another 2001FP when I last looked. It will not be here until next Monday but I got impatient and posted this in advance. If there is any significant difference I will post a follow-up.


A quick post-script on the "mesh-like" appearance: after a little reflection I recall the screen looking this way when displayed on a black-and-white TV through the video modulator. In any case it does not bother me at all and it does not detract from nor cause problems with using the monitor.





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