QL Monitor Mode Displays

The Picture of the City-Skys upscaler device

The City-Skys upscaler device

Now that it is hard to get TTL RGB monitors for a Sinclair QL, many users have been relying on a TV with SCART input for display of QL video.

Unfortunately, while it is relatively easy to make a QL to SCART TV lead with just a few resistors soldered inline with the RGB signal to slightly reduce signal levels (see http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/docs/hardware/index.html for Richard Cook’s QL-SCART article which can be downloaded as a zipped file), this usually lead to the well known problem of the loss of a couple of characters of text at the edges of the screen in Monitor mode. TV mode is OK, but uses a narrower screen width.

There are now some ways of working around this, using vide upscaler units which detect and analyse the video source signal and then work out how to scale this up to the screen used for display. The beauty of this is that some of these devices can rescale the QL display so that all 85 characters of the Monitor Mode can be displayed on just about any TV or monitor.

The same page http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/docs/hardware/index.html now has a short article “VGA Monitors With QL” describing the three of these systems that I am aware of. Personally, I used the SCART+HDMI to HDMI Upscaler from City Skys, which allows me use a standard QL to SCART lead to connect to the upscaler unit, and a cheap HDMI cable to connect from that to my Technika TV set, which has both SCART and HDMI connectors, allowing me to compare results of the two methods of connection.

In the case of the Technika monitor (originally bought from Tesco), connecting the QL via SCART gave the usual “loss of characters at the edges” result (see second picture below), while connecting via the upscaler unit and HDMI resulted in a perfect picture with all 85 characters and the stippled window borders visible at the edge of the screen, shown in the first picture. The picture quality is perfectly good and stable enough for me to use it as a permanent QL monitor, although Ann might object to the loss of her kitchen TV!

More details in the QL Forum thread at http://www.qlforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=770

Oh, and the upscaler costs £38.95 from City-Skys eBay store at http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331100962220?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

At last-a proper QL display!

At last-a proper QL display!

How the display used to look with a SCART connection

How the display used to look with a SCART connection

Picture of the Upscaler sat on a QL for size comparison

The Upscaler sat on a QL for size comparison


One thought on “QL Monitor Mode Displays

  1. Pingback: QLMonitor Mode Displays | Dilwyn Jones Sinclair QL Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s