View Full Version : Amiga 1200 PAL <--> NTSC

09-08-2004, 05:59 PM
I doubt this is possible, but I thought I would ask. I have an older Amiga 1200 NTSC model and a new Amiga 1200 PAL model. I don't suppose I could take the NTSC 'module' out of the Amiga 1200 NTSC one and put it in the PAL one could I? This would allow me to use the PAL (with the *new* NTSC module) Amiga in the USA!

:-P :-P :-P

09-08-2004, 06:13 PM

Try to find a cheap multi-system TV with RF Video in. IMO it's much safer to do that than plucking 'modules' between them. :-D



09-08-2004, 06:27 PM
You don't have to swap anything to get a psuedo NTSC picture. From the A1200 FAQ:

Q. Is there an internal jumper on the A1200 to set it to default to PAL or
NTSC video?
A. No, but if you're really motivated, you can rig this up. My thanks to
Tetsuo Oda, who provided the information that connecting pin 41 of the
Alice custom chip to ground causes the A1200 to default to NTSC, while
pulling this pin high (connecting to +5V through a 4.7k resistor) will
make the default power-up state PAL. I would point out that making a
modification like this on a surface-mount chip is difficult at best, and
may end up in an expensive motherboard replacement, or, at worst, a dead
A1200 with no replacement motherboard available.

09-08-2004, 09:04 PM
Changing a PAL A1200 to NTSC following those instructions would leave you with a 60Hz PAL output (Hmmm, doesn't that actually exist?).

I think the original poster was thinking of replacing the composite video hardware and RF modulator so they could use an NTSC TV set. Sounds difficult unless you are very good at soldering. Without changing that stuff the RF output is likely useless and the composite output would be monochrome (Actually PAL colour, but the NTSC TV would ignore it).

BTW If you have a PC most TV tuner cards can be set for PAL or NTSC (Mine lists 2 variations of NTSC, about 5 PALs and SECAM). This would let you use your PC monitor as a PAL or NTSC display.

09-08-2004, 09:26 PM
I seem to remember only have to do something in software to get A1200 to go PAL. No hacking needed.

09-08-2004, 09:30 PM
ShawnD wrote:
Changing a PAL A1200 to NTSC following those instructions would leave you with a 60Hz PAL output (Hmmm, doesn't that actually exist?).
Sort of, I might be inclined to say. What happens when, with your PAL Amiga 1200, you switch to NTSC mode?

I think that the mod described wouldn't do as wanted. I have both an A600 PAL and an A1200 NTSC, and the 1200's PAL mode is PAL-M I think, which kind of keeps the color information in NTSC format but refreshes at 50Hz, or some such nonsense (I'm not much of a techy, as you might presume correctly :) but I get no color in my PAL(B/G etc) television set.)

Likewise, switching my PAL A600 to NTSC gets a no color image in my PAL-N TV (since it's outputting PAL(B/G etc) and not PAL-N), therefore the original poster, when switching his 1200 to NTSc, will probably get a proper 60Hz picture, but in black & white. If he performed the mod, his machine would default to this PAL-M thing and still have no colour in his TV set.

This is all tehoretically, but these "bi-norm" amigas are really strange. I need to get my hands on a bloody transcoder to get color when putting my Amiga in PAL.

Then again I need a transcoder to get color picture on anything I connect to these piss poor southamerican PAL-N TV sets :pissed:

09-08-2004, 10:16 PM

Philips TV's (and probably Magnavo's) Support PAL mode............when I connect any of my NTSC amigas to them and then switch them to PAL mode, the PHILIPS TV shrinks the screen to a more appropriate size (to compensate for the more lines in PAL) and keeps the image in color.

Remember, PHILIPS were the ones who Made the Commodore 1084s monitors and the CMK88II or whatever you call that monitor, and other commodore monitors including the chips on the FMV card for the CD32, so they know alot about PAL Mode.

Not all PHILIPS TV's support it, so I suggest lugging your A1200 or better yet your A600 to the shop to test them like I do :-)...take an RF modulator, a composite cable and maybe a Genlock with S-Video OUT (some TV's only give you PAL through the S-Video port)

09-08-2004, 10:55 PM
actually it is really possible.
The pal board has more pieces than the NTSC board
The hardest part is the tv encoder which he already has
The major differences is the main clock crystal and a few small surface mount parts costing less than $15 american

shift R245 to the R246 position this changes the clock circuit bypassing the PAL Circuit.

replace the bandpass filters Z221 & Z222 (F-K5-MS & F-K5-MD ) Transfer them from your dead NTSC board or puchase new ones

replace clock crystal X1 old one read 28.37516 the NTSC one is 28.63636

swap Video modulators this is the one piece you can't buy new anymore

next remove the following resistors from your pal board and replace with 0805 size Ferite beads

change the following Resistor values all Size 1206
R236 180K
R221 1.2K
R223 1.2K
Add two zero Ohm jumpers at R203 & R225

last but not least these are optional depending on your power supply.
On your power input desolder the jumpers and on the power input add the Large Axial ferrite beads on GND and 5 Volt on the -5 and 12 add the 3 turn ferrite beads.

Thats all folks.

I am not responsible if you fry yourself or your boards.
do this at your own risk.


09-08-2004, 11:46 PM
I seem to remember only have to do something in software to get A1200 to go PAL. No hacking needed.

Yeah, there is. It's in the early startup menu.

09-09-2004, 01:24 AM


Yeah, there is. It's in the early startup menu.

That helps if he's running WB apps only. Does not help on PAL games I'm affraid.



09-09-2004, 01:29 AM
leirbag28 wrote:

Philips TV's (and probably Magnavo's) Support PAL mode............The thing is, my friend, that there are a myriad of PAL modes. Dunno why, it's a pain in the arse, but they exist. And not all of them are compatible with each other.

Europe uses what is commonly known as PAL: PAL-B, PAL-G and others which are compatrible, forgot the letters.

Here in South America (bah, Argentina, Uruguay and some other countries) we use PAL-N . This spec is not compatible with PAL-B, therefore you get a black and white signal (and no audio if you connect through RF)

Brazilians seem to use PAL-M, which is not compatible with PAL-B nor PAl-N. Again, black & white picture.

So your Phillips TV more than probably is supporting the PAL mode of your Amiga computer. Keep in mind not all are the same. Euro Amigas output the normal PAL-B/G etc variant. When switched to NTSC, no clue (but there are only two NTSC variants, which are compatible between themselves anyway. NTSC-M and NTSC-J for Japan).
American Amigas which output NTSC and PAL, when switched to PAL, seem to be outputting PAL-M (so says my transcoder ;))

It's all in how they transmit the color information I guess. Any PAL Amiga might give a black & white picture when switched to NTSC and conencted to an american TV, because the colour info is sent at a frequency NTSC doesn't understand. It's all a mess, I'm not more clued up on teh techy bits about this, but it's kind of how it works.

It's a pain in the botty all this PAL lark, I tell ya!

09-09-2004, 05:54 AM
Let me clarify what I have as it may help the discussion. I bought an Amiga 1200 (PAL) from eBay even though I live in the USA. When I plug this into my TV through an A520 everything looks fine, I just have no color (I understand why that is). I don't have the right lead to connect my Amiga 1200 to my 1084S through the RGB connection, but when I use RCA leads, the picture is once again fine, but still no color. I also have an NTSC 1200 that works fine (also bought from eBay), but before I sell it, I thought I would see if there was something I could do. Now, I could take out the 3.1 ROMS, the larger HD, the accelerator and put the new case on the NTSC one and just keep the PAL one for parts, but I thought there might be an easier way of doing things. On a side note, would buying the following from SoftHut fix my problem? -->


I apologize for not being Amiga technical and I do appreciate all the feedback and suggestions people are giving me. I'm just trying to figure out the best way of getting this Amiga 1200 (PAL) working on either a TV, or one of the numerous PC monitors I have. I'd like to get my Compaq 15" Flat Panel working on it, but I don't know how that will pan out.


09-09-2004, 09:52 AM
Yes, a scan doubler will allow you to use your PAL (or NTSC) A1200 with a standard VGA monitor.

09-09-2004, 10:41 AM
American TVs don't have a 23-pin Scart socket like European TVs right?

Scart/Euro Peritel cables are a Godsend and include composite, S-VHS
and RGB video signals all in the same little plug.

PAL/SECAM/NTSC are only methods of transmission of UHF I believe, so
they only apply to RF/Composite signals.

Those are of a poor quality anyway, so why not try opting for RGB?
Surely US TVs accept RGB since most games consoles have an RGB cable
for them.

RGB will give you crisp video straight from the chips with no
deterioration. Arcade machines, consoles and computers use RGB display
devices so why should your Amiga settle for fuzzy RF or inferior
composite display?

Try holding down both mouse buttons when switching the Amiga on until
an Early Boot Menu appears. By pressing a key you can toggle between
your Amiga's video capability.

It says PAL/NTSC but on my PAL A1200 it switches between PAL 50Hz/PAL

The PC never had such video compatibility trouble, but then the PC was
markedly less versatile as a result.


09-09-2004, 11:13 AM

American TV's do not have SCART, they have S-Video, Composite and RF and Component wich is those 3 Red Green and Blue cables in the Back og HDTV's and DVD players.

Mosst people use S-Video.and composite.why? because you want to record to Video? or your TV simply has no other option...............dont know what S-Video looks like in Europe.........but here in USe it looks almost exactly like RGB. extremely crisp, as for composite? Sony TV's sem to have this down paccked as their TV's make composite look like S-Video.........kinda like the way the SuperGen SX genlock for the Amiga, makes the Composite signal clearer............maybe Sony TV's with Trinitron have a Genlock or transcoder inside? dunno.

But anyway.......I recommend a PHILIPS TV.I think it will display all PAL modes in color.............because I have a Projector that says it supports all types of PAL modes, but when I connect it...........its in Black and white.arrrggg!!!

Remember PHILPS made the Commodore 1084s so its quite a big chance that their tv' support more than one kind of PAL...............you'll never know till ya try. I know I have and PAL looks good on it..............just a little bit aquished in my opinion though.........but they do that o you get the entire image.

09-09-2004, 11:19 AM
Since w00p owns a 1084 monitor, the easiest solution would be to track down an Amiga RGB cable. 1084 line of monitors supports PAL and NTSC through RGB with no problems whatsoever.

09-09-2004, 06:05 PM
I have both a 1084 with Cable that can connect to the Amiga 1200, and a 1084S-D2 which I don't have the proper cable for; looks like it requires a 9pin RGB Cable to 23 Pin Cable for the Video connection on the Amiga 1200. I saw one on this web site for http://www.4jays.com/xbox.html
$22, maybe I should just buy it?

I'm more interested in hooking up a larger PC monitor such as a 15" Flat Panel, or even my other 22" Diamondtron - for this application, I would need that Scandoubler from SoftHut I believe.

09-10-2004, 06:32 PM
That helps if he's running WB apps only. Does not help on PAL games I'm affraid.

Sure it does. I've played plenty of PAL games that way.

09-10-2004, 06:37 PM

I have loads of cables for sale.


If you find that I have what you're looking for, I'll sell it to you for less than that guy is charging. PMail me if you see anything you want and we'll work out a deal. I seem to remember having a few of that type cable, but can't remember if I've sold them already.


09-11-2004, 06:40 AM
PAL/SECAM/NTSC are only methods of transmission of UHF I believe, so
they only apply to RF/Composite signals.Not true, this is a video system and your Amiga outputs this through Composite as well.

The 1084s were made by Phillips, yes , but they DO NOT support ANY PAL mode either. I'm telling you, I have the misfortune to know all this because of personal experience, if you do't live here you don't get a grasp of what a mess it is with the video systems. Your Philliips TV surely accepts most types of compatioble PAL, and maybe PAL-M at the most, but not ALL, even less PAL-N. Consider yourself lucky anyway, that's one fine TV.

09-11-2004, 04:20 PM
Not many people know why there are so many variants of PAL.

SECAM is another variant.

According to some documentary on satellite TV, the reason they differ
from each other is due to political isolation.

Before the Berlin wall came down the Soviets wanted to keep western
transmissions away from the people so you'll find East German
computers of the 80's had a different variant of PAL. I think it was a
modified version of the French SECAM system.

It's all about stopping cross border proliferation. A bit like DVD
Region 0, 1, 2 etc. but with broadcasts.

You avoid all this nonsense by getting an RGB cable as it hooks
directly to the chips and bypasses modulation.

I'm not sure why composite uses PAL/NTSC since UHF/VHF is different to
a direct signal like composite.

Maybe someone in broadcasting can shed some light on this.

The latest version of RGB now appears to be HDTV, I wonder if there is
AmigaOne support for this... it'd be interesting to know how good the
AmigaOS4 Screenmode prefs utility is!


09-11-2004, 05:02 PM
PAL and NTSC are commonly used to refer to two different things - the color encoding in use, and the vertical refresh rate. In the past, these were tied together - NTSC always ran at 60Hz (59.94Hz with color) and PAL always ran at 50Hz. NTSC is still like this - while technically possible, there is no 'NTSC-50'. However, in recent years, there is such a thing as 'PAL-60', which is the PAL color encoding but at 60Hz.

The only main difference between RF and composite+audio is that both the video and audio are remodulated to different frequencies (and due to the presence of the audio, the video is a mite bandwidth-limited as opposed to a composite signal). All analog video signals (in terms of standard low-scan devices and not custom stuff like EGA monitors that run at some weird line rate) run on either PAL or NTSC (SECAM is basically a variant of PAL, and is pretty much nonexistant outside the countires that primarily use it). Even RGB is this way, although there is no color encoding, and as such PAL/NTSC only refers to the vertical refresh rate.

HDTV itself is pretty much useless for the Amiga, since it is a transmission method. All HDTV sets are primarily 'monitors', with some that have an internal HD tuner. Such monitors tend to have any of the following to support the HD resolutions: analog component, VGA, DVI, HDMI (which is compatible with DVI devices with an adaptor). Any system will work with any HDTV if it supports one of the HD resolutions (of which are 960x540, 1280x720 and 1920x1080) and the signal is close to the HD standards for each mode (540p and 1080i are the same, I'm unsure what 720p is).

And with an adaptor, you can use an RGB SCART cable with the system of your choice to turn it into low-scan analog component, which would presumably work with any analog component input.

09-18-2004, 01:02 AM
What is that little dip switch on an Amiga RF output? There's a little
screw potentiometer next to it as well.

Is this for variations of PAL for countries like Argentina?

Is it as simple as turning the screw a few twists and getting PAL-B
etc. and SECAM with a click of the dip switch?