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Monochrome TV Mode Coming To Linux 6.11, Added By Raspberry Pi Developers

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  • Monochrome TV Mode Coming To Linux 6.11, Added By Raspberry Pi Developers

    Phoronix: Monochrome TV Mode Coming To Linux 6.11, Added By Raspberry Pi Developers

    Another weeks worth of random DRM-Misc-Next changes have been queued ahead of next month's Linux 6.11 merge window...

    Phoronix, Linux Hardware Reviews, Linux hardware benchmarks, Linux server benchmarks, Linux benchmarking, Desktop Linux, Linux performance, Open Source graphics, Linux How To, Ubuntu benchmarks, Ubuntu hardware, Phoronix Test Suite

  • #2
    This new monochrome TV mode variant is for representing video with no color encoding or bursts and no pedestal. That's for anyone still caring about monochrome content in 2024.
    If you want/need to view small text or fine detail, on a color TV, over a composite video connection, then you'd appreciate what they did. Composite video has cross-talk between luma and the chroma-subchannel. Disabling that enables a cleaner, sharper, and less fatiguing image.

    Now, why anyone is still using the composite video output I couldn't say. I wonder if they're really just using it as a high-frequency DAC, although it seems like you'd still have sync pulses to deal with.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by coder View Post
      Now, why anyone is still using the composite video output I couldn't say. I wonder if they're really just using it as a high-frequency DAC, although it seems like you'd still have sync pulses to deal with.
      Being that the RasPi folks are responsible for this, one use immediately comes to mind. Lots of people use RasPis for vintage console and computer emulation. There's a usecase for, say, replacing an old, non-functioning logic board for a late 1970s or early 1980s computer or arcade cabinet console with a Raspberry Pi. In that case, you want great support for monochrome displays. Imagine lots of monochrome Macintosh computers with their leaky batteries needing new motherboards, for example.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by coder View Post
        If you want/need to view small text or fine detail, on a color TV, over a composite video connection, then you'd appreciate what they did. Composite video has cross-talk between luma and the chroma-subchannel. Disabling that enables a cleaner, sharper, and less fatiguing image.
        You'd still need a TV with fine dot pitch though...

        Originally posted by coder View Post
        Now, why anyone is still using the composite video output I couldn't say. I wonder if they're really just using it as a high-frequency DAC, although it seems like you'd still have sync pulses to deal with.
        Analog video is interesting.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
          Analog video is interesting.
          A lot of the weirdness is the fact that NTSC video goes back literally decades and PAL and SECAM go back very nearly as far. A lot of design choices were hacks designed to work around the state of the art in transmitters, but at the time video broadcasts first began. The 60fps and 50fps divide between NTSC and PAL goes back to the fact that some parts of the world bought 60hz generators and some bought 50hz generators when AC power first started to be a thing. We're STILL tied to those decisions.

          NTSC Color is a very 'bolted on' hack that works by encoding a 'subsignal' or 'subchannel' type of thing in the main luminance signal so that color NTSC is backwards compatible with B/W. That's the 'color burst' and 'pedestal' the article discuses. PAL AND SECAM are a little more sensible, but still have their own oddities. The downside of the encoding is that the it adds a ridiculous amount of noise to images. You don't notice the noise in filmed action unless you're REALLY looking and in flat-shaded cartoons only slightly more. It becomes very detrimental to when you're trying to do crisp, 80 column text or single-pixel lines. This is why MDA/Hercules graphics modes were ever a thing... to provide higher-res B/W display.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
            You'd still need a TV with fine dot pitch though...
            Or none at all, as in the case of a monochrome display or black & white TV.

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