Retrocomputing enthusiasts have a complicated relationship with video display technology. A lot of our emulators ignore the realities of vintage video altogether, presenting a pretty picture at the expense of accuracy. If you want the nostalgic style, you can usually get faked scan lines while skipping the uglier aspects of old video, like bleed, crawl, and “sparkle”.
Working with actual hardware is even more complicated. Getting an old computer working with a new monitor or TV sometimes requires custom hardware, and you’re never quite sure how “authentic” the display quality really is.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot while working on this year’s Retrochallenge project. I’ve been using a cross-compiler and emulator for most of the development, and I’ve been creating custom graphics characters in CBM PRG Studio. There’s a stark difference between how my graphics look inside VICE and what they look like when generated by an actual C64.
With that in mind, I’ve produced some images of emulated and real video on a variety of monitors. I hope you’ll find the comparisons as interesting as I do.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip down retro-video-lane. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got one day of Retrochallenge left, and my hero still needs to be able to kill that woolly mammoth that’s charging at him.