Last modified: Sep 10, 2019, Page views: 1023
BarcoMax Rear Panel
Pyle Rear View
ViewSonic Rear View
Some might question why I'm listing a product that is not explicitly meant for use with a
Commodore 8-Bit machine. However, many people don't have CRT displays, and sometimes our trusty
old CRT displays just burn out.
Monitors today, are all either HDMI, USB-C, Mini-Display, DVI, and some if you're lucky support
VGA. There are converters, which I list in the guide as well, but the quality is always better
when the display has native support for the video format we need.
One class of display that still actively supports S-Video is Home and Multi-Media projectors.
Not all projectors support S-Video, in fact, most don't. So you have to be careful when you shop,
but there are several on the market today. And the best part is, the price of projectors has come
The cheapest of the cheapos are under a hundred bucks. But, I'd avoid these. They usually don't
support S-Video, but even if you're tempted to get one and just use its AV (Composite) input,
the quality is often quite poor. For just a hundred dollars more, in the 200 to 250 dollar range,
the quality goes way up and there are several models with S-Video support that will give you
the best possible quality from a C64 or c128 with S-Video output. You may need a special cable.
But a special cable is not a conversion, it's just a wiring scheme. Most C64s except the earliest
models and all c128s support real S-Video, but the standard cables put out the Chroma and Luma on
two RCA cables instead of the 4-pin mini DIN connector. See the extra hardware below, the
MultiMedia breakout for the C64, also listed in the Guide, provides your C64 with an S-Video
female port, so you can use a standard male-male S-Video cable.
If you look around for an S-Video projector on Amazon or ebay, you really have to be careful
that you are getting one that actually supports S-Video.
The descriptions, in my experience, cut both ways. Sometimes a description that doesn't bother
to mention S-Video (perhaps because the vendor doesn't consider it a major selling point) if you
look at the pictures and the more detailed description it is available after all.
On the other hand, it seems to me that sometimes a description will go crazy and list every type
of popular input, including S-Video, but when you look into the connectors on the side you'll see
that it does not support "true" S-Video. Often they will support what is listed as AV, and
sometimes AV via a 3-in-1 cable. Don't let that fool you. This is composite video, and the 3-in-1
cable is 1 Composite RCA and a left and right audio RCA.
Take a look at the images I've listed on the side. The top most image clearly shows an S-Video
in port via 4-pin mini DIN. If this is in the image, along with S-Video in the product description,
you're good. Let's quickly go over the other ports so you know what you're looking at.
YPrPb, otherwise known as Component Video is not the same as S-Video, and it is in fact
much more common on multi-media projectors. Converting a C64 to use this input requires an
expensive active converter box, and the quality will likely suffer as a result. The AV Port in
yellow is composite in. You can connect your C64 or c128 to this port, but you will not get the
full quality your Commodore is capable of producing. HDMI and VGA are both PC standards that you
can only use via a converter. There are some fairly inexpensive converters, one of which I've
listed in the Buyer's Guide, however reliability of output quality is a bit uncertain. Some
projectors, such as this one, have a TV input. This can also be used by your C64 and c128, and
even your Vic20, but the quality will be lowest, because it is carrying video and audio over
an old television RF signal.
In the second image down, we see a model from Pyle. You can see it supports S-Video, VGA,
Component, Composite and HDMI.
The third image down is a model by ViewSonic. I've personally had really good experiences with
ViewSonic projectors. This one is actually lacking Component video, but it clearly lists support
for S-Video and Composite, and the ports are visible in the image. Without having ever used this
particular model, I would recommend giving it a try.
Lastly, I show a model as an example of a warning or red flag. The description of this product
said "S-Video" right in the title, but the image clearly does not show the S-Video port. While
it's possible that the image is not the correct image for the listed product, I wouldn't trust
it. If this is what you receive, you'll be stuck using either AV (okay, not the best), TV (pretty
crappy), or VGA (you need a separate converter.) So, beware.
I say, it really depends on how you want to use your Commodore. Would I spend hours every night
programming via a projector? Probably not. But would I watch demos and play games via a projector?
Hell Yeah I would!
It's also pretty great if you go to Commodore conventions, shows or parties. Bring the projector
along and you can demo your stuff large, directly on a giant wall.
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Here's an example description of the ViewSonic LightStream™ PJD5155.
The ViewSonic® LightStream™ PJD5155 price-performance projector features 3,300 lumens,
native SVGA 800 x 600 resolution, and intuitive, user-friendly design. Exclusive SuperColor™
technology offers a wide color gamut for beautiful image production in nearly any environment,
while sound enhancement technology delivers improved sound quality. The PJD5155 also features
extensive connectivity including HDMI, 2 x VGA, Composite Video, S-Video, 1 x VGA output and
An energy-saving DynamicEco® feature reduces power consumption by up to 70%, and extends the lamp
life by up to 10,000 hours. With advanced audiovisual features, flexible connectivity options,
and an affordable price, the PJD5155 is ideal for use in education and small business environments.
What people care most about in a projector is:
Be sure to use these metrics when comparison shopping for the right multi-media projector for