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Philips Matchline Classic 28" CRT TV NTSC compatibility  

 
kgwatson
(@kgwatson)
New V-Ratter Registered

Hi

I'm looking to buy this TV specifically to play old console light gun games which don't work on modern TVs.

From the sticker on the back (see attached photo) it seems it has the FL1.10 chassis and is 50Hz, so it should be fine for PAL games, however I also have a number of 60Hz NTSC games which will run on a modified Playstation 1. My question is: will this TV handle the 60Hz NTSC games?

Thanks

Kim

s l1600
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Posted : 07/09/2020 1:39 pm
sideband
(@sideband)
Famed V-Ratter Moderator

Yes you are right. The set is made for the British market and designed to receive the (then) normal PAL transmissions. If I remember correctly form my days waaaaay back at Philips, these will accept an NTSC video signal via scart sockets BUT it will be converted to Quasi-Pal. This is a 'fiddled' version of NTSC where the signal is converted to PAL but with 525 lines 60Hz (instead of 625 lines 50Hz). The result of this is low height. I can't remember how well this worked.

This version of the FL series of sets was less featured than others. FL= Feature Line. If you are thinking of purchase it might be better to try the Playstation first if that is at all possible. 

You do of course realise that these sets are now approaching 30 years old?

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Posted : 07/09/2020 5:23 pm
kgwatson
(@kgwatson)
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@sideband Thanks for your replay.

Unfortunately I can't try it first (it's on ebay), but it's cheap so worth a punt. As long as it plays PAL games it should be ok. 

If you don't already know, light gun games work by measuring the time taken for the beam to travel from the top left of the screen to wherever the gun is pointing, so they don't work with the newer 100Hz CRTs. That is why I need an older CRT, and preferably a 4:3 aspect ratio one. Also, most of the games are from the mid-1990s so are of a similar age.

Large 4:3 aspect CRTs seem to be quite hard to find now as most were binned years ago due to their size and weight. There are lots of 14 inch CRTs available, but they're too small for light gun games!

This TV is a stop gap until a new LCD-compatible light gun becomes available:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-sinden-lightgun#/

Then I'll be able to play these games on my 65 inch OLED!

 

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Posted : 07/09/2020 6:41 pm
ntscuser
(@ntscuser)
Prominent V-Ratter Registered

I was a demonstrator of NTSC videos at Naam Hi-Fi Vision and its successor. Every Matchline model we sold would handle some form of 60Hz but only about half would accept true NTSC 3.58MHz color. It was a bit of a lottery which ones could and which ones couldn't. Until we actually tried one there was no way of knowing. If the Playstation can output 60Hz games with PAL 4.43MHz colour there should be no problem.

Classic TV Theme Tunes

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Posted : 07/09/2020 8:01 pm
kgwatson
(@kgwatson)
New V-Ratter Registered

I picked up the TV last night and it works fine. NTSC games are in colour via one of the SCART sockets (EXT1), if I connect it to EXT2 it is monochrome for NTSC.

However, the picture is offset horizontally and I'd like to stretch it vertically to fill the screen. See attached photo of a PAL game which is letterboxed, NTSC games have even larger borders. There are no adjustments for this via the remote, which has the strangest menu system I've ever seen on a TV! I'm used to Japanese TVs, this is very different! Is there a hidden menu to adjust picture size and position or do I need to take the back off and twiddle some knobs? If so, which ones?

Many thanks

Kim

SaturnBomberman (Small)

 

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Posted : 08/09/2020 9:12 am
irob2345
(@irob2345)
Trusted V-Ratter Registered

Picture size and shift are generally pots on a CRT TV. You'll need a plastic tweaky-tool to adjust them (think knitting needle, ground down to a screwdriver point) and you need to be very gentle because those Philips pots break easily. But since I don't know this chassis I should defer to others who do.

Some Philips chassis use a large PCB called a "monocarrier" that mounts vertically behind the CRT with the CRT neck poking through. These models often have little pictures against the pots on the monocarrier that depict what they do.

Remember there are high voltages so use due care.

Those Philips CRTs make a nice picture, don't they?

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Posted : 08/09/2020 11:24 am
Nuvistor
(@nuvistor)
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Did you see the post from Sideband about low height with some signal types?

Frank

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Posted : 08/09/2020 4:13 pm
sideband
(@sideband)
Famed V-Ratter Moderator
Posted by: @nuvistor

Did you see the post from Sideband about low height with some signal types?

Yes indeed you have to remember that NTSC is always a compromise on these sets....and they weren't high-end sets either. First and foremost, they were a domestic TV for use on the UK TV system of the time so they were optimised for PAL....obviously. NTSC was a secondary feature made necessary by the number of DVD's that were available in that format and of course certain games consoles. Full NTSC decoding which would have included timebase switching as well, would have considerably increased the price of what was an expensive set at the time. The Quasi-PAL approach gave satisfactory pictures and could be incorporated within a relatively cheap chip but because the timebases are not properly switched you will get reduced height.

It is many years since I worked on one of these and it  might be possible to tweak the height pot inside (assuming there is one) but you will probably get stretched verticals with ovals instead of circles. Also any on-screen graphics will probably be off-screen or severely distorted. If there is a height pot you may still not be able to stretch the picture sufficiently because the adjustment you want may be outside the design parameters of the set.

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Posted : 08/09/2020 10:04 pm
kgwatson
(@kgwatson)
New V-Ratter Registered

I took the back off and tweaked various pots with a sharpened bamboo skewer 😮. They were easy to identify via the little icons on the PCB. This was a bit nerve wracking as I've never messed about inside a live CRT TV before!

The picture's not perfect now, but it's a lot better than it was. I'm using a PS1 and a Sega Saturn currently and they both output slightly different signals, I've tried to get the best compromise for both consoles. All my light gun games work, which was the main reason to get a CRT in the first place.

Thanks for all the advice.

Kim

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Posted : 08/09/2020 10:45 pm
Alex728 liked
sideband
(@sideband)
Famed V-Ratter Moderator

Well if you are happy with the results then that at least means the set won't end up in landfill....well not yet anyway! Enjoy your games.

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Posted : 09/09/2020 2:10 pm
kgwatson
(@kgwatson)
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It shouldn't end up in landfill for quite some time. A farmer mate of mine is going to add it to his collection of old CRTs at his farm. You know what farmers are like for hoarding stuff!

Amongst his collection he has a Star Wars arcade machine from the early 1980s with a vector screen. I don't think it's working at the moment. Anybody know anything about these vector screens that Atari used at that time?

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Posted : 10/09/2020 4:11 pm