8-bit Computer TV Channel Use

Mark J. Blair nf6x at nf6x.net
Tue May 26 17:30:36 CDT 2015

> On May 26, 2015, at 14:07 , Chris Elmquist <chrise at pobox.com> wrote:
> If you do end up building a custom solution, I have a feature request :-)
> It would nice if the device was also a frame grabber that could, under
> command, snap one or more frames of the legacy video and export it over
> USB perhaps.

That was already on my possible-feature list! ;) If I do end up using a Zynq FPGA, then hanging things like Ethernet and/or USB OTG would be cheap to add. Those wouldn't be my first priorities to implement in firmware, but I should at least include stuff options for the connectors and PHYs on the PCB.

I'm not sure yet whether I'd start with a dev board or go straight to a custom board. The Zybo board is cheap and has the cheaper Zynq chip that I'd like to target, but it lacks good physical connections for a couple of relatively high-speed DACs, and it only supports 720p HDMI output because it lacks a dedicated HDMI PHY. I could get 1080p and an FMC connector out of the much more expensive Zed Board, but it uses a larger Zynq chip that would be prohibitively expensive for this project, and if I had to build a board with an FMC connector for my analog front end then I'd already be making a board that's too advanced for me to solder up at home, so I might as well thrown down the FPGA, too, rather than spending $500 on a not-quite-right dev board. Sigh...

> This would allow us to document operation of legacy software with high
> quality frame grabs since persumably you'd have access to the image
> in a relatively good quality domain before you turned it into DVI/HDMI
> or whatever.

Agreed! Grabbing some live video might also be an option, but I think that would be a smaller incremental value add than getting high quality single frame grabs.

BTW, every good project deserves a good project name. I'm tentatively calling this one "Crazy Cat Lady". It has a nice ring to it.

Mark J. Blair, NF6X <nf6x at nf6x.net>

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