The NTSC Vs PAL issue on Apple II originals

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Joined: Feb 17 2008 - 12:45
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The NTSC Vs PAL issue on Apple II originals

I have an Apple II original (not plus, Rev 1)
It produces NTSC video output
If I use a NTSC to PAL video converter (like the ones advertised on ebay) will it work with a PAL monitor or PAL TV?
Or is there something about Wozniak's video colour tricks that would require this to use only an NTSC monitor/TV?

Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 211
An Apple II (any II, II+, Eur

An Apple II (any II, II+, Europlus, JPlus) should work with any video modulator. In theory at least. The cleanest solution is to find is a PAL modulator for an Apple II.

If you own an NTSC modulator, try it with your TV anyway. Many TVs in Europe support NTSC and PAL and SECAM. If that fails, have a look at your VCR or DVD player to see if they can perform conversion. The only way to test whether a combination works is to compare results. Try running a challenging colour game on the real Apple II (with appropriate display) and compare it with an Apple II emulator running on a Mac/PC.

Eudimorphodon's picture
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 21 2003 - 14:14
Posts: 1207

Two notes:

1: As has been reasonably well documented, the Apple II's NTSC output isn't completely "according to Hoyle" broadcast standard. The only *sure* way to get color out of an Apple II is to use it on a nice brain-dead sloppy analog CRT composite monitor. (Which will happily make color bars out of a completely monochrome signal if the dots are timed just so. Which is essentially what the Apple II does.) Your mileage will vary any time you depend on something digitizing or otherwise "interpreting" the signal in any way. (Which those adapters must do, since NTSC color encoding is *totally* different from PAL.)

So, basically, the only way to know if a given adapter will work would be to try it.

2: Assuming you're looking at one of these:

or the like, note that it only converts the signal resolution not the frame rate. Your TV will need to support 60hz in addition to the standard PAL 50hz. (I gather that support for that is fairly common, but it *could* be worth remembering, just in case.)


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