Videlity - Preview
Those of you who have seen APEX Media will know that nobody can squeeze and tease the best performance from the Falcon chips like the boys from Black Scorpion Software.
The Videl chip is the one at their mercy this time. This little baby is the Falcon's video controller. Using Videlity you can push this chip to give greater resolutions on a standard Falcon without the use of extra hardware.
There is a balance to be met here. Too higher resolution will result in a flickering screen. However, with a little experimentation, large and useful screen resolutions can be obtained. The final result depends entirely on the specification of your monitor.
In 16 and 256 colour modes I can obtain a comfortable pixel screen 800x608. In VGA True Tolour I get a comfortable working resolution of 400x304. I have been unable to get these resolutions with the non-commercial screen enhancers. In fact even with Screenblaster 2, [a hardware screen enhancer] I was unable to get these very useful resolutions on my multisync monitor! Talking of external pixel clocks [Screenblaster and BlowUp Hard] Videlity can be used to replace the supplied software. I tried my Screenblaster and was astonished to get verticle refresh rates of 57Hz in all the above mentioned resolutions except the True Colour video mode. This I couldn't push quite so far, but I do manage a very comfortable 51Hz. All these resolutions can be pushed higher than I have mentioned here, but my tired old eyes are not happy with anything higher! Videlity should also enhance RGB monitors, but I have not been able to test this yet.
It is important to configure the software correctly. To this end Videlity could not be simpler. There are three particular options in the configuration screen that will help you to get it right. First, a dialog where you enter your monitor's Vertical and Horizontal refresh rate [get these from your manual]. With monitor protect 'on' Videlity will then warn you if you try to obtain a resolution that is beyond its safe range. Second, a 4:3 ratio button. Click on this and Videlity will, within 16 pixels, change your vertical setting to match this H:V pixel ratio thereby avoiding squashed and distorted screens. Finally there is a "Test" button. When you have set your horizontal and vertical values using the slider a quick click on this button will display the test screen in the selected resolution. Fine adjustments can be carried out while in the test mode, but it is best to kept to short tests until you are used to the configuration software and the limits of your monitor.
Settings can be saved for each video mode. I have all my standard resolutions set to the normal screen sizes. When I require an extended screen all I have to do is select a different line double mode [on/off] and Videlity kicks me up a gear. There are seperate config files for RGB and VGA setting. This is a boon to those with multisync monitors that will scan down to RGB.
Do you have an Expos‚ card fitted? [OK, we all know you have one... get on with it - Ed] If so, you can make use of a special "Picture in Picture" option. Videlity can display a True Colour "PiP", in a section at the bottom of your screen, no matter what colour video mode you are in!
Those of you who have, like me, been chomping at the bit to get hold of Nemesis, will be pleased to know that Videlity can make use of this long awaited accelerator to give clearer or larger screen resolutions, including an expected 640x480 VGA resolution in true colour - I want my Nemesis NOW!!!
I write this article as a "preview" because Videlity is in final beta testing stages. However, by the time you read my words the package may well be available.
|Contact:||Black Scorpion Software on 0121-693 6669|
|Price:||£14.95 inc VAT & p&p|
APEX Alpha - A pre-preview sneak look...
Did you make it to one of the recent Atari shows in London or Birmingham? If you did you would have seen David Encill playing with his new baby. An early - pre beta - version of APEX Alpha. Just for you there is a sneak preview screenshot. APEX Alpha is still in the early stages of development, but it is coming on in leaps and bounds.