Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Computer TV

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Perhaps it's just me but SCART plugs seem to be the analogue equivalent to a lack of plug and play. The SCART adaptor I bought to hook up my Powerbook to the TV, seems just fine – if it weren't for the fact that the image on the TV screen is black and white only.

I've had more than my fair share of this problem before. Back then we concluded – after realising that there was no way to wire up an adaptor that would allow both computers with S-Video outputs display colour images – that probably something was underspecified there (both computers would display in colour when using the yellow-Cinch plug instead of S-Video).

So I expected that my current black-and-white-only problem is along the same lines. It wasn't. Instead it turned out that carefully semi-unplugging the SCART plug at a slight angle will actually yield a colour image on the TV. I tried this with various plugs and it's not a problem of the specific plug I use. Instead, it seems that having no contact on some of the pins makes things work. How odd. I couldn't figure out (and was too fed up to actually care enough) which pins are causing the trouble, so for the time being colour TV is subject to carefully dislocating the SCART plug to the correct position.

Screenshot of preference pane for TV Oh, and there's good news as well. As I played with my Powerbook on the telly again after a long while I noticed that Overscan is back. Joy! This feature was missing in OSX for ages. It's hiding on an additional tab of the Monitors preference pane that appears for the television. That tab also features an Optimise for Video option which seems to increase brightness, possibly tackling the problem that things tended to be a bit dark on TV. Possibly these enhancements have come with the X.2.8 update which seems to have updated many graphics related things in /System. Cheers going out to Apple.

While digging around in the X.2.8 installer package, I also observed the following things which I hadn't seen mentioned elsewhere yet – in case anyone cares:

September 28, 2003, 1:00


Comment by wolf: User icon

i am at exactly this very point now myself :-) odd to realize how these experiences are 1:1 parallel

i am also happy to see that, AT LEAST, the b/w image gets to be a bit crisper … but then, i’ll see if i can find a s-video > cinch cable.

September 14, 2004, 21:00

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