No color in CRT TV (Sony Wega) PAL modes through composite

  • Hello all, I'm having trouble getting color picture in a Sony Wega KV21FS140(A) CRT TV through composite either setting (PAL) mode=2 or (PAL) mode=18 in Recalbox's config.txt

    Refresh rate is ok, getting 50hz /50fps, having tested Amiga (uae4arm) everything is perfect; smooth scrolling (no tearing) and perfect audio (right pitch/tuning) but in B&W.

    A description of the TV, its behavior and my findings:

    • 2 composite inputs (named "video 1" and "video 2")
    • 1 component input (named "video 3")
    • This model is from 2006 and was made in Brazil
    • In the TV's menu you can select color mode for "video 1" and "video 2", which as I mentioned are composite inputs: you can set it to "Auto", "NTSC", "PAL-M", "PAL-N". Neither of this options gives color to the picture.

    As I have no cables to hook my Rpi3 through the COMPONENT input ("video 3") I tested the input with a Playstation 2 and the game "Black", european version, which lets you select PAL 50hz or PAL 60hz. Both modes work fine with color picture.
    Now, hooking the PS2 through COMPOSITE cable, it happens the same as the Raspberry: no color on 50hz mode but ok color on (PAL) 60hz mode.

    So my guess would be there is a problem with the composite settings, maybe accesible in service mode, as the TV is able to get 50hz AND color through component input.

    OR maybe there is an option you can set in config.txt for another PAL mode other than 2 or 18, maybe this "PAL" modes are not compatible with "PAL-N" mode this TV has (are they even different, PAL / PAL-N?...)

    @ironic may I summon you, as I've read your investigations and maybe you or someone you know may know how to enable this, I'm quite shure it can be made. By the way, I have found the TVs service manual but dare not fiddle with the options yet.

    Thanks in advance to all the community

  • Well... I solved it... It was the tv's default (internal) settings fault, nothing to do with Recalbox. After all it was very easy to fix.

    It seems there are many versions of PAL depending on the territory blah blah... color subcarrier varies from european PAL to american PAL, different frequencies blah blah... ok if you are interested read wikipedia, its all there.

    So, my TV is southamerican... Rpi comes from UK... a continental PAL conflict may be

    So I entered the tv service mode (from the remote control: "power (off)", then "display", then "5", then "vol +" then "power (on)").

    It starts in "GEOM" category... with buttons "5" and "2" you change category. Go one category down (press "5") and you should be in "OPTB" category. Then change item with "1" and "4", two items up (pres "1" twice) and you should be in item "002 OPB2" which value in my set was defaulted to 43 (PAL/NTSC tri-norma).
    All you have to do is change this number with buttons "3" and "6" to 40 (PAL/NTSC multi).
    Save the new settings pressing "muting" then "0" (zero). Be careful as it writes into memory. Theres a possibility to reset to defaults... its all in the service mode manual and its just googling it.

    Well... hope this comes handy for someone someday!

    PS: To whom may know... Are PAL colors like washed out compared to NTSC? Because it seems like that to me... just a little but noticeable

  • CRT Maniac

    Thank for Question and ... the Answer ;)
    I never used composite for Rpi, so i couldn't help you.
    Nice this small tuto ;)

  • Moderator

    @pol The brazilian version of PAL supported by the pi ! From :

    sdtv_mode=0    Normal NTSC
    sdtv_mode=1    Japanese version of NTSC – no pedestal
    sdtv_mode=2    Normal PAL
    sdtv_mode=3    Brazilian version of PAL – 525/60 rather than 625/50, different subcarrier

  • Hi @ironic yeah it's a little funny I answered myself haha hopefully its useful to someone else! I'm glad you liked it.

    Hi @Substring first of all let me THANK YOU for the excellent solution that is Recalbox, we are enjoying it very much my kids and I. I think its the best and closest to having an old console. Thank you and the other developers and the community so much for this public domain software.

    And thanks for your concern! Just be aware that Brazilian PAL-M is 60hz and the best option for the Amiga is PAL 50hz, modes 2 or 18, for it is mainly a 50hz software machine. In the end, it was my tv's configuration and not Recalbox's fault.

    May I make a clarification here, I use sdtv_mode=18 because I'm using popcornmix latest rpi firmware modifications, I downloaded from his github and replaced some archives in Recalbox 4.1 as explained here:

    This is effortless, just copy and paste, works like a charm, not a single problem.

    It adds composite PROGRESSIVE modes for PAL, PAL-M and usa/jap NTSC right away, so you may consider (maybe you already did that) including these in the next version of Recalbox.

    Best regards

  • Moderator

    @pol This firmware is in recalbox 4.1 ;)
    For the explanation, you can also read

  • @substring Silly me, I didn't know :) Good to hear that!! Thanks for the link! Best wishes

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