TV in a PC

Old Gateway PC transformed into a Linux server with embedded display, which is a hacked portable B&W TV driven directly by the VGA card.





Gallery of Images

I never liked having a server without a some kind of console display built in.   Up to now, when the machine went down, I had to lug out a VGA monitor, which was at least 14", often larger.    Most PC cases have an abundance of unused bays (too many really), and are so deep that there is mostly empty space in the front (and the gateway PC I had was no exception). I was able to mount a 5in CRT and TV board inside while still leaving room for the floppy, cdrom and other things.
The old TV didn't have any composite input, so the video and sync lines had to be tapped out (Korean made, it had a manufacture date of 1989, the tuner was not working and the case was cracked, but the picture was still good).     The video BIOS was customized for driving at the correct NTSC sync and scanrate.
See my Linux on Obsolete Display's Project Page for more info about this.

Best thing about this project was almost everything came from the trash.   The only things that were purchased were the zip ties, can of black krylon (for painting the tv bezel), and the game zapper for the optional second tv/display (see below).

After adding a second VGA card, it also makes a good media center PC. Getting the NTSC mode on the second card required the appropriate modeline for X as well as a VGA->Composite modulator (not scan converter), which is an old ADS Game Zapper I purchased in the early 90s. These are rare, and based on the older (and also hard to find) cxa1145 RGB encoder. However a similar, better circuit can be made with minimal parts using an AD724/AD725. more info here