September 16, 2013

Generate Arduino video output with 80x25 text

The Arduino tvout library has been available for some time, and it works well to play retro-style games or generate various forms of lower-resolution text. However all the processing for the video takes place with the onboard microcontroller, which reduces the sketch's capacity to do other things due to the resources required by the video generation. However thanks to the work by Grant Searle with his serial-controlled PAL/NTSC video processor circuit which has been modified for Arduino use by Dave Curran, you can now easily generate 25 rows of 80 column text with your Arduino or compatible board, external circuit and Dave's library. 

The external video generator is based around an Atmel ATmega328, a 74HCT166 and some simple circuitry - which results in a display controller that communicates at 115200 bps via serial and makes great text easy to generate. It really is a useful extension form of data output and could bring to life more gaming or information display possibilities. For more information and discussion, visit the Arduino forum. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

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