What would TV look like if it was designed by The Horned One?
This television set displays regular NTSC video in amazing 128x96 pixel resolution. I designed and built it for Burning Man, since nowhere else could anyone ever find a reason to watch such a crummy TV set. Besides, I've always wanted to build a TV out of LEDs.
Here it is, displaying a scene from The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T:
Scary red color; perfect for Pink Flamingos as well
Enhanced resolution reduction for super-smeary video effect
The extra-dim display prevents use during daylight hours
The display is highly non-uniform to make it harder to watch
The bad pixel ensures that God doesn't get jealous
But the display blocks were only 70 cents each on eBay!
Here's what the back looks like. The duct tape holds the connection wires in place
The display is made of one shift register per block, plus eight big column driver transistors
DC power: 12V at about 1.5A
The digitizer board has tasty analog processing circuitry and real knobs for width, brightness etc. A boring Xilinx FPGA does the LED pulse-width modulation. There are two switchable NTSC video inputs on RCA jacks
Pong is always available for your amusement
It uses the original 1976 GI AY-3-8500-1 Pong chip
It took months of work and over a thousand dollars to get the display to be so fuzzy
Designed to hang on a wall or be worn by two people of different heights
Yes, that is a highly collectible HP 9100A calculator in the background. It's not mine.
Digitizer schematic diagram (PDF)
Display schematic diagram (PDF)
Digitizer PCB artwork (PDF)
Display PCB artwork (PDF)
VHDL Firmware (ZIP)
Modified on August 18, 2009 and Copyright 2009 by David Forbes