Instructables

MRETV - Video, Stereo Sound and much more from a standard Arduino !

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MRETV - Video, Stereo Sound and much more from a standard Arduino !

  Use only two resistors and two diodes to generate full screen video. Text 47 x 29 of 8x8 characters, double the vertical resolution (47x57) in experimental interlace modes. Use pixel level graphics with a virtual graphics coprocessor controlling font, screen resolution, vertical and horizontal centering, raster index and pixel size with single scan line resolution. ASCII read and write access of screen characters, screen print strings, decimal, hex or binary. Built in simple scrolling terminal service. Video generation has been done before, but not like this. FULL DUPLEX serial still available while generating video.
  Two more resistors and two capacitors will add Stereo playback of Audio samples. One shot or continuous operation. Sound samples are used in real time from progmem and a sound sequencing example is provided. Both Audio and Video are generated automatically in the background with no intervention once started.
  Two more resistors and you can now connect a PS/2 keyboard or mouse (the kind before USB). Read raw key input or ASCII chars, let keys merge into the serial stream automatically. Set the keyboard LEDs and send commands to control mouse reporting.
  Code examples include Ponguino, a simple terminal, a player piano, a ShootEmUp, use your Arduino as an external video card and some technical examples. Too good to be true? Watch the video then grab your soldering iron!
 
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diy_bloke7 months ago
I am not sure if I cmpletely follow you. Are you saying you can connect to the Video in RCA plug OR to S-video?
Mr. E (author)  diy_bloke7 months ago
Yes, you can do both (but only one at a time.) First build the RCA plug video circuit, and then build the RCA to S-Video adapter for use with TV's and other equipment that allow an S-Video connection.
diy_bloke Mr. E7 months ago
thank you
This is amazing. I really can't believe you can make Arduino do all that at the same time. You've managed to cram almost all the features of Raspberry Pi into arduino(maybe only ethernet left?)!
Your intro page text could be made a bit more easy to understand, because it's hard to imagine that all this can be done and the intro page text is a bit vague about where we get the video and audio out. At first I thought this is an instructable for making arduino compatible hardware called MRETV using LCD screens, speakers etc. You can make it clearer that it works for standard TV sets. And a picture of the circuit with live display on TV will be awesome! I'll try it out soon. Thanks for sharing this :-)
Mr. E (author)  Antzy Carmasaic7 months ago
Thanks for your patience, I have finally added the video of the hardware being connected and used as you suggested. It's at the end of the 'Bugs and Bouquets' section, the MKV version is best.
Mr. E (author)  Antzy Carmasaic8 months ago
Thank you for your enthusiasm ! Build it and you will believe. I almost called the Instructable 'Rusty Nail Pi' , you know the folk tale about soup?

Excellent advice on the intro. I'll try to address it.
jlp6k7 months ago
This seems amazing. I hope to have time to play a bit with.
I'd like to know if it's dedicated to some TV standard like NTSC or PAL?
Mr. E (author)  jlp6k7 months ago
Thanks! if you build it you won't be disappointed. The polarity of the sync makes it NTSC like, but its a stretch to say its 'dedicated to a standard'. I worried at first but it turns out TV's are very forgiving about what they will display.
jjplano7 months ago
hi! nice work man! I've sent you a personal message, please answer it when you have the time. thanks in advance!
Mr. E (author)  jjplano7 months ago
Thanks, I enjoy doing it. Your reply is done, sorry for the delay (a few bad memory locations in the wetware these days).
teodoropires8 months ago
Outstanding job!
Mr. E (author)  teodoropires8 months ago
Thank you! That's high praise coming from the Spork man.
Ugifer8 months ago
Wow!

I think I've just found my next kid's project! A pretty basic PCB & we have a pongduino console for about a fiver!

Would love to hear some of the theory on how you generate the video signal. It wouldn't even occur to me to try!

Fabulous project!
Mr. E (author)  Ugifer8 months ago
Do you ever feel like the Ponguino paddles keep getting smaller ? I've played my son, some day I'm going to make a game I can win...
Ugifer Mr. E8 months ago
One extra thought - would it be better (for a TV that has it) to drive the luminance line of an S-video input rather than using a composite input? That would avoid any of the signal being interpreted as unintended colour information.

Once again though: great project.
Mr. E (author)  Ugifer8 months ago
Ugifer... look what you made me do to my S-Video cable. I mean it, the new picture and note in the video section of this Instructable. Talk about crowd sourcing, what a great idea! You can just call me E
Ugifer Mr. E8 months ago
Great! Glad to be of service (however minor).

That's the great thing about Instructables - there are so many people with good ideas and sometimes they see something that can be done in a different way. Sometimes they will even take a project you though was exhausted and put a completely new slant on it & come up with something great.

I meant it when I said I might base my next project on making a simple games console around this project - obviously I'll let you know & post an 'ible if I do.

Cheers - and thanks for the mention!

Ugi
Mr. E (author)  Ugifer8 months ago
The best thing about Instructables, for me, is learning. If I had understood how much I would learn while making this Instructable I would have done it much sooner.

E
pdrg8 months ago
Wow, excellent work, really inspiring!
Mr. E (author)  pdrg8 months ago
Thank you ! Inspiration, its an honor to pay it forward here where its most deserved.
meenzal8 months ago
This is so spectacularly simple I'm amazed. I've been building with Arduinos for years now and nothing like this ever dawned on me as possible. Great job on an excellent Instructable --one of the very best I've ever seen. Thanks so much!
Mr. E (author)  meenzal8 months ago
Thank you, your words are too kind.
PS/2 sockets are had by taking a heat gun to an old motherboard.
Mr. E (author)  The Lightning Stalker8 months ago
Indeed they are there, and sometimes difficult to get off. Thanks for the tip about the heat gun.
kayakdiver8 months ago
This is awesome. My mind is buzzing with ideas on how to incorporate this into simple test fixtures that offer much more than LEDs as a user interface. Thanks for such a great job in presenting this!
Mr. E (author)  kayakdiver8 months ago
Thanks, it will be what others do with MRETV that will make my effort worth while. The presentation keeps getting better, thanks again to all my editors out there !
MrChay8 months ago
This is a game changer, like a 4th SID channel, like fragment shaders, like dHTML. This is the dawn of a new age.
Mr. E (author)  MrChay8 months ago
Thanks ! I was trying to think outside the bag. It became a game changer for me in a trivial way. Even when my project does not use MRETV, being able to temporarily debug/test with a dedicated screen full of data and keyboard helps a lot. I seem to do a lot of 'testing' some days.
cepolobero8 months ago
Amazing project! It is by far the coolest project I have found on the Arduino scene! I'm willing to give it a try! Great job Mr. E! ;-)
Mr. E (author)  cepolobero8 months ago
Thank you, for your very kind words, it does represent a lot of work. Its been my development skeleton for a couple of years so is even fairly stable.
1a5p2 months ago

I use Arduino Uno, is it still possible for me to make this. (I am still a little new to Arduino.)

Mr. E (author)  1a5p2 months ago

Yes, the Uno works well with MRETV. Enjoy.

Ugifer5 months ago
Hello Mr E

I have just stumbled upon these guys: http://nootropicdesign.com/hackvision/
Seems like they do a similar thing but without using the UART, which I suspect means that your version will be much less processor-hungry.

Have you encountered their projects? I was just wondering whether they could be run on the MrETV "platform".

Ugi
Mr. E (author)  Ugifer5 months ago
The site says resolution of 136x96 pixels and Mono audio, it uses TVOUT. MRETV resolution goes beyond 376 X 324 and the audio is stereo or mono, so you should be able to port the games but it will not be real easy, the interfaces are different. Yes MRETV is less processor-hungry, but their system is game only so it makes sense if they use 100% processor time. MRETV gives you different abilities and expendability for pennies using your standard Arduino, (although my PAL version in not released publicly yet).

E
Jorghe10257 months ago
Hi! Can I use it to the serial output of my arduino in it? like on a computer with the IDE, this would be useful for on-the-field testing
Mr. E (author)  Jorghe10257 months ago
Yes, MRETV can be used as a terminal (with sound) on a serial port. Note that serial TX moves to a different pin while RX stays the same as normal.
Teachable8 months ago
I require the highest of fives.
Mr. E (author)  Teachable8 months ago
Thanks !, I think ? 5^5 of spades ...?
Teachable Mr. E8 months ago
You know like high five-ing someone, like give me five.
Mr. E (author)  Teachable8 months ago
I thought that might be it, but with no hands its hard to high 5 back. (and yes, I know there is an Instructable to solve that). All your comments here at Instructables have always made sense, and many good points. Thanks again for the high complement.
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