Screens You CAN and CANNOT Use

If you're making a portable you probably need something to watch it on. (Unless you want to guess what's happening in the game, but I wouldn't advise that) Anyway, this forum is your "Hacking a pocket TV/screen" one-stop solution. Share your experiences and knowledge here.

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bicostp
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Screens You CAN and CANNOT Use

Post by bicostp » Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:56 pm

Due to a number of threads in recent memory asking about this subject, I feel it necessary to make this post.

These screens WILL NOT work:
You cannot use these screens so stop asking.
  • Game Gear
    Sega Nomad
    iPod / MP3 player
    MP4 player
    JuiceBox
    Digital Camera
    CD Player
    The New York Stock Exchange building
    Game Boy
    Nintendo DS
    Watch
    Game and Watch
    VideoNOW Player
    Laptop LCDs
    Clocks
    The majority of portable DVD players
    GP2X (about the one thing it doesn't do)
    Printer
    Any other integrated device I forgot.
These screens WILL work:
  • Pocket TV with video input
    PSone screen
    Hip Gear controller
    Most stand-alone car rearview camera LCDs
    Any other screen that was designed to accept analog video signals


Special Cases
These will work, but need simple supporting hardware.
  • Game Boy Advance - video input cartridge, but you need to leave the entire game boy intact
    Game Gear - Needs the TV tuner. Only works with some systems.
    Sega Nomad - Accepts analog RGB, most older game consoles output RGB.
    Nintendo DS - You need the GBA video input cart. The entire DS must be together.
    PSP: The PSP screen can be hacked to accept RGB, but you may need a board to decode composite or s-video to that point.
Why you cannot use these screens
These screens use digital signals to produce the image. That's why it's pixel-perfect. Video game systems output analog signals, like composite video, that your TV understands. Game system LCDs have the right hardware to decode the video and make it the digital signals the LCD understands. It's cheaper and smaller to make the motherboard talk directly to the screen than it is to use encoding and decoding hardware, but analog signals are more compatable (as you would need for a home console). Since the companies don't expect you to take those things apart and use the screens, they don't see a need for analog video signals. You could build a decoder board, but this is far out of most peoples' capabilities. (Decoder boards are complicated.)

Long story short: Unless your screen came with all the hardware necessary to take composite, component, or S-Video signals, don't bother.
Foxx373 has some good advice about using integrated screens:
Foxx373 wrote:Dont try. Its not impossible, just really difficult. Really REALLY difficult. Unless you know a lot about encoders, bit registers, multiplexers, shift registers, ADC, and how to fabricate really NICE looking circuit boards, just forget about it. You are better of just getting a composite LCD screen that was designed to hook up to a console. There are 2.5" LCD screens that are built into controllers, try and find one.
More info at http://www.portablesofdoom.org/screens.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If there are any more questions, or you think a revision to the list should be made, post it here. Do not send it to me in a PM!!
Last edited by bicostp on Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:54 am, edited 6 times in total.

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dman762000
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Post by dman762000 » Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:02 pm

I have been tiniking though, A good source for screens that would work could be auto salvages. Those screens in the back seet of SUV's and high end minivans (you know all the things stinking soccor moms drive and don't really need) are complete systems including rca inputs and could be got at auto salvages pretty cheap

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Post by vskid » Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:09 pm

Just to add to usable screens, some dvd player screens work (I know you said most won't work, but you didn't specifically say that some would, something most n00bs wouldn't catch). And with the dvd player screens, you're pretty much on your own to whether or not they will work, you'll have to take it apart and check. And be sure that you are smart enough to be able to check the traces for the input, its really hard for others to check using pictures.
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hailrazer
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Post by hailrazer » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:06 pm

You can add to screens that will work.

2.5" Ebay car screens.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... &rd=1&rd=1

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blackbox_dev
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Post by blackbox_dev » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:15 pm

You might want to say that a portable DVD player screen can be used if it has composite video inputs, but most of the other hardware will have to be intact (mainly everything but the optical drive).
I'd imagine right now you wish you were a cuttlefish...

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Post by vskid » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:25 pm

iam7805 wrote:You might want to say that a portable DVD player screen can be used if it has composite video inputs, but most of the other hardware will have to be intact (mainly everything but the optical drive).
Thats what I said. My screen that I got out of a dvd player had a separate board for the screen, and it had composite in. So I didn't need anything but the 3x4 board for the screen. 8)
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Klefmung
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Post by Klefmung » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:46 pm

Sega nomad screen accepts analog rgb signals.
a whole lot of portable dvd player screens work
also, I bet the new york stock exchange building has vga input!
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Life of Brian
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Post by Life of Brian » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:12 pm

To help people with their searches, you might mention that the Zenith LCD screens for PS2, GameCube, and XBox are pretty much the exact same thing as Sony PS1 LCD screens.
dragonhead wrote:sweet. ive spent a third of my life on benheck!
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Foxx373
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Post by Foxx373 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:16 am

woah, ive been quoted... and for once its something usefull.
www.bsodtv.org - Hacking is NOT a crime!

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Post by Edutainment » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:40 pm

Wow I can't believe it. I think there's a portablizer in my area who gave up, 'cause today at Buy n Sell City (former Cash Converters under new management) I saw a Super Fun Joy Stick Player Game Player 3,000 AND an XBox Hip Gear screen. I felt it fate, so I bought the Super Joy 3 for the reasonable price of $10 (didn't have enough for the Hip Gear).

What I wanted to ask, is now that I finally have the SJ3 and am officially going to attempt a portable, which is thinner, Hip Gear or portable TV (although I understand they vary?), and I guess also, which is easier to work with?

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Post by Skyone » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:46 pm

Hipgears are generally smaller and easier to work with because they are widely used.

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Post by XBrav » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:15 pm

If any people are into bigger screens, you can now get digital photo frames for a lot cheaper (under a hundred for a 7" screen). I note this because many of them are even offering RCA video inputs. I haven't cracked one open myself to see the circuitry, although it would be easy I'm sure to mess with. And plus, hell I'm the bulky type I'd love a 7" SNESp :P
You say it can't be done. I'll damn well show you it can...

Just may not be cheap. Or practical.
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Post by hokman » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:14 pm

XBrav wrote:If any people are into bigger screens, you can now get digital photo frames for a lot cheaper (under a hundred for a 7" screen). I note this because many of them are even offering RCA video inputs. I haven't cracked one open myself to see the circuitry, although it would be easy I'm sure to mess with. And plus, hell I'm the bulky type I'd love a 7" SNESp :P
Which photo frame has inputs?

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Valium
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Post by Valium » Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:50 am

I believe you can take the PSP off the list of unusable screens.
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atomfitz
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Post by atomfitz » Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:04 pm

hmmm... you have gameboy listed... does this include advance?

*edit*
whoops... didnt see it listed down in the "will work but..." section...
any tips on where i can find the video imputr cartrage i need?
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GCp 15%

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