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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Video Monitors for Expression 1 Consoles

When looking for a monitor for the Expression (1) or MicroVision family of consoles you will be looking for a CGA monitor, which is an older video format that is not compatible with the current video formats (VGA_ or (SVGA). These consoles cannot be upgraded to the new video format, so you will either need to find an old CGA monitor, or a CGA to VGA converter, or you can order an HD15 to DB9 adapter cable PN: 4000B7026.

Below are the specs for the CGA format:

Format Refresh Rate Connector
CGA/Digital RGB 54.5 hz Vertical 18.36 Khz Horizontal 9Pin DB-9CGA/Digital
RGB 54.5 hz Vertical 16.0 Khz Horizontal 9Pin DB-9 (MVSN, MVFX)
TTL Monochrome 9Pin DB-9
Composite Monochrome BNC

D89 HD15 Signal
1 1 Common (AC Ground)
2 2 Common
3 3 Red
4 13 Green
5 14 Blue
6 5 Intensity
7 15 N/C
8 12 Horizontal Sync
9 10 Vertical Sync

There are some additional options in getting video output out of the MicroVision and Expression 1 consoles:

  1. ETC makes an HD15 to DB9 adapter cable for old out of production Multisync monitors.  Part#4000B7026.  Multisync models that worked with the adapter: NEC 2D, NEC Mutisync 3D, NEC Multisync 3DS
  2. The console will also support TTL Monochrome and Composite Monochrome monitors.  If you can do without color.  You should be able to find TTL or Composite Monochrome monitors at used computer stores. You may want to take the console with you to verify video format.
  3. The Expression (1) and MicroVision family consoles use CGA format monitors. While the connector may look similar, it is incompatible with VGA displays. Inputs on CGA-compatible monitors may be labeled "RGB." The CGA format is completely obsolete, and there are no display manufacturers who currently implement it into their products.

    You may be able to find used CGA monitors online, but exercise caution--CRT monitors are notoriously difficult to ship safely and you may wind up with an expensive, heavy, broken display that will be difficult to properly dispose of. We recommend searching for monitors locally.

    Converters for obsolete video formats are often used by retro computer and video arcade enthusiasts. While ETC cannot provide support for any 3rd party equipment and has not tested any for use with early consoles, one such converter is the MCE2HDMI, which can be found here.