Need recommendations for VGA "overlay" board

Need recommendations for VGA "overlay" board

Post by Norm Dresne » Sat, 03 Feb 2001 09:42:13

We've been using a TARGA+64 board as a second video card in ancient MS-DOS
program to do video overlay on a completely independent NTSC video stream.
But we're (I am) going to convert it to Linux and we've decided that even
though we have a spare TARGA board, we can't allow ourselves to be that
locked into un-replaceable hardware since the new system is expected to have
at least as long a life-time as the old one (which I wrote in '92).

The quick summary of the requirements are:
    1. this has to be the second video (VGA) board; the primary one is used
for system control
    2. our input is and the output has to be standard NTSC
    3. the overlay graphics is moderately crude, currently done in ~400x300
    4. the system has to be Red Hat 5.2 (with real-time Linux extensions)

We're contemplating either:
    a) getting a perfectly standard VGA board and an external overlay
generator which accepts one VGA input and one NTSC input and generates NTSC
    b) getting a "VGA" board with NTSC output and a (moderately) cheap
overlay generator which has two NTSC inputs and one output.

We think that the cost trade-off is probably in favor of (b) since the
VGA-input overlay generators are significantly more expensive than the
NTSC-compatible products.  But the board has to be  compatible with our OS
and have available drivers (XFree86 compatibility is definitely preferred)
for what we know is a non-current version of Linux.

I have no experience with second VGA boards in Linux and no recent knowledge
of the availability of NTSC-output VGA boards.  I'd appreciate a few
suggestions for a VGA board that we could use.


 Norman Dresner
 Fellow Systems Engineer
 Radar Systems Engineering Department
 Electronic Systems and Sensors Segment
 Northrop Grumman Corporation
 MS 520
 Box 746
 Baltimore MD 21203

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