What is the text screen resolution for the MSX2?

By litwr

Resident (46)

litwr's picture

01-11-2020, 22:12

Documentation on https://www.msx.org/wiki/SCREEN says that SCREEN 0 means 40x24 (MSX1) or 80x24 (MSX2).
I run OpenMSX for the Sanyo MPC-25FD and get 39 chars in row in ROM Basic! I run the Philips NMS 8250 and get even 37 chars! I tried even the MSX turboR (Panasonic FS-A1GT) and get 39 chars.
What is wrong: the documentation, the emulator or something else? Would anybody like to help me with this issue? Thank you.
EDIT. I have just solved this problem, I had to use WIDTH40 or WIDTH80. However it is still unclear why the default mode has so funny number for chars in row.

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By Grauw

Ascended (9581)

Grauw's picture

01-11-2020, 22:21

Type: width 80

By turbor

Champion (462)

turbor's picture

01-11-2020, 22:27

in basic simply give the commands

screen 0
width 80

MSX2 and higher can store the default screenmode in battery powered ram block of the clockchip. So there you can set if the MSX2 will jump to basic in screen 0 or 1 and the number of chars per line. If you are in screen 0 and the parameter is 41 or higher then you'll end up in the hi-res mode.

To store the current setting use the command
set screen

By Manuel

Ascended (17503)

Manuel's picture

01-11-2020, 23:52

AFAIK the default of less than 40 was because a lot of TV's at the day didn't display the full width of the image. So by setting it a bit smaller, all text in basic was fully visible on all screens.

By litwr

Resident (46)

litwr's picture

02-11-2020, 17:36

Manuel wrote:

AFAIK the default of less than 40 was because a lot of TV's at the day didn't display the full width of the image. So by setting it a bit smaller, all text in basic was fully visible on all screens.

This sounds rather odd for me. The Commodore 64/+4/128, Atari 800, ... show picture very good with any TV. Some Russian computers the BK0010, Corvette (the Russian "MSX") show even 64 chars in row, the Raspberry Pi also shows 64 chars on its composite output. However the 64 chars with colors are not good on any TV but 40 were ok.

By litwr

Resident (46)

litwr's picture

07-11-2020, 17:15

I have checked the Atari 800 datasheets and found out that it also shows 38 chars by default! So maybe old TV sets had more limits that it is possible to imagine today.