Spectravideo SVI-738
This page was last modified 22:13, 17 June 2020 by Msxholder. Based on work by Mars2000you and Rderooy and others.

Contents

Description

Spectravideo was a American company that was selling MSX computers in most countries.

The SVI-738 aka X'press, can be considered an a intermediary version between MSX1 and MSX2, as it has the MSX2 video chip and supports 80x24 text mode. But it lacks the MSX2 ROMS and VRAM to be an actual MSX2. It was available in 7 versions to support different QWERTY keyboards:

  • International
  • Arabic
  • Danish/Norwegian
  • German
  • Polish
  • Spanish
  • Swedish/Finnish

All versions include a RS-232C ROM and a Western Digital FD 1793 disk ROM. The Polish version was released by Austrian company Prosystem Vienna. The Arabic version includes an additional ROM, produced by Micro-Cat, allowing to use MSX-BASIC in the Arabic language.

This computer was sold with a demo disk.

Brand Spectravideo
Type SVI-738
Year 1985 (Polish version : 1986 - Arabic version : 1987)
Region Europe, Middle East
Original price BE: 36,990 BF (imported by Electronics Belgium NV)
DE: 1695 DM (imported by Jöllenbeck GmbH)
FI 3780 FIM (imported by Teknopiste Oy)
NL:ƒ1998 (imported by Electronics Nederland BV)
UK: £399
RAM 64kB in slot 1
VRAM 16kB
Media MSX cartridges, 1DD Floppy Disk
Video Yamaha V9938 (MSX2 VDP!)
Audio PSG (AY-3-8910)
Chipset 2 ULA and standard logic
Keyboard layout {{{keylayout}}}
Extras Floppy Disk Drive, RS-232C interface + RS-232C BASIC - 2 system disks: CP/M 2.2 - MSX-DOS 1.0 (with support for 80 column text), demo disk.
Emulation ROMs for the international version have been dumped and emulated. For the other versions ROM dumps are needed. See this thread for details. Note that the Arabic ROM has already been dumped.

Pictures

SVI-738
Spectravideo SVI-738 Danish
SVI-738 Swedish upgraded to MSX2+
Spectravideo SVI-738 Spanish
Spectravideo SVI-738 Back
Spectravideo SVI-738 box
Spectravideo SVI-738 Side
Spectravideo SVI-738 disks
Spectravideo SVI-738 PCB
Spectravideo SVI-738 Power Supply for Spain
Spectravideo SVI-738 Power Supply (220V)

Specifications

Given that the VDP is a V9938 it's possible to upgrade the SVI-738 to MSX2 by replacing the ROM and VRAM. On early versions of the PCB there was also place for MSX2 compatible RTC, battery & other related chips, but these were removed from the last revisions.

The SVI-738 has built-in a single side, double density floppy disk drive (3.5 inch, 360kB) and a SVI-specific DB-25 connector on the back for connecting the SVI-787 as a 2nd drive. The disk interface is only build of logic IC's.

Slot Map for all models except the Arabic model

Slot 0 Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3-0 Slot 3-1 Slot 3-2 Slot 3-3
Page C000h~FFFFh 64kB
RAM
Cartridge
Slot
Page 8000h~BFFFh
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM RS-232C Disk ROM
Page 0000h~3FFFh
  • The RS-232C ROM is a 8KB ROM - 4000h-5FFFh
  • The Secondary Slot Register is mirrored in every secondary slot at page C000h-FFFFh, it's only selected by A15, A14, A1 and A0

Slot Map for the Arabic model

Slot 0 Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3-0 Slot 3-1 Slot 3-2 Slot 3-3
Page C000h~FFFFh 64kB
RAM
Cartridge
Slot
Page 8000h~BFFFh Arabic ROM
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM RS-232C Disk ROM
Page 0000h~3FFFh
  • The RS-232C ROM is a 8KB ROM - 4000h-5FFFh
  • The Secondary Slot Register is mirrored in every secondary slot at page C000h-FFFFh, it's only selected by A15, A14, A1 and A0

Connections

Links