Indivision ECS V4: New features, development progress

Caution: Non registered users only see threads and messages in the currently selected language, which is determined by their browser. Please create an account and log in to see all content by default. This is a limitation of the forum software.

Also users that are not logged in can not create new threads. This is a, unfortunately needed, counter measure against spam. Please create an account and log in to start new threads.

Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • Hi everyone,

    Indivision ECS V3 has been sold out for a while, and I've mentioned Indivision ECS V4 a number of times, scattered over this forum, especially when someone asked for availability of OCS/ECS flicker fixers - that'll be mid-July of this year. To make finding/asking info about this new product a bit easier, I'm starting this new thread where all information and questions shall be collected.

    So what's new?

    • the FPGA has almost twice the capacity. This lets us implement more features, yet keep the same form factor as the previous versions.
    • all-new appearance in all-black. This is in line with the colour of our most successful product ever, the ACA500plus. Not that it matters much in a closed computer, but after 16 years, I felt it was time for a change from the blue that the three previous versions have used. Even the cable to the VGA connector is black!

    • more sophisticated clock generation. While Indivision ECS V2 and V3 were completely async, we now have the possibility to generate precise whole-number multiples of the native Amiga pixel clock. This improves the VSync feature a lot, because the monitor's capability requirement is reduced to 50Hz for PAL or 60Hz for NTSC modes, but it doesn't have to be a specific V-Sync-capable monitor any more (like an expensive gaming monitor). Your choice of low-cost monitors with VGA input increases a lot with this - it's the same feature that Invidision AGA MK3 users already enjoy under the name "auto resolution mode".
    • EDID monitor identification: The config tool can detect the monitor and read supported modes, so fiddling with monitor settings is vastly simplified
    • CIA adapter for keyboard signals: This lets us implement the live-config feature, which is highly appreciated by Indivision AGA MK3 users. Bringing this to OCS/ECS machines, which are often used for gaming, was a "must" - you can pan/zoom the picture with the mouse after pressing a magic keyboard combination while the game is running.
    • Graffiti false-positive avoidance: Generally, Graffiti mode is activated on a line-by-line basis using the Genlock Audio bit (GAUD). Some games set this bit without actually wanting to use Graffiti mode. We're developing a heuristic that also looks at more criteria to tell if it's really a program for the Graffiti hardware, or if it's a false positive that would otherwise result in garbled graphics.
    • I have kept the amount of memory on the flickerfixer at 8MBytes. Although I'm constantly trying to reduce prices, it would not have made any sense to reduce the amount of memory to 2MBytes (whích is the next-smaller chip you can buy), because it would make double-buffering impossible. Instead, I have wired this Ram differently, so we can address it byte-by-byte. This doesn't impact the current functionality (which only uses 16-bit accesses to this memory), but will allow us to add things in the future that would be very slow to do on the previous versions of this flicker fixer.
    • the OSD now has true transparency and can be positioned in any corner of the output picture. I know that many people find the OSD just annoying and always switch it off, which is of course still an option. For those of you who have the OSD visible, it can now softly fade out to complete transparency, adding a little modern "bling" to the look-and-feel.
    • Improved interlace handling: If you drag sreens and you have a non-interlace screen in front of an interlace screen, the whole picture will turn to interlace if you drag the front screen down. Previously, this resulted in a screen mode change on Indivision, which may result in the monitor going into re-sync mode, showing a black screen for a few seconds. The new interlace handling can now avoid this.

    If you know what Indivision ECS V3 could do, you'll see that this is already a good improvement. However, we have more plans for this product, and although the cost of the hardware has increased, the price of Indivision ECS V4 will remain the same as V3 until we're feature-complete. That said, the following features are planned, but there is no timeline for implementing them. I know I have repeatedly said in the past 20+ years that you should not buy a product for what it may become, but only for what it is right now. Again, at this point, we're promising to deliver "only" what Indivision ECS V3 could do, plus the features mentioned above. If any of the planned features is a key feature for your purchasing decision, then do not buy now! Instead, you should wait until your key feature has been implemented and it's mentioned in the product description of the shop page.

    With that out of the way, here's what we believe fits the FPGA and is possible to implement on the hardware that is currently in production:

    • change position and zoom factor in auto-resolution modes
    • improve auto-resolution to support 3x and 4x pixels
    • detect and support A2024 "Hedley monitor" screen modes
    • make OSD auto-sizing, so readability on high-resolution monitors is improved
    • inhibit Amiga's access to mouse movement data during live configuration (movement only - LMB can't be inhibited!)
    • add a framebuffer mode with 256 colours out of 21 bits colour, 1024x768 and 1280x1024 pixels
    • add 64x64-pixel sprite with 4 colours to framebuffer mode
    • add 2D acceleration to framebuffer mode
    • add second draggable screen to framebuffer mode (must have same resolution as first screen)
    • implement P96 driver for framebuffer mode - don't expect wonders here! It's questionable if Picasso-II performance can be reached.

    In addition to the actually-planned features above, we also have a nice-to-have-list of ideas that may or may not be implemented ever, so we currently leave this list unpublished. Still, if you have a specific feature request, let us know below and we'll see what's possible.


    • if you want to be a beta tester, you can have a beta unit before the end of June. The circuit board of the flicker fixer is blue, but the CIA adapter for live config is black. This hardware has the exact same functionality as the black boards. Only the board colour is different. A small discount of 5,- EUR is offered for this colour mismatch and your efforts of finding possible bugs. Send me an e-Mail if you want such a unit by the end of June.
    • pre-orders for Indivision ECS V4 will start in a few days
    • A limited quantity of final flicker fixers will be delivered in week 29/2024, that's July 15th to July 19th.
    • iComp staff will be on holidays from July 22nd to August 2nd. Shipments will continue in the week of August 5th.

    Questions? Feel free to ask!


  • Jens

    Approved the thread.
  • Any CIA adapter specific to the A600 model? Or will it be only for the A500/A500+ ?

    French Amiga fan living in Australia ;)

    Owns all Amiga machines except A3000T and CDTV. Owns 2 or more of each kind except A3000 and CD32 (only one of each!)

    Jetski fisherman as well. 8)

  • For the A600, we'll use the same adapter that we're already shipping with Indivision AGA MK3. It won't colour-match, but it'll work :-)


  • I assume this is compatible with the 604n?

    Yes, it is. It was especially complicated to get the 12-pin IDC connector into the same space where the older versions have a 10-pin connector. With an unmodified 12-pin connector, it wouldn't have fit the A600 with A604n, but we've found a way to make it exactly the same width by modifying the bos header.


  • What a about a digital output? Monitors with VGA connector are becoming uncommon.

  • We contemplated a digital output, but favoured VGA for cost reasons (not just the flicker fixer, but also the monitor). I have written a few very detailed posts about this in the German part of this forum - you can surely use an automatic translation service to read why I believe that VGA-only has more benefits than digital or digital+VGA (which would be the almost-200-EUR-option).


  • This decision on ECS version omitting digital output make no sense when you consider your AGA version has it at its stated price. Why does the ECS version have this additional self imposed cost crisis? We are already buying a 150+ device, I suspect that if you asked your customers they would tell you they would gladly pay the extra cost to include digital out.

    That you may have written about it more than once in your German area just shows people are asking for this. Please reconsider and thanks for the great products.

  • We are already buying a 150+ device,

    The current price is 135.91 incl. German VAT or 114.21 EUR for customers outside Europe.

    There is no "self-imposed cost crisis" - I want the hobby Amiga to be as cheap as possible. If I had used the same components as on Indivision AGA MK3, the only cost benefit would have been one less RAM chip, which is under 1,- Dollar. So you'd basically end up at the same price as Indivision AGA MK3, plus a monitor that's a lot more expensive than a used VGA monitor that you can get for around 20,- EUR - if it's not given away.

    I know the sales numbers of the previous Indivision ECS models, and I know how they dropped when I had to increase the price over the "magical 100,- EUR mark". Then the sales figures dropped even more when I had to increase the price for Indivision ECS V3. People who are on a budget are not as vocal as the "watch-out-here-I-come"-people pretending to be able to afford anything. I do communicate with these people through e-mail, and repeating patterns are "can you ship to to address XY so my wife doesn't notice" [yes], "can you declare lower value, so customs won't be high" [no, we must play by the rules], "can I get volume discount on XY" [no, everyone pays the same price] and "can I get a voucher code?" [no, that's only for winners of sponsored events like Revision]. If I had to guess on a ratio, then it's 5:1 for price vs. technical questions that are arriving through eMail.

    This is in line with research about price vs. total addressable market. We need a bit of volume for low-cost products like Indivision ECS. You can hardly ever reach volume with premium pricing, as you are losing customers exponentially with a linear increase in price. By offering some more bang for the buck in terms of features, but keeping the same price as V3, I'm expecting to get a few of the customers back that I have lost on the price increase of V3.

    That said, if you had taken the time to check the German forum, you would have read that we've discussed an additional converter internally that's fully supported by Indivision and the config tool. However, that's nothing I can promise for this year, as there's quite some development to be done on Indivision ECS V4 where I can't give any timeline for (that's what the original post is all about!).

    So if you have a digital output as a key feature on your shopping list, you may still become a customer in the forseeable future - maybe not this year, though.


  • This looks great! :). I know you’ve said black pcb.. but any chance on getting some purple pcb’s on a limited amount? Would love this in my purple 500++


  • AH-Ok. So you saw a sales drop previously when increasing the price. I am a bit surprised the ECS folks are more price sensitive than the AGA folks. The Amiga is not an inexpensive hobby. I look forward to possibly seeing a digital out add on board/device.

  • I am a bit surprised the ECS folks are more price sensitive than the AGA folks.

    If I had to make a guess, then A500 users never spent the money on an AGA machine for a reason: Price.

    The Amiga is not an inexpensive hobby

    Right, and I've seen A500 prices on the rise ever since I introduced the first ACA500. Back in 2013 when that came out, the average price of an A500 was in the 40-60 EUR range. You can still sometimes get them for that if the power supply is missing or the machine can't be tested for some other reason.

    I know you’ve said black pcb.. but any chance on getting some purple pcb’s on a limited amount? Would love this in my purple 500++

    Only a tiny quantity of blue PCBs are available (for beta testers; 5,- EUR off), and the rest is black. This is a huge production run (for Amiga terms), because I'm attempting to keep the price low - this works best if I make all boards the same. I'd have to buy more components, make new PCBs and pay once more for machine set up, which would make a "purple" production run quite a bit more expensive.

    Sounds marvellous! I'll volunteer to be a beta tester for the A600/A604n combo, if you still need one

    Sure - just send me an e-Mail, and I'll reply with the invoice.

    Cool, does graphitti works fine on it ?

    The mode is spelled "Graffiti". As you have hopefully read in the first post of this thread, Graffiti mode is even more refined in this version of the flicker fixer, as it has more plausibility checks to keep software from activating the mode accidentally. So the answer to this would be "yes, it works even better than with all previous versions".


  • About the Picasso 96 driver: will it require an MMU, or is a 68020 CPU OK for it?

    Having some kind of "graphics card" would be an awesome feature, even if it's suitable only for the OS in terms of speed.

  • About the Picasso 96 driver: will it require an MMU, or is a 68020 CPU OK for it?

    The current plan is to make it work with a plain 68020, although it won't be fast. Again, we don't even know if we can reach the performance of a Picasso II, which wasn't impressive either. Then again, a native Workbench in 16 colours is extremely slow, and we should be able to beat that in terms of speed, resolution and colour depth.


  • Hi Jens,

    There is just one feature I really want - the ability to use Interpolated scaling with a soft filter like the RGB2HDMI. The ECS v3 is too sharp for my taste, and games look a bit awful on the LCD compared the 1081 I have sitting beside it. I have another A1000 with an RGB2HDMI and using the Interpolated/Softest setting, I get the closest picture quality to a 1081 I have seen from any scan doubler/flicker fixer.

    Can the Indivision do this? Maybe v4? Honestly, the image is so much better (for me) that I'm about to swap out my ECS v3 for an RGB2HDMI if I can fit one in with my other mods. But I would prefer to use my Indivision.

    Or am I doing something wrong? Very grateful for any advice in this case.

  • The scaler does indeed allow setting a "sharpness", so the transition from pixel-to-pixel can be softer or harder. This of course requires the output resolution to be set as high as possible. So if you want to compare against the output of that RPi-based solution, you have to use the same panel at the same resolution as a starting point.


  • We contemplated a digital output, but favoured VGA for cost reasons (not just the flicker fixer, but also the monitor). I have written a few very detailed posts about this in the German part of this forum - you can surely use an automatic translation service to read why I believe that VGA-only has more benefits than digital or digital+VGA (which would be the almost-200-EUR-option).

    Or perhaps, since V4 is to be so expanded, a digital output (the same DVI+Audio via HDMI as in Indi AGA MK3) could be added to it - as a paid add-on. I would be in favor of something like that.

    Really, in the 21st century, many people use monitors/TVs with HDMI to "play" with retro hardware :), and it would be a serious reason to buy an Indivision ECS V4.