A well worn but still functional Commodore 1084 monitor

A well worn but still functional Commodore 1084 monitor

It seems a bit poor of me to write a post about the Commodore 1084 monitor, I mean, here I am surrounded by PPC boards, A4000 boxes, A1200 towers and Amiga desktops all around me. Instead of even more focus on those high end super hardware of yesterday I decide to write about a silly CRT in these days of 52″+ entertainment screens.

The Commodore 1084 monitor was a well known monitor aimed at the Amiga 500 and 2000 owner, there are multiple versions available of the 1084, some versions have more connectors at the back, some miss the SCART-slot for example, but they all share the same excellent old school 13″ CRT-tube.

To be honest with you I never owned a Commodore monitor myself until I got a nice C= 1960 monitor with my first Amiga 4000 back in 1998. Back then, it was a great monitor, I could run hires-laced without flicker so Magic Workbench had the right proportions for example. Though, even in 1998 the big black borders around the screen was irritating. Today we fully expect to use all of the screen estate available on a monitor, but with CRT based monitors that was not always the case.

The 1084 was the W-wagon of monitors unlike the Commodore 1960 that was more targeted towards serious users who ran desktop applications and needed a professional multisync monitor (remember those?). So with the purchase of a mystery A4000 system during spring I got this nice Commodore 1084 monitor that I wanted to sell of instantly.

However when I got home and tried it on my recently acquired Amiga 4000 system it occurred to me that the display quality was quite in a different league than what we get with modern flat screens.

I have always assumed that the 1084 monitor had the same sharp image quality as any oldschool PC VGA monitor from the nineties but I was a bit wrong. The display quality of 1084 resembles a TV more than a monitor, pixels are not sharp, there is smoothness between colors and graphics and there is some flicker (even in flicker free modes).

Above all the clarity and richness of color really stands out compared with running your Amiga with a modern scandoubler on a TFT screen (too bad I can not hook up my system at the moment to snap some pictures).

I admit it has been quite a few years, but I seem to remember Amiga magazines recommending owners of Amiga systems to get a 1084 if the Amiga was supposed to be used with serious applications, because the Commodore 1084 monitor had a much sharper image than a color TV. Either Amiga output in Workbench with a TV was unreadable in those days or they were crazy, I hereby claim it is impossible to do serious work with a 1084 monitor if you do not want to become blind. Seriously, either we were crazy back in 1989 or image quality of the 1084 in Workbench during “office use” becomes worse as older it gets (I guess).

But in games the 1084 really shines. Think of the 1084 monitor as a realtime hardware filter that smoothes out the graphics output of the Amiga and makes colors more rich and vivid without making the image blurrier, it is like a genuine arcade monitor for your Amiga (well technically it is since they are both RGB displays)…

And the Commodore 1084 monitor is not only usable only for the Amiga, any oldschool (think pre HD-hysteria) console will look great on the 1084 monitor although it is a bit small in these days of huge flatscreens but perfect on your desk. I got awesome results by hooking up my Dreamcast to the 1084, and because of the small and boxy size of the monitor it is perfect for TATE mode shoot em ups, combined with a SEGA console it is actually just as if you got a proper early 90’ies/late 80’ies arcade at home without the bulk a proper vintage arcade system occupies in your home, how fantastic.

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