FAQs

Have a question about XDC?  Here are a few FAQs, or, feel free to leave a question/comment on this page.

Why on earth is the encoder written as 16-bit DOS code?   Because the original idea was to write an optimizing compiler that benchmarked its own code directly on the target hardware.  While I abandoned that idea when I found that cycle-counting could get me 95% of the way there, I didn’t rewrite the entire thing for modern environments because I don’t currently have the time.

Will you be porting this to a modern environment?  Not in the near future, sorry.  I need to move on to other vintage computing projects.  However, I welcome anyone else who wants to port the encoder to modern 64-bit systems, or maybe write a “helper” utility that takes a video file and spits out preconverted bitmaps/audio and a script.

Is an 8088 computer required to play XDC videos?
Is CGA required?

Is a Sound Blaster required?
XDC videos will play properly on any x86 computer that can run DOS, however they’ll only output in color properly on a real CGA card, and they’ll only support sound playback on a Sound Blaster or compatible that supports auto-init DMA.  That means the very first Sound Blasters (1.0/1.5) will not work, but others will.

Why is composite output required for color?  Composite color output was the initial target because I wanted to show off the system at a demoparty hooked up to a projector.  It is possible to add support for color on RGB monitors, even switching background colors and foreground palettes while the video is playing; I just never got around to it.  If anyone would like to write a frame converter that outputs nice CGA RGB 320x200x4 mode files, I can easily add support for that mode to the encoder and player; drop me a line.

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