“PCB800099”, also known as VS-TY2662-V1 is an LCD controller PCB which has entered the market relatively recently. As per usual I have no idea who designed either the board or who wrote its software, but I do know it is based on the Realtek RTD2662 controller, although some may be labelled RTD2660 (which in theory means no HDMI), but if your HDMI input works, it’s an RTD2662. This is just sloppy chip labelling. The RTD266x family represents Realtek’s “TV” lineup, and using this, you notice it.
With my favourite variety (the RM5451 and variants) of D.I.Y. LCD controllers getting long in the tooth, and this also being a Realtek looks like a promising replacement, but having ordered one, I’m not quite sure it is.
Here’s the things I didn’t like about it compared to R.RM5451:
- It feels more like a TV, less like a Monitor. The RM5451’s firmware mostly manages to stay out of your way, whereas with PCB800099, it’s firmware is in your face. You’ll get a no input “Blue screen”, comprehensive and lengthy OSD popups warning of “No Signal” and whatever input it’s set to.
- Because it’s a TV, it assumes that more than one input is in use at a time, and doesn’t auto detect, You’ve got to select the desired input. This is annoying when you’ve got it as a carry around rig using only one input at a time. At least once you a select an input, it remembers it even if you power it off. Thank god.
- For the more advanced hacker (i.e. one who’s bought the programmer kit), it’s not as great. Unlike RM5451 which comes with a reliable USB programmer, with hundreds of images for various LCD panels, PCB800099 has only a parallel port programmer with just a handful of binary images, hacked by the vendor to to support a few panels. Some images don’t work at all.
But it’s not all bad. I’ve added support for PCB800099 to my ROVATool application, allowing a USB programmer (More here) which at least makes the programming of these boards a bit easier, but I don’t support editing.
The panel I used here (LP171WP4) is unsupported by the supplied images, but by picking one with the same resolution and LVDS interface type and modifying the embedded EDID blocks I was able to get it working.
There are some pros to PCB800099 compared to RM5451. These are:
- Two composite inputs. Useful for someone considering this for a surveillance or reversing camera project
- It supports TTL panel output. There aren’t many boards that still do this
- It’s got an HDMI input (If DVI connectors are too bulky for you, because the audio capabilities are of no use on this)
- Like a TV, it comes with an infra-red remote control, if this kind of thing floats your boat
- It is connector compatible with R.RM5451, including the LVDS interface and backlight. Caveat: backlight enable signal is only driven to +3.3v, which in rare cases could cause issues. The LP171WP4 I’ve got it connected to is a rare example of this, where I’ve had to buffer it because it requires a +5V backlight enable signal.
Overall the hardware solution of the RTD266x is a clear improvement over the RTD2120L + RTD2545 combo of the RM5451/RM5251, but unfortunately in this case, unless you’re happy with the insides of a cheap TV, the same cannot be said for its firmware.
Firmware source code
It’s no secret that the source code for the firmware that runs on this board is out there. Licensing arrangements? Who knows.
A reader has kindly posted a source snapshot on github (originally provided by another reader) of the firmware, including the changes needed to make it actually compile and program with ROVATool.
You can view it here.
It’s generally compiled with the Keil C Compiler (which isn’t free).
Merge128K.bat has to be executed after compilation – to create a single .BIN file which ROVATool requires.
Contacting me about this board
I get a lot of emails about this board to the effect of “I just bought one of these – how do I make it work with X?” If you’re thinking of sending one, please don’t. Trying to train up even a single newbie on this subject can burn hours of my day. I’m a busy person who works full time, I don’t have time for it. Sorry.
I am always keen to hear from people who have already been on the journey of learning about display controllers, and are at an advanced level of understanding, and perhaps even may have something to add to what I have here.
Do feel free to leave a comment on this post, I might be able to quickly answer it, or perhaps someone else may know.