LCD screen prices and microcontrollers with VGA

Hey All,
I'm interested in interfacing an LCD screen to a microcontroller, maybe a PIC or AVR or even JStamp.
I just noticed today that Dell's 24" flat panel retails for $1200 and
can be had on ebay for $900. Why is that a 6-7" LCD display still costs $400!? Thats around 1/3 the retail price for 10% of the pixels. Is it because the support circuitry is expensive, or because we're buying from a niche market?
Anyway, the above got me to thinking. Now that flat panels at large sizes are so cheap, there must be old flat panels people are getting rid of. So I want to experiment with interfacing to a VGA flat panel at either 320x200 or 640x400. It appears that generating the timing signals in software is difficult and an imperfect solution. Are there any cheapo chipsets that will get the job done? Ideally I'd be able to write to a video buffer with a PIC...fast drawing isn't a requirement, just a reasonable resolution, 8-bit image.
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mehaase(at)sas(dot)upenn(dot)edu
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Mark Haase wrote:

Maybe you're looking for this which was four posts above yours:
"Micro-VGA Adapter. RS-232 DB-9 to VGA DB-15. Released 20th April 2005
The MicroVGA is a graphics adaptor that allows the display of text characters & an unlimited number of graphic patterns. The MicroVGA can be interfaced to any host micro controller, embedded device or a PC with a serial port. The 15 pin connector is simply connected to any standard VGA monitor.
http://www.dontronics.com/micro-vga.html"
Mitch
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That is sooo cool :)
On Mon, 25 Apr 2005 08:54:59 -0400, "Mitch Berkson"

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Great pointer, thanks!
I did see the Dontronics post but I'm not interested in spending $105 on a 128x64, 6 bit color adapter. I'm not knocking the product, but as a hobbyist I would much rather build my own.
Thanks all--
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wrote:

Small fpga + video dac or small fpga by itself some quite good tutorials http://www.xess.com/ho03000.html
Xess, www.digilentinc.com and xilinx provide cheap starter kits
http://www.xilinx.com/products/spartan3/s3boards.htm US$99 http://www.xilinx.com/products/spartan3e/s3eboards.htm US$149 when available (made by digilentinc)
Latest digilentinc v2pro board can do xsga graphics.
Alex
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Hey Alex,
I've been scouring the web for information on building a VGA controller. It seems like all the designs are FPGA based. I'm familiar with what an FPGA is in principle, but I'm surprised that they are apparently the most popular tool for designing a VGA controller. Is this because nobody makes a VGA RAMDAC anymore?
If I do go the FPGA route, what other things are FPGAs useful for? I mean, if I invest time and money on this project will it payoff in future electronics projects?
Thanks for any tips, Mark

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Mark Haase wrote:

Just to point out, the $105 you mentioned is AUD, which is closer to $80USD right now.
Don...
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Don McKenzie
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I know this is off the wall, but since LCD's haven't really dropped, perhaps you can consider making a different kind of display.
Several people on the net have written about making spinning LED clocks. These use a single row of LEDs which are rapidly spun around so they seem to form a solid image. The LEDs are switched on and off rapidly using a PIC to control whether a particular pixel is on or off.
I also came across a web page for a guy who used LED lights bounced off of a rotating mirror to project an image. (like the early mechanical scan TV's)
Joe Dunfee
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