Wow I just tried my newly arrived NTSC USA NES (I am in England) for the first time before modding it to RGB and boy is there a BIG difference between my PAL NES and this NTSC NES's picture with composite video.
Have a look at the picture below... the first one shows what PAL NES looks like in composite. It's HORRIBLE, nothing like the NTSC version (2nd and 3rd pictures). Note with PAL NES the VERY ragged edges on everything, the sprites being so 'pixel scrambled' that you can hardly appreciate them at all, and there is a herringbone pattern over all the colours. This is the output of my PAL NES, a late board revision version (NES CPU 11, 1987), a Mattel board version, serial number PM694040, model NESE001 (GBR).
Is it any wonder I was so desperate to get a much better RGB picture out of a NES LOL...
In contrast my newly arrived NTSC USA NES is so way better it's shocking. Picture is full screen on NTSC NES instead of having nasty black borders top and bottom on PAL NES, and the music on the NTSC NES (with NTSC USA Super Mario Bros 1) is the right speed (same as arcade) compared to PAL NES (with PAL UK Super Mario Bros 1) which plays the music too fast. I am getting slightly reluctant to convert the NTSC one to RGB now!
My NTSC NES is serial N0639771, i.e. below 1 million, and has a Toshiba TC74HC373P and all HC and H version chips, no LS ones. Should work with Powerpak when I finally buy one I suppose.
The NES is being displayed here on an Infocus IN76 projector. Any vertical or horizontal lines (very wide spacing!) that you see are a result of my DIY screen made from A3 sheets of paper LOL. NTSC picture is a bit softer than the PAL picture even with the heavy sharpening that I tend to use on the pj settings. On my NTSC NES I see only the tiniest hint of jail bars at all and only on the browns and then only when I see a large area of color. About a 5 percent amount of bars. I wonder how much bars I will see when it's RGB modded LOL. Also I see that the sky in Super Mario Bros is more purple than I would like, on the NTSC NES image, which should go back to a blue on RGB mod I think [later edit: nope, the RGB modded sky is purple on my IN72 projector but blue on my 14" Sony FD Trinitron TV!]
Also included a pic. of my PPU scavenged from a PC10 Single (?) monitor PCB sat waiting to be added. I have ordered the 40 pin socket for the PPU, I bought one like the one on the PC10 board (which was a standard one I think, very tight fit, was rather difficult to remove the PPU, I did it as carefully as I could, levering it out a little each side at a time with a penknife (I have no special tools to do this yet), and I also ordered a Turned pin socket which is the precision version (I think) of the same socket, with 4 connecting bridges of plastic for greatest strength, and gold plated inner for the pins for best contact.
I plan on buying a desoldering iron next. Hope I get the right one
Just thought some of you in NTSC land would like to see what the PAL NES's output looks like...