SVI-738

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Spectravideo SVI-738 X'Press
SVI-738 PIC 0929.JPG
Developer Spectravideo
Type Home computer
Release date 1985
Introductory price £399.99
590000
Media 3½-inch floppy disks, ROM Cartridge, Cassette tapes
Operating system MSX BASIC
MSX-DOS
CP/M 2.2
CPU Zilog Z80A @ 3.58 MHz
Memory 64 KB (+16 KB video memory)
Display 256x192 pixel resolution, 256 colours
Input Keyboard
Related articles SVI-728

The Spectravideo SVI-738 X'Press was an MSX1 compatible home computer manufactured by Spectravideo from 1985. Although compatible with the MSX 1.0 standard, it incorporates several extensions to the standard (80-column display, serial RS-232, built-in 3.5" floppy drive); many are hardware-compatible with the MSX 2.0 standard[citation needed] but the system as a whole is not, leading to it being referred to as an "MSX 1.5" computer.

Along with the Sony HB-501 (which includes a cassette player), it the only attempt to make a portable computer based on the MSX standard[citation needed], hence the title "X'Press" it came packaged with its own carrying bag in addition to the manuals, booklets and software (CP/M 2.2 and MSX-DOS 1.0) a disk containing a special demonstration program featuring an astronaut flying about on the screen, demonstrating the computer's graphic capabilitites and listing facts about the computer's ROM and RAM sizes.

Along with the disk drive and integrated serial port, what stood out the most was the use of the graphics chip specified by the MSX-2 standard, although the use of only 16 KB of VRAM allowed you to add only an 80 column mode. This, together with bugs in the first model's design (Konami SCC-sound based cartridges do not work or have bad sound) are among the reasons for the "MSX 1.5" moniker.

It ran Microsoft Disk BASIC 1.0 from ROM when turned on if no disk or an empty disk was inserted.

Marketing[edit]

The computer was marketed mainly in Europe. In Poland it was marketed by Centralna Składnica Harcerska at a price of 590 000 Polish złotys (the average salary for two months at that time), which equipped several schools. This version of the SVI-738 was sold with an altered keyboard and ROM in order to provide Polish-specific characters. It could also be found in schools in Finland[citation needed]. In Spain it was initially distributed by Indescom until the creation of a Spanish subsidiary. In United Kingdom it was sold for £399.95. The SVI-738 was also are sold in the USA.

Technical specifications[edit]

Microprocessor
  • Zilog Z80A with a clockspeed of 3.58 MHz.
Memory
Video
  • Graphical resolution: 256 x 192 pixels
  • text modes: 80 characters x 24 and 40 characters x 24 lines and 32 characters x 24 lines
  • colors: 16
  • sprites: 32
Sound
  • 3 sound channels
  • 1 noise channels
  • 1 envelope controller
Connectors

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]