>> On the resolution side, has anybody found a usable resolution closer to
> 16:9? 1024x576 would seem to be about right as would 720x400. My gut
> feeling tells me the hardware problem is more to do with the number of
> lines, so perhaps 1024x576 is doable.
Yes, PAL is analogue, so you have a lot of play in the horizontal. But you
probably have to use a VGA-to-RGB adaptor  rather than a card's built-in TV
out to play, and there's another complication: non-square pixels. Some
amigas used to do very high horizontal resolutions, but with very non-square
pixels, so while the frame aspect ratio was still 4:3, the pixel aspect ratio
was very non square.
Many PC people are unaware of things like non-square pixels - in fact, 720x576
output (the PAL DV standard) is supposed to use non-square pixels to preseve
the PAL aspect ratio. For square-pixel output and processing in raytracers
and the like, the industry standard is to use 768x576 for 4:3 PAL and
1024x576 for 16:9 PAL... (and according to , those pixels aren't really
square. either... you couldn't make this up...), but DV encoded 16:9 PAL is
still 720x576, with really non-square pixels...
And converting between them is NOT done the obvious way, either! 
Broadcast-quality video editing software/hardware tends to deal with
non-square pixels ,, but most hobbyist projects, even otherwise pretty
cool ones, don't. The importance of non-square pixels is decreasing as "new
media" (i.e. internet) work almost always can rely on sane square pixels, and
in fact many content creators know jack shit about non-square pixels - the
"stretching" of people on TV is sometimes done deliberately to make them look
thinner, but a lot of the time it's accidental because, with the brain-death
of Amiga, most people just don't understand this sort of crazy stuff anymore.
Moral of the story? Use 768x576 or 720x576 for PAL-output on consumer-grade
PC graphics cards and tv in cards, the way most gfx-card TV outs work is
to scale whatever you're displaying on their main output to either 768x576 or
720x576 (usually for DVD playback) anyway, you probably need the
aforementioned VGA-to-RGB thing to play with custom modelines for PAL like
people sometimes do for VGA analog monitors.
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