RCA Studio II

Home TV Programmer

RCA Studio II brings tomorrow's world of home video entertainment to you today. With the Studio II, you transform the TV set in your home into an electronic entertainment and educational center for the entire family.


Overview

The RCA Studio II was the second console to feature reprogrammable cartridge. It had a very limited production run and was only on the market for slightly over a year. The Studio II has a unique input method, featuring two telephone style 10-key keypads. Making new work for the Studio II is possible by programming in an 8-bit assembly language.

Specifications
Manufacturer RCA
Type Console
CPU

RCA CDP1802

GPU RCA CDP 1861
RAM 512 bytes
Resolution 64x32
Palette monochrome
Sound single-channel beeper (built-in)
Input 2x 10-button keypads 1x reset button
Media cartridges
Variants

Toshiba Visicom
Trevi M-1200
Conic M-1200
Mustang 9016 Telespiel Computer (Germany)
Hanimex MPT-02 Jeu TV programmable (France)
Soundic MPT-02 Victory (Hong Kong)
Academy Apollo 80
Sheen M-1200 version 1
Sheen M-1200 version 2

Development Difficulty

Development for the Studio II requires programming in an 8-bit machine language which is similar to, but not compatible with, Chip-8. Currently there are no compilers for higher level languages, although there are implementations of Forth which target the same processor. It is possbile these could be ported to the Studio II. There is not an active homebrew community, so programming the Studio II will require additional reverse-engineering work.

Recommended Emulator(s)

Paul Robson has developed a Studio II emulator which can be used to develop new work. MAME also has a Studio II driver which will play ROMs from the system.

Robson's emulator is written for DOS systems, and can be used on modern systems through DOSBox.

Programming Resources

Technical Detail

The Studio II features a RCA 1802 processor, 2K bytes of ROM and 512 bytes of RAM.

More technical details can be found at Paul Robson's website.