The non backlit LCD display on the 5140 is poor to say the least, low contrast and dim. Fortunately I have the expansion ‘slice’ that offers CGA and composite outputs, unfortunately it smoked alarmingly the first time I powered it up. However after taking it apart and not being able to find any obvious damage I decided to risk it and plug it in again. I don’t think I’ve got any monitors capable of hooking up to the CGA output so I decided to try the composite out. I wasn’t expecting it to work but was pleasantly surprised when my trusty IIyama flat panel picked up a signal.
Initially it looked pretty awful, all sorts of convergence issues and generally pretty fuzzy. The IIyama however offers a lot of adjustment options and after fiddling with the brightness and contrast, reducing the colour to zero and altering the sharpness I had a pretty useable image. I then remembered you can alter the output via the Application Selector supplied with PC-DOS. Sure enough once I’d changed it from colour to mono I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the composite output. After a bit more fiddling I was even able to achieve a cool retro amber look by altering the colour temperature.