Intuitive Circuits, LLC
Home PageProducts MenuOrdering MenuDownloads MenuCustomer Applications MenuRelated Links MenuContact Us MenuView Cart Menu
On-Screen Display Products Menu
DTMF products menu
GPS products menu
Amateur television products menu
Miscellaneous products menu
On-screen display products

VideoStamp™: On-screen video character overlay with RS-232 and TTL interface

Discontinued Product - No Longer Available for Ordering - See Our VideoStamp+™ Product



VideoStamp™ is an on-screen video character overlay device. From any RS-232 or TTL 9,600 or 19,200 baud serial source like a PC, PIC, or Basic Stamp, display 28 columns by 11 rows of information (308 characters total) directly onto any NTSC or optional PAL baseband (video in) television or VCR. VideoStamp can overlay monochrome text onto an incoming video source or display colored text on a self-generated colored background screen (e.g. blue screen). Text color, blinking, frame, zoom level, cursor positioning, and the background color is controlled through a simple serial interface. Other commands include the clearing of the screen, showing/hiding the text, and enabling/disabling translucent text.


Included with VideoStamp™ is a power supply, 6' DB-9 serial cable, code samples, and demonstration app for Windows.




  • Dimensions: 4 1/4" x 3 1/2" x 1 1/4"
  • Weight: 6.7 oz.
  • Input voltage: 8.0 to 14.0 volts DC (65 ma max.)
  • DC plug 2.1 mm x 5.5 mm, center tip positive
  • Operating temperature: -10 C to +70 C
  • Text area: 28 columns by 11 rows (308 characters)
  • Character set: 128 characters (fixed)
  • Video level: 1 volt peak to peak
  • Video impedance: Input 75 ohm, output 75 ohm resistively terminated
  • RS-232 serial or TTL input: 9,600 or 19,200 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, inverted data


VideoStamp™ has four connectors (see figure 4.)



VIDEO IN (optional)
  • Attach noise free NTSC (or optional PAL) video source
  • Not required if self-generated screen mode selected
  • Attach to monitor, VCR, video transmitter, etc.
  • Pin 3 - Serial in
  • Pin 5 - Serial ground
  • +8 to +14 volts DC (65ma max.)
  • 2.1 mm x 5.5 mm DC coax plug, center tip positive


VideoStamp™ comes configured for 9600 baud operation. For high speed applications VideoStamp™ can be reconfigured for 19200 baud operations. To perform this action remove the front two screws, front panel, and bezel. The circuit board will slide out. Cut the S6 jumper on the front right of the board and reassemble the unit.


Communicating with VideoStamp

Communicating with VideoStamp™ consists of either sending a displayable character value of 0 through 127 (click here to view the fixed character set) or by sending a special command flag followed by some parameters (see the chart below.) Below are some examples of how to communicate with VideoStamp™ at 9600 baud.



Displaying text on VideoStamp™ is a simple process of sending the appropriate ASCII text.  In addition, special characters for drawing graphics, foreign language, etc. are available (click here to view the fixed character set).


QBASIC example

print #1, "Hello universe.";


Note: that a semicolon was added to the end of the statement to stop QBASIC from sending a carriage return / line feed.


Basic 2 Stamp example

serout, 0, $4000+84, ["Hello universe."]



This example displays "Hi" at column 1, row 11.


QBASIC example

print #1, chr$(129); chr$(1); chr$(11); "Hi";


Basic 2 Stamp example

serout, 0, $4000+84, [129,1,11,"Hi"]



The clear screen command takes 20 milliseconds (ms) to complete so a delay is required before other commands or text should be sent.


QBASIC example

print #1, chr$(130);: sleep 1


Basic 2 Stamp example

serout, 0, $4000+84, [130]

pause 20


Special Commands:

Below is the chart of the special commands. All values are decimal values not ASCII. Typing 130 from your favorite terminal program will not clear the screen. You just sent three ASCII values: 49 51 48. Also note if the reposition column is YES for a specific command then a position command (129) must follow before sending more text.

Command Value Parameters Reposition Description
MODE 128 1 YES Set the screen mode

0 = overlay (mixed with incoming video)

1 = self-generated screen (VideoStamp generated background)

POSITION 129 2 NO Set the cursor position

x (1-28), y (1-11)

CLEAR SCREEN 130 0 set to 1,1 Clear the entire screen with spaces

(wait 20 ms after command sent)

VISIBLE 131 1 YES Show or hide text

0 = hide text, 1 = show text

TRANSLUCENT 132 1 YES Set translucent (see-through) text (overlay mode only)

0 = off, 1 = on

BACKGROUND COLOR 133 1 YES Set background color (full screen mode only)

0 = black, 1 = blue, 2 = green, 3 = cyan, 4 = red, 5 = magenta, 6 = yellow, 7 = white

ZOOM 134 3 YES Set character row zoom level

row (1-11), horizontal zoom (1-4), vertical zoom (1-4)

Note: zoom settings for any row 2 - 10 effect all 9 of them

CHARACTER COLOR 135 1 NO Set character color (full screen mode only)

0 = black, 1 = blue, 2 = green, 3 = cyan, 4 = red, 5 = magenta, 6 = yellow, 7 = white

CHARACTER BLINK 136 1 NO Set character blink

0 = off, 1 = on

RESET 137 0 set to 1,1 Reset VideoStamp to default (power-up) settings

(wait 25 ms after command sent)



YES Set the text screen vertical position offset (1-63)

Default: 20 NTSC, 32 PAL



YES Set the text screen horizontal position offset (1-58)

Default: 23 NTSC, 26 PAL



NO Set black character frame

0 = off, 1 = on


The included VideoStamp™ demonstration application:


Warranty & Service:

If the product fails to perform as described in our product description or specification, within 90 days from the date of shipment to the buyer, we will repair or replace the product and/or accessories originally supplied. Failure due to improper installation, misuse, abuse or accident is not covered by this warranty. Incidental and consequential damages are not covered by this warranty.The buyer must obtain a Return Material Authorization by calling (248) 588-4400, and shipping the defective product to Intuitive Circuits, 3928 Wardlow Ct., Troy, MI 48083, freight prepaid. After the warranty expires, we will promptly supply an estimate for the repair cost.



VideoStamp Rear View

Home:Products:Ordering:Downloads:Customer Apps:Related Links:Contact Us