Is there a simple/generic way to mirror the 80x25 VGA console screen
to the tv-out port? I want to run a box "headless" and it happens to
be near a TV which can be connected permanently, rather than having to
disconnect and move a monitor from elsewhere when something goes
wrong.

I'm guessing that the tvout port is reasonably graphics card (or at
least chipset) specific so it may not be that easy, but I live in
hope. Another option is a VGA to composite converter but I'd prefer
not to have to fiddle with an extra box and associated power supply.
Thanks for any help...