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Atari Emulation of CRT Effects On LCDs

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the you're-living-in-the-past dept.

Games 226

An anonymous reader writes "A group at Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a fun little open source program to emulate the CRT effects to make old Atari games look like they originally did when played on modern LCD's and digital displays. Things like color bleed, ghosting, noise, etc. are reproduced to give a more realistic appearance."

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Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabinet? (1)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781721)

If so, I soooo want a 30 Inch Apple cinema display in it so i can play top gun!

Re:Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabin (1, Redundant)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781953)

You need dual link DVI for a 30" Display

Re:Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabin (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782003)

And?

Re:Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabin (3, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782443)

Wait, you need two ports taken up so you can display on a 30" screen?

Crap, I'm still using a single 15-pin D-SUB to connect to my 32" 1080p LCD on my old computer.

Re:Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabin (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782535)

Wait, you need two ports taken up so you can display on a 30" screen?

Crap, I'm still using a single 15-pin D-SUB to connect to my 32" 1080p LCD on my old computer.

I'm betting you're using a Monster Cable. That other guy has to use two because he is using normal cable.

Re:Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabin (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782601)

I'm still using a 21" Viewsonic CRT built like 15 or 20 years ago.

Still has great picture too.

Re:Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabin (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782803)

Still takes up a friggin desk all on its own, too.

Man those things sucked, you had to make sure your desk was at least 5 feet deep, and that was just so you could have a little room to rest your wrists in front of the keyboard!!

Or you could put it to the side, but you don't want to know how bad that is for ergonomics.

OTOH, I do know of a case where someone put a 24" LCD in a very cramped area (short desk, and no room to move back). They had to swap it with a smaller one, because there faces were about a foot away from the screen and couldn't use it.

Re:Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabin (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783289)

And my desk is made such that the monitor is in the corner, so I have no problem with my 21" Dell P1130. If I replaced it with a LCD I would only have free space behind the monitor (but no, I like CRTs, so I'll use this monitor at least until it fails or I buy a better CRT).

Re:Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabin (1)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782873)

P815? That's what I'm typing this in on right now. I still have little incentive to upgrade. 30" is really the only place to go from here.

Re:Does this mean i can use a lcd in my mame cabin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782709)

Dual link DVI is a single port. It just has all the pins wired in that single port.

What's next? (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781741)

A program to make look CRT like teletype output (or DEC LA-36)??? Or to make CRT look like Hollerith cards???

Re:What's next? (2, Interesting)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782987)

What I want is one that can ply and look like Pong back in the good old days (all staticy with the screen jumping around when the numbers changed!)

xscreensaver's Apple ][? (5, Interesting)

orospakr (715849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781749)

What about the Apple ][ screensaver?

http://www.jwz.org/xscreensaver/screenshots/ [jwz.org]

I think it did something very similar.

(hey, first post!)

Re:xscreensaver's Apple ][? (1)

orospakr (715849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781789)

Actually, it may not have been quite as sophisticated as this new one is. Still pretty cool though.

I hope VICE gets a port of this new code. :)

(hmm, I wonder how hard it would be to implement the loud VIC buzz you'd hear on the audio from a VIC-20 or C64...)

It's been done before (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782199)

One of the most widely used Blargg's NTSC libraries. Many console emulators make use of them. This new one just looks to be more advanced than most of the preceding ones.

ZSNES has had this for a while as well (1)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782257)

ZSNES has had an option for CRT artifact emulation available for a few years now. No news to see here..

Re:ZSNES has had this for a while as well (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783165)

They only had scanline emulation AFAIR.

Great use of tag (3, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781765)

I think this is one of the most justified uses of the 'brokenbydesign' tag ;)

Realistic? Pedantry time. :-) (0)

Torodung (31985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781777)

I think we need to use 'historically authentic' or 'genuine' here. Or perhaps 'low fidelity?' It looks about as 'realistic' as any colored blob being chased by other colored blobs in an abstract maze-based collection game.

I do not think the word means what you think it means.

--
Toro

No pedantry needed... (3, Insightful)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782015)

... since they were referring to realistic emulation... meaning closer to the reality of the system being emulated.

Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27781793)

And does their program eliminate motion blur and the poor contrast of LCD to make it looks like a CRT?

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781981)

And does their program eliminate motion blur and the poor contrast of LCD to make it looks like a CRT?

No but the 21st Century did.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (0, Flamebait)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782077)

Your 21st century seems a lot nicer than my 21st century. I haven't seen a flatpanel yet that in objective terms of quality comes anywhere near a CRT.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782133)

Your 21st century seems a lot nicer than my 21st century. I haven't seen a flatpanel yet that in objective terms of quality comes anywhere near a CRT.

Which alternate universe are you hailing from?

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782155)

Your 21st century seems a lot nicer than my 21st century. I haven't seen a flatpanel yet that in objective terms of quality comes anywhere near a CRT.

Do you want us to get off your lawn now?

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782251)

I haven't seen a flatpanel yet that in objective terms of quality comes anywhere near a CRT.

Try looking at a new one then. The colour isn't _quite_ where CRTs were but it's within spittin' distance. Ghosting hasn't been a problem for 5+ years.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783171)

Ghosting hasn't been a problem for 5+ years.

Black-level is still a huge issue. Manufacturures have been trying to correct bad contrast ratio by amping up the backlight, screwing up the blacklevel even more.

It's gotten so bad that TVs have begun cheating and dimming the backlight during dark scenes. Which just turns them into a muddy mess.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782263)

I hear 2009 is the year vinyl makes a comeback.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (1)

fyrie (604735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782665)

Actually you may be right if digital masters continue to be horrible.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783179)

At Best Buy

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782271)

You need to look harder. Is anyone even making CRTs anymore? Even the pros are using flat panels now.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (2, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782305)

How are you measuring that? I'm sitting here in a bullpen surrounded by 2 year old ~$600'ish (at the time, they're like $200-$400 now) LCDs and a couple of really expensive CRTs. The CRTs are blurry and dim in comparison, by a sickening amount I might add. Actually they bloom a bit, making everything a bit soft. There's not one aspect of those CRTs I'm envious of, and these aren't cheapies.

I haven't even had a laptop in the last two years with display that makes me look fondly at CRTs. The closest I've come is ghosting on the PSP.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782321)

It is time to get some new glasses.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782575)

A comparison between lcd and crt has nothing to do with needing new glasses since he's looking at both through the same eyes.

New glasses would only show up how much sharper the LCD looks and how much blurrier and fuzzy the crt looks.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782505)

Is this a joke?

The LCD display on my laptop has better colour reproduction than any CRT and LCD blurring hasn't existed for around 10 years.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (1)

Judinous (1093945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782393)

You clearly have not tried to play rhythm or fighting games with an LCD. When we are talking about single-frame (~15ms) input windows, the 10-50ms disparity between a CRT and LCD is the difference between hitting the inputs correctly and making the game completely unplayable. Yes, this applies to "2ms" response time LCDs as well. They have not improved, and it is unlikely that they will in the future.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782409)

I play rhythm and fighting games on my LCD all the time. They're completely fine.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (2, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782491)

I've been working on an 800+ character MUGEN game for quite some time, now. My primary monitor is a 32" 1080p LCD made by Samsung, and there are NO timing issues. I even have an X-Arcade controller for testing. No lag. That's like 50 feet of wire/cable between controller and monitor.

The biggest problems most games have these days on LCD screens is their own inputs. Every guitar hero/rockband controller I've touched likes to double-strum, even on touchier movements. While DBZ BT3 on the Wii is great, part of the control interface lags when doing a gesture movement, or double-taps for you if you press a button only once.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782495)

You clearly have not tried to play rhythm or fighting games with an LCD.

I clearly have not played the one game you're thinking of, no. I have, however, played quite a few games and the LCD display hasn't even lightly come up on the radar as being an issue. I would love for you to provide a specific example so I could give it a try.

Until I can see that first hand, I can only assume you've either been exposed to old or really cheap LCDs. I can't even get a viewing angle shift in contrast with my monitor.

They have not improved, and it is unlikely that they will in the future.

I don't understand either side of this statement.

Re:Unfortunately, CRT is still the best for gaming (3, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783041)

Since the fastest runners in the world have reaction times in the 170-190ms range, and unofficially at least the fastest "clicks" [humanbenchmark.com] are all above 100ms (I averaged 232ms myself, just below average), I'd doubt you could notice, let alone be affected by, a 10-50ms disparity.

And I'm not sure how you can say 2ms response time leads to a 50ms disparity anyway, that doesn't make sense. Hell, there was a 70ms difference between my slowest and fastest clicks, and I couldn't notice the difference. The tech to get the response times so low does tend to jack colors and produce some odd artifacts, but none of those relate to how quickly it displays the data on the screen, not as far as I've ever heard anyway. Since the color/artifacting issues are relevant, and since 15ms vs 2ms is not noticeable, it's better to pick a 15ms LCD anyway.

Plus, a frame will generally be displayed at least 10 times, if it is displaying at 15ms, before you can actually react to it. Again, the response time argument for not going LCD is tired and nearly worthless.

The problem is probably just that you've been reading weird crap about LCDs, and haven't used them much yourself. Most likely to keep from justifying an upgrade.

Actually, if you really want to prove me wrong (and find out for yourself if the LCD response time is really the issue), go to Humanbenchmark.com [humanbenchmark.com] and compare your OWN clicks on a CRT with your OWN clicks on an LCD. I'm assuming you have access to one, of course, but it shouldn't be hard to get access to one anyway.

I'm betting there is less than a 5ms difference in your 10 click averages.

But why!?!?!? (4, Interesting)

xetovss (17621) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781809)

And to think that it seems all the rage is to be upgrading Atari's with an Svideo board as featured on hack-a-day a few weeks ago http://hackaday.com/2009/04/05/s-video-from-an-atari-2600/ [hackaday.com] . Honestly I don't know why people want to make their TV's look like a 30 year old TV display. The reason for all that bleeding was the circuitry that converted the video and audio signal to RF and then the deconverting of that signal in the TV. It is beyond me why anybody would want to make something look like it did, instead of how it should look. I grew up playing the Atari 2600 and I thought it was fun, but I certainly am not fond of how it looked. I'm just waiting for my SVideo converter board to arrive so I can upgrade my 2600 to look how it should, not how it did. (And I'm still using a CRT TV as well none of these new fangled LCD TV's). - XSS

Re:But why!?!?!? (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782095)

Because old systems counted on it. They were designed around working on low rez NTSC displays. You find that the color bleed and fringing and such helped smooth out the image and make it more natural. When you display it on a modern high resolution LCD it looks extremely blocky. So you emulate the problems with the older technology and you get a better looking picture for it.

Re:But why!?!?!? (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782533)

Yeah, that was what I hated about upgrading to an LCD. I could notice imperfections that were previously "finessed" by the CRT. Sharp color dropoffs, granularity ... I thought something was wrong with my monitor at first!

Re:But why!?!?!? (1)

Dutchy Wutchy (547108) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783043)

Something was wrong with your monitor or your settings or the software producing your image. Did you have a good 17~19" CRT? Sycraft-fu was commenting on old, low resolution displays. The kind that were put in arcade machines and TVs of that era are worlds apart from the last generation of CRTs.

Re:But why!?!?!? (4, Informative)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782145)

Well, in the case of the Atari games, it is fairly obvious that the programmers used the effects to create nicer-looking graphics without going to extra work. Sort of a reverse anti-aliasing effect.

Take a look at some of the comparison images in the article. The 'Enduro' image is particularly interesting: The skyline looks extremely fake on an LCD, but with the CRT emulation it looks almost realistic. The effect basically gives a continuous-color blend which would be impossible using just the colors available to the program.

So really, you can argue that this is how the games were meant to be seen like this, and this is actually how it should look.

Re:But why!?!?!? (5, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782407)

It is beyond me why anybody would want to make something look like it did, instead of how it should look.

But this IS how it "should look". It was designed for that display. People want it to look like it originally did for the same reason that people like muscle cars, vinyl records (complete with the hiss and wow and flutter that they try so hard to eliminate), valve amplifiers. It's because sometimes the inaccuracies in equipment change the signal for the better, and people like that.

Re:But why!?!?!? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782459)

I've played Atari games natively on a color TV set, as well as emulated on a SVGA CRT. I like it both ways. You get a super-clear picture on the computer monitor, but it's nostalgic to play it with the video artifacts that came from the RF input and NTSC. If you value a true historical re-enactment, you kindof need to be able to do this. It's something that you can configure to your preference, so having it as an option doesn't hurt anybody. Even MegaMan 9 had a special mode that allowed you to emulate the graphical limitations of the NES if you wanted a more "retro" experience. I play it without the flicker, but it's cool to be able to turn it on if I want to. It's like listening to an old scratchy phonograph record that somehow feels more alive than a freshly re-mastered CD. Not that it sounds better, but the pops and hiss are familiar and you miss it when it's gone.

Re:But why!?!?!? (3, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782475)

This page [slack.net] has screenshots showing the difference. Many games were designed with NTSC artifacts in mind.

Re:But why!?!?!? (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782809)

That's a few steps ahead of me.

I'm still trying to figure out whether I can simply connect the video cable to the input rather than the output of the RF modulator. I have a 2600 with about 30 cartridges waiting to fire back up . . . hmm, and how will I get the sound out, given that the only input I have on these things are separate R/L/V connections?

And while we're at it on apple's, I want a pre-rev 7 emulator for the ][, so that I get the purplish tint (Rev 7 killed the color subcarier in text mode). Hmm, and and adjustable *frtz* to deal with the color trap killing color partially or entirely on so many televisions of the era :) [But I'm serious about getting the purple tint.]

hawk

NTCS filters (2, Insightful)

Ailure (853833) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781819)

Reminds me about the various NTSC filters used in various emulators (such as Nestopia). It's kind of funny how some people strive for simulating the original display, but I have to admit that I personally use the NTSC filter when possible. (and I avoid using filters like super eagle which have a tendency to make stuff look like blobs...)

Overdid it. (3, Insightful)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781827)

The effect is great in theory, but I think they over did it. Old arcade games are certainly a bit blurry, and have some ghosting issues, but this effect makes every little sprite into a pile of fuzzy crap. It's too bad to be true, and it ends up looking fake. Reminds me of those pre-faded jeans, with so much added wear that its easy to tell the wear and tear is not natural. Instead of looking like a pair of old jeans, they look like a pair of new jeans that someone split bleach on. Like these [magickidsusa.com]

Re:Overdid it. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781853)

Yeah, this isn't a CRT emulator. This is a RUN-DOWN, GHOSTED, POORLY TUNED CRT emulator.

A new, decent quality CRT is still better looking in a lot of ways than a LCD monitor.

Re:Overdid it. (3, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782039)

Wow, apparently people are missing the point. They obviously aren't trying to emulate 'new CRTs' what would be the point of that? Have you people forgotten what a 12" MCGA or EGA display from over two decades ago used to look like? I used to have one (MCGA) in working condition as recently as two years ago, and I can say the emulator is pretty close.

Damn kids don't remember what shit used to look like before VGA, SVGA, XGA etc. came along and spoiled 'em. When I was growing up, I had one color! ONE! And it was the nastiest shade of amber ever conceived! At least I could play Airborne Ranger...

Re:Overdid it. (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782725)

I was lucky, my parents had a 19" Sony Trinitron in '82. The image quality was much much better than this. I had a friend at the time that had a Zenith and even that looked better than this. This project took the effect much to far.

Re:Overdid it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782865)

You are missing the point. It looks NOTHING like a real television CRT from back then. The effects are just wrong.

Oh and computer displays never had artifacts like that. I've had every PC display type from CGA to WUXGA and can say from first hand experience that none of them had any issues with clarity. Limited colour palettes and resolution, yes, but never clarity.

Re:Overdid it. (1)

DilbertLand (863654) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782115)

I think it's specifically trying to reproduce the look of an old television CRT.

Re:Overdid it. (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782113)

I never did get why they put the fake-wear on those jeans in the one place that lasts longer than everywhere else and then leave the knees and ankle areas completely normal.

Re:Overdid it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782441)

The "fake wear" jeans was never supposed to look realistic, they were supposed to look hip and cool.

If you wear worn jeans, the hipsters see you as a slob. If the jeans you're wearing obviously has "fake" patternized wear and tear, you're fashionable and cool.

Re:Overdid it. (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782467)

I never did get why they put the fake-wear on those jeans in the one place that lasts longer than everywhere else and then leave the knees and ankle areas completely normal.

You bear our standard high, Shadow of Eternity.

Re:Overdid it. (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782483)

How old (young) are you? It looks quite accurate to me. Heck, I still remember playing 'TV games' on our old black and white TV.

Re:Overdid it. (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782557)

I agree. I don't recall Atari games looking quite that bad on my TV screen. The effect here is more like looking at an old CRT from two inches apart, except you're really much further away.

Re:Overdid it. (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782699)

Also the images have no ringing. That is the effect when there was a high luminance area on the left with a sharp transition to a low luminance area to its right. There would a pattern of vertical lines at diminishing distances and with diminishing brightness from that edge to the right. That was the most annoying effect of systems that used RF modulators.

CRT user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27781843)

I still use a pair of 17" Dell UltraScan P780 monitors myself, so not a big deal here. Enable interlacing and bam, nostalgia.

Re:CRT user (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781887)

I had one of those monitors. I do love Trinitron tubes, but this one eventually had something funny happen to the EDID information and it became unable to do more than 60 Hz.

Re:CRT user (2, Interesting)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782097)

I'm still keeping my ibm p260 alive until something that comes closer to CRTs than flatpanels is out. Even built my own windas cable to fix the g2 issue.

Re:CRT user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782367)

New IPS LCDs kick the crap out of old CRTs, which are blurry by comparison. Not the mention the awesomeness of a 30". Side-by-side, I think it would make your P260 look like crap.

Re:CRT user (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782513)

SED monitors - basically micro CRT tubes in a grid array. It's expensive, but it's also LCD form factor.

Endorsements (1)

heyitsjon (1544855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781871)

Look for the new Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell commercial endorsing this product coming soon!

Amusing (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781873)

It reminds me of the audio effects that add pops and scratches to music to imitate (badly) the sound of old vinyl.

Why bother? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27781895)

Honestly, craig's list is riddled with people throwing away CRT's. Why run a crappy emulation...if that is what you call it, when you can go next door and get CRT?

Re:Why bother? (4, Insightful)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782119)

Why run a crappy emulation...if that is what you call it, when you can go next door and get CRT?

Many of these artifacts are not just caused by the CRT, but result from other portions of the path from video RAM to the screen. The emulation creates an even more genuine experience than a computer CRT without compromising the convenience of an LCD.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782163)

So you don't need to have a CRT as well as an LCD around the place. Why keep a bulky CRT around simply to play a few oldies when you have a perfectly functioning LCD and a CRT emulator? Sounds perfectly logical to me.

By the way, it would be really cool if the emulation could be handled by the O/S selectively for a select number of attached screens and/or a select number of windows...

Because I don't want a CRT on my system? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782169)

I like my LCD. For any sort of productivity work or modern games, it looks way better than any CRT ever could. So I want to keep it. I don't want to haul out a CRT any time I want to emulate an older system. There's also the problem that computer CRTs won't do the trick. They are higher resolution, and have better signaling than NTSC sets. So they too will offer a different image than an old NTSC TV.

There's no need to bother with all the physical hardware if it can just as easily be simulated by the computer. I mean you can say them same thing about nearly anything with a computer: "Why use the computer, just go get X hardware." My answer is why bother, if the computer has the power to do it? One of the things I like the most about my computer is how may different roles it can play. It does tons of stuff for me, and does it well. I'd much rather have one system do it all then mess around with tons of dedicated devices.

Am I the only one who thought of Pacman sounds (2, Informative)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781935)

bunk bunk bunk. Do do do weep.

Isn't it sort of ironic that people want perfect emulation of Atari 2600 PacMan when Atari 2600's PacMan was notoriously not like the arcade version? Even NES didn't do emulation well. I think the first well emulated game I ever played was Street Fighter 2 on SNES.

Re:Am I the only one who thought of Pacman sounds (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782269)

The only place where i've heard about the atari 2600's pac man has been on like the top 10 lists of terrible games or worst games of all time or whatever because it so wasn't the arcade version.

The only thing I was wondering was where could I play the emulated games?

Re:Am I the only one who thought of Pacman sounds (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782319)

You are using some crazy definition of emulate. There were iconic games on pretty much every platform, not just arcade transfers, and given how painfully nostalgic humans are, it isn't even a little bit surprising that people are looking back to those games, let alone ironic.

Re:Am I the only one who thought of Pacman sounds (1)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782935)

yay, troll mods rolling in. but i read the link in your signature, and i can't take you serious for a second. wtf is going on with you guys.

I thought of your mom's sounds (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783265)

slurp slurp slurp.

bunk bunk bunk. Do do do weep.

The ultimate test! (3, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781951)

So, can I get burn-in on my LCD monitor now?

Re:The ultimate test! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782643)

The underlying mechanism is, obviously, different and they refer to it as "image persistence"; but LCD burn in is definitely available. This [hdguru.com] is a piece on it. Googling "LCD burn in" will pull up loads more. If you really want to see it for yourself, check out kiosks, library public computers, and other systems that spend most of their lives displaying the same image. It does happen.

Re:The ultimate test! (1)

cskrat (921721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783191)

Usually LCD burn in can be exorcised out with a simple rotating video of solid red, green, blue, black, magenta, yellow, cyan and white at a frame rate of about 10-20 fps. Run that overnight and it will often fix persistent images and occasionally stuck pixels.

Nice (2, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27781965)

Looks similar to the efforts the xscreensaver developers, with their m6502 and Apple2 hacks that simulate CRT artifacts such as static, colour separation, and shear.

i just got off the toilet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782125)

i shit out an obama.

plop!

Next up: Lag emulation (2, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782135)

Here's a list of stuff I'd like to emulate, for the sake of nostalgia:

286 without math co-processor
trig function lookup tables
film
typewriters
horse dung smell in the streets
Morse code
the black plague

Get on it!

Re:Next up: Lag emulation (4, Funny)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782599)

Emulating old stuff:

286 without math co-processor - Install Vista
trig function lookup tables - You would be surprised that they are still being used (both in paper and in code)
film - you mean like 35mm? There are filters in most semi-advanced photo programs that will emulate this.
typewriters - http://www.instructables.com/id/Typewriter-Computer-Keyboard/ [instructables.com]
horse dung smell in the streets - Go live in NYC, open the window and take a deep whif
Morse code - Well, everything is still binary these days so technically it's similar to really fast morse code.
the black plague - Swine flu?

Re:Next up: Lag emulation (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783017)

trig function lookup tables - You would be surprised that they are still being used (both in paper and in code)

Well in code, it's generally done in hardware to interpolate between two values. In software you can find lookup tables for programs meant for MCUs and really small architectures.
But paper?... I'd need to see photographic evidence. I mean these days I really can't think of a situation where you'd find paper lookup tables for trig functions.

film - you mean like 35mm? There are filters in most semi-advanced photo programs that will emulate this.

I didn't consider that, though it's usually the emulation of what happens to the film under/in different environments. But technically it does emulate (simulate?) the effect of chemical reactions. I googled around a bit and found (not to my surprise) that video editing software suites offer quite a few filters to reproduce what are effectively "defects" in motion film (and of course the cigarette burns in corners, but that's just posing).

Awesome! That's something that someone may actually *manufacture* and I'd bet there are plenty of people out there that would pay for a keyboard that gives them the mechanical typewriter feel.

Re:Next up: Lag emulation (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783245)

Try construction. I'm talking about old-school architectural engineers here. I recently saw somebody do it with a fairly simple formula to give an approximation on something. The younger engineer had to find and unwrap his scientific TI calculator and then was figuring out typing in the correct syntax of the formula when the old guy was already done doing it on paper. He kept a sheet (one can be found here: http://www.sosmath.com/tables/trigtable/trigtable.html [sosmath.com] ) in the back of his notepad. The old guys on the project meeting were then reminiscing for a while about the good ol' days and how those papers are cheap to replace and can be used in any construction environment.

Funny to say but there are notepads still being sold (I forgot where, I should've picked it up when I saw it) with a trig table printed in the back. My wife is doing Six Sigma and with her training she got a neat little pocket book that has all sorts of conversion tables, trig tables, translations, formulas and standards in it so apparently people still use good-ol paperback to make quick calculations on the go without having to find a calculator.

Re:Next up: Lag emulation (1)

cskrat (921721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783363)

Sorry man. Paper tables [cskrattiger.com] do still exist.

I Love This Idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27782137)

Wow! I think the Yars Revenge image looks great! I would LOVE to have this as a Photoshop plugin so that I could add it to computer-generated images and digital photos.

I don't get it... (2, Insightful)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782189)

I don't remember my Atari looking like that on my TV. Sure it wasn't LCD perfect but it didn't suck that that does.

Hercules Video Card Emulation... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782425)

Now we need a Hercules video card [wikipedia.org] emulator for wordprocessing and CAD.

Doesn't dosbox do this? (1)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783075)

dosbox supports a whole swag of graphics modes, including (from memory) hercules.

already been done (2, Funny)

phr1 (211689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782471)

Modern web frameworks like Cobol on Cogs [coboloncogs.org] already do burned-in CRT emulation and various other effects too. ;-).

Vector? (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782669)

Vector graphics may be the most difficult to emulate because of the potential brightness of specific spots. The brightest white on most LCD monitors cannot compare to such a spot. Asteroids is probably the most famous vector game. Basically, the electron beam could be controlled to "draw" the game via lines and dots instead of merely scanning back and forth at a fixed pace like traditional CRT's. The beam could "dwell" on a specific spot or line if needed, making it glow like nobody's mamma.

Artificing for colors (2, Interesting)

meerling (1487879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27782727)

The highest res mode was black and white only, but due to limitations of the CRTs used in TVs at that time, if the pixels weren't a solid block, the color would shift to something not-white.

Back then I wrote a drawing program that took advantage of the artificing to draw in color. I knew which pixels in a block could be turned on or off to generate one of up to about 16 colors. Obviously, the smallest blocks were only 5 colors. (Red, Green, Blue, Black, White) So the more detail you wanted your drawing, the less colors available.

If these guys can properly emulate that program properly (sorry, don't have a copy anymore), then they've definitely hit the mark with their attempt.

Ah, the ancient days of programming when the kid with 16k memory was the uber133t. (Of course, back then, you used a different dialect of what eventually became l337 to save precious bytes of memory. And Ascii-bombing was used to play mindgames on the BBSs.)

Hated it then, and it hasn't improved with age (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783071)

We hated those miserable image anomalies back in the day, and it hasn't become more endearing to have it fuzzed up with modern technology just to look old again.

Is this the new definition of progress? Use the best new technology we can find to generate the same old crap we already grew tired of?

 

Tubes for video are coming (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783123)

Just like tube amplifiers for audio, the NTSC TV look is probably going to be sought after. We thought those artifacts were going to be around for all time & mastered how to choose colors that would always display. The new VGA monitors were too expensive & we weren't old enough to know any better.

One silly thing about the article (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783439)

was that they illustrated the performance using a jpeg file. Yes, the compression artifacts are different.

It's rather ironic that there are more bits of data in the poorly rendered compressed version than there were pixels on the screen when you played a game on the real hardware.

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