Three color-related questions

Discuss technical or other issues relating to programming the Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, or compatible systems.

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BMF54123
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Post by BMF54123 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:32 am

Super Spy Hunter used the color de-emphasis bits to darken the screen when you paused the game, and Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy used them to darken the rolled-up part of the scroll on the story screen (this game, along with much of the Codemasters library including the Game Genie, also used color $0D extensively and thus caused many older TVs to malfunction).

Monochrome mode doesn't seem to have been used much at all; the only game I ever played that used it was Isolated Warrior, in order to (very effectively) flash the screen during bomb explosions and boss battles.

Given FCEU's limited palette space, I'm assuming it would be incapable of showing all the various combinations of monochrome and de-emphasis settings on a single screen without an overhaul of the video rendering code. Do any demos even attempt to do this?

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Bregalad
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Post by Bregalad » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:30 am

lidnariq wrote:
tepples wrote:The disadvantage of regular PAL is flicker. Lots of flicker. I can't see flicker at 60 Hz but I can see it at 50 Hz.
I've convinced myself (but I have no idea if this is right) that the tremendously huger market for NTSC sets meant that only CRTs with phosphors meant to be refreshed at 60Hz were findable -- and Europe simply wasn't a big enough market to legitimize research into finding good slower green and blue phosphors.
Sorry to state the opposite, but USA, Cananda and Japan are the ONLY countries in the world to use NTSC.


The disadvantage of regular PAL is flicker. Lots of flicker. I can't see flicker at 60 Hz but I can see it at 50 Hz. The other disadvantage, in the case of the NES, is more visible artifacts at the top and bottom in certain mirroring modes.
Does the intro of Batman look any good on your NTSC TV ?
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tepples
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Post by tepples » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:31 am

Bregalad wrote:
lidnariq wrote:I've convinced myself (but I have no idea if this is right) that the tremendously huger market for NTSC sets meant that only CRTs with phosphors meant to be refreshed at 60Hz were findable
Sorry to state the opposite, but USA, Cananda and Japan are the ONLY countries in the world to use NTSC.
And guess what the world's richest countries were in the NES era.
Does the intro of Batman look any good on your NTSC TV ?
I don't have that game, but I can see some flicker in other things that flash at 30 Hz.

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Post by UncleSporky » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:19 am

tepples wrote:
Bregalad wrote:
lidnariq wrote:I've convinced myself (but I have no idea if this is right) that the tremendously huger market for NTSC sets meant that only CRTs with phosphors meant to be refreshed at 60Hz were findable
Sorry to state the opposite, but USA, Cananda and Japan are the ONLY countries in the world to use NTSC.
And guess what the world's richest countries were in the NES era.
Precisely. You can't go purely by number of countries, you have to look at the population who is ready and willing to purchase a NES.

Yes, there were many African nations that were technically PAL, but how many sales does that represent?

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Post by Dwedit » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:41 am

Bregalad wrote:Does the intro of Batman look any good on your NTSC TV ?
It looks horrible on a 1980 Sony Trinitron.
But I'm sure it looks a lot better on a HDTV which treats it as a single field from an interlaced display, rather than a whole frame.
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RT-55J
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Post by RT-55J » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:15 pm

BMF54123 wrote:Given FCEU's limited palette space, I'm assuming it would be incapable of showing all the various combinations of monochrome and de-emphasis settings on a single screen without an overhaul of the video rendering code. Do any demos even attempt to do this?
This one does.

CartCollector
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Post by CartCollector » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:17 pm

I've convinced myself (but I have no idea if this is right) that the tremendously huger market for NTSC sets meant that only CRTs with phosphors meant to be refreshed at 60Hz were findable -- and Europe simply wasn't a big enough market to legitimize research into finding good slower green and blue phosphors.
From what I've heard (it might be on the Wikipedia article for NTSC), when the US was developing its broadcast television standard (NTSC), it chose 60Hz because that was the frequency that AC power was and is sent at in the US. It made it easier to make TV cameras, because you could just sync the camera shutter to the AC power frequency instead of having to use an oscillator. In Europe, AC power is sent at 50Hz, so that's what they used.

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Post by lidnariq » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:45 am

CartCollector wrote:From what I've heard, when the US was developing its broadcast television standard (NTSC), it chose 60Hz because that was the frequency that AC power was and is sent at in the US. It made it easier to make TV cameras, because you could just sync the camera shutter to the AC power frequency instead of having to use an oscillator.
I understand the simplification of the TV was more important than that of the camera -- the early TVs didn't have a good enough power supply (at least not without being much more expensive) to be able to redraw the screen at a rate that differed from mains without the beat pattern being visible. By using the nation's mains supply as a nationwide genlock, it made everything easier.

In any case, there exist phosphors that would make an image look fine without flicker when recharged at 50Hz -- although maybe not all of RGB. If nothing else, old glass oscilloscope phosphors often don't have flicker appear to me until I was refreshing at less than 20 Hz.

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Post by AWJ » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:48 am

BMF54123 wrote:Monochrome mode doesn't seem to have been used much at all; the only game I ever played that used it was Isolated Warrior, in order to (very effectively) flash the screen during bomb explosions and boss battles.
Final Fantasy uses monochrome mode to produce the effect that you see when you relight one of the ORBS.

Final Fantasy 3 and, IIRC, at least one of the Dragon Warrior games uses it to flash the screen when you get in a battle (FF1 and FF2 use the color emphasis bits to produce a different kind of flash, as mentioned already)

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