Old Games on New TVs (Video Delay Issues)

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by Teratron, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Teratron

    Teratron Kaiser Dragon

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    I used some of my tax return money this year to finally get a nice TV (47" LG 3D LED TV). Of course, with a toddler in the house, I have it stashed away down in the basement where she's less likely to destroy it. As such, it's now the hub for all my older game systems (NES up through GC & PS2). I've only played a couple games on it, but I've now seen the video delay issues I've previously heard about, but have never experienced before.

    I had thought Crystalis (which I just finally bought off eBay) seemed a bit harder than I remembered, but it wasn't clear why at first. In that game, there's a substantial animation delay between pressing the button and actually attacking, so the video delay wasn't noticeable. But then I tried playing my GBA version of Zelda II using my GC's GBA player...

    :jawdropper: 

    Admittedly, this is about the worst case scenario you could ever imagine. A NES game that's software emulated by a GBA hardware emulator attached peripherally to a GC and controlled by a wireless Wavebird. Between pressing the button and actually seeing Link jump, I think there might have been enough time to transform MP Megatron. I hadn't even left the North Castle and had realized the game was downright unplayable.

    After seeing how bad it was, I popped in my NES Zelda II cart for comparison. It was nowhere near as bad, but now that I was looking for it, I could definitely feel the delay. This has me a bit concerned about using this TV for all my older game systems. Most of my games should at least be playable, but lots of the older games are all about timing and reflexes. As difficult as a game like Castlevania might be under normal circumstances, I shudder to think about trying to play it with any additional impediments.

    I understand that newer games and/or systems allow you to take the TV video delay into account and adjust for it. But is there anything you can do for older games? Since it's all within the TV, I imagine that if the game hardware and/or software aren't designed to account for the delay, then all you can do is try to compensate for it yourself. Have any of you had any significant issues trying to do so?

    Also, are there any particular systems that can be calibrated for the video delay, or is it only done within particular game software? I know that for games like Guitar Hero, it's critical that the video and audio are synced up and the game can factor in the appropriate delay for the proper control timing. I'd imagine other games would factor this in as well, so offline shooters don't seem to have online-shooter-style lag for instance. I haven't bought a PS3 or 360 yet and my Wii's on the main family TV, so I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.
     
  2. magmatron

    magmatron Hyper Sentinel Force!

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    See if your TV has a game mode setting. Also, turn of all picture filtering effects like noise reduction.
     
  3. Teratron

    Teratron Kaiser Dragon

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    Thank you! It wasn't described at all in the manual, but when I went through all the menus, I did find places to select Game settings. They were in with all the various picture setup options (color, brightness, etc.). I had seen them before, but thought they were just profiles setting all those basic options to values optimized for games. I guess there's a little more to it than that.

    After changing everything to the Game settings, my NES now feels like it should. No apparent lag at all anymore. And the nightmare lag using the GBA player is at least down to a tolerable level. I'll have to try hooking it up to a regular TV sometime to find out how much of the remaining lag is due to the TV and how much is due to all the other stuff.
     
  4. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector Well-Known Member

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    If a TV states it has 120hz refresh rate, always disable it for video games. It will always cause an input lag. Magmatron's tips are excellent advice for old skool games.

    CRTs were produced with 30 fps displays.
    LCD/LEDs are produced with 60-240hz displays. (Depending on the model.)

    The problem with 120hz is that it's artificial on TV sets. A chip reruns the video through a processor to give the appearance of faster frame rates. Makes shows and movies look like live TV. A PC monitor capable of 120hz is the only display that shows it in real time with no special post processing. It's fully hardware produced on the fly. This is why stuff looks amazing on the right monitor. It's also why it's hella expensive. lol
     

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