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Member Since 02 Feb 2010
Offline Last Active May 17 2012 09:19 PM

My own Video Cassette format!

13 October 2010 - 01:24 AM

Yes, my latest obsession is old analog video cassette formats. I've created my own, on paper, and it's very technical and such. I have no idea if it would actually work, since I'm neither an engineer nor an electronics expert.
But, here it is. My competitor the VHS and Betamax that never was.

Name: Magnetic Video Cassette (MVC).
Type: Helical-scan magnetic-tape video cassette format.
Tape Information: Single-reel cassette, capable of holding up to eight-hours worth of 1/2 inch magnetic tape. Capable of recording and playing back 300-line color video, linear stereophonic/quadraphonic sound and miscellaneous digital information.
The tape is wound around the single internal reel, with the end attached to a small metal bar that is kept in a recess on the outside of the tape. To learn why, looked below.
Cassette also includes a built-in anti-static brush and refillable "wet-type" cleaning head, in order to keep the tape in good condition.
Recorder/Player information: A cassette is placed into the machine, constituting one reel of a two-reel system. The take-up reel is built into the machine. To thread the tape, a simple mechanical swing-arm catches the metal bar attached to the end of the tape, pulls it over the read/record head, and clicks it into a catch on the take-up reel.
Once the tape is fully threaded, it remains so for all operations. This allows for faster mechanical response times, allowing for a faster activation of the pause and record functions.
A piezoelectric crystal, controlled by signals encoded onto the tape, is mounted under the head and keeps it in near-perfect alignment at all times, dispensing with manual tracking, and allowing for a noise-free picture during rewind and freeze-frame. This idea is swiped from the European Video 2000 format players.
Also, all moving parts are controlled by a single drive motor and belt. This allows for near-perfect synchronization between tape reel and head rotation.
Advantages: A relatively uncomplicated mechanical design, which would have been cheaper to make than those used in early VHS and Betamax machines. Same goes for the cassettes.
Disadvantages: Tape must be fully rewound before being ejected. This would require viewers to watch an entire tape in one sitting, or leave the tape threaded in the machine while they took breaks, not allowing others to watch or record other material in the meantime. This could be solved, however, by a "Time Index Memory" system. VCRs could "remember" the last few tapes that were played in them (via a serial number encoded at the beginning of every tape), as well as the time-index when they were stopped. Then, when the tape was reinserted, it could be fast-forward to exactly the time index where it left off.
Another problem is, simple as the mechanical systems of the player are, they aren't exactly conducive to miniaturization without a lot of headaches. Thus, camcorder use would not be terribly practical.

So, yes, there it is. Tell me, do you think this would have kicked ass back in the early '80s?


27 August 2010 - 02:06 AM

I have a TurboGrafx-16! Or a PC Engine, as it was called in Japan.
Or just a TurboGrafx, as it was called in Europe on the import market.
I've got one! As of yesterday. I have 3 games for it: Blazing Lazers, a truly amazing scrolling shooter; Raiden, a decent translation of the arcade shmup; and Double Dungeon, an RPG I got by mistake. It didn't have the box, and I though it was Double Dragon.
The title font, not to mention the title, is very similar!
BUT, I'm quite happy! Found it for $89 at a retro-gaming shop yesterday. It works great, it's a remarkably simple little system, of course there are a few things I need to get for it to make it complete; presently, it only outputs RF video and audio, which it does better than most consoles, but at some point I hope to get a Turbo Booster, which is the A/V enhancement peripheral that allows the console to output (gasp!) RCA stereo and video, as well as S-Video, I think.
I'll also be looking for the Turbo CD add-on, and more games, of course.
So, who wants to discuss the little 16-bitter that could?

Cool Details

26 June 2010 - 02:04 AM

We all know that the original NiGHTS for Saturn is a supremely detailed and all-around great looking game.
But just HOW detailed is it?
My question is, what cool little details have you noticed in the NiGHTS games? Objects? Sounds? Animations?
I'll give you my example.


In Soft Museum, in the line of small abstract sculptures near the door to one of the indoor sections, there is a detailed bust of Yuji Naka. I noticed it when I had run out of time inside and was exploring on foot.
Has anyone else seen this? And what other cool things have you seen, in Soft Museum and other levels?

How do you listen to your music?

22 May 2010 - 03:04 AM

Tell us about your sound system!
What ya got. Boom-box? Kick-a** component stereo? Portable CD or Tape player? MP3 (you lazy bastard)? Awesome car stereo?
Also, discuss! Comment! Tell us about your music collection if you want.
Anyway, I'll start us off.

What I got:
Type: Component home stereo system.
- JVC RX-3 FM/AM Computer Controlled Receiver.
- JVC TD-W110 Stereo Double Cassette Deck.
- JVC XL-V450 Compact Disc Player.
- Pioneer LD-870 LD (LaserDisc) Player.
- RCA DRC190N DVD/VCD Player.
- Fisher FVH-T607 Sound Stage VHS VCR (stereo sound output).
- Sharp VC-A542 VHS VCR (monaural sound output).
- Audio-Technica AT-PL50 Stereo Full Automatic Turntable System.

Still a work in progress, I'm working on hooking the tuner to the old TV antenna on the roof of my house. As well as learning to get my tape deck to record off my other components. I'll also be adding whole new components as I can afford them, including (eventually) a dedicated VCD player, perhaps a DVD-A and/or SACD player, better speakers (and more of them), and a digital TV tuner.
And also, don't laugh, an 8-Track player, eventually. If only for the apparently unique sound quality of the format (and the fact that it's the only tape format capable of quadraphonic sound).
I'm also slowly building my catalog of stuff to PLAY on my setup, expanding my tiny CD collection. Also vinyl and cassettes.
The local record store is stocking new vinyl releases, and their used stuff is cheap, so my collection should grow pretty big pretty quick.

So! What about the rest of you? Have an epic audio rig you're proud of? Or a humble little device or setup you love to death? Tell us about it!

This is your Captain Speaking...

08 May 2010 - 03:28 PM

Here's a little game I found in one of the other forums I'm on.

Posted Image

Basically, it takes place in a gigantic world-ship with trillions of decks and googleplexes of crew and passengers.
All posts come in the form of making announcements to the various decks over the PA.
Just make it as absurd as you like.
The posts don't have to be related. You could make a post say "attention deck [x], please stop doing [y], deck [z] is very disturbed."
Or something to that affect.
Basically, each deck of the ship is like its own world, and there are trillions of them. The scale of the ship is something akin to the Red Dwarf, only much, much, MUCH bigger.
I shall start us off.

This is your Captain speaking. Will the vampiric near-humans of deck 489987 please stop harassing the other decks. 489988 is running out of virgins.
Also, deck 489988, we understand a passenger named Van Helsing is in possession of firearms without a permit. Please turn him over at once.