Super Nintendo Classic Edition has been announced (with gameplay videos)! #SNES

Exciting news, gamers!  Nintendo has just announced the upcoming release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: SNES Classic Edition just a year after the release of their popular NES Classic Edition.

To hit the store shelves on September 29, 2017, the SNES Classic Edition is pre-loaded with 21 SNES classics, including:

  1. Contra III: The Alien Wars
  2. Donkey Kong Country
  3. EarthBound
  4. Final Fantasy III
  5. F-ZERO
  6. Kirby Super Star
  7. Kirby’s Dream Course
  8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  9. Mega Man X
  10. Star Fox
  11. Star Fox 2 (previously unreleased!)
  12. Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  13. Super Castlevania IV
  14. Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
  15. Super Mario Kart
  16. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  17. Super Mario World
  18. Super Metroid
  19. Super Punch-Out!!
  20. Yoshi’s Island

Gamers will also be delighted to learn that unlike the NES Classic Edition, the SNES Classic Edition comes with 2 wired controllers, meaning you can play multi-player games right out of the box!  Other accessories include an HDMI cable and a USB charging cable with AC adapter.

The SNES Classic Edition will hit the store shelves on Friday, September 29, 2017 at a retail price of $79.99 USD.

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Published in: on June 26, 2017 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Enable “Game Mode” on HDTV

What is “Game Mode”?

Game Mode is an option that display manufacturers put into their HDTVs to disable certain image processing protocols when its enabled. It usually makes your picture look worse.

Why would anyone want to turn on “Game Mode”?

Because your pretty picture is the reason your controller and inputs feel sluggish. By enabling “Game Mode”, you are disabling certain features of the TV to reduce picture quality, and in return you get more responsive inputs on your controller. The less your TV has to work, the more responsive your controller is.

Game Mode varies by manufacturer. Some manufacturers require you to go into a settings menu and enable it from there, while others require you to change picture settings. This article explains how to turn on Game Mode on some of the major brands of TVs.

Samsung

Samsung keeps it consistent when it comes to enabling Game Mode on most of their recent HDTVs. It usually involves navigating to “Setup”, and then going to “General”. You will see an option for “Game Mode” over there. Use your remote to enable this option.

Update: Some Samsung displays can further lower their input lag over using Game Mode, by renaming the HDMI input to “PC”. Usually, this only works on the dedicated PC HDMI port, which for Samsung HDTVs is usually HDMI 1. If you’re not satisfied using Game Mode, check out the PC relabeling trick!

Sony

Sony HDTVs are very different from the other brands covered here, because they require your remote control to access the Scene menu. Look on your remote for a button labeled “Scene” and press it. Once pressed, it will bring up a scene selection menu pictured below. Simply select “Game” and it will select Game Mode for you.

LG Electronics

HDTVs from LG enable Game Mode by going into the Picture Menu. That menu has an option called “Picture Mode”. It lets you select modes such as Standard, Vivid, etc. In that menu, there is an option for “Game”, set your picture mode to that in order to enable it. This location is convenient because you don’t have to go into extra menus outside of picture in order to enable it. Smart placement by LG.

Sharp

Sharp HDTVs require you to go into “Picture Settings” and change the “AV MODE” setting to “Game”. This method is almost identical to the way LG does it in their televisions. You don’t have to dig through a lot of confusing menus to enable it.

Panasonic

Panasonic’s Game Mode can be enabled from the “Picture” menu, similar to LG and Sharp HDTVs. Once in the menu, select between different modes until you find the “Game” setting.

DisplayLag Website

Finally, if you are shopping for a new HDTV, be sure to check out the DisplayLag website for ratings and comparisons.

Published in: on September 21, 2015 at 2:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Apple iPad 2012 vs Competitors


Click image to enlarge.

Published in: on March 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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Published in: on July 21, 2011 at 3:32 am  Comments (1)  

Rogers On Demand Menu FAILS on 4:3 TV Screens

Rogers offers its paying digital cable subscribers a handy feature known as Rogers On Demand (ROD).  With ROD, customers can call up pre-recorded TV programs and movies from the Rogers collection at any time of the day (hence, the “On Demand” concept).

To use ROD, you must:

  • be a Rogers Digital Cable Subscriber
  • have a Digital Cable Box
  • have a Television Set

Problem with ROD

Early in 2010, several Rogers customers complained that they were experiencing problems with their ROD on the ROD Facebook Page.

The Symptoms

The ROD on-screen menu, which contains a list of selectable menu items located on the right portion of the screen, would not appear when called upon.  Pressing the remote control navigation (up or down) and the SEL button seemed to cause the ROD menu to react, proving that these menu items did exist but were not visible.  Albeit, it would bring up yet another BLANK menu page.

According to these Rogers customers, this problem was consistently reproducible on their HD digital terminals and their 4:3 CRT television sets.

Rogers’ Remedy – REBOOT!

Rogers Client Support suggested to these customers to re-boot their HD digital boxes.

While this suggestion seemed to work initially, customers reported back a while later that the same symptom returned shortly after!

Furthermore, rebooting the box each time to temporarily “fix” this problem was not a viable long-term solution.  It would take a tremendous amount of time for the HD digital box to complete its booting process every time.

Our Investigation

Black Belt Reviewer went under investigation to attempt to reproduce this on-going customer-reported problem.  We know that the Rogers QA team has tried but was unable to reproduce this problem.

We hope that these detailed steps and descriptions can be used as a guide by the Rogers QA team and eventually resolve this lingering problem for good.

The Set-up

Based on the information provided in the original post on Facebook, we were able to match our set-up exactly to theirs.  We have acquired:

  • a 4:3 Toshiba 32″ TV Set
  • a Scientific Atlanta EXPLORER 3250HD digital cable box

We followed the Rogers digital terminal set-up guidelines from http://www.rogershelp.com.

After we powered on the HD terminal box, it took several minutes for the “bOOt” process to complete.  During that time, it was downloading the contents from Rogers.

Duration of this Test

As we know, after a fresh reboot, the ROD on-screen menu would appear to function properly.  However, we also know that it would eventually relapse into the original symptoms (i.e. BLANK menu screen).  As such, we conducted this experience over the stretch of 7 days.  We hope Rogers QA team would do likewise as they troubleshoot this bug.

On Days 1 and 2, the ROD on-screen menu was fine.  However, the symptoms returned on the start of Day 3.

Day 3 – Power On!

After changing the channel to 100 for the designated ROD channel, we pressed the [A] button on the remote to bring up the ROD on-screen menu.  It took about 15 seconds to load.  During the waiting period, a “Welcome to On Demand” splash page was shown.

BLANK On-Screen Menu

The ROD on-screen menu finally came up.  Lo and behold, the MENU ITEMS were missing (see actual photo on the right).

Notice that other than the background image and the video overlay, every other textual elements are invisible on the screen.

Our Assessment of the Problem

Since other graphical elements are able to display properly on the 4:3 television, we conclude that the invisible menu is a GUI (Graphic User Interface) Bug which can be resolved.

We suspect that the positioning of the menu items are likely calculated correctly for the 16:9 resolution but incorrectly for the 4:3 resolution.  Hence, on a 4:3 TV set, the menu items and other textual elements are being shown Off-Screen.  By correctly calculating these coordinates on the Scientific Atlanta EXPLORER 3250HD digital terminal and being mindful when it is running on a 4:3 television set, the problem should be resolved.

Other possible reasons for this GUI Bug include the use of wrong font colors for the menu item.  For example, the use of Black font color on Black background will cause the menu to not appear at all on screen.  However, this would be such a fundamental oversight, we would be surprised if Rogers would release a product with such a big glaring bug.

As to why the menu comes back after a reboot but eventually relapse to the same problem?  When your digital box is plugged in, it constantly retrieves data from Rogers.  We speculate that one of the updates by Rogers might have triggered this relapse (perhaps during the downloading of new program contents from Rogers when a new day rolls over).

The Facebook Discussion is Back!

Black Belt Reviewer has re-posted this issue on the ROD Facebook Page.  You can follow the discussion here.

Conclusion

We hope the time that we took to conduct this experiment and to create this detailed blog article will help Rogers resolve this lingering HD digital terminal/4:3 television mystery.

Now, the ball is back on Rogers’ court once again.  Can you get this fixed ASAP, Rogers?

Please pass this on to the Rogers QA team.

Feedback

If you are a Rogers digital subscriber and have experienced the same problem as described above, we’d love to hear from you.  Please post a comment below.

Published in: on March 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm  Comments (3)