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dave1dmarx

PlayCable Menu Music

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So does anyone have a picture or a video of the PlayCable's game selection menu?

Each page was the same, style-wise. The screen was similar to the splash screen in that it had the same starry background with the same "push disc" message on the bar at the bottom (white text on a green bar, IIRC) The games were arranged alphabetically in the menus and were four to a page, and each was numbered like this (for example):

 

1. ARMOR BATTLE

 

2. ASTROSMASH

 

3. BACKGAMMON

 

4. BASEBALL

 

To select a game from a page, you simply pressed the corresponding number and "Enter". The game would then load up, with the same short beeps you hear at the beginning of the video (though it would last for about 5-10 seconds), leading to four long beeps (like the two heard on the video). The title screen would then be displayed as if the system was just powered up with the cartridge in. If you wanted to return to the PlayCable menu, you had to hit reset (or power off/on) as there was no way to do it from the hand controllers.

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Here's another song - The Entertainer:

 

Nice 3 voice version. I assume the wailing at the start is the end of the data being downloaded. If so, I assume you don't have any more recording of that. It might be possible to rebuild the software from the sound if you do (which would be unbelievably cool). Also what is the "bubbling" noise at the end of the song?

 

 

Cheers

 

decle

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Are there any programmers out there who could recreate the music on the tape?

 

I think the answer to that is yes. In fact, you can probably do it yourself :)

 

I think it is actually more a musical exercise than a programming one. Over in the programming forum you will find lots of threads on IntyBASIC songs like this one:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/253912-intybasic-rough-song-you-cleared-it/?hl=%2Bintybasic+%2Bsong

 

Most of the short listing there is boilerplate that you can ignore. At the bottom is a list of Music directives that tell each of the 3 voices the notes to play. I think all that is required is to transcribe the music you hear into the required notation, recompile and away you go.

 

Now, I'm not an IntyBASIC expert, but I'm sure if you were to suggest you wanted to do it and start asking questions help would be forthcoming.

 

 

HTH

 

decle

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Nice 3 voice version. I assume the wailing at the start is the end of the data being downloaded. If so, I assume you don't have any more recording of that. It might be possible to rebuild the software from the sound if you do (which would be unbelievably cool). Also what is the "bubbling" noise at the end of the song?

 

 

Cheers

 

decle

 

Ahh, on listening again, maybe I got over excited and the data sounds are not quite as interesting as I initially thought. Is it just a periodic "pip-pip" to indicate to the user that something is happening, rather the screech of data like you get from a data cassette?

 

 

It would be a little strange to make the data audible unnecessarily, although it would have made the job of Joe Jacobs and Dennis Clark (http://intellivisionlives.com/bluesky/games/credits/1983c.html#bump_jump) much easier.

 

decle

Edited by decle

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I have no knowledge/experience programming in the Intv, so I wouldn't know where to begin. I was hoping that folks with more experience/know-how might want to take a crack at it.

 

As for the beeps at the beginning, they were present at the start of every game load, sounding exactly the same. I think it was just in there to give the user the sense that SOMETHING was happening while they waited for the game to load. If anything was capable of re-creating the PlayCable signal, it would have been whatever was coming from the "ADAPTOR" RCA jack on the RF box as THAT was what was feeding the unit all the info. Unfortunately, I never thought to try and make a recording of that. And, given my crude methods for recording, it's very doubtful that such a recording would even be useful to us here in 2017.

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The PlayCable had 8K RAM.

It must have, in order to have Shark Shark. 8k would be enough for Burgertime, Treasure of Tarmin, Space Spartans, Locomotion and , upcoming Thin Ice and Illusions. But not enough for Bump'n'jump. MOTU, Pinball, Vectron, Thunder Castle, WC Baseball. Maybe programmers stopped compressing their games once they got more ROM space.

 

How did the Playcable box attach to the cable TV system? None of the pictures seem to show this... Did it have a direct Coax connection?

http://www.intellivisionbrasil.com/Hardware_PlayCable.htm

If you look at the last page of the posted instructions here, you'll find a photo of the Playcable combination splitter/switchbox. Cable is split and goes to Playcable via RCA/coax and then returns from the Intellivision via another RCA/coax. I haven't seen one but I'm guessing Playcable has an RCA input on the back.

-------------------

"The Entertainer" is on Melody Blaster. Otherwise, to convert recorded music to Intellivision, there should be general tools to convert audio to midi. That would be a start. Then if someone wants, I think the programmers have tools to convert midi to Intellivision.

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I have no knowledge/experience programming in the Intv, so I wouldn't know where to begin. I was hoping that folks with more experience/know-how might want to take a crack at it.

 

OK, however, as I say the first thing and indeed most complicated thing needed is not a programming thing at all. It is a matter of listening to the music on tape and converting the notes into symbols like B5, C6 etc. which is a musician thing. If someone was to come along with the required notes asking for help getting the Inty to play them, firstly I think it would be relatively easy and secondly such requests would probably be received very positively as there would be a recognition of the potentially large amount of effort required to generate the list notes. My point is lots of people seem to have think that because they don't know code, they cannot make a meaningful contribution to a software project. That is not the case.

 

As for the beeps at the beginning, they were present at the start of every game load, sounding exactly the same. I think it was just in there to give the user the sense that SOMETHING was happening while they waited for the game to load. If anything was capable of re-creating the PlayCable signal, it would have been whatever was coming from the "ADAPTOR" RCA jack on the RF box as THAT was what was feeding the unit all the info. Unfortunately, I never thought to try and make a recording of that. And, given my crude methods for recording, it's very doubtful that such a recording would even be useful to us here in 2017.

Ahh, OK. That is a shame, but makes total sense. I thought I would ask because sometimes companies make totally bonkers decisions and all of a sudden something that should not be possible is.

 

As I was brought up in the UK I don't have much knowledge of US cable systems. I guess it would not have made sense to put a VCR into the cable feed at a point where the PlayCable data would be visible either. It would be fascinating to learn exactly what Joe Jacobs and Dennis Clark did, and how they went about it.

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Almost forgot to upload the final song from the PlayCable menu. This time it's Music Box Dancer. I wish I had better visuals to go with the audio, but at least all three rare songs are now "out there"!

 

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Almost forgot to upload the final song from the PlayCable menu. This time it's Music Box Dancer. I wish I had better visuals to go with the audio, but at least all three rare songs are now "out there"!

 

Thanks for sharing these Dave :)

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Great idea - let's do it!!

 

 

 

I'm right there with ya, but my post is about all I can contribute as I've never messed with themes in RetroPie :dunce:

me and dave1dmarx have already done all of it. a video will be posted later.

Edited by pimpmaul69

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me and dave1dmarx have already done all of it. a video will be posted later.

 

You beat me to it - please share! How did you do the animated background?

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You beat me to it - please share! How did you do the animated background?

we didnt animate the background in emulationstation. i would have to rewrite emulationstation for that. the music plays in emulationstation though and randomizes the songs. the splashscreen video is as it should be though. of course its not 100% identical to the one crappy b&w picture but it is nice. hope you like it.

 

i will post a video in a few. i just realized that youtube degraded the video

Edited by pimpmaul69

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That is sweet.

 

Now we just need to find some inexpensive PlayCable units to put a Pi in :D

i got a stack of them lying around here somewhere. Just let me dig em out for ya! :)
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Very cool! Could you do an animated gif for the background to get the flickering star effect?

so i made an animated gif and it shows up in emulationstation but it does not animate. so unfortunately it wont work.

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I will be puttinng together a zip file with the files plus instructions to set it all up for those of you interested in it.

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