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DiscoDr.Bones

Frenzy/Berzerk 7800 color and brightness issues

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Hi There,

 

I recently picked up “Frenzy” for the 7800. The game is great and I am especially pleased with the inclusion of “Berzerk” which is one of my favorite 5200 games.

 

While I was playing the Berzerk contained within Frenzy, I noticed I would randomly die without any perceivable reason, but this would only happen in the 1500-3000 –ish point range. On my setup, an unmodded 7800 RF connected to a CRT TV, the dark green shade of the robots in that point range were extremely close to black, and what I soon figured out was happening is that I was being shot vertically or diagonally and I am unable to see the shot fly. I also noticed that the “press fire to start” text was this same barely visible shade of green. A revisit to the 5200 edition (also connected via RF) found robots in this point range a much more visible shade of blueish white. Interestingly, when I downloaded the rom for Frenzy, emulated it via ProSystem in RetroArch and got to the same point range, I found the robots to be almost the exact same (and very visible) shade as the 5200 edition. Changes in Tint, Color, Picture or Brightness on my TV did little to alleviate the problem. I am stumped. What might be causing this and what might I be able to do to fix it? Is it possible there is something wrong with my cart? 7800?

 

What I have done is included a couple of pictures. The first one is the title screen, and here it is pretty easy to see that the green “press fire to start” text is very dark, this was easy to capture. Next I have circled a vertical shot in that point range to emphasize how hard it is to see (even though in this picture the robots seem to show up fine) and then for comparison purposes, I included a similar picture of a red vertical shot, which is very clear. Also for comparison reasons, I included what the colors in same point range look like on the 5200 version of Berzerk. Finally, in case the color profile of my 7800 is actually way off and I don’t not know (I don’t have a good point of comparison) I enclosed a picture of “Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest” which is feel gives a pretty good idea of the way things 7800 look on my setup.

 

Please advise and thanks in advance,

 

--DiscoDr.Bones

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The (dark) green color under 7800 Berzerk/Frenzy is accurate in the noted cases. Specifically, it is Hue $C2.

 

While on the darker end of the 7800 color palette luminance scale, it is a couple of shades brighter than the darkest available within the same hue range.

 

If it is displaying near 'black', the display or/and the console is providing a darker than typical output.

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Ok, that is good to know. The palette page linked to there is helpful as well. The way I calibrated the TV was with a DVD player connected via S-video using the Digital Video Essentials DVD, this was a decade ago and now the TV is used for games only. Up until this point, I had thought things looked great. I see a "240p test suite" series of programs/calibration utilities that one can use with consoles via flash carts. Perhaps I will do a run through with one or more of those and see if I can improve things. I also now understand that there is a pot that can be adjusted in the 7800 that can change the color characteristics... would that be helpful here? Or is that probably the wrong direction to go at this point?

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The color pot inside the 7800 changes the number of degrees that separate the various hue ranges. In turn, it manipulates the hues for a specific range either subtly or drastically. Nonetheless, appropriate colors here does not seem to be the issue, it is a lack of brightness or/and contrast.

 

The easiest 'fix' is to simply increase the display's brightness or/and contrast.

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