Zoom in / One console, four displays, zero “split screen” antics

Anyone who remembers playing Golden Eye 007 the N64 probably remembers to take into account “screenwriters” this would take a look at another quadrant of the split-screen shooter to determine the opponent’s location. There are even modern game which forces players to rely on tactics to track down invisible opponents.

Now, 25 years later Golden eyeWhen it launched, a museum managed to do something for these screenmakers by devising a way to split the game into Golden eye on four TV screens without changing the original cassette or hardware of the N64.

The multi-screen Golden eye the gameplay will be presented as part of “25 years since Golden eye“event in Cambridge, England Computer History Center this weekend. Proof of the concept of the unique style of play (with all monitors awkwardly facing in the same direction) drew some attention through a tweet on Wednesdaywhich makes Ars look for more details on how the museum did it.

“It’s not elegant”

Видео скалерът C2-7210 е ключовата част от технологията за разделяне на разделения екран на <em>GoldenEye</em> on many displays. “src =” https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/splitter-300×300.jpg “width =” 300 “height =” 300 “srcset =” https: / /cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/splitter.jpg 2x “/></a><figcaption class=
Zoom in / The C2-7210 video scaler is a key part of splitting technology Golden eyesplit screen on several displays.

Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of the Center for Computer History Jason Fitzpatrick tells Ars the idea of ​​a multi-screen Golden eye began when some museum staff discussed their particular frustrations with first-person shooters on split-screen consoles. “We talked about it and they said, ‘The problem is that everyone is on the same screen; just look at the top right and see what they’re doing and you can stand up to it, “Fitzpatrick said. “And we said to ourselves, ‘Oh, actually, we may have a way around this.’ So we just messed up and tried and thought it was a little fun. “

Fitzpatrick was in a good position to separate Golden eyesplit screen signal due to its daily operation in Pure Energy TV and movie propswhere he says he is often called upon to tune old TVs with a cathode ray tube to the set. That means he “happens to have a few pieces of equipment to mix with video,” he said.

In this case, the key “bit of equipment” is video scaler C2-7210, a non-existent part of video production technology that allows professionals to process live video signals in a wide variety of ways. This includes the ability to increase a specific portion of up to two input signals and then increase the result to full screen output on another monitor or TV.

For multi-screen Golden eyeFitzpatrick said he just broke up standard PAL N64 signal in four identical copies, then feed two inputs each in two scaling units. Then you direct each scaler to a different quadrant of the input signal and send the result to different TVs. A second input on one of these TVs also receives an unmodified full screen signal directly from the N64 to make menu navigation easier.

“It’s not elegant that you essentially take 704 × 576 [pixel] image, and you just zoom in on a quarter of it and then take that quarter and stretch it to full screen, ”Fitzpatrick told Ars. “Although we are dealing with something around 352 × 288 [pixels]give or take, as the resolution for each of these quadrants, while downloading in full screen, looks good. “

This is partly because “the original game didn’t look great anyway” and because CRT’s continuous horizontal line scanning technology “covers many sins,” Fitzpatrick said. “The old video CDs were 352 × 288 anyway, so we watched movies with that resolution,” he added.

This type of signal splitting is reminiscent of massive CRT video walls which you sometimes see in art installations or old music videos. But Fitzpatrick says use video wall controller for this type of processing “it will take hours to set up, because you will have to do each one individually … you would not have the fine control over getting into just that [split-screen] ■ area. It would just take the screen and cut it in four. He may have missed some parts. “


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