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Thread: Did early consoles include screen savers / color-cycling?

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    Default Did early consoles include screen savers / color-cycling?

    I know the Atari VCS/2600 used color cycling to protect the screen from burn-in.

    Did any of the earlier consoles [pre-Atari] include color-cyling?
    Last edited by veronica_marsfan; 05-22-2007 at 06:09 AM.

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    I think there was a blackout type function built in to the Intellivision. After a long amount of time, the screen would go black until a button was pushed on the controller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve W View Post
    I think there was a blackout type function built in to the Intellivision. After a long amount of time, the screen would go black until a button was pushed on the controller.

    That was actually just the pause feature. The screen would go to black, and would come back when you pressed anything.

    I don't think that screen savers, as we know them first started showing up until the PSX era.

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    A screen saver doesn't have to go blank, to be a screen saver. The color-cyling used in early Atari consoles and computers "saves the screen" from burn-in.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve W View Post
    I think there was a blackout type function built in to the Intellivision.
    That's not an "earlier console" than the Atari 2600.

    Did the Odyssey have a color-cycling scheme to prevent burn-in?

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    On the original Atari Tele-Games Pong system a grid pattern would move across the screen somwhat randomly whenever a game was not being played. I assume this was meant as a screensaver.


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    Quote Originally Posted by veronica_marsfan View Post
    That's not an "earlier console" than the Atari 2600.
    You didn't say earlier console than the Atari 2600. You said "Did any of the earlier consoles include color-cyling?" When I hear "ealier consoles" I think anything pre-NES. If you're talking earlier than 2600 there aren't very many candidates...O2 and Channel F are pretty much it (IIRC Studio II was black and white). So why not just look at the O2 and Channel F faqs?

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    The Apple Machines had that insert disk animation. It was something like the animations in Rockman Battle Network.

    The Saturn has that space ship strolling threw space bit that I am playing right now.

    PSX has two variations of splash screens.

    The Gameboy and GBC had that blank that stayed on screen when they was no game inserted.

    Super gameboy had the above and certain Gameboy games has animated borders besides the ones that was inside the SGB.

    Sega CD had the dancing 3d logo.

    This one is just a long shot but certain DOS list systems had animations appear after awhile. You could change the colors and figures but I forget.

    Arcade system had certain pre-screens that comes up before going into the real game. Sometimes with a animated logo.

    The Nintendo Testing kit I once had an animated jumpman running across the screen before you did any real testing. Kinda like the Sega Saturn space also but it was all 2d with a green border. Kinda funny also. However with a couple other Nintendo products you also see this. Particularly in the Game and Watch games.

    Also X-Band has a dancing logo.
    Last edited by RugalSizzler; 05-21-2007 at 09:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veronica_marsfan View Post
    Did the Odyssey have a color-cycling scheme to prevent burn-in?
    Nope. Just a screen that says 'Select Game'.

    And yes, it burns in pretty quick.

    And no pause feature.

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    what about the 1972 Odyssey? I never even played mine yet. All I know is that inserting the game card turns the console on, removing the game card turns the console off (No 'on/off' switch on console)

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    Quote Originally Posted by diskoboy View Post
    That was actually just the pause feature. The screen would go to black, and would come back when you pressed anything.

    I don't think that screen savers, as we know them first started showing up until the PSX era.
    You're wrong. The Lost Vikings (by Blizzard) and the SNES version of Robocop Vs. Terminator include a screensaver that activates after a few minutes in pause mode.
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    of course the Flying Toasters on IBM (and MAC) were huge in the 80s/early 90s, you actually had to purchase screensavers in those days: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_toasters

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    Screensavers are actually BAD if you use a lcd panel. Leaving the screen turned-on slowly-but-surely wears around the fluorescent bulb inside the screen & leads to premature dimming of the display. With an LCD, it's better to turn it off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Ice View Post
    You didn't say earlier console than the Atari 2600.
    "I know the Atari VCS/2600..... Did any of the earlier consoles [than the Atari] include color-cyling?"

    It's called context.
    Not that it matters
    but it is what I meant. I was thinking of console pre-1977.
    Last edited by veronica_marsfan; 05-22-2007 at 08:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veronica_marsfan View Post
    Screensavers are actually BAD if you use a lcd panel. Leaving the screen turned-on slowly-but-surely wears around the fluorescent bulb inside the screen & leads to premature dimming of the display. With an LCD, it's better to turn it off. "I know the Atari VCS/2600..... Did any of the earlier consoles [than the Atari] include color-cyling?"

    It's called context.
    Not that it matters
    but it is what I meant. I was thinking of console pre-1977.
    Say, wasn't Veronica Mars cancelled?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Ice View Post
    Say, wasn't Veronica Mars cancelled?
    I don't know. Let me check. (later). Yep wikipedia says May 17 the show was canceled. No surprise there, since it was doing poorly in the ratings.

    VM's best year was its first. And then it went into decline, similar to how 24 is going into decline, because the creators run out of ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post
    of course the Flying Toasters on IBM (and MAC)
    Oh god I love the Flying Toaster Screen Saver and there cute creamy butterish theme song. The package had all sort of screen savers you ave to get. Serving us Jelli Toasted bread at the speed of Para Troopers.

    Agian ScreenSavers was a fun thing for the introductry to GUI computers. I miss that feeling when I went into a Packard Bell GUI and it was like exploring a house. The Viruses pretty much deflated that dream.
    Last edited by RugalSizzler; 05-22-2007 at 12:02 PM.

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    early 90s i bought an excellent screensaver for my then HP 386, Inside Sports PC Swimsuit Calendar which cycles through the babes pictures, I actually still use it on my Sega Teradrive nowadays:
    Last edited by tom; 12-11-2007 at 08:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diskoboy View Post
    Nope. [Odyssey] just a screen that says 'Select Game'. And yes, it burns in pretty quick.

    Thanks! It sounds like the Atari VCS/2600 was the first to include color-cyvling to save the screen from damage.

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    The Tele-Games Pong machine that I mentioned above came out in 1975, two years before the 2600.

    By the way, is the color-cycling on the 2600 controlled by the hardware or is it programmed into each game? Offhand, I can't think of any games that don't do it, which would seem to indictae that it's in hardware. But actually, I've never really paid attention specifically, so maybe lots of games don't do it and I just never noticed.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweater Fish Deluxe View Post
    By the way, is the color-cycling on the 2600 controlled by the hardware or is it programmed into each game? Offhand, I can't think of any games that don't do it, which would seem to indictae that it's in hardware. But actually, I've never really paid attention specifically, so maybe lots of games don't do it and I just never noticed.
    I'm pretty sure later 2600 games don't.

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    Well, Solaris doesn't have any color cycling and it was developed in 1984 (but released only in 1986).

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