Feeds

Videogame history project successfully emulates CRT on LCD

See old games how they were meant to look

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

We thought fuzzy images went out with cathode ray tube monitors, but a team of boffins at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed an app that mimics the visual characteristics of CRTs on today crisp, pixel-perfect LCD screens.

And it's all been done in the interest of historical research, specifically the evolution of videogames.

According to GIT Associate Professor Ian Bogost, emulation software is all very well at allowing modern historians to examine old videogames, but they don't give you the true feel of playing an arcade game or 8-bit computer programme, all of which were orginally displayed on CRTs, either monitors or TVs.

More to the point, many of them were written to take advantage of the quirks of CRT display technology.

To change that, GIT coders Edward Booth, Michael Cook, Justin Dobbs, Will Rowland and Prince Yang took the open souces Atari VCS 2600 emulator Stella and tweaked the graphics routines to emulate phosphor glow, colour bleed and the noise associated with hooking a CRT up to a source through an radio-frequency modulator.

Georgia Institute of Technology CRT emulation

Georgia Institute of Technology's CRT emulation in action
Click for full-size image

Pics posted by Bogost on the GIT website show how well the team managed to recreate the look of CRT on LCD, but he said you really appreciate the difference when you play the games.

Oldsters will be able to relive youths misspent in arcade halls, while younger players will get to game the way their dads did. Researchers into videogame history will be able to see games how they would have appeared when released.

Bogost said the five coders were working with the Stella development team to get their modifications incorporated into the emulator's official release. You can download Stella here.

We're anticipating the code being incorporated into a future Blu-ray Disc playback app to allow the latest HD movies to be viewed in VHS-o-Vision. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.