Player Specific Compatibility Issues

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Devin
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Player Specific Compatibility Issues

Post by Devin » Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:58 pm

Doing all the updates for the Black Moon Games Archive with my trusty 370 made me realise how many bugs are present between players! I've never noticed these on a basic 210 model and they only seem to be apparent on the 370. For example the introduction sequences to Master Labyrinth which uses Digital Video has two jagged greeen lines across the bottom of the screen whilst playing. I assumed it may have been the disc so made a copy and the same thing happened. Played it on my 210, no problem. Might be an idea to list these issues between player models for reference.
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Post by Bas » Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:45 pm

same interesting thing about how often 'The Lost Ride' crashes on a certain player, this appears to vary on different models as well!!

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Post by Philipscdi.com » Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:02 pm

Exactly! The Lost Ride seems to crash on my 210 and 220. I never came across any other incompatibility issues though. Were there any others we should know about, Bas?

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Post by Bas » Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:08 pm

-well, the first batch of 'The 7th Guest' has a play-back issue on the 4xx and 5xx series of cd-i players. Newer versions were pressed in video-cd jewel cases.

-Lost Eden has a bug on the early versions on 2xx series of cd-i players (you recognize these with 'compact disc interactive' on the bottom of the box-art instead of 'digital video on cd-i' (second batch).

-Pac-Panic has a big play-back issue after playing cd-ready formats. Try to play a cd-ready disc and play Pac-Panic after it without resetting (=turning off) the player. I'm not sure which player types were involved, but Philips was aware of this.

This was actually an interesting one because it hints at some memory usage of the cd-ready formats even after you exit the disc!

That's all I can think of right now...

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Post by Devin » Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:02 pm

I remember us discussing this years ago!!

Now I know what one of my 7th Guests is doing in a VCD jewel case, excellent info Bas.
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Post by Philipscdi.com » Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:23 pm

I'm impressed! How come you know all this?

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Post by cdifan » Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:07 am

Several early titles had problems on second-generation players, as these used a different memory layout.

Quite a lot of titles had problems on the so-called "Mono-II" players (210/20 and 220/40) because there where some nasty bugs in the CD drivers of these players.

The 450 players had similar problems in the CD drive mechanism.

Some of this is in the "player release notes" that Philips sometimes supplied to CD-i developers, but the rest is from hard experience in getting CD-i titles to run on all players. This was often the most painful part of developing a CD-i title, as there were a number of obscure driver bugs in the various players.

Many of the newer titles in fact ship with replacement drivers for some player models...

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Post by Devin » Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:04 am

Yes i've noticed drivers on some of the later releases such as Creature Shock and Atlantis - The Last Resort. I wonder if this firmware update has ever gone wrong and destroyed a CD-i player, is that even a remote possibility CD-i Fan?
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Post by christw » Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:22 am

Devin wrote:Yes i've noticed drivers on some of the later releases such as Creature Shock and Atlantis - The Last Resort. I wonder if this firmware update has ever gone wrong and destroyed a CD-i player, is that even a remote possibility CD-i Fan?
AFAIK this only replaces the driver in memory, and not in ROM. The CDi's ROMs were, well, ROMs, and not flash, so they couldn't be updated.

I remember buying The 7th Guest on CDi, and it failing (on my 210) at the first puzzle. I went back to replace it, and then returned it, because it didn't play. Too bad I never bought another copy later :cry:

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Post by Bas » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:57 am

Devin wrote:Yes i've noticed drivers on some of the later releases such as Creature Shock and Atlantis - The Last Resort. I wonder if this firmware update has ever gone wrong and destroyed a CD-i player, is that even a remote possibility CD-i Fan?
how do you notice these things.... interesting news!

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Post by cdifan » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:17 pm

You can see the driver files on the cd with IsoBuster. They are just plain data files that start with the OS9 module signature 4AFC; if you extract them from the disc you can use the "ident" program (comes with the Microware C compiler) to get a list of the modules in them. If these have module type "driver" you've found a driver :-)

A while ago I've catalogued all the driver versions that I could find on my CD-i discs, and it was quite a collection: for some players there where several different driver updates.

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Post by Bas » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:53 pm

When you start the cd-i player, does a title check which player it is being played on? (therefor to use player-specific drivers?)

Or are these newer driver versions just compatible with more kinds of players?

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Post by cdifan » Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:10 pm

The replacement drivers, like the originals, are all hardware-specific and were written by Philips and/or their contractors. Philips delivered these to CD-i developers with sample source code for player model detection and driver installation, usually based on module CRC values known to be unique across the entire player base.

So the short answer is, yes and yes :-)

There are no hardware-independent driver updates out there that I know of.

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Post by Philipscdi.com » Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:18 pm

Is there a way to update a specific player so that it becomes compatible with a certain game or title that it wasn't compatible with at first?

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Post by cdifan » Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:50 pm

Most CD-i players have no ROM-update mechanism as far as I know, although I believe some of the later 6xx models have a feature to run a "patch" from NVRAM, however. But it would be possible to run an "update" disc just before starting the game, that would keep the updated drivers in RAM.

However, this supposes that you know *how* to make the player compatible with the game. Blindly replacing drivers is unlikely to help; some knowledge of the source of the incompatibility is needed. In many cases this would require debugging and involvement of the game and/or player developers...

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