Stern DMDs and half brightness pixels

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

After an extensive session on LOTR last night I couldn't help but wish that
Sterns DMD graphics were as good as Williams seemed to have 10 years ago. I'm
not talking about the content or animations here, but more the ability of Stern
machines to display "half-bright" pixels. Compare LOTR with that of say TOM -
they're worlds apart.

From memory driving a half-bright pixel on these DMDs is not as simple as it
appears, but surely Sterns hardware guys would have figured out the right
approach by now? Or have I overlooked some major issue, like the DMDs are driven
completely different and it just can't be done.
4 answers Last reply
More about stern dmds half brightness pixels
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    So they burn half bright?


    And some have complained the displays die quickly.


    Doesn't seem like a very good combination.


    Otto

    CARGPB11

    My web page: http://home.bellsouth.net/p/PWP-Ottoslanding


    "SpamInACan" <spaminacan at internode dot on dot net> wrote in message
    news:43082d7e@duster.adelaide.on.net...
    > After an extensive session on LOTR last night I couldn't help but wish
    > that Sterns DMD graphics were as good as Williams seemed to have 10 years
    > ago. I'm not talking about the content or animations here, but more the
    > ability of Stern machines to display "half-bright" pixels. Compare LOTR
    > with that of say TOM - they're worlds apart.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    > After an extensive session on LOTR last night I couldn't help but wish
    that
    > Sterns DMD graphics were as good as Williams seemed to have 10 years ago.
    I'm
    > not talking about the content or animations here, but more the ability of
    Stern
    > machines to display "half-bright" pixels. Compare LOTR with that of say
    TOM -
    > they're worlds apart.
    >
    > From memory driving a half-bright pixel on these DMDs is not as simple as
    it
    > appears, but surely Sterns hardware guys would have figured out the right
    > approach by now? Or have I overlooked some major issue, like the DMDs are
    driven
    > completely different and it just can't be done.

    Typical for DMD's in Stern machines. Pixels that are on longer will get a
    black tip and eventually you will be able to see a "ghosting" of some of the
    images burned into the DMD even when off.

    The same will happen to WMS machines as well, but not typically as fast.
    Sterns will do this within 6 months in a home environment, WMS usually
    within several years on routed games.

    --
    Mike S.
    Kalamazoo, MI

    Gameroom: http://tinyurl.com/4hfev
    W C S Owner's List: http://tinyurl.com/39cjo
    M B Scoop Repair: http://tinyurl.com/9lfu
    ------------------------------­--------------
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    To my knowledge there are 4 brightness levels: off, 1/3, 2/3, and full.

    This is done by rapidly flickering the pixels on and off, varying the
    duty cycles of each pixel, to give different brightness levels. I
    think this is done in hardware, not software, but am not sure.

    You can see this in the Twilight Zone game's graphic during attract
    mode, where it displays the "Twilight Zone" logo with a horizon and
    some random shapes in the background. It really flickers a lot during
    this scene! You can see all of the shades the hardware is capable of
    producing.

    A newer game should have a DMD display test in its test modes, that you
    can see this in.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Sorry - I didn't explain myself very well.

    I understand the issue you're describing below Mike but I was more referring to
    the ability of the hardware and software to drive individual pixels at an
    approx. half-bright level compared to full brightness. So the artist effectively
    has off, half bright and full bright pixels to work with, thus making the
    graphics look a lot better. Stern machines can do it, but the actual brightness
    level is more like 75% full-brightness.

    Keith - you must know what I'm referring to. How can I explain this better?

    "Mike Schudel" <schudel5@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:11gh7694l6p8kea@corp.supernews.com...
    >> After an extensive session on LOTR last night I couldn't help but wish
    > that
    >> Sterns DMD graphics were as good as Williams seemed to have 10 years ago.
    > I'm
    >> not talking about the content or animations here, but more the ability of
    > Stern
    >> machines to display "half-bright" pixels. Compare LOTR with that of say
    > TOM -
    >> they're worlds apart.
    >>
    >> From memory driving a half-bright pixel on these DMDs is not as simple as
    > it
    >> appears, but surely Sterns hardware guys would have figured out the right
    >> approach by now? Or have I overlooked some major issue, like the DMDs are
    > driven
    >> completely different and it just can't be done.
    >
    > Typical for DMD's in Stern machines. Pixels that are on longer will get a
    > black tip and eventually you will be able to see a "ghosting" of some of the
    > images burned into the DMD even when off.
    >
    > The same will happen to WMS machines as well, but not typically as fast.
    > Sterns will do this within 6 months in a home environment, WMS usually
    > within several years on routed games.
    >
    > --
    > Mike S.
    > Kalamazoo, MI
    >
    > Gameroom: http://tinyurl.com/4hfev
    > W C S Owner's List: http://tinyurl.com/39cjo
    > M B Scoop Repair: http://tinyurl.com/9lfu
    > ------------------------------­--------------
    >
    >
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