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vram74
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Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day....
#361388 - 12/18/16 08:50 PM


Wasn't sure where to post this...


I remember when I got a 2600 my parents would never allow me to connect it to the living room TV. They heard it would eventually damage the screen, causing permanent white horizontal lines to appear. Was that true and what caused it? I do remember seeing a few TVs back then that exhibited those lines and they did have 2600s connected. Supposedly, the problem was fixed in later revisions.



Nightvoice
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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361389 - 12/18/16 09:03 PM


My parents said the same shit, and I knew others' parents who did too. I dismissed it as an excuse to free up the TV because I couldn't see them really buying me an Atari if they knew it caused TV damage and I never heard of anyone I knew having this problem. Aside from that, I couldn't see a multi-zillion-dollar company selling millions of these units if they knew there was a risk because they'd have lost their asses in lawsuits. I ended up going to the neighbor's house to play it on a big TV and only used mine a few times.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361390 - 12/18/16 09:18 PM Attachment: bRt06lT.jpg 782 KB (1 downloads)


You mean this? It happens with any still images for large periods of time projected on CRT screens. That's why screen savers were a lucrative business back then.

[ATTACHED IMAGE - CLICK FOR FULL SIZE]

Attachment



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: Nightvoice]
#361391 - 12/18/16 09:43 PM


No, they for sure burned in images on CRT's. Especially games with a static image on them, like Pitfall Pete is what ruined our home TV. The horizontal landscape burned in.

Can happen on Plasma TV's too.








vram74
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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: BIOS-D]
#361398 - 12/18/16 11:43 PM


Nah, not burn-in. I'm talking about rows of thin, white horizontal lines crossing the screen. They were only present when the TV was powered on.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361400 - 12/19/16 12:42 AM


I used to plat Atari 2600 on my 24" CRT TV a lot when I was a kid.
And I watched TV a lo on it too.
After 6 years of relentless fun, my TV never exhibited any signs of damage.



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it was our parents who damaged us.. new [Re: vram74]
#361406 - 12/19/16 03:40 AM





Nightvoice
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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: Gatinho]
#361408 - 12/19/16 04:02 AM


Ok, I can understand burn-in happening. But that's if you leave the same game running for days on end, something most of us didn't do. It's a big leap from that to "Atari will burn the picture tube out." It's like Supersize Me making the claim that McDonald's will kill you; yeah, maybe if you eat it 3 meals a day for a month.



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I asked my cat what the meaning of life was... he noserized me and stuck his butt in my face.

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anikom15
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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361410 - 12/19/16 06:58 AM


> Wasn't sure where to post this...
>
>
> I remember when I got a 2600 my parents would never allow me to connect it to the
> living room TV. They heard it would eventually damage the screen, causing permanent
> white horizontal lines to appear. Was that true and what caused it? I do remember
> seeing a few TVs back then that exhibited those lines and they did have 2600s
> connected. Supposedly, the problem was fixed in later revisions.

I wasn't alive during the VCS days but from what I know of the system, burn-in is likely. A lot of games had lots of static backgrounds, even with scrolling, and who knows how many hours kids (and their parents) would spend on these things.

It's nothing specific to the VCS though. Any static image on a CRT or plasma display for long periods of time will cause burn-in. I can also see how parents would use this as an excuse to get back the TV for sports and other things. I think most people only had one TV back then.

I'd love to see how families reacted to this thing. I'm sure it must've been an amazement, esp. for those that didn't have computers.



anikom15
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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: Nightvoice]
#361411 - 12/19/16 07:30 AM


> Ok, I can understand burn-in happening. But that's if you leave the same game running
> for days on end, something most of us didn't do. It's a big leap from that to "Atari
> will burn the picture tube out." It's like Supersize Me making the claim that
> McDonald's will kill you; yeah, maybe if you eat it 3 meals a day for a month.

I think it was a bigger problem on older screens. I think the rise of desktop computers encouraged manufacturers to make burn-in less effective, but I don't know for sure, that's just what I've heard.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361412 - 12/19/16 08:40 AM


> Nah, not burn-in. I'm talking about rows of thin, white horizontal lines crossing the
> screen. They were only present when the TV was powered on.

Sounds like visible retrace from poorly adjusted blanking level. Can't see an Atari causing that.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361413 - 12/19/16 11:21 AM


I garantee you that's crap. I had an atari 2600 that me, my brother, my sister & even my parents would play for hours & never had a problem. I googled this scenario & nothing came up. I promise that if the atari had ever caused any such problems, I would have found something in my searches. It also just sounds rediculous anyways. The only possible thing that coulda happened, was burn-in, as previously mentioned, but honestly that's unlikely also unless you left your atari on for several days sitting on one screen



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: anikom15]
#361414 - 12/19/16 11:37 AM


> Any static image on a CRT or plasma display
> for long periods of time will cause burn-in.

I haven't had this happen with my newest TV or newest pair of monitors, so maybe they've finally fixed it, but there was a period of time there where burn-in applied to LCD monitors as well.

At two different jobs I've been at, I've had coworkers look at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears when I claimed to be experiencing screen burn after being there for about a year. However, their confusion was replaced by astonishment the moment I fullscreened an all-grey bitmap, at which point you could clearly see not just an outline of the start menu, but of my development environment as well. It's hard to believe, but at least some LCDs also get screen burn.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: MooglyGuy]
#361416 - 12/19/16 01:00 PM


I *think* LCDs will eventually heal themselves. At least I think I've read that somewhere before. CRTs won't.

I remember not being able to play the Telstar game console (a Pong clone) on our color TV. Only on the shitty black and white. I'm SURE that would have burned into a CRT. That's probably why parents freaked out about Atari 2600 and other game consoles burning in too.



BIOS-D
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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361418 - 12/19/16 01:31 PM


That kind of lines happens with or without a game console used, usually by faulty capacitors. Because not everyone is tech wise and even worse when we had not Internet, it was easier to blame something as new as video consoles because we didn't know.



vram74
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I figured it was BS new [Re: BIOS-D]
#361421 - 12/19/16 04:43 PM


Even as a kid, I was baffled as to how that could happen. Guess we can chalk this up to failing hardware that happened to have an Atari hooked up to it, so it got the blame.

Myth Busted!



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361425 - 12/19/16 06:21 PM


The version I always heard was that the sharp pixels caused "more stress" on the video circuits, which doesn't even make sense.



anikom15
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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: MooglyGuy]
#361432 - 12/19/16 07:22 PM


> > Any static image on a CRT or plasma display
> > for long periods of time will cause burn-in.
>
> I haven't had this happen with my newest TV or newest pair of monitors, so maybe
> they've finally fixed it, but there was a period of time there where burn-in applied
> to LCD monitors as well.
>
> At two different jobs I've been at, I've had coworkers look at me like I had lobsters
> crawling out of my ears when I claimed to be experiencing screen burn after being
> there for about a year. However, their confusion was replaced by astonishment the
> moment I fullscreened an all-grey bitmap, at which point you could clearly see not
> just an outline of the start menu, but of my development environment as well. It's
> hard to believe, but at least some LCDs also get screen burn.

That's a different phenomenon. It has to do with the fact that if you display something on an LCD for a long time, the probability of the liquid crystals getting stuck goes up. You can fix it by displaying flashing black, white, and a few colors, although the worse it is the longer it takes to fix it. It's again a probability thing where the more you 'jostle' the liquid crystals the more likely they are to get 'popped out' of their stuck state.



vram74
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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: R. Belmont]
#361446 - 12/19/16 10:55 PM


TV's were just crap back then. We used to have to get up an smash the top of the TV to get the picture to quit rolling.

Fond memories of that time period, but I sure don't miss vacuum tube TVs!



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361457 - 12/20/16 01:54 AM


@RB: I think it was a matter of radiation level and phosphor element design. Electron guns put out a lot of radiation (x-ray machines were similarly bad), and the elements were not efficient. This changed into the late 80s and especially early 90s with better designs. I wonder whether the static images did put a strain on the circuitry of 70s TVs.


@Moogly: I've seen burn-in on LCDs. One had the quadranted windows logo, because the screensaver displayed it in the same places. The best screensaver is blank - except for those who might forget and then do something dumb.


> TV's were just crap back then. We used to have to get up an smash the top of the TV
> to get the picture to quit rolling.
>
> Fond memories of that time period, but I sure don't miss vacuum tube TVs!


I miss the strong primary color images. Anyways, a decent brand gave at least ten years of good everyday use.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361477 - 12/20/16 05:26 AM


> TV's were just crap back then. We used to have to get up an smash the top of the TV
> to get the picture to quit rolling.
>
> Fond memories of that time period, but I sure don't miss vacuum tube TVs!

Bullshit. The better TVs lasted 15-20 years. Hell, some are still working now. The new TVs are shit. Nobody can work on them and it's cheaper to throw away and buy new. Crazy! BTW, most TVs were solid state by the early 70s, except of course the picture tube. My family had a Zenith 25" color console that was bought new in 1972 or '73. It still had a great picture when I junked it in 1989. I junked it because one of the contacts in the tuner broke and would not pass a signal. I could have spent $60 for a tuner, but elected to buy my mom a new 27" console. It was still going strong when she died in 2005. I'm not sure what we did with it. I know I didn't have room for it.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: redk9258]
#361478 - 12/20/16 06:03 AM


> I *think* LCDs will eventually heal themselves. At least I think I've read that
> somewhere before. CRTs won't.
>
> I remember not being able to play the Telstar game console (a Pong clone) on our
> color TV. Only on the shitty black and white. I'm SURE that would have burned into a
> CRT. That's probably why parents freaked out about Atari 2600 and other game consoles
> burning in too.

Back in the early 90s, a local sandwich shop used to have a couple of older black and white Atari arcade games. Their monitors had severe burn in, you could see the games even when turned off.

So yeah, it happened. TVs and monitors got better about those things by the time LCD came around.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: MooglyGuy]
#361525 - 12/21/16 06:11 AM


Yeah, I have a Toshiba touchscreen laptop that I use for development, and the screen definitely retains images of whatever it was showing last. I wouldn't call it burn-in, because they do seem to fade after a while. Whenever I launch the app I'm working on, I can still see Visual Studio is the flat gray areas of the background. It took me a while to convince myself that the window wasn't somehow drawing with a faint transparency.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: Nightvoice]
#361526 - 12/21/16 06:17 AM


There was all kinds of folklore about technology back then. People were clueless about it, so they would make up and pass on all kinds of crazy shit.

I can remember the nun who taught our computer classes in elementary school yelling at us for turning on the monitor and computer at the same time when starting up the Apple IIe. She was convinced we were "shorting out the circuit boards".



vram74
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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: redk9258]
#361527 - 12/21/16 07:20 AM


Guess we had a shit TV then. Here are some other things I don't miss about old TV's

1. Shitty RF picture. Composite wasn't much better.
2. Game info being cut off in the corners because of curvature
3. Small as picture for the size/price
4. The weight and space required

I agree about build quality/longevity though I'm growing tired of planned obsolescence and disposable product. It's irresponsible. Companies should be fined if a certain percentage of their product line isn't serviceable. No different than a gas guzzler tax, IMO.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: vram74]
#361534 - 12/21/16 01:25 PM


One thing about the shitty RF signal- At least you could still watch / listen to a weak signal. With digital TV, you just have a frozen picture on the screen. I see it in a lot of places where they just have local TV on- restaurants, etc.

BTW, I wasn't really trying to compare a 70s TV picture to a new state of the art 4K HDTV. But before we knew about plasma, giant LCDs, etc, some of those CRTs had a great picture.



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Re: Atari 2600's damaging TV's back in the day.... new [Re: redk9258]
#361680 - 12/24/16 12:45 AM


> BTW, I wasn't really trying to compare a 70s TV picture to a new state of the art 4K HDTV. But before we knew about plasma, giant LCDs, etc, some of those CRTs had a great picture.


Some of them still do. My parents are using a 21" CRT my grandma bought for herself in the mid to late 90s, so it's about twenty years old, and it's pretty great. Love the colors. I got it in-between them, and the exaggerated backlighting effect with S-video was a 'no' for arcade games, though. Kinda blurry, too.

Cosmetically it's one of my favorite designs, because it's round and contoured around the neck and on downward, almost retro, but not, and black so cool.



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