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GBA-SP question


merlot
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Just picked up a new SP today, but have question. I noticed with the light on, there seems to be reflection like lines on the screen, even in total darkness. Not sure if this is normal or not. Other than the "reflection", this thing kicks ass.

 

[EDIT] I beleive it's moire I see? Can someone confirm this... thanks!

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There's an "optimal" viewing angle at which the bands don't seem to show (tilted more away from you), though this means nothing once you start to play and your hands move. I think you're going to have them on any SP you get. It's really just an inherent flaw in frontlights, it shows up in Afterburnered GBAs and also, I've been told, frontlit PDAs. One tends to notice it more in the beginning.

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Well, I've been reading some threads over at TrintonLabs, and another forum, and it seems all SP's have the blue banding. My question is, why haven't any reviews mentioned this? It's not until you dig into forums do you find this out.

 

Also seems people have some verticle ghosting. I have not noticed this, and I'm second guessing as to whether or not I should exchange the SP.

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I think it's a matter of people simply not wanting to notice the banding. Since the SP is such a vast improvement over the original GBA [seriously, turn off the light and ask yourself why you ever bought a game system where you can't even see the games], people didn't really see the slight flaws. There was also an underreported problem with dust in the first shipments of SPs, due I think to new manufacturing in China. The "ghosting" (which I don't see, myself) is supposedly most visible in a game with a lot of text (Zelda:Four Swords is a good example, I've heard). As a late adopter, Merlot, you're not blind to the SP's shortcomings, and they're probably more glaring to you. I don't think you'll see any improvement in another SP, but exchanging it couldn't hurt. What color SP did you get? I recall anecdotes (which I'm skeptical of) that the cobalt had worse banding. Perhaps the newer colors would have a better chance of showing improvements to the light. Nintendo tends to never admit there was ever a problem with something, but fix it behind the scenes.

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I have Plantinum. I'm reading a thread in which you posted in, and it does mention the Cobalt being worse. But later on that theroy was debunked. However, there's enough compelling evidence for me to exchange it since there were people that did side by side comparisons and noticed some had the banding to a lesser degree. I do beleive mine is pretty bad, because I also have thin banding lines along with the thick ones, and it's really distracting on dark games.

 

I'm going to exchange for a black one (Onynx I guess it's called), since mine could have been an earlier unit. Also, I never saw dust or ghosting.

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I can see some relatively faint horizontal bands on mine, they're not too bad. I've seen a few other SPs and the image quality can vary a good deal, primarily in brightness and uniformity, so it might be worth returning yours to see if you can get something better.

 

Coming from an AfterBurner GBA, the SP is way better though.

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Well I returned it for a Onyx version. The EB girl didn't seem to thrilled I was exchanging it, since I didn't buy EB's warranty. She also said I could not return this new one unless I buy the warranty. I would have to go through Nintendo.

 

This strikes me as odd for a few reasons. First of all, on the back of EB's receipt it states a 14 day return/exchange period. It doesn't mention how many times I can exchange in that period. Secondly, this EB employee ALWAYS see's me there, is usually very nice, and knows how I spend much money there.

 

Anyway, I hope this version isn't as bad. One interesting yet useless observation I made between the 2 units. Yesterday when I got to my car, I opened up the box to look at it. I had polarized sungalsses on, and noticed some funky rainbow effects all over the screen. Didn't think anything of it. Opened up the new Onyx version in my car and again looked at it through polarized glasses. This time, there was a slight rainbow effect, but it was mostly uniform. Could this be a sign the banding won't be nearly as bad? :?

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Update:

 

Looks like this version has banding too, but it's much more tolerable, and does go away if I tilt it a bit. The first SP had very sharp and distinct edges with the bands that made them hard to ignore, even when tilting. This one they blend in much better and don't distract me while playing dark games, such as Gyruss. I'm happy. :)

 

Oh, and I like the black better as well.. matches my Cube now.

(yeah, I'm a geek)

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Good news, Merlot. From the news of the early SP models having visible dust specks on the screen to there being visible differences of blue banding, I think Nintendo's vaunted quality control took a slight backseat to capturing the lighting market from the Triton Labs' Afterburner. My SP has none of those problems, so I can only sympathize.

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I have seen that Konami compilation at WalMart for $14.99 - Circuit City is also selling it for $14.99 with free shipping.

 

Mike, so I take it you are now sneaking some gaming in at work? :P

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