-------------------------
                               *************************
                             JVC Twin Operator MPEG Card FAQ
                                   For Sega Saturn
                               *************************
                               -------------------------
                                   By Shakey_Jake33
                               Released 15th July 2003
                                     Version 1.0
                       Best Read in Notepad with Wordwrap ENABLED

OK I know what your going to say... 'but there's already 2 VideoCD card FAQ's! 
We don't need another!!
Well this one is specifically about the Twin Operator.  It has some features
the other does not have, and I think it's worthy of more depth.
I really must thank JHokansonJr, Blitzkrieg and JShultz for the FAQ's, this
would not have been possible without the information in their FAQ's.  Credit
goes to them, go check out their FAQ's too, they are very good *nods*

That's all I have to say this time... usually 'no copying my FAQ and saying
it's yours' rules... use common sense, you know what's cool and what's not.  I
don't mind people using info found in here.... information like this should be
free to everyone... I just ask for credit.

Feel free to email me with questions, be please bear in mind I have a PAL model
2 Saturn, with a 21pin modchip, an AR+4M 4in1 and a RG-VC3 Twin Operator MPEG
Card, so I best know those.

And btw, from now on, the latest editions of my FAQ's can be found at either
GameFAQ's (www.gamefaqs.com), and now, IGN at faqs.ign.com , other sites are
free to host it, but I only guarentee the above to have the latest editons.
========
CONTENTS
========

1. What is the Twin Operator?
2. What can it play?
3. How do i install it?
4. How is it different to the official Sega VideoCD card?
5. What about the Hitachi ones?
6. Are there any more MPEG cards?
7. What models of the Twin Operator were released?
8. What terriroties recieved the card?
9. What MPEG games were released?
10. Can I change the specifications of the VideoCD for better quality movies?
11. Can it play VideoCD's on CDR's or CDRW's?
12. Some movies go out of sync...
13. Does it work fine in 50Hz?
14. What are the controls?
15. Can it play both NTSC and PAL movies?  Because the Sega one can't...
16. I cannot use the Twin Operator to play VCD's on my America/PAL Saturn...
help?

1. What is the Twin Operator?
----------------------------

The Twin Operator is a card released by Victor Japan, which slots into the
expansion port in the back of your Saturn, to allow your Sega Saturn unit to
playback Mpeg movies, both in-game and VideoCD's, and also PhotoCD's.
It's is probably the most features MPEG card avaliable for the Sega Saturn, for
reasons that will be explained later in the FAQ.  This must NOT be confused
with the Sega VideoCD card.

2. What can it play?
--------------------

The card makes your Sega Saturn compatible with the following...

-VideoCD's (All versions up to 2.0, NOT SVCD).
-PhotoCD's
-Sega Saturn games using MPEG video compression.

All of these work fine in both PAL and NTSC (bar the RG-VC2 model).

3. How do i install it?
-----------------------

First, look at the back of your Sega Saturn.
On the left hand side should be a removable cover, where you change the
internal battery.
Remove the cover, and you shall see a little slot at the back.  You have to
insert the card into here.

There is a little handle on the card if you wish to remove it.
The card should be left in here once installed, it does not really need to be
removed.

4. How is it different to the official Sega VideoCD card?
---------------------------------------------------------

There are two major differences between the Sega VideoCD card and the Victor
Twin Operator.

First off, the Twin Operator has the added ability to play PhotoCD's.  Sega
make you buy a separate boot disc for this, so this is a welcome addition.

Also, the Twin Operator is compatibile with both NTSC and PAL movies (bar the
RG-VC2 model, the oldest), with no syncing or framerate problems.  The Sega
VideoCd card is output dependant.

5. What about the Hitachi ones?
-------------------------------

The Hitachi VideoCD card is essentially the same as the Sega one in terms of
features.
The only difference being it is manufactured and designed by Hitachi.  It is
fine for MPEG games and NTSC movies, but it is limited to that.

It does the job fine, but you may as well go the whole hog and get the Twin
Operator.

6. Are there any more MPEG cards?
---------------------------------

There were several cheap Hong Kong knockoffs.
I have never used one, or even seen one.  I cannot say what they are like,  I'd
stick to the officials myself however, for quality's sake.

7. What models of the Twin Operator were released?
--------------------------------------------------

There were 3 models in total.

The first was the RG-VC2.  It is the oldest, and technically not a true Twin
Operator.  It's essentialy the same as the Sega and Hitachi cards, with no
PhotoCD support and no support for PAL movies.
Presumably Victor realised the room for expansion and released the later Twin
Operators.

Next there was the RG-VC20.  It's essentially the same card as the one above,
but with the added ability to run PhotoCD's and playback PAL movies.
This is the first true Twin Operator, and a real improvement on the previous
card.

The final model is the RG-VC3.  This is the one I own.  It's pretty much the
same as the RG-VC20, but with smaller packaging, and probably some tweaking
internally.  This is the most common model these days.

8. What terriroties recieved the card?
--------------------------------------

Only Asia I'm afraid.  Not only was this the only place VideoCD's took off, but
it was also the only place to get any MPEG games, so this does make sense.

Sega did release their VideoCD card in Europe however.

There was no American release of any VideoCD card I'm afraid =(  Presumably
no-one saw the point... that said, the European one sold quite well, dispite
the unpopularity of VideoCD's, so...

9. What MPEG games were released?
----------------------------------

This list is taken from John Hokanson Jr;s excellent Sega Saturn FAQ...full
credit goed to him.

"Lunar Silver Star Story complete MPEG version (the only game that *requires*
the card)
Sakura Taisen Hangumi Tsuushin
Sakura Taisen Nekki Radio Show (a.k.a. Steam Radio Show)
Vatlva
Chisato Moritaka disc
Moon Cradle
Wangan Deadheat + Triangle Love
Falcom Classics 1 (disc 2 of the limited edition)
GunGriffon 1 (Japanese version only)"

The same FAQ also says that, dispite the western release of Gun Griffon using
codec compression for movies, the MPEG movies are on the disc too.  I've no
idea if they are usable.

10. Can I change the specifications of the VideoCD for better quality movies?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To an extent... Blitzkrieg's cool VCD Card FAQ lists the following
limitations.. (full credit goes to Blitzkrieg).

-AUDIO

Stream type:         MPEG-1 Audio Layer II
Sampling Frequency:  44100 Hz
Channel Mode:        Stereo
Bitrate:             224 Kbits/sec

-VIDEO

Stream Type:         MPEG-1 Video
Size:                352 x 240 pixels (NTSC)
                     352 x 288 pixels (PAL)
Aspect Ratio:        4:3 525 Line (NTSC)
                     4:3 625 Line (PAL)
Frame Rate:          29.97 FPS (NTSC)
                     25.00 FPS (PAL)
                     23.95 FPS (NTSC)
Rate Control Mode:   Constant Bitrate (CBR)
Bitrate:             Between 1150 and 2300 Kbits/sec

If you want to squeeze more movie onto a disc, the sound CAN be lowered... the
bitrate can go down to even 96 kbits/sec ans still be reasonable quality, and
works on mono.
As for video, you can make the movie into 23.90 FPS NTSC for size (it looks
fine, honest), VBR *can* be used but is not recommended, and the bitrate is
really recommended to be no higher than 2000 kbits/sec.

Overall, not much can be raised, the Sega Saturn card seems to be designed with
those specifications in mind.  But there is lots to fiddle with to squeeze more
movie onto a disc... the sound bitrate is amazingly high anyway, so you can
reduce that with no worry, mono if your desperate, 23.95 FPS is really a must
because it looks fine!  Video bitrate I'd be more cautious over, only lower
this if you must and it increases blockyness.
So you can fit faaaar more than the generally agreed 74 minute standard onto a
CD... I got 120 minutes onto an 80 minute CD before.

11. Can it play VideoCD's on CDR's or CDRW's?
---------------------------------------------

The Saturn can read VideoCd's on CDR's perfectly, with no struggle, with no
modchip (before someone asks).

It cannot, however, run VideoCD's on CDRW's.  The Saturn laser cannot read
them.
You can tweak the orange circle on the side of the laser unit to make it read
them, but it can damage your laser, and it really goes beyond the scope of this
FAQ.
Besides, I recommend against it... it's not like CDR's are expensive anyway.

12. Some movies go out of sync...
---------------------------------

Blitzkrieg's FAQ also states that disabeling PBC on the menu helps this.  This
only adds support for VideoCD 2.0 features like menu's anyway.
Full credit to Blitzkrieg again for this.

If you are using non-standard movie specifications, that may also be the
problem.

13. Does it work fine in 50Hz?
------------------------------

I use it on a PAL Saturn, and both games and movies work 100% fine (using a
4in1 to get past the territory protection of course).

The only thing that will happen is the movie will be boardered, like most PAL
games, and the movie will be slightly alighned towards the top of the screen,
both in game and on VideoCD's.  Apart from that it works fine, with none of the
expected sync or framerate issues, running both PAL and NTSC movies too.

14. What are the controls?
--------------------------

I have been fiddling (I have no manual) and found the following controls...

X - Toggle Audio channels
Y - Stop
Z - Play
A - Shows and removes On-screen display
B - Cancel
C - Action
L - Rewind
R - Fast Forward
Start - Pause (and hit Start more to show next frame)

There is also an On-screen display with controls on, such as Zoom.


15. Can it play both NTSC and PAL movies?  Because the Sega one can't...
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yep, it plays them both back fine, on both PAL and NTSC Saturn's too.  The Twin
Operator is the only Saturn Mpeg card with this ability.

16. I cannot use the Twin Operator to play VCD's on my America/PAL Saturn...
help?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes it looks like there's some sort of protection.  When you try and run a
VideoCD with a Japanese card on the American or European system, it goes to the
CD player screen and says 'Disc requires system application'.  You can get a
switch fitted to change the region to Japanese, but I found using a cart is
better...
You need a 4in1 (Action Replay Plsu 4M Auto) for this... if you don't have one,
get one, they kick ass.

First turn on the Saturn, with a VideoCD inserted, and load via the Action
Replay software.
On the Main Menu, go to Start Game and press A.
On this screen, you will see a scree saying 'Sart game with selected codes, or
go back... now usually here you hit A to start game, but hit C instead (A
crashes the system).
This takes you to the CD player... it should automaticaly play the Video CD ^_^

This is not required for MPEG games.

================
CONTACT & THANKS
================

You can contact me at Shakey_Jake33@hotmail.com, it's also my MSN name too. I
do use Aim, ICQ and Yahoo, but I don't like giving those names out.

Big hi to lily (love you ^_^ *huggles tight*), Monaro, S Walch, Faranth,
Tiles44, Jiomand, Scabbers9, and anyone else in the Sega scene right now!

And cheers to faqs.ign.com for emailing me about the FAQ's, and CJayC at
GameFAQ's for inspiring me with his site.

Check out these sites -

SegaXtreme - www.litespeedcomputers.com

One of the biggest sites in the Sega scene, these are the people to talk to for
some great Sega info ^_^

Eidolons Inn - http://www.eidolons-inn.de/

Another top site in the Sega scene!  Well worth cxhecking out, specialising in
development.

IGN FAQ's - faqs.ign.com

Pretty newly formed FAQ site, well worth a look ^_^

GameFAQ's - www.gamefaq's.com

Probably the biggest FAQ site on the net!

(C) Shakey_Jake33 2003