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    VCD Upgrade Card FAQ by JShultz

    Version: 0.5 | Updated: 01/24/00 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    SATURN VIDEO CD UPGRADE  CARD FAQ VER 0.5
    1/24/2000
    This document Copyright 2000 James Shultz
    
    I made this FAQ because everyone I've talked to who owns one of these 
    cards either didn't get any instructions or the instructions were in 
    Japanese.  Some could not figure out how to get them to work at all, 
    while others only could only figure out the basic on-screen controls.  
    This is my first FAQ so please bear with me.
    
    This FAQ is for the SEGA Video CD card manufactured by Hitachi, but is 
    applicable to similar cards for the Saturn.  Some cards boast more 
    features like Photo CD compatability, karaoke and Digital Effects like 
    tiling, strobe and so on.  But at he heart of these cards is the same 
    basic functionality of playing VCDs on your Saturn.
    
    NOTE: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGES TO YOUR SATURN CONSOLE OR 
    OTHER COMPONENTS IN ANY WAY, NOR IS ANYONE WHO DISTRIBUTES THIS FAQ IN 
    IT'S UNALTERED FORM.  
    
    THIS FAQ MAY BE FREELY DISTRIBUTED IT IT'S UNALTERED FORM.  ANY 
    CORRECTIONS, ADDITIONS OR COMMENTS SHOULD BE SENT TO 
    jamesshultz@netscape.net 
    
    WHY DO I NEED A VCD PLAYER IN MY SATURN?
    Well, if you're a fan of Hong Kong movies or Japanese anime.  There is a 
    vast amount of titles on VCD format.  Also mainstream movies end up on 
    VCD as well, not to mention the amount of adult titles.  Most VCD titles 
    can be bought for around $13 and are available from a host of online 
    dealers and import shops.
    I will update this FAQ with a list of places to buy VCDs at a later 
    date.  Please feel free to recommend your favorite shops and I will add 
    you to the contributors list.
    
    DOESN'T MY DVD PLAYER PLAY VCDS?
    Some do, but lately they are dropping this feature since VCD is mostly 
    unknown in the U.S. and it is a feature that can be removed to lower the 
    price of players.  Also some DVD players are finiky when it comes to 
    VCDs.  When I was shopping for my DVD player, I brought along a few VCDs 
    to see which ones were compatible and how thet looked.  Some players 
    couldn't recognize the disc while others thought they were audio CDs  
    Another would crop the bottom 30% of the image, effectively removing the 
    english subtitles!.  I prefer my DVD player for watching VCDs, but not 
    everyone has a DVD player and they want to watch some great HK movies!
    
    
    INSTALLATION
    
    Ok, first off, you MUST have a Japanese Saturn a Mod Switch that lets 
    you play Japanese games, or a 
    ST-KEY, Pro Action Replay or Game Shark.  This has been tested using a 
    Game Shark on an American Saturn with no modification.  If you meet the 
    above requirements, then you need to make sure your system is set to the 
    Japan mode.  Then you need to unplug the system and remove the hatch 
    cover on the left-rear of the Saturn.  Now you'll see a watch-type 
    battery and a slot that's about 3 inches deep, that's where the card 
    goes.
    
    Place the card face-up with the pins pointing into the Saturn.  The rear 
    of the card should have a little metal handle that slides in and out, 
    that's there to pull the card out.  Now gentlyslide the card into the 
    slot and push until it fits snuggly in the Saturn and the hatch can be 
    placed back on the Saturn.  I've got an illustration of this procedure 
    on my website at http://sites.netscape.net/jamesshultz/homepage
    
    Now when you place a VCD in the Saturn and turn it on, it will boot up 
    and start playing the disc automatically.  
    
    CONTROLS
    
    The controls for playback are used via the 1P controller.  They are as 
    follows:
    
    X-----Toggles between the audio channels, Left, Right and Stereo.  This 
    is useful for discs
    that feature multiple languages and places them in the different audio 
    channels.
    
    Y-----Instantly stops playback and goes to a black screen, sort of a 
    crash stop I guess.  Maybe for when someone walks in the room and you're 
    watching an adult movie.
    
    Z-----Toggles betwwen Pause/Play.  Like when the phone rings or someone 
    is at the door.
    
    A-----Brings up the control screen with the on-screen controls and 
    information.  Pressing it again will hide
    the controls again.
    
    B-----Basically cancels certain commands and resets the zoom feature to 
    it's default position.
    
    C-----This is your activate button, it basically is the one you press 
    when you want something to happen.
    
    L-----A quick press of the L button will go back one Track on the disc, 
    usually the beginning.  Holding it down will let you scan backwards like 
    a rewind feature.
    
    R----This works the same as the L button but goes forward.
    
    There are several on-screen controls available during playback.  These 
    are obvious to anyone who has used a VCR before so I won't go into 
    detail about them.  But there are three buttons that are unique, I'll 
    explain them here.
    
    The first button is a yellow rectangle with an asterisk.  This toggles 
    the control screen off.
    
    The next is the TIME button.  This brings up a window in the upper-left 
    corner of the screen with a minutes and seconds display.  With this you 
    can jump to any time in the video by selecting a point in the duration 
    of the movie.  For example, push up once on the pad to increase the 
    first number to 1.  It should now read 10:00.  If you press the C button 
    you will go to the tenth minute of the movie.  If you set it to 45:38, 
    then you will go 45 minutes and 38 seconds into the video.  Note: these 
    times are from the start of the movie, not 10 minutes ahead of where you 
    are in the movie now.  If you're halfway through the movie and set the 
    time skip to 10:00, then you'll go back to the 10th minute of the movie.
    
    The last button is the ZOOM button.  This allows you to zoom in or out 
    of the screen in real time, and you can also position the screen by 
    using the D-pad.  This is useful if your television is cutting off 
    subtitles or any other part of the picture or if the picture is not 
    centered on your screen.  There are on-screen instructions for the 
    button functions in this mode.
    
    Finally if you open the door on the Saturn, the on-board BIOS of the 
    card lets you place a new VCD in without having to reboot the system.  
    Useful since all movies over 1 hour are on multiple discs.
    
    Well I hope this helps out anyone who was having trouble with their card 
    or just didn't know everything it could do.
    
    Thanks to David Hernandez who inspired me to make this fact in his hour 
    of need.  He also field tested the compatability with the American 
    Saturn and Game Shark.
    
    EOF