Hardware Scanlines on N3DS XL

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Kohmei

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I played around with 8 different N3DS XL's today (5 units I bought and 3 store demos), in search of a good unit with the right FW. 7 of them had a noticeable scanline effect, and the one that didn't was unfortunately FW9.4. All of the demo units were affected.

First, I think I should define what I mean by scanlines, since there might be some confusion. I'm not talking about the spacing between horizontal pixel rows, mostly visible in 2D mode. That's something that should be visible to anyone who can see. No, I'm talking about an effect, that's visible in both 2D and 3D mode, that appears as though alternating horizontal rows of pixels are refreshing at different intervals. It very closely resembles an interlaced image, even though the image isn't actually being interlaced, and they're not actually scanlines. It just looks a lot like it, and it looks bad.

If you've never seen it or haven't noticed, count your blessings and don't look for it. Once you see it, it won't go away. They're best visible while physically moving the 3DS slowly up to down, left to right, or back and forth while keeping your eyes on the screen. The most offending color is grey, followed by pastels, followed by reds, greens and blues. It's most visible during smooth motion, and smooth transitions (fade-ins or fade-outs).

My DSlite had it pretty bad back in the day. Fortunately I was able to fix it by tweaking the variable resistor trimmers under the battery cover, as illustrated in this guide: http://blog.xorn.org/2010/12/02/old-nintendo-ds-lite-display-scanlines/

Unfortunately, the N3DS XL doesn't have these, under the battery cover or elsewhere. I'm half tempted to further disassemble one looking to see if they lie deep inside, but as I'm likely to return all of them, I'd rather not break something I can't fix.

What's really disappointing is my 3DS XL has an absolutely gorgeous screen with perfectly matching, pure white color temperatures and saturation that really makes the colors pop, and no scanline effect. Going from it to the N3DS XL (or any that I've tried) seems like a complete and total downgrade at this point, which is a shame since I really wanted to use all of the new features.

Not sure what I intend to accomplish with this thread. Is there anyone out there as picky as I am who's found a unit with a good display? Have you noticed the scanline effect? Have you noticed that generally speaking the screens are much lower quality?

Very disappointed here :(

Edit: Found an (albeit exaggerated) example of what the interlacing effect looks like
contra-interlaced-out.gif
 

VinsCool

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To me my N3DS so far seems to have a better screen. Thanksfully it has no scanlines problem :)

Also its super stable 3d really is :P Works in any angles, which is a huge inprovement over my old XL.
I have been experiencing shadowing effect since 3d doesn't work properly because I'm partially blind on my left eye.
But on N3DS the problem is no more! Fluid and crystal clear screen quality! :P

Very satisfied so far :)

That sucks for you still :( Maybe should you get a refound and get another N3DS?
 

Kohmei

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I can certainly keep trying units until I (hopefully) find a good one, but statistically the problem seems widespread at least among 9.0 FW N3DSs. I'm not sure how likely it is I'll ever find an unaffected unit.

It's not something easy to perceive. I think most people wouldn't notice it even if theirs had the problem.
 

VinsCool

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I can certainly keep trying units until I (hopefully) find a good one, but statistically the problem seems widespread at least among 9.0 FW N3DSs. I'm not sure how likely it is I'll ever find an unaffected unit.

It's not something easy to perceive. I think most people wouldn't notice it even if theirs had the problem.

Hmm my N3DS is 9.0. It seems fine to me.
I had a dslite before hich had this problem but never bothered to fix it :P
Seems like a case of bad luck for you.
 

Kohmei

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Well to be fair, my DSlite's case was much worse than this one. This one is still noticeable enough to bother me. I guess I should just try 8 more units... Mostly stores around here are sold out of black now, and all red are 9.4
 

VinsCool

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Well to be fair, my DSlite's case was much worse than this one. This one is still noticeable enough to bother me. I guess I should just try 8 more units... Mostly stores around here are sold out of black now, and all red are 9.4

Mine is red and 9.0
If serial is qw1006XXXXX you are fine with red models :)
 

Kohmei

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The one I found that was good was a red one too, but it was 9.4. Maybe destiny telling me to abandon Gateway
 

Dax_Fame

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Hmmm... I got my Monster Hunter N3DS today and I dunno if I'm just seeing things I want to see, but it seems prettier to me :rolleyes: maybe all of the ones you looked at were... damaged? somehow?? Perhaps I'm not fully understanding what you mean... a picture maybe? :/ Did you take drugs? :P (just kidding)
 

Kohmei

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Hmmm... I got my Monster Hunter N3DS today and I dunno if I'm just seeing things I want to see, but it seems prettier to me :rolleyes: maybe all of the ones you looked at were... damaged? somehow?? Perhaps I'm not fully understanding what you mean... a picture maybe? :/ Did you take drugs? :P (just kidding)
It's impossible to photograph since it comes about as a refresh rate irregularity, basically like looking at an old CRT television, or a fluorescent light. You won't see it flickering in a photograph

Based on how the NDSL problem was fixed with the screws, I'm guessing it's because the screens are receiving slightly too much or slightly too little voltage. It's very close to the "sweet spot" that many people wouldn't notice, but it's not exactly on the sweet spot. Though I did find one unit that was perfect. It was 9.4, though
 

Kohmei

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Found a good animated GIF that illustrates what I'm talking about (I guess this is more accurately interlacing effect rather than scanline effect):

contra-interlaced-out.gif


If you're looking at a monitor, take a few steps back from your screen and notice how the further you get away from the image, the less obvious it becomes until you can't tell it's happening at all. This, in my theory, is why some people will not be able to see it
 

Arecaidian Fox

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I guess I am fortunate to not have this kind of "interlacing" problem. Looked for it with MM3D and didn't see it, nor have I seen it on my system's DS mode. My N3DS XL's screen actually looks more vibrant and crisp than my regular XL did, and the Super Stable 3D is nice, though it can be a tad jittery. I tend not to play with the 3D on very much though, as my eyes are not quite suited to stereoscopic 3D. My eyes will eventually partially correct for it and a get a lot of ghosted double images.

As for your issue directly, without reading a whole bunch of posts and taking a totally uneducated guess, it almost seems like some kind of refresh rate issue? Possibly due to faulty hardware?
 

Dax_Fame

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Hmmm... yeah... absolutely not having that issue :( perhaps your systems are somehow damaged, that or you have like super human eagle eyes and can see things no one else can.

Search internet to see if others are having similar issue? Call Nintendo?
 

NicEXE

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experiment with the brightness and the power saving mode
I get this on the bottom screen when I set the brightness to 3 with the power saving mode to off. 1, 2, 4 and 5 are fine
 

Arecaidian Fox

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Hmmm... yeah... absolutely not having that issue :( perhaps your systems are somehow damaged, that or you have like super human eagle eyes and can see things no one else can.

Search internet to see if others are having similar issue? Call Nintendo?
The eye thing is possible. Nintendo did change how part of the stereoscopic 3D works and it's possible that with that change, your eyes see this. As I mentioned in my previous post, and as Ninty themselves has said, the 3D may not function right for everyone because everyone's eyes are slightly different.

@ Dax_Fame: Love your signature by the way.

:P
 

Kohmei

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The eye thing is possible. Nintendo did change how part of the stereoscopic 3D works and it's possible that with that change, your eyes see this. As I mentioned in my previous post, and as Ninty themselves has said, the 3D may not function right for everyone because everyone's eyes are slightly different.

@ Dax_Fame: Love your signature by the way.

:P
Well I do have pretty good vision, but I think the main thing is knowing what you're looking for. It's possible that every handheld you've owned suffers from the problem (was a rampant issue with PSPs and NDSL), so that when you see it, you just see what you're used to seeing, and don't even realize it's a problem.

The animated GIF I posted is an exaggerated idea of what it looks like. It doesn't look like that, especially when you're looking intently at the screen, waiting for it to happen. That's exactly when you won't see it. It happens most when you physically move the unit, whether tilting back and forth, left to right, forward backward, side to side, etc, and even then it isn't always even visible. For whatever reason, it seems to happen most right outside of whatever you're looking directly at, and it tends to happen the most on shades of grey, or dark, drab colors, something that isn't that common in Nintendo games to begin with. So it's not an omni-present issue even on units that are affected. You have to know what to look for and where to look.

Following the advice of a few posts up, I fooled around with brightness settings and all of my units seem to be worst at brightness setting 3, where it's most obvious to me. Sadly it's noticeable on any combination of settings, but if you want (perhaps) a better idea of what I'm talking about, try setting your brightness to 3.

Also It's not just my eyes being incompatible. I know there are perfect units out there because I had one, which was sadly 9.4. I'm wondering if this is an issue only affecting the older production batch. If that's how it turns out, I might just be forced to abandon GW and get a Sky3DS, because I really do like the new features of the N3DS and I might just be forced to accept 9.4 to get a screen that isn't a downgrade.

This reminds me a few years back of looking for a new HDTV and having to explain to showroom floor associates what vertical banding is. I think of everyone I tried to explain the problem to, I only successfully got one guy to see it, and when he finally saw what I was talking about, his response was "oh every TV has that, that's just how they are". Some problems are so widespread most people don't even know they're problems :glare:
 

cutterjohn

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It's probably related to the backlighting... either marginal to begin with, or manufactured with defects and/or damaged in transit...
 

Koldur

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This is normal and part of the super stable 3D technology. All n3DS devices have this and most of the time you won't see it. I see it when you are looking at dark scenes (like with Fantasy Life at night on the bridge to the main town).

Most people do not see this, but this is just part of the tech, nothing more, nothing less. I do not particularly like it, but if I have to choose between this and the old 3D, I choose this.
 
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Deleted-355425

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i own a ps vita OLED 1000, all screens have issues compared to that beauty.
 
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