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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Steam is a new thing where you basically let Sierra take over your computer and update your games automatically. It also manages other aspects, such as online play.


Well, my jaw just about hit the floor when I played Counterstrike via Steam. It upgraded Counterstrike and made it widescreen, 720x1280!!! Since my Samsung DLP will only accept 4:3 computer signals of 600x800 or less, this was an amazing improvement. I never really played the game much, because I sucked, but I just got on and got some decent kills because I could actually see my opponents. Gawd, I hope they make the Xbox version widescreen.


Also, it upgraded Day of Defeat to widescreen, too.


Steam is so freakin good it really makes playing PC online games as simple as Xbox Live.


Just go to counter-strike.net for the links to get Steam. It's free if you have a copy of Half Life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Has anybody else tried Steam?


A lot of people have had problems with it in the Counterstrike forums and are cursing it like a petulance upon the gaming community.


It worked beautifully for me. Guess, I'm just lucky.
 

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"Since my Samsung DLP will only accept 4:3 computer signals of 600x800 or less"


My Sammy DLP accepts a 1280x720 (720p) as a native resolution from my PC (I have the desktop set to this). If yours doesn't, how is it that this 'Steam' can do it, especially as it only seems to be an 'auto-update' tool, and nothing particular to controling graphics?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lee, you are right. It is an auto updating tool. It automatically updated Half Life and all of Half Life's progeny to output widescreen resolutions. The result is absolutely stunning. You would never know it was a five year old game. Steam also has a bunch of other functions I haven't explored, such as chat, friends lists, etc.


Like I said, if you are playing a ***4:3*** COMPUTER GAME on a 720p display device the highest resolution you can run is 600x800. The reason being that the next highest 4:3 resolution is 768x1024. You cannot fit 768 pixels in a 720 pixel area. Since most games are designed to be run at 1200x1600, SVGA sucks.


Of course, I am typing this on a 16:9 1280x720 desktop.


Anywho, I am very impressed at Sierra for updating a a five year old game. They really have a lot of respect for their customers to breathe new life into Half Life. If you want to see a company with contempt for their customers you need only look at Electronic Arts releasing Battlefield 1942 with no widescreen in 2002.
 

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Yeah, the widescreen was a nice surprise. Looks sweet on the DLP. It has been years since I played multiplayer online (MW2) because I haven't had a decent broadband connection, but I do now, so I'll be getting into Steam big time (if the actual playing works as good as it made this stuff look).


At least it will give me something to do until I swap out the GeForce FX 5600 for a card that can actually play HL2 with DX9. :rolleyes:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chris5977
Has anybody else tried Steam?


A lot of people have had problems with it in the Counterstrike forums and are cursing it like a petulance upon the gaming community.


It worked beautifully for me. Guess, I'm just lucky.
It looks like quite a few people in the Steam forums are having problems too. I tried it out and it didn't work for me. I do most of my LAN gaming at work and Steam couldn't connect to the server so I couldn't start a LAN game. And I read somewhere that you'll need an active net connection (to Steam servers) to play just a regular single player game of Half Life 2.


Personally, I'm not a fan.


Couldn't you already do widescreen in HalfLife if you were running PowerStrip? Never tried it myself but heard it was a good program.


[Edit: Just answered my own question by reading this other thread . You need an update to the HL engine.]
 

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Sierra has absolutely nothing to do with Steam. Give credit (or curses) where credit is due -- Steam is entirely controlled and run by Valve. It's also Valve that's updating a 5 year old game -- Sierra has zero involvement.


Valve is going to be using Steam as their main method for validating legitimate users, content update, and even distribution (you'll be able to buy HL2 from Steam, possibly before it's in the stores).

Quote:
If you want to see a company with contempt for their customers you need only look at Electronic Arts releasing Battlefield 1942 with no widescreen in 2002.
EA Games did not write BF1942. Dice did.
 

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@Chris


Gotcha. I thought you were unable to get 720p resolutions on the DLP at all. Some people were having trouble with this, and it seemed to be related to the ATI Catalyst drivers after 3.4, though some also claimed the DLP firmware update fixed it.


The updates are still available without Steam, right? The widescreen was enabled by an update, not by Steam itself, unless there's something in Steam that detects your max resolution and sets it appropriately?


Programs like that make me nervous, especially free ones, because you got to think they're making money off of it somehow (or at least breaking even), and it may be because there's some spyware embedded in it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chris5977
Like I said, if you are playing a ***4:3*** COMPUTER GAME on a 720p display device the highest resolution you can run is 600x800. The reason being that the next highest 4:3 resolution is 768x1024. You cannot fit 768 pixels in a 720 pixel area. Since most games are designed to be run at 1200x1600, SVGA sucks.
My Samsung DLP accepts 1024x768 as a valid 4:3 resolution. It does not do 1:1 pixel mapping at that resolution, but it does work. I suppose it looks marginally better than 800x600.


When I use 1280x768 into the DVI port, such as in Madden 2004, it behaves differently. I seem to lose the bottom 48 rows of pixels, but the rest of the screen is mapped 1:1.


Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My Samsung accepts an XGA Windows desktop, but it will not allow me to choose XGA for a computer game. Brian have you actually been able to play a 4:3 game in XGA?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chris5977
My Samsung accepts an XGA Windows desktop, but it will not allow me to choose XGA for a computer game. Brian have you actually been able to play a 4:3 game in XGA?
Yes, I have gotten it to work in Tiger Woods 2003 and Warcraft III. This is with the ATI Radeon 9800, Catalyst 3.4 drivers and the DVI input.


I did see some problems in Quake III, where sometimes it would switch to XGA and sometimes would have problems with the refresh rate. That was before I switched Quake III to the proper 16:9 resolution.


Brian
 

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Hey, wait a minute - If I'm playing BF1942 on the DLP, and the res is set to 800x600, I still get a full 16:9 screenful of graphics...not a windowboxed 4:3 screen. What's going on here?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lmychajluk
Hey, wait a minute - If I'm playing BF1942 on the DLP, and the res is set to 800x600, I still get a full 16:9 screenful of graphics...not a windowboxed 4:3 screen. What's going on here?
Use the Aspect button on the remote. I think the choices are Wide (TV), Wide (PC) and Expand. The first two are 16:9 and the third one is 4:3. The display remembers the mode for each resolution.


Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The Samsung DLP will allow you to manipulate the SVGA signal by using the Aspect button. I'm at work, but I believe the choices are:

Computer wide: 16x9 with a generous border so you can see the entire desktop

TV wide: 16x9 with overscan.

Regular: 4:3 with with 1:1 pixel mapping and thus a border on all four sides.

Zoom: 4:3 zoomed in a little.


By the way, if you follow the instructions in this thread you can get Battlefield to run in 16x9:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=267262
 

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Huh. I never noticed that there were other options on my PC/DVI input other than Wide(PC) and Wide(TV). I also have Normal, and Expand (both 4x3). I guess they only show up when using a 4:3 resolution, because I don't see them from the 1280x720 desktop or while watching DVDs via PowerDVD.


Thanks, I saw that thread about 16x9 support, but couldn't find the video.com file or that directory, and it sounded like a pain to reset all the time anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The file is burried in the Mods folder. I haven't had a chance to mess around with it to see if it is really worth the trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lee,


I just got done playing some intense BF1942 and Desert Combat in 50 inch, widescreen, 720p goodness. Let me assure you, it is worth it!!! The 2km draw distances make for some very immersive play on a big screen.


Once you mod the file, you never have to do it again as long as you don't hit USE button on the Profile screen. Just go straight to Multiplayer or Singleplayer.


I am astounded that they did not enable this feature in the options menu. What were they thinking?
 

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Oh man... STEAM has been just driving me crazeee!.. i can't get any of the mod's to load through this tool.. I'm constantly getting stuck on the content d/l during the load process to join a game..


"Validating Game Resources...." is as far as i get!!.. i can see the 720p preview, but haven't been able to see the actual games in this reso yet!!! :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Steam is driving me crazy, too. All the Valve games work fine, but for some reason when I turn my computer on, my hard drive is CONTINUALLY running even with no open programs. The only way to get the HD light to turn off is to close down STEAM, which runs in the background. Obviously this constant HD activity makes the computer sluggish.


This should not be happening on a 2.6gHz PC with a Gig of RAM and 256 ATI video card.


Anyway, I have faith in Valve to get it running right. Given the great games they have made in the past they are obviously not incompetent. I can tell that they are occassionally sending updates to the service, but my advice is to wait a couple of weeks on Steam while they get the kinks ironed out.


One thing that is very troubling is that there is no acknowledgement whatsoever on the Steam website that there is any kind of problem with Steam. Or did I miss it?
 
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