Auto-Off Issues with LG NB2520a and PlayStation 3

A couple of months back I started playing my way through Assassin’s Creed 3 on my PS3 again, having barely touched it for most of the previous year – and certainly since I got my LG NB2520a soundbar.  I soon noticed that every now and again (I’m guessing every 30 minutes or so) the soundbar would switch itself off while playing.

This hasn’t occurred with any other game, Blu-Ray or my YouView box as an input and seemed to be specific to Assassin’s Creed 3.  I tried pressing the “Auto Power Off” button to see if disabling this would help – it didn’t.

I then began playing recently began playing DmC – Devil May Cry on the same PS3 and noticed sound issues whereby the sound would cut out for a split second on a fairly frequent basis (every few seconds at times) and did some Googling on this.  It looked like this was something to do with the audio output options on the PS3 and was a fault in the game rather than the soundbar (if I turned off the soundbar and played the audio through the TV it still did the same thing).

Given the tip about sound output formats, I tried playing with these and I soon discovered that the issue disappeared if I went intot he PS3’s Audio Output settings and set them to manual to switch off Dolby Digital 5.1 Ch output option .  Unfortunately when I did this, DmC started suffering from the same problem as AC3. D’oh!

So my conclusion is that the LG NB2520a really doesn’t work well with DTS sound, at least not coming from a PS3, as I don’t think switching off every 30 minutes is good behaviour.

At the minute the only thing I can think of to fix this is to disable DTS 5.1 Ch output option for Assassin’s Creed 3 (haven’t tried this yet but will give it a go next time I play) and to disable Dolby Digital for DmC and accept that the soundbar is going to switch itself off every now and again.  Not exactly ideal but marginally better than having the sound cutting in and out.

What I’m wondering now though is… since the soundbar only outputs 2.1 sound, is there any reason not to just disable both Dolby Digital and DTS and use the PCM 2.1 sound?

Solved?: Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun on Windows 7

For some reason, already having downloaded Command and Conquer and the follow-up, C&C: Red Alert [free download], I thought I’d check out on my new laptop if there were any special Christmas freebies from EA this year.  It turns out there weren’t, but that they have subsequently released the third C&C game (Tiberian Sun) as a free download so I went ahead and downloaded it.

Of course once I’d done that and spent hours trying to make it work, I realised the download wasn’t compatible with my shiny new laptop because it’s running Windows 7, and Windows 7 doesn’t like old games or something.  Even when I tried following the instructions, it ran (which was more than I’d managed to get it to do myself) but when the main menu loaded, none of the menus would display properly. Fail!

Enter, who have packaged the game up into a nice installer package that they assure us works with Windows 7 (including Win7 64-bit!). It took 4-5 hours to download all the files (and there doesn’t seem to be any way to skip this – not good!)… though 99% of that is for the movie files for the cut-scenes, which are optional.

Sadly, the same thing happened again – I never did get it working entirely properly, though I did find a semi-solution.  Firstly I noticed that if I hit the Windows key to go back to Windows, then opened the game again the menu was there on screen.  Actually I noticed this when I tried to find out if the menu showed up if I did a Print Screen (it did), but the menu was there when I came back.


Some while later I noticed that if I put the mouse cursor over where the menu should be and scrolled (e.g. using the scroll wheel, or the side of the laptop trackpad), it would appear (without exiting to Windows).  It’s not ideal but it’ll do me for now.  Thanks to all the guys at CnC Comm who tried to help.

Manhunt – Bit of a let-down

With all the furore over Manhunt and the subsequent UK ban of Manhunt 2, I got very interested in having a crack at the original Manhunt on PS2 (also available on XBox and PC). When I signed up for a trial with it seemed like an obvious candidate to rent.

Unfortunately I was very disappointed. The “gruesome” graphics aren’t that realistic looking (certainly compared to the standards of graphics in some other games) and the game gets very repetitive very quickly as you roam from one fenced in location to another, sneaking up behind bad guys and smashing them with a baseball bat or whatever one of the limited weapons you have.

Not only that, but it the lead character isn’t one I found it easy to identify with; there didn’t seem to be enough plot. Basically you’re spared from execution by a bit of cloak and dagger, but the guy who sneaked you out lets you loose in a yard populated by violent gangs, whom you’re directed to kill in order to escape. The point being that he intends to film the violence and release a snuff film. Unfortunately the series of yards seems endless and repetitive – and I only played about half a dozen levels!

Unfortunately the average graphics, poor game play and absence of much plot makes this a rather boring play. I only kept it for about a week and sent it back, so I’ve switched to Metal Gear Solid 2 instead.

I’m Playing: Final Fantasy XII

I’ve decided to introduce a new permanent page to nerd. – the “I’m Playing” page which will give brief information on whatever video game I’m currently playing. The first one: Final Fantasy XII.

At the moment I’m mostly playing Final Fantasy XII on PS2. I played through Final Fantasy X but felt frustrated at the random fights that have been a trademark of the Final Fantasy series for as long as I can remember (that would be Final Fantasy VII then).

Final Fantasy XII finally does away with this annoyance; because of the way the field areas work you can see the enemies before actually engaging them in battle, which means you can avoid them and even run away. The battle system is also much improved with real time fights and the ability to swap in other characters for ones that die during battle (if you don’t want to revive them). Other major improvements I’ve noticed include superior graphics and a more interesting storyline.

All this and it’s available for less than a tenner brand new, so what are you waiting for?