Cinema Product Reviews

Games for the Dolby CP500 sound processor
Manufacturer:  Dolby Laboratories

There are a few basic hidden games that come built in to each Dolby CP500 sound processor and then there are some more that can be uploaded from your laptop as well.  The games are hidden as “easter eggs” and getting to them requires a series of sequential button pushes and the like.  During this review we’ll take a look at some of the games that can be played on the CP500 and each game will be rated seperately.

Rating:  C

This game comes built in to the CP500, presumably because it is pretty basic.  It is fairly easy to control using the knob and the Soft Keys.  It is also pretty slow.  The CP500 does a lot of thinking between moves.  If you are a novice chess player, then the CP500 makes a worthy opponent and may well even kick your ass.  If you are an experienced chess player then you will probably win each time.  That is if you have the patience to actually play a game to its completion.

Rating: A-

Tetris kicks ass.  This just cannot be argued.  Built in to the CP500, it makes staying late during those long boring nights totally worth it.  Just be careful not to get too into it on Thursday nights like Brad and myself did one time, causing many delays in getting home.  Tetris is a simple game where you take the falling shapes and try to make “lines” across the playing field.  Once you get a line, it disappears and everything above falls down one step.  If you stack shapes to the top of the screen, then it’s game over for you.  Controlling the game is very easy, using the knob to move the shape left and right and the SK4 and FORMAT buttons on the left to rotate the shape.  Pressing both at the same time drops the shape quickly.  Very addicting and it moves pretty quick, considering!

Marble Madness
Rating: D

Marble Madness is a game that must be downloaded from Dolby’s web site and then uploaded from a laptop.  It is also a game that frustrates me to no end.  Controls are tough, using the SK4 and FORMAT buttons to steer left/right and the EXIT and SK8 buttons to steer up/down.  The idea is to guide the stupid little self-propelled marble down the path and through the goal.  If you fall off the track you loose a marble.  You will fall off A LOT!  What is even more stupid is the simple little sound it makes as it falls… a stupid tone that starts out high and lowers in frequency as you fall.  It plays through your booth monitor (and also through the center channel in the auditorium if you have your amps on).  This means you cannot play this game while a movie is running!  It is very annoying and makes me want to injure the CP500.  Can you tell I hate this game?  The graphics and scrolling are surprisingly good, though.

Rating: B

Castlevania is another bonus game that must be downloaded from Dolby and then uploaded to the CP500 via a laptop.  Castlevania is based on the games by Konami for various game systems out there today.  I don’t think Konami themselves programmed this version, though.  The copyright on the title screen indicated a company called “Majesco”, whoever they are.  Your job in this game is to walk and jump while whipping bats and skeletons.  You can whip “candles” on the wall to get hearts, which seem to do nothing at all.  The control is a bit tough at first, but you can get used to it.  The SK4 and FORMAT buttons on the left guide you left/right and the EXIT and SK8 buttons on the right are for your whip and for jumping.  Fortunately there is no need to go up or down.  The levels are pretty short and there are only 3 levels.  So the game ends pretty quick if you have mastered the controls.  I am amazed at the graphics, but the game stutters frequently and is virtually impossible to run if you are running a print in SRD.  But it is a fun diversion for awhile.

Ok, ok so how do you play these games?  Follow these directions EXACTLY for it to work and be sure to read thouroughly to the END of this page so you will know all of the various specifics on accessing the games.
The CP500 will then ask you for a password.  Enter "8888" by using the fader wheel and the SK3 and SK4 buttons. At this point you will be able to select from whatever games are loaded on your processor via the fader.

*SPECIAL NOTE:  these buttons must be pressed at EXACTLY the same time.  If you are off by more than a couple of milliseconds, it won't take.  Since no two people's fingers are the same length, this may take several tries to get it just right.  Pressing SK4 and SK8 together is easy, as you can use the edge of a videotape or similar sized item with a flat edge to press both at the exact same time, but pressing SK6 and SK8 at exactly the same time is difficult because SK5 and SK7 are in the way.  Just be patient and precise.  Also take warning that during game mode, the CP500 will ignore all format switching and fader commands.  Even the MUTE button will not work, so if you choose to play games during a movie (I seriously do not recommend this because you could screw up a movie for a paying audience), you must wait until the feature has started and you must exit out of the games before the end credits finish.)  Also I found that the games will only work when in "external fader" mode for some reason.  So those of you who do not have automations that control the sound, this pretty much kills your option for playing the games.

Do note that after further investigating the games I found out that there are quite a number of things that can delete the games from a CP500.  For some reason if you change your password more than once it will dump the games.  The same also applies to EQing.  Your CP500 must also have the factory default setup screen.  If you have moved things around (like moving "SR" to SK2) or have created a "USER" format, the games will be dumped.  To get the default games back you have to reload the software from scratch and then re-EQ from scratch.  Simply reloading the software and then re-uploading the EQ settings doesn't work.  (Trust me it was tried.)  Also if you have version 1.6 there are more default games, but I did not have the chance to go through it to create a list.  The default games on the CP500 are Chess, Tetris, Asteroids and Munch Man (this is nothing more than a bad knockoff of Pac Man, but the name was probably changed because of a copyright issue).

Dolby's website also has more games, but they are hidden on a link that is just as hard to access as getting into the CP500 in the first place.  This pack includes Marble Madness, Castlevania, Lemmings and Elevator Drop.  I would give you the link here, but first I must ask, why are you even trying to play video games on a sound processor?  The whole idea is just ridiculous.  Games on the CP500 simply do not exist!!!

Bottom Line:  If you actually think Dolby has incorporated video games into their sound processor, you are gullible.

-Joe Redifer
Here is the original forum discussion link.

Joe Redifer has been a projectionist since the last century.  He learned at the luxurious Mann Kipling, went on to the UA Greenwood, then he spent 2 years at Mann Chinese and now he is working elsewhere around Denver including the fabulous Madstone Tamarac with it's large giant screen that must be seen to be believed.  Joe started performing daily maintenance on the equipment at the Chinese and continues basic servicing to this day.   Joe does not have test equipment, but is an experienced projectionist and can get most anything up and running even armed only with duct tape.  These reviews are representative of the performance of the equipment/services from his perspective.

Remember, Joe's reviews are not to be argued with.  "If you disagree with them, you are wrong."

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