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Thread: hdtvs and gaming

  1. #1
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    Default hdtvs and gaming

    In the market for a lcd hd tv now. I think I have one picked out but have some questions regarding how to fix my gaming setup with it. Right now I have s-video going through my older switch box which my ps2 and n64 are plugged into (and normally any 3rd system I plug in). Gonna go component for my dvd player like I already have (hd will be for directv), but if the new tv doesn't have s-video hookups, what's the best I can do for my ps2, n64, snes, and dreamcast systems then, and what kind of new switch box would I want? Is component for the ps2 any good? Thinking of getting a rca 39" btw.

    (Sorry if this is partially in the wrong forum)
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    The "golden rule" is an HDTV is only as good as the video it receives. Cheapskates will get the kind of poor results LCDs are stereotyped about.

    There's two key faults in a typical LCD retro gaming setup:
    Poor scaler.
    Using composite/RF on consoles capable of better.

    Together these may cause very fuzzy images. Most LCD screen panels are themselves actually decent quality, that can be demonstrated with trying HD content on them.

    XRGB type up-converters reduce the former by offering improved scaling to the TV's HD level. Component or RGB cables/mods reduce the latter by letting the consoles provide cleaner source video.

    Component for the PS2 works well. It's near identical quality to RGB, except component mode allows 480p in compatible games. Careful though! Often the normal component input of HDTVs won't accept low-res games (like PS1 or Disgaea/ICO). Even if they will by s-video. Leading to an annoying cable switch on some TVs if your collection has both 480p games and PS1 games.
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    Pac-Man (Level 10) RCM's Avatar
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    I had the same issue at the end of 2010 when I bought my plasma. I was perfectly happy with S-video to my CRT HDTV, but the models I was looking at lacked that input. I purchased an XRGB 2+ to remedy the situation and upgraded to an XRGB Framemeister earlier this year. Framemeister is a great option, but it will set you back about $500. I'm selling my 2+ for much cheaper, if you're interested.

    While the XRGB line was created with videogames in mind, there are other viable options out there too. Read more here: http://retrogaming.hazard-city.de/
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    You could take the console to the store and try a test run. LCDs display HD signals fine but are marginal on non HD signals. HD CRT or a HD Plasma display non HD signals clean and do not have the scaling issues.
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    ^^^ that's not a bad idea, although it might be hard to find a big box store to let you do so.

    OP, you might want to consider buying an older HDTV. There are pluses and minuses, of course, but it's a good way to get the upgrade you're after with the old timey inputs you want. I have a 1080P Samsung LCD that includes 2 S-video inputs and a 720P Sony DLP with the same. Even with S-video, the SNES looks awful and has a funky "shadow" bar that runs vertically through the middle of the screen on the LCD, while the picture through S-video on the DLP is awesome!

    So, point is, it's a crap shoot. Testing before you buy, like this ^^^ guy suggested is a good idea (if you can pull it off).

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Genjackson's Avatar
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    Just a fair warning, light guns will not work on LCD tvs. Playasia has a gun now that will do newer gun games, but you'll have to say goodbye to duckhunt and hogan's alley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Genjackson View Post
    Just a fair warning, light guns will not work on LCD tvs. Playasia has a gun now that will do newer gun games, but you'll have to say goodbye to duckhunt and hogan's alley.
    A good point, the older Lightguns won't work on any HDTV, not even my HDCRT.
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    Anyone recommend ps2 component cables then? Any tv suggestions then? Cause now I'm getting more confused and frustrated over this.
    Last edited by kainemaxwell; 05-08-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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    I use the PS2 component cables. Totally worth it IMO for the games that make use of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kainemaxwell View Post
    Anyone recommend ps2 component cables then? Any tv suggestions then? Cause now I'm getting more confused and frustrated over this.
    HD CRT 4:3 screen.

    Definitely get the Component Cables, an inexpensive easy upgrade. Some PS2 games display at 480p when holding a button combo during bootup. Two games can even go all the way up to 1080i, Gran Turismo 4 and Tourist Trophy.

    PS2 HD List: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ith_HD_support
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCM View Post
    I had the same issue at the end of 2010 when I bought my plasma. I was perfectly happy with S-video to my CRT HDTV, but the models I was looking at lacked that input. I purchased an XRGB 2+ to remedy the situation and upgraded to an XRGB Framemeister earlier this year. Framemeister is a great option, but it will set you back about $500. I'm selling my 2+ for much cheaper, if you're interested.

    While the XRGB line was created with videogames in mind, there are other viable options out there too. Read more here: http://retrogaming.hazard-city.de/
    The site talks about 240p though. Do these work alright for 480i via component and S-Video?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    The site talks about 240p though. Do these work alright for 480i via component and S-Video?
    I have the following hooked up to the Framemeister via S-video:

    Dreamcast
    Saturn (US and Japan)
    Genesis/Sega CD
    N64
    SNES
    Gamecube/GBA player
    PC Engine Duo RX
    Jaguar

    I have the following hooked up via component:

    PS2 (Japanese)
    Xbox
    Wii


    I also have an NES hooked via composite. I'm generally happy with the results, but the settings matter a lot as does the game. Generally speaking, it handles all sorts of signals really well, but I'm not a complete graphic nazi either. The dudes at Shmups are way more critical than I am, but it does what I want and has handled just about everything I've thrown at it.
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    Yeah Im just not feeling up to paying $400+ for a box to fix up my older game systems...
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    Quote Originally Posted by kainemaxwell View Post
    but if the new tv doesn't have s-video hookups
    IMO, people should avoid buying those. The cheap bastards don't put a simple input to save nothing...

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    do your research and get yourself a quality set not only in performance but reliability I'm a long time sony fan but samsung has my interest also these days. Lots of other lesser known brands that make good sets (mostly japanese and can get spendy) anyway good info here from the others. Just keep an old CRT for your classics (or hell if you got room get several they practically give them away now!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue View Post
    IMO, people should avoid buying those. The cheap bastards don't put a simple input to save nothing...
    Wut you talking about?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kainemaxwell View Post
    Yeah Im just not feeling up to paying $400+ for a box to fix up my older game systems...
    You don't have to pay $400 or $500, but it really is worth it. There are a ton of upscaling devices for cheaper, and if you don't notice the lag or can deal with it, there are a lot of options.
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    Ok so any tv recommendations then? *shrug
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    There's also the issue of lag, which I found unbearable with my NES, SNES, and Genesis connected via composite to my Vizio.

    Reportedly, there are LCD TVs with game modes that are much better about the lag. Your mileage may vary.

    I kept my old 27in SDTV for my retro systems, connected with s-video or less.

    I use unofficial component video cables for PS2 and Xbox on the Vizio, and they work great.

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    I picked up a Toshiba 40" LCD a couple of years ago. It has a "game mode" that almost completely eliminates input lag, but the TV only lags when it's doing its 120hz upscale thing called Clearframe I think. I'll have to do a video sometime with my CRT and LCD running the same game to see if there is still any lag with game mode on, but it doesn't feel like it. This set doesn't have S-Video either, so I've bought an RGB to Component converter, and an RGB to HDMI 720p upscaler. One works better for some systems than others, and one works better on the CRT I have hooked up and the HDMI works better on the LCD.

    That said, I also have the Composite and S-Video cables hooked up for all of the systems that normally used them and I found a decent compromise for the S-Video problem. Radio Shack sells an S-Video/Composite distribution amplifier that will take Composite or S-Video signals and output both amplified and in really nice fidelity. Through this thing S-Video downconverted to Composite on my Toshiba still looks great and better than Composite output on that system does. It also enhances Composite signals very nicely whether you use the S-Video or Composite output, and that makes things a lot better for me since I've got most of my systems going through at least two Switcher boxes.
    Last edited by sheath; 05-13-2012 at 08:17 AM.

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    Ok, im stuck on what tv to get. Thinking of getting the Seiki SC-402TT 40-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV - Black cause its a good price and has s-video. Or I can get a more mordern one and get a new switch box (which I planned to anyhow) with component, s-video, etc, and jack everything through there if there's only one set of plugs (and dvd player). Any other suggestions on tvs, or ones with a "game mode"?
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    Banana (Level 7) Zing's Avatar
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    If you seek a TV for the systems you mention in the OP (snes, n64, etc), basically anything PS2 or earlier, then you shouldn't be getting an LCD. Just find a good, used Sony CRT.

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    Looking for something that would look decently mainly for PS2 (and up when the time comes), n64 and dreamcast. Other systems I can deal with later. Ok let's make this simple for some people, what's a good 40" lcd that has a game mode option.
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    Strawberry (Level 2) sheath's Avatar
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    It has been a while since I researched LCDs, but I would just go to google and type LCD TV review game mode and see what popped up. What you are really looking for is stats on how much lag the LCD set introduces, you want that to be as low as possible.

    As for the PS2 looking decent, God help you.

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    thanks! Is "game mode" really all it's cracked up to be, or is adjusting settings yourself the way to go?
    (talking in general)
    Last edited by kainemaxwell; 05-14-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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