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Thread: Hooking up ancient game systems to modern TV's

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    Default Hooking up ancient game systems to modern TV's

    Should I be concerned at all, about hooking up old school video game systems to modern TV's?

    I have a big Sony 51 inch HDTV. I have an old Atari 2600 in the garage that I was thinking about bringing out, but I had heard somewhere that using an old Atari 2600 on a modern TV, could damage it.

    Is this true?

    What about the other old systems?

    While we are on this topic, which video game systems don't allow you to use any kind of audio video cable? You know the one with a Yellow, Red and White plug?

    Does the NES have an audio/video cable that you can get?

    Has anybody ever hard wired an Atari 2600 to use an audio/video cable?

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    Default Re: Hooking up ancient game systems to modern TV's

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony1

    Does the NES have an audio/video cable that you can get?

    the "toaster " style nes has av ports on the side of the unit

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    Systems on a projection screen can damage them, "burn in" I believe. I've not heard of any problems with an HDTV, but that's only because we don't have one...

    The Toaster NES supports AV cables, well video and one audio. You just need a generic set of RCA cables from Radio Shack or Best Buy. It's mono sound, but can be modded to stereo I believe.

    The Jr. could support AV: http://www.atariage.com/howto/composite.html

    When I was at the February NECG there was someone toting a S Video project for the 2600 (forgive me, I can't remember who you are)

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    "burn in" happens with any game system. It simply has to do with leaving a static image on the screen to long. If you leave a game on pause for like 10 hours straight, then that image will actually "burn in" to the screen.

    What I'm talking about is different. It's hard to explain, but I heard it's something to do with the kinda signal that old systems like a 2600 send out the RF switch.

    I'm not very technically inclined, so I really don't know what it's really about, but I heard that you could risk ruining your TV, when you use the really old systems that can only use a RF Switch and nothing else.

    I was thinking that if I was going to hook up the old 2600, I should try it on a cheapy 20 inch TV, instead of my 2 grand HDTV.

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    If you truely get stuck you could always burn Roms to a Dreamcast disc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony1
    "burn in" happens with any game system. It simply has to do with leaving a static image on the screen to long. If you leave a game on pause for like 10 hours straight, then that image will actually "burn in" to the screen.

    What I'm talking about is different. It's hard to explain, but I heard it's something to do with the kinda signal that old systems like a 2600 send out the RF switch.

    I'm not very technically inclined, so I really don't know what it's really about, but I heard that you could risk ruining your TV, when you use the really old systems that can only use a RF Switch and nothing else.

    I was thinking that if I was going to hook up the old 2600, I should try it on a cheapy 20 inch TV, instead of my 2 grand HDTV.
    No, just leaving an static image on the screen for that long at one shot is typically not going to burn in. If that were the case after a day of work people's Start buttons would be burned in on their monitors :P . It takes many many hours for a static image to burn into a TV or monitor. I have a more detailed explanation of burn in buried on this message board (question was on why projection screens are more susceptable to burn in).

    I don't know where you heard that a signal from an old video game signal could damage an HDTV. I tried researching it but came up with nada. If you are REALLY worried, contact Sony and find out from the people that would know.

    If there is any talk of damage via a signal, I would think it would damage your HDTV's RF tuner (if it has one). If that's the case, hook the Atari up to your VCR and then use the A/V out and hook that up to your HDTV. This totally bypasses the tuner (as in the HDTV becomes a monitor and not a true "TV") and with that would probably nix any oddball signal the Atari would send.

    Hope that helps.

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    When I was talking about Burn In, I was basically talking only about Rear Projections. It's nearly impossible to burn an image onto a Direct View TV or Computer Monitor.


    What I was thinking about doing was getting one of those RF adapters that you can get at radio shack that change the signal to composite. And then just using that for any system that doesn't have anything better than RF.

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    Anthony, if you've already got a VCR hooked up and a bunch of RF modulator systems, use PDF's patented system to run 'em through a VCR. Works everytime.

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    what i did is i bought a 5 port av selector from gamestop, and a 3 port abc switch from radio shack and used an ab switch to choose between av and rf units. But for some reason the ab switch is useless, cant figure that out.... x_x

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    GET THE X-BOX MOD AND PLAY ALL THE OLD SYSTEM

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    So you guys are saying that it's okay to take a modern system, like a PS2 or GC, and play it on a rear projection or high defintion TV as long as you make all the hookups through a VCR?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulBlazer
    So you guys are saying that it's okay to take a modern system, like a PS2 or GC, and play it on a rear projection or high defintion TV as long as you make all the hookups through a VCR?

    Actually, if you have any system that uses composite ( the video cables that have one yellow, one red and one white cable), S-video or component, then you should definitely use those instead.

    If you have a XBOX or GameCube and a HDTV, then definitely use the high definition cables for those systems. The XBOX has a High Def A/V pack that you can get, and you can order a special GameCube component cable directly from Nintendo.

    If you have a PS2 and a HDTV, then use the component cables, although the PS2 doesn't really take any advantage of HDTV's.


    Basically what this thread is discussing, is hooking up systems that only have a RF output to new modern TV's. Systems like the Atari 2600, the NES, Colecovision, Intellivision, stuff like that. But all the more modern systems have better cables that you can get to hook up your systems to a newer TV.

    Here is a breakdown, system by system:

    TurboGrafx-16 - You need to use a TurboBooster, but with a TurboBooster, you can use regular audio/video cables. In other words a composite video cable and a regular audio cable. The Turbo isn't capable of S-Video output, as far as I know.

    Genesis - You can get an audio/video cable for the Genesis, but it only has mono audio. What I do is use the audio/video cable for just the video, and then I use a little cable that converts a headphone jack to a regular audio cable to get the stereo sound. Works Great! I wish there was a S-Video cable for Genesis, but I don't think it can output S-Video.

    Super Nintendo - With the Super Nintendo, I would definitely use a S-Video cable. You can actually go buy a GameCube S-Video cable at Toys R Us for like 8 bucks that will work with both a Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and the GameCube.

    Sega CD and 32X - I think that these systems use the audio/video output of the Genesis, so see above under Genesis.

    Atari Jaguar - S-Video would be ideal for the Jaguar, but it is very, very hard to come accros a S-Video cable for the Jag. If you do, you will likely pay 40 bucks or more for it. You can also get a Regular Audio/Video cable too. You can get those on Ebay for about 10 bucks. They are still much, much better than using an RF output.

    3DO- If I'm not mistaken, the 3D0 system has the plugs on the back of the unit like a DVD player would. They aren't custom. So you can just get a S-Video cable from Radio Shack and you are set.

    Sega Saturn - I would suggest the S-Video Cable. Or regular Audio/Video cable. Avoid RF.

    Sony Playstation - Again, go with the S-Video Cable. I think the PS2 S-Video Cable also works for the PSone as well. I'm not absolutely positive though. Or go with a regular Audio/Video cable. Avoid RF.

    Nintendo 64 - You can use a GameCube S-Video cable for the N64. Go with that.

    Dreamcast - Defintely go with a S-Video cable. And in the rare instance that you have a HDTV that accepts a VGA input, then definitely go with the VGA Box. I was lucky enough to have a HDTV that accecpted VGA Inputs, so I went with the VGA Box, and the picture is freaking incredible! You can also get a VGA to Component transcoder for other HDTV's, but they can be pricey.

    Playstation 2 - Go with the Component cable if possible. Then go with S-Video, then with a regular audio/video cable. Avoid RF.

    XBOX - Go with the High Def Component cable if you have a HDTV. If not go with the standard component cable. Then go with S-Video, then with a regular audio/video. Avoid RF.

    GameCube - if you have a HDTV then order the special component cable direct from Nintendo. If not, then go with S-Video.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulBlazer
    So you guys are saying that it's okay to take a modern system, like a PS2 or GC, and play it on a rear projection or high defintion TV as long as you make all the hookups through a VCR?
    Uh, no, not exactly. You're getting things scrambled up.

    To answer your question: the VCR bit was to describe a way to hook up RF only systems (pretty much most pre-NES systems) to an HDTV or a TV that doesn't support RF connections. All VCR's have RF connections them along with a composite (or "RCA" or the "yellow, white and red" audio/video cable) out which would hook up onto an HDTV. This would then allow you to play that particular old game system.

    Hooking a GC or PS2 up to a projection screen or HDTV should be fine, but make sure to consult your manual for any specific instructions with video games. With projection screens, be sure to take breaks by turning the game off for a little while.

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    Oh, I see. A friend has a new projection TV and nothing was said in the manual. He called Sony and Nintendo both about their PS2 and GC systems and was told they did'nt know either. I just thought I saw a another, safer way to hook the systems up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulBlazer
    Oh, I see. A friend has a new projection TV and nothing was said in the manual. He called Sony and Nintendo both about their PS2 and GC systems and was told they did'nt know either. I just thought I saw a another, safer way to hook the systems up.
    Unless the TV uses LEDs instead of the CRT (like mini TV picture tubes), even new projection screens are at risk. But as I said if the friend takes breaks or a game doesn't use continuous static displays (for health, items, etc.) or the displays disappear after a few seconds (like Wind Waker) the TV should be fine.

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