AV Missteps and Misadventures

I feel this reddit post is antithetical to the whole forum:

Post any other examples you come across in your travels!


I wept when I opened it in full res. https://i.redd.it/8cqawyp0b0k61.jpg

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So this is presumably via RF, being treated by the TV as 480i, plus some busted ass scaling, and then run in the incorrect aspect ratio. All on a store brand $100 LCD.

I’ve seen people do that with Master System II here, usually to play ‘Alex The Kid’ for two minutes.

One thing I’ve seen a lot of on Facebook retro groups - people with massive multi console set ups, LED lit custom shelves, with every console lined up and all plugged in at once, next to shelves packed with huge game collections, with a $5000 OLED in the centre. In some cases it looks like $100k of games and set up.

Then they show their wiring: a daisy chain of composite switch boxes, output to one of those c-grade composite to HDMI converters, then straight to the TV.


It’s crazy that the vast majority of people who hook up an old game console to their modern HDTV will basically get some variation of that and, through no fault of their own, not understand why.

Fortunately, we’ve come a long way in recent years and now information on how to hook up retro games to HDTVs is so much more available. And the devices have become far less expensive too with Retrotink leading the charge in affordability.

10 or so years ago, when I restarted my retro journey, there were so few resources. Fudoh’s site was sort of the place to go to for his review of the Framemeister. But even with that - you needed to import it, buy an overlay for the remote, and really study up on all of the different features. And it still didn’t deliver a very satisfying picture in my humble opinion. Especially if your display scaled the scaliness awkwardly (as many do).

But it was also a golden age for acquiring incredible CRTs at a cheap price. So… it wasn’t all bad.


Now you have me feeling all nostalgic about those days. It’s a strange feeling to have!

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My setup was a total mess lol. I just hooked up a system via composite to my panasonic plasma whenever I wanted to play.

I didn’t even have a device to select systems. And I still managed to beat every NES mega man game that way somehow, even with all the ugliness and input lag factored in.

When I got my very first flat screen HDTV even further back - must have been about 16 or so years ago now, I distinctly remember calling up the manufacturer to ask why my old systems looked so bad on it. And the poor support guy had no idea how to help me after talking for over an hour on the phone.

Finally he said, “the technology isn’t perfect” and I accepted that and hung up the phone. The whole notion of scaling and 240p was a complete mystery to me back then.

I got lucky in the transition to HDTV, but I also held on to (and still use) the same set from 2006! More modern TVs have upped the pixel counts and massively upped the post-processing on the image so I was really shocked by just how bad the output was in that photo.

Image quality issues aside, there’s also the problem of how these games were never designed to be played on giant screens to begin with. You often need to see the entire screen at once, and a huge 60" display just dwarves your peripheral vision instead.