Best way to stream SD content to a CRT in genuine 480i 4:3?

Since Netflix and Hulu stopped working on Wii I really no longer have a solution for this. I don’t want to keep acquiring DVDs for watching SD media that I already can access on Hulu, Max, Netflix, or Prime on a CRT in the original interlaced presentation.

Of course, I can just stream in HD to a modern display but for certain shows, like standard definition animated content, it never looks as great as it does when you see the genuine interlaced images. That interlaced noise is essential for really seeing the art properly.

Just converting the HDMI signal to component won’t do the trick either since you need to crop the image to get rid of the borders added by modern devices.

So, does anyone here have a solution? I would appreciate any device that could do this in component or SCART, but would even settle for S-Video if that is the way to go for some reason.

Ideally, this would use a modern device (like an Apple tv) as the source hardware so that it doesn’t rely on accessing these services on old devices that will eventually drop compatibility.

Also, even though this isn’t a gaming topic, I hope you don’t mind me putting this thread in the main forum. I figure it’s part of our appreciation for retro AV and is a close cousin of the other stuff we talk about here.


Great thread - I’m interested in seeing replies as well.

The best I’ve ever been able to reliably come up with has been “Roku Express Plus” units that output composite (ex. 3910x). I’d love a can’t miss box that does it in better analog quality for sure!!

They stopped making the Roku Express units that include composite and they’re getting more and more expensive on Ebay (but I bet you could still find a decent deal).

Since they stopped making them I’m afraid it’s just like you’re fearing - eventually these apps will stop getting updates and eventually compatibility will fall off! I’m hoping some other folks have good solutions.

I have used the Rokus for NBA League Pass and Plex and stuff like that, specifically the X-Files in 4:3!

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I think I recall you bought a MiSTer, correct?

If so, you could check out MiSTer Cast. I haven’t used it so I’m not sure how easy/difficult it is to setup and use.

I’m not sure this is exactly what you want to do though. I’m not sure how it works with respect to progressive scan / interlaced. Something to maybe check out.


I saw @VGEsoterica did a video on it and it does look interesting.

I’m not sure if it will work on a non-windows pc though. I only have a MacBook.

I use a Firestick with Kodi installed ran through a hdmi to component converter scaler. Kodi can fix the aspect ratio, and I stream all my own content to it with my plex server

Watching Gunsmith Cats over Plex on Xbox 360 right now.

Screen is a JVC TM-13SU over S-video.

It’s the best solution I’ve found. The video quality is better than the Pi composite (even with the 360’s composite output), better interface than my old Roku Express, and much easier and smoother to use than CRT_Emudriver. It ‘just works’ if you have a Plex server set up already; no adapters, modelines, or scaler settings to fuss with (which may take the fun away for some!).

I have not tried apps like Netflix, nor have I gotten to try MisterCast, but for now this has me very content.


I’ve been interested in this for a while, my best answer was a PS3 but it’s getting old too.

Yeah, I’m not sure how much longer Plex/Microsoft will support the 360, which is worrisome.

An RGB Pi may be the best option as far as quality and likely support, but I’ve never used one so I don’t know what setup is like.

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I personally use a Raspberry Pi 3B+. It has native composite output (which is very clean), and I run a custom fork of Retropie on it with the correct SD timings (I’ll find the link to it). You can then install the Kodi plugin, and from there I use the Plex add-on and stream all my SD content that way, with the higher resolution stuff being transcoded and down sampled, and it looks phenomenal


I need to try an RGB Pi setup. Seems like the best option for a balance of quality and support.

Also, I can definitely see a quality bump when downsampling 720p vs streaming 480p.


the only thing holding me back from RGBPi is my setup really. buying an RGB2COMP or something similar for just this one use case to be a bit overkill, and have come to really like the composite looks. This is the Retropie fork btw

I found that bitrate to be more important than resolution after a couple of years of experience, though same bitrate you’re right, higher resolution is usually better. I find myself watching high quality DVD rips over Blu Ray encodes in many cases. High quality 480i/p seems to look the best on my set, or the most natural at least


I’m all NTSC signals in my setup myself. I bought one of the waka video VGA to YPbPr boxes from EBay for my CRT_Emudriver PC, but I haven’t tried it yet.

I have a couple Pi’s lying around but I’ve heard the setup for RGB can be a little complicated, which is exactly what I’m trying to get away from these days. Especially for watching video, I really just want things to work.

And it may be the bitrate now that you mention it. I think my Plex cuts 480p down pretty hard when it transcodes compared to 720p.

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