Why do we need this?
Fact is, you don’t NEED any of these things but being a wise-ass aside I can’t be the only one with tons of retro stuff that is now near useless because of my TV upgrade. I can’t even LOOK at the horrible things my new TV does to my Genesis (poor poor Sonic) so while I’ve been asking questions/ pestering people almost to death I figure why not make this a project?
A guide detailing the absolute BEST and most lag free way to hook in every console and have them all in at the same time. I am going to do my best and I URGE you to correct me because I’m no expert.
The guide will be written in such a way that no matter how few inputs you have there will be some options (within reason) because what my TV came with is pitiful.
So get a CRT!
The idea here is that most people have that ONE gaming TV (not the super duper hardcore you guys have everything). YES I am aware that this will lag a tiny bit when you move to last gen and ever so slightly more moving past that and that’s to be expected, this thread will cover the most lag free/good looking/cost effective method for hooking in these consoles (those looking for the totally lag free solution, make some room for that CRT) but unless you’re practicing for SFA3 on your PSX there is no notable lag introduced by these methods (your specific TV’s lag is something you’ll have to look up/test). Test a game or two out through composite (bear with the ugliness a little more) and see if the lag is tolerable, I didn’t even notice it was there.
THIS IS NOT THE PLACE TO FIND OUT WHICH TV IS LAGLESS!!! DON’T ASK! THIS IS ONLY FOR THE HOOKING IN OF VIDEO GAME CONSOLES TO HDTVS!!
PlayStation**3(PSX backwards compatibility/PS2 on 2006 models ONLY) and X-Box 360 2007-Present (Limited X-Box1 compatibility):**** HDMI. **This will take care of both audio and video in (from what I understand) the best possible way. ALL HDMI CABLES ARE THE SAME! DO NOT OVERPAY! (Make sure it states it is 1.3)
The PS3’s PSX backwards compatibility adds 1-3 frames of lag, you should be fine. Not like anyone is practicing for a tournament using a PSX game, right?
X-Box 360 Core and pre 2007 Pro DO NOT have HDMI. The best way to hook them up is via component and while they do go to 1080p it doesn’t look QUITE as good as the newer models with HDMI.
**Wii (GameCube backwards compatibility): **Component: It sucks but this is the only official step up from composite but it looks nice and is the best solution besides running Dolphin in 1080p through your computer (don’t ask, it’s far beyond the scope of this thread).
Please note that only one GameCube game that I know of doesn’t work and that’s Mega Man X Collection, if you have a PS2 or BC PS3 I recommend getting it for that anyhow. (D-PADZ R KEWL)
**PlayStation 2(PSX backwards compatibility ONLY VIA RETRO METHOD): Component or “retro method”: **The PS2 is capable of component and it actually looks quite nice, one or two games even go to 1080i, (in order to get 480p you have to press X and TRIANGLE at the same time right as the Playstation logo appears) except for the fact that you will lose support for PSX games and Mega Man X Collection on most TVs, if you don’t care about PSX or Mega Man X Collection (what is with that game!?) just go with component. If you DO care see the old school section it will be one of the optional steps.
**SEGA Dreamcast:****VGA: **The first thing you should know is that you have to buy an additional piece to get VGA (I recommend a box over a cable), in order to get the sound working you either have to use the “red and white” cables or a 3.5mm AUX cable (AUX necessary for some options in this guide and in recommended in general due to simplicity) as far as I know this is the ABSOLUTE best way to go and many think it almost looks as good as a 360 game. Very few games don’t work with this method and some require the “Switch Trick”.
X-BOX1:Component: Depending on the game you can actually go up to 1080i using component. The games that support 720p and 1080i are listed HERE
**GameCube(GameBoy/Color/Advance via Gameboy Player): ****Component: **So if you were in the minority and DIDN’T buy into the Wii hype but you still get that hankering to play Melee you can track down the ridiculously expensive component cables! YAY!! Upgrade ASAP as it may actually only be like 30-40$ more expensive to buy a Wii and hey! The new Zelda game justifies its existence!
OLD SCHOOL[SIZE=4](NES,SNES*,GEN**,SAT**,N64*,PSX,TG16*,JAG,SMS, ETC.)**[/SIZE]
**Has a different version that needs modification/won’t work
This is where things become complicated, at first you think you plug them in with the yellow white and red cable and hope for the best, well I DARE you to tell me that looks OK and mean it (especially the N64, good god…) So let the healing begin! This section will cover home consoles from the NES:f:N64 if you see a console that won’t work this way please tell me!
I won’t lie to you dear reader, I am NOT an expert on how this stuff works, I couldn’t tell you what’s going on in there but I’ve asked/read this thing to death and I know what combination of stuff will give the most desirable results for this particular project. If you want to know how or why, you’ve come to the wrong place!
STEP 1: Buying stuff
SCART switcher: I found this tutorialHERE. Actually finding one is a challenge. The good part is if you find one that doesn’t have enough inputs you can always stack them.
Audio Switch: I made the mistake of thinking a regular head phone jack splitter would do the trick. It doesn’t. Right now, any composite switch will work OR you can hook in the audio for the PS2 into an unassociated port on the VGA switch. I’m looking for something better though.
STEP 2: Putting all that stuff together:
So you have all your stuff together, so now it’s time to make it all work for you!
First plug the SCART cables into the appropriate console/s, then plug the other end into the SCART switcher
Next, take the SCART plug not associated with a console and plug that into the Sync Strike
The Sync Strike will have VGA out and RCA audio inputs, plug a VGA cable in and plug the other end of it into the scaler and use a small converter to change the white and red audio cables to a 3.5 mm AUX one.
(OPTIONAL) Plug your PS2 component into the scaler as it allows you to switch between using the VGA port(retro consoles) and using the component input(PS2), this will allow you to keep your PSX BC while still using 480p. To get audio as well you will need to make a second AUX port with a switch (see: STEP 1). For audio, you can either use a composite switch or use a port on the VGA switch you’re not using (NOTE: I am currently looking into a smaller piece that can do this one simple task on the cheap)
The scaler will output VGA to the TV or OYBA (Optional Yet BadAss) SLG(which will then go via VGA to your TV) and… BAM! You’re all retrofitted!
(SPECIAL DREAMCAST STEP) If you only have 1 VGA port (like most people) and a Dreamcast (like some people) you will need a VGA switch. The switch should have VGA and AUX (for audio and video respectively) plug your DC into the switch with both VGA and AUX, then from the sync strike bring your AUX cable to the switcher (If you followed the PS2 steps this should be an AUX and plug the VGA coming from the scaler in the other port.
After all that plug the switcher into the TV or OYBA SLG then into the TV.
NOTES: The AUX I keep referring to is called something different on different TVs it’s sometimes called “Line In” or “audio in” and is located next to the VGA port because VGA doesn’t carry audio.
That cable you use to plug your iPod into your car? That thing.
**OVERVIEW: **(I’m using my TV as a base because I know it and it has so few inputs which makes it great for this purpose)
2 - HDMI - PS3 and 360
1- Component input 4 with switcher - Wii/PS2/XBOX1/GCN
1 VGA/AUX - If you have a PS2, a DC and the Sync Strike, you have to use a splitter (linked in STEP 1) in the AUX port associated with the Scaler’s VGA and plug the PS2 and Sync Strike audio to it, then plug the DC into it’s own VGA/AUX set. Remember that awesomeness and/or abominations may happen if you leave the PS2 on while playing a game from the Sync Strike or vice versa.
Need some clarification? Fine.
These systems either require a modification of some kind or simply can’t work with the setup:
Nintendo Entertainment System: MOD IT!! or see “Alternatives”:
The NES is not only a trouble system it is THE trouble system, the only two ways you can plug it in are composite and RF and they SUCK for HDTVs. The mod is… almost completely unrealistic for anyone not named Donald Trump so this system MIGHT be where you start looking at the brand spankin’ new alternatives section.
**JVC/SEGA Wondermega: **[SIZE=4]THIS GUY HERE will need a mod as well, of course it’s far cheaper to hunt down a Genesis 1 or 2, a 32x and a SEGA CD but I guess if you had it lying around at home and knew [/SIZE]your way around electronics you could find a way to mod it (because I can’t).
**SEGA Genesis 3: **THIS THING kinda… sorta… well it sucks. Not only will it not work with SCART it’s also buggy, won’t work with the 32X or SEGA CD and the sound in the Sonic games is off, do yourself a favor and avoid this model.
**TurboGrafix16: **[SIZE=4]The TurboGrafix16 will require a mod to get RGB to come out.[/SIZE]
**Nintendo 64: **S-Video OR Mod for RGB SCART: Do you have an S-Video port on your TV? Swell! You don’t? Well then I suggest doing THIS or paying someone to do it for you (See “Modders” section) which will then allow you to use the same method you did for all your other older consoles. NOTE: Check HERE to see if your N64 can be modded (scroll to where it says “RGB Moddable N64’s Keychart”) if it can’t you can buy one pre-modded (See "Pre-mods). VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a “004” motherboard you will need to do the mod AND get an amplified cable, it may be cheaper to just buy a pre-mod at that point.
(All switchers have been tested/verified by someone on SRK, I actually don’t buy anything until I see it cleared through here). Recommend some for any and all types please! Lagless and loseless ONLY!
Great for getting more component inputs (necessary to hook in Wii/GCN/XBOX1/PS2 (for one option) simultaneously)
Great for getting more HDMI inputs (not necessary on the whole console bit, but useful):
PLEASE RECOMMEND A SCART SWITCHER! THEY ARE VERY HARD TO FIND!
This is a list of people with enough know-how who will be willing to open up your console and mod it to work with the methods described for a fee as well as pre-modded systems
So you’re not nuts about original consoles or you just wanna play some old stuff and you don’t really care how. For those of us who are less picky and particular we have something for you!
The Wii and XBOX1 can be modded easily to emulate almost every classic console perfectly(and you can also just hook in your PC and play that way), you will however not be making use of all the retro junk sitting around (which was the point of the thread) and I won’t cover how to hack/mod the systems because that is not the point of this thread. If you want to use your old school controller then check this site out. Though it doesn’t seem like they have XBOX1 versions.
[SIZE=4]The idea here is a console that is a “clone” of a classic one, if you don’t have one you want it might be cheaper to have a clone console or if you don’t have the space for so many consoles many of them are a few consoles in one. No clone consoles are covered as part of the guide as there are FRIGGIN’ HUNDREDS of them, if whoever sells it to you says it works with RGB SCART it should work with the old school method (no guarantees!) [/SIZE]
Move/Get some more $$:
Space a problem? Can’t buy all the fun junk you want? Well one too many smart-asses decided to let me know that “LOL YOUR HOUSE IS SMALL” and “DUDE, GO TO GOODWILL”, I’m hoping in vain that if it’s in the actual guide I’ll stop getting responses like this.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
These fine people put up with my complete ignorance and helped me out in all sorts of ways, this would either be totally wrong and messed up or non-existent if not for them.
Questions? Comments? Corrections? I miss something?
Do tell. Heck you can do a write up and hijack the whole idea, I just want the correct info up and available. Think this is stupid? Tell me why, random internet guy!