How do you continue gaming classically in the high def world?

#1
Ever since my last tube television blew up a few years ago, my old machines just haven't been getting the love they once were. Don't get me wrong, I've tried, but when paired with any television in my house everything prior to a console generation ago absolutely looks like crap. I can't play any of my old favorites on any of the newer tvs without frustration over the graphics or having the screen size converted correctly. Its also almost impossible to find a decent switch to run the 12 or so older game systems to because all the new tvs have a million ports but only one coaxial and one rca. And forget house of the dead, duck hunt, hogan's alley, lethal enforcers; light gun games are dead. RIP NES R.O.B.

Finding a good tube tv is starting to be difficult. The last generation of the tube tvs were using progressive scan and i'm not sure the rob or the older light guns work with it. (if anyone knows say something!). Everything has so much age on it now its crap when you buy it.

So other than ranting about how my true love has gotten old and fat and really not so pleasant to look at; does anyone have an answer to how we enjoy our classic consoles in their original glory? Emulation is a neat little legal grey area but the adapters to play with the real controllers would just add clutter to my desk and a lot of the emulators are kinda lame. Finding a 40 something plus inch sony trinitron from 1996 in great shape is a pipe dream.

I'd be willing to sacrifice the ligh gun games and use a rgb / scart scaler but those boxes are $400 +. I've also heard people use their recievers to upscan but the majority says theirs still looks crappy.

Any actual success stories out there?
 

Grindspine

Forum Staff
Jun 2004
Indiana
#2
I am not sure how to help. I was fortunate enough to buy a 27" Sony WEGA in 2006, right at the end of the reign of tube televisions. I still use it for my PS2, SNES, and have found that it even has a great picture on PS3 and Xbox 360. At 480 lines, the picture still looks sharper to me than some 720 line televisions I have used for some reason. I think the only problem I have had was a lack of clarity when running a laptop through an S-video cable to the WEGA.

I plan on keeping that old full-screen aspect ratio tube TV around for as long as it works. I cannot imagine most of my full screen DVDs, especially animated shows, looking as good on a fixed aspect ratio high-def TV.

Hopefully there is a solution out there for classic gaming besides garage sail shopping for a good 24-27" tube TV. Keep doing some research and let us know if you find any solutions!
 
#5
If you want the absolute best, a regular CRT won't be your best bet. What you want is a broadcast monitor. They may not come in 40inch varieties but the quality you get more than makes up for it.

Here is an article I ran into a couple months back.

http://www.tested.com/tech/gaming/456719-best-crt-retro-games/

The TV they recommend is this -

http://www.ampronix.com/content/web/sony_bvm20f1u.asp

On Ebay they run around $200-$400. I know that's quite a bit of money to play retro systems, but if you truly want something great, these will last you a good while. They're built to handle lots of hours of video. I plan on getting one soon myself.
 
#6
I'm so spoiled I don't think I could do much with a 20" monitor. I use 3 24" monitors for my computer...

Fantastic article though, I kinda figured if I ever found a new(ish) trinitron wega I'd have just about the best. I never once thought about using a broadcast monitor but it makes perfect sense, if those stupid things were bigger!

I think the xrgb mini is the scaler I was looking for. Its still a bit expensive but honestly if i'm going to continue playing it'll be well worth it.
 
Jun 2004
Indiana
#7
I tried playing some Halo 2 on a 720 wide screen the other day and couldn't figure out why the picture was so indistinct. After looking at the retail package, I realized that the (older) xbox games I have are all rated at 480p. I might have to move the xbox back to the 27" WEGA.

I will have to finish those articles later since I gotta leave for work!
 
#9
Checked out some of the local thrift stores. The best I could find had a really washed looking color, stunk like cigarettes and to get much of anything you had to turn contrast all the way up. So it's looking like $400 scaler or $400 broadcast monitor. Until then I think I've got a few old CRT computer monitors in a closet or attic somewhere, and a 9700 AIW pro video card. If I can find an old motherboard with agp that'll work until I break down and buy something more insane.
 
#10
I lost my main TV and had to discard it almost a year now. I have retreated to an old 19 inch Sanyo tube in a room that I have reserved just for my retro gaming. Next to my desktop computer. NO ONE CAN WATCH ANYTHING ON IT. It is only for my retro gaming for as long as it lives. The main family room has a flat-screen HDTV now for videos and TV viewing. SO I know the feeling. The transition stinks when it comes to old gaming systems.
 
#11
I use my SNES, N64, and Dreamcast on a 32" 720p HDTV and I never really have a problem. The graphics still look just as sharp and clean as they ever did. Maybe I'm not a true retro gamer, though. :lol
 
#12
I'm currently using my GFs TV, I don't even remember the brand and too lazy to walk into the other room to find out. :lol

I started using S-video with my original PlayStation. Some games did not age well, while others look superb. Can't wait to hook up my PS2 with Components.

If I don't get that broadcast monitor, I hope to come across some of those earlier EDTVs that output 480p.

If anybody here doesn't mind using any old TV, I recommend GoodWill. The ones by my place are selling their TVs for $1.

Icyguy said:
I use my SNES, N64, and Dreamcast on a 32" 720p HDTV and I never really have a problem. The graphics still look just as sharp and clean as they ever did. Maybe I'm not a true retro gamer, though. :lol
Yeah, something wrong with you. :lol :p

SNES pixel art doesn't look as bad on HDTVs, but Dreamcast and N64 look absolutely horrendous to me. I can't stand it. :(
 
#13
I have one of those thingys for my Dreamcast so that it can be hooked to a computer monitor. The bad part of that is, not all games on the Dreamcast support that out put. :'(

edit: The games that do not support that out put, the Dreamcast will not allow it to be played. It stops the game and says not compatible.
 
#15
I just saw where the hyperkin retron 5 says it upconver to 720 p and plays all a lot of the nintendo and sega stuff. Supposedly the fx chip isn't a problem anymore and they're touting 100% compatability AND its hardware emulaton... This thing would save me a ton of money and hassle (not to mention desktop realestate on a scaler or tube tv). I wonder how well it actually works... Release is december 10th I think i'll try it out.
 
#16
Let me know how it is. You got my attention. It sounds awesome. I have a retron 3 and I like it. The games that I have, from what I can remember, play on it. It has been a while since I tried everything. I did that when I first got it. The one thing that I think is great about this system is you can use the original controllers. Its saving grace due to the original retron controllers are nothing but (use your own personal expletives here).
 
#17
I've yet to find a clone with decent controllers. The retron 5 touts a wireless bluetooth controller that sounds similar to a ps3 controller. I don't I believe for a second that the controller will be any better than any of the other crap that's came before it but we'll see. I plan purchasing one of these as soon as I can find it online. newegg still says coming soon.
 
Jun 2004
Indiana
#18
I ran across a $50 Genesis rehash at a pharmacy last week. Apparently it has like 50 Genesis games crammed into it. I will admit being ever so slightly tempted to play Altered Beast again.

Of course, I could just stop being lazy and see if it can be downloaded on PSN.
 
#19
I feel like I've got some sonic mega collection or something on 360 and steam that's got altered beast on it.

I loved the beat em ups from the 16 bit era but they've not really weathered well. I probably put enough quarters in the Captain America and the Avengers arcade machine to buy one in the early 90's but just a few years ago I found one at a flea market and it just wasn't the same.
 
#20
Grindspine said:
I ran across a $50 Genesis rehash at a pharmacy last week. Apparently it has like 50 Genesis games crammed into it. I will admit being ever so slightly tempted to play Altered Beast again.

Of course, I could just stop being lazy and see if it can be downloaded on PSN.
My Wife gave me one as a gift she picked up from a local Walgreens. It is shaped like Sonic's head. It also has a number of games built in. The gaming that i find on it is satisfying for that quick pickup and play. It has a built in Sd card slot. ;)

It plays very good on a flatscreen. Looks better on my tube.
 

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