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The rundown on frequent recreation console video outputs

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There’s no college like the old-fashioned, and that goes for recreation consoles as nicely. Even with the rise of retro consoles just like the SNES Traditional or the PlayStation Traditional, there’s no beating the originals. However how do you hook up such previous consoles to new TVs? There are a couple of totally different choices out there.

After I went to the Nationwide Videogame Museum not too long ago, my favourite exhibit was the mock-up 80s front room, full with the curved-screen CRT monitor hooked as much as an Intellivision. It introduced again reminiscences of an easier time and jogged my memory I’m of the final era to develop up with out HD (not less than till I used to be about 14 when my dad and mom purchased our first HDTV).

However fortuitously, we’re previous the times of CRT screens. So the place do our previous consoles slot in? Right here’s a easy clarification of what sorts of outputs retro consoles have (beginning roughly with the third era).

Word: We’re limiting this text to simply describing the totally different sorts of video outputs out there, quite than giving particular directions on hook all the pieces up. There are methods to attach nearly each console to any type of TV on the market, so that is extra of a newbie’s information.


That is the trendy commonplace, and just about the one output out there on current-gen consoles. I’ll be shocked if you will discover every other method of hooking a PS4 or Swap as much as a TV. Fortunately a number of consoles one-generation faraway from the present one even have HDMI outputs — the Xbox 360 and PS3 have HDMI slots.

Nonetheless, there are some consoles that don’t have this. The Wii, for instance, doesn’t have an HDMI output, although it may be modded with easy additions. Many older consoles might be modded to work with HDMI, however it’s difficult. You probably have different choices, it’s a good suggestion to make use of them as an alternative.


Part video often comes with pink, blue, and inexperienced RCA cables, together with pink and white audio cables. A number of seventh-gen consoles such because the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have official element connections. Part can provide you a reasonably high-resolution picture, and it’s not but an sufficiently old that it’s been fully phased out.

Some older consoles are additionally component-compatible. The GameCube, for instance, had a particular digital a/v output that was solely suitable with a uncommon element cable. That exact cable now instructions a princely three-figure worth on eBay.


S-Video is a regular definition video, recognizable by its four-pin connector. Yow will discover S-video cables for Nintendo consoles, such because the SNES and the GameCube — although many Nintendo consoles have multi-out slots that work with many various sorts of cables, together with S-video.


Composite video cables are recognizable by their colours: one pink, one white, one yellow. This one is pretty frequent on TVs nonetheless, and is commonly a great possibility for any consoles that will be difficult to transform to HDMI. Fortunately composite and element inputs are sometimes grouped collectively on TVs, because the audio is identical for each.

A number of consoles have a “multi-out” port and got here with customized RCA composite cables. The Xbox, Xbox 360, and a number of other Nintendo consoles have such ports, which can be utilized with many various cables. Typically composite was packaged with S-video in 2-in-1 cables for these consoles, which provides you some choices.


The only-pin coaxial port, additionally referred to as RF (radio frequency) is commonest on the oldest consoles. Many second- and third-gen consoles, such because the Atari 2600, the Sega Genesis, and the NES, have an RF coaxial output.

Coax is usually used to attach cable containers. As such, many TVs nonetheless have one (although given the instances, it’s comprehensible in the event you don’t have cable anymore). You probably have one, that is the best technique to hook up your old-school consoles.

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