Saturday, July 11, 2009

My new HDTV and what I’ve lost

46 Sega Genesis 2

A tragedy happened last month – our trusted 29” RCA tube television dropped dead.

My wife and I have had that thing for about a decade and we hated to see it go. Still, we saw the death of that television as an excuse to go out and buy a 1080p, 42” LCD television so that we could take advantage of the wacky, wonderful world of HDTV.

The television is a thing of beauty. The picture looks great on it and the TV fits very well in our living e.

There is a major, major, major damned problem with HDTV sets, however. My NES, Super NES and Sega Genesis look pretty rough on that set. I figured I’d mod those systems to S-video one of these days so as to improve the picture.

Ah, but the SNES is connected with S-video and the picture still isn’t great. Drat. It seems that the native, 240p signal those old consoles put out doesn’t play well on a 1080p set.

That, folks, is a major drag. Sure, I could plug my old systems into the television in the bedroom (it’s a tube TV), but that wouldn’t solve my problem of playing games late at night in the living room.

I can get buy on my Sony Playstation, Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo Wii on the new television, but those systems will never touch the appeal of the classic systems as far as I’m concerned.

By the way. That Nintendo Wii. Don’t buy one. Once the novelty wears off, you’ll realize you’ve got a system with the graphical capability of a Nintendo Gamecube but with a worse controller. Yeah, I know that Wii remote is innovative, but so was the Atari 5200 joystick. A suck controller is a suck controller whether it’s innovative or not. The Wi-Fi support is terrible, too, as the main purpose of it seems to be using it to buy Wiiware – terrible, nasty little games that hog up the system’s pitiful amount of internal storage. The only system I’ve owned that was more of a personal disappointment than the Wii was an Atari Jaguar. That’s saying something.

I suppose that’s to be expected. I mean, come on –  my dog likes to wee on bushes in the backyard. Whenever I hear the word “Wii,” I think of my dog hiking his leg up on a fence post. Somehow that seems very fitting.

Here’s a tip for those of you with Wiis, by the way. The crap games that go to that system sell much better on eBay when they are unopened. Keep that in mind the next time a well-meaning relative gives you a Wii game – it’s not a total loss because some sucker out there will be willing to purchase it on eBay and will pay a premium if the stinky game is in its original, factory shrink rap.

At any rate, I’m kind of mad someone out there could have designed an HDTV television set that could reproduce signals from old video games, VCRs and DVD players. The HDTV we bought is great, but I had no idea I’d be stuck playing a damned Wii unless I wanted to plug in, say, my Genesis and hope for the best.


Harrison said...

Depending upon which model you bought, HDTVs generally don't display low-res content as well. If you have a good home theater system that can upconvert the signal fairly well but LCD doesn't do as well as plasma is displaying non-high-res formats.

Sir Jorge said...

i never thought about that, man i'm an old school gamer and now i'm nervous about getting an HDTV

American Idiot said...


Doesn't the wii-mote turn into an old school NES and SNES / Genesis controller? Can't you buy those old school games, and then some (turbo graphix 16, etc) on the wii too? Don't game cube games work on it, and game cube controllers?

I think the wii is pretty amazing, myself. There is a reason it has out sold the others by a large margin. :)

An Atari Jaguar, wow. I have never actually seen one of those in person, but that is impressive. lol.

Thanks for the heads up about HD LCD tv's though, I do still have those older systems myself too.

Metallman said...

Oh man, what a drag! The only thing I could suggest is getting the NES and SNES games from the Wii store... but that's like paying for games you already have! Man, that's definitely a tough spot to be in.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Harrison -- Wish I would have known that before I bought an LCD. Still, I think I've found a good solution to my problem -- RGB SCART cable for the Genesis (and SNES) that's run through a splitter with the video converted to component and the audio running through RCA jacks. A couple of cables, a couple of switches and -- $70 later -- I'll be all set. Probably get the SCART cable for the Playstation, also, and both the VGA box for the Dreamcast and the component cable for the Wii are on their way here.


Sir Jorge -- See the "easy" mod above (you don't fool with hardware -- just cables, a switcher and a converter).

American Idiot -- Well, maybe I was a bit hard on the Wii. I should have bought a PS3, however -- the Wiimote is kind of a gimmick and good games are hard to find for that system.

I'd rather not pay more money to emulate games I already have. What a headache. Found a way to get the old systems to work, however, so I'll see how that goes.

Metallman -- As I mentioned above, a few cables and I'll be fine. I've thought about loading an emulator for the Wii through the Homebrew Channel I set up, but there's just no substitute for the original hardware.