Is it possible? I still like retro gaming on my PSX/PS2 when I have time, but all TVs are HD now and the AVI looks like a mess, and even output from the 480p component cables look really grainy and not as smooth as they used to. Is there such thing as a device out there which will smooth out the quality and make it look at least as good on an HDTV as it did on the old tube TVs of the past?

  • 1
    To the downvoters: We encourage users to leave a comment when downvoting so that the OP knows how to improve their question. When down votes are left without comments and the reasons for doing so are unclear, you'll often see users (like myself) wanting to know the reason why. – galacticninja Apr 1 '13 at 3:08
  • 1
    Video game console emulators in the PC have image scaling features that work like you described. I'm just not sure if there are hardware or software that you could use to make it work with your PS2 and HDTV. – galacticninja Apr 1 '13 at 3:13
  • +1. Great question, inspite of the downvote. And, yes, there certainly is hardware for this. It just depends on the desired effect. See my answer. – RLH Apr 2 '13 at 12:29

At the center of my heart I am an avid retro-gamer. About 6 months ago I decided that I wanted to work on a game that had a real "8-bit" feel to it and I wanted it to look more than being just a blocky-looking game. It had to feel like you were playing on an old, gaming system and playing on an CRT television.

In short, what you want to see are the effects of the scanlines that show up on your television. I'll spare all of the technical details but the bottom line is that old, analog televisions display information on old TV screens in a much different manner than current Plasmas, LCD, LEDs and anything else that will ever come along.

Not to worry, though! There is hardware out there (called a scan converter) that takes these old channels, converts them to digital and then applies appropriate filters to the HDMI output so that it looks and feels a much like ye olde skool, CRT output of yore.

I really want one of these devices but they are pretty intense. You might be able to find a cheap box for under $100 but the really top-notch converters can cost more than $500.

Scanlines Demistified is the original source that I found when looking for a converter. I've not looked much further than this source because, all though I want a converter for all of my systems, I need to save up to get one of the nicer $300+ units.

  • If and when you do decide to take the plunge, I'd love to speak further with you about this. I don't understand the details enough to be sure of what I am getting but based on what you've said, 300 dollars seems completely reasonable if it really does restore the viability of playing these older consoles on newer TVs. – roo Apr 4 '13 at 18:10
  • @Kyle. It really depends on what you want. If you want to play Super Mario Bros. 3 or Final Fantasy III (US), so that it looks and feels like it originally did, then this is the way to go. That, or just by an old boxy TV. Do you spend $3-400 on an expensive converter or just keep an old 21" around. I, personally, have kept a 23" in my spare bedroom for this very reason. In fact, my wife has begged me to toss "that piece of junk". Lol... but I just can't do it since you can't get the same affect on an HDTV without expensive equipment. – RLH Apr 4 '13 at 19:08

There are some modern TVs that will emulate certain features of tube TVs, and there are other ways of upconverting. Playing your older games on a (compatible) PS3, can naturally upconvert them to a higher resolution, the (compatible) PS3 has various settings to make playing the older games work in various ways.

  • 1
    Good to know that some TVs have this feature, though when you try to ask about it at any local retail place they just look at me like I'm the dumbest person on earth for suggesting such a thing. I do play Playstation 1 games on my PS3, but it would be nice to enjoy my ps2/gamecube/n64 games with this same upconversion. My PS3 is not one of the backwards compatible models so I can't play PS2 that way. I hope the technology is more common too. Do you know of any specific modern TVs that will emulate a tube TV to accomplish what I am looking for? – roo Apr 1 '13 at 19:40
  • I didn't know about that (never owned a PS3.) Is it some form of built-in pixel-level filtering? Awesome! – RLH Apr 8 '13 at 17:13

Not possible since those games weren't made to take advantage of HDTVs. Although God of War II can go up to 720i. If you have an old tube TV or can get one. It will be the only way to play the games. I've been thinking of finding an old tube TV to play N64 and Wii games on.

  • 1
    He's looking for something that will blur the pixels, not something that will make it true 1080p. – SevenSidedDie Apr 1 '13 at 2:32
  • @SevenSidedDie My bad. Still not possible. – Gmoneyrocks Apr 1 '13 at 2:43
  • 1
    No, it's possible. Some TVs have it built in. – SevenSidedDie Apr 1 '13 at 2:57
  • Post the answer, son. – Gmoneyrocks Apr 1 '13 at 3:01
  • 1
    Knowing that it's not impossible doesn't mean I know of an inline device or HD receiver model that can do it. Logic, it do not work that way. – SevenSidedDie Apr 1 '13 at 3:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.