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I bought a cheap Ali Express NES emulator trinket (more specifically, this one), but the video quality on my 2016 Samsung TV is horrible: colors seem washed out, there is lots of blurring and striping artefacts, input signal feels very sluggish... I've played a bit with the TV's config options and that helps somewhat but it's nowhere near what I remember it looking like on CRT's 30-ish years ago.

I've googled a bit but it seems that the most common advice is to buy a several hundred dollar specialty converter. That's a bit too much relative to my $15 emulator.

So my question is - are there other ways to get a better experience with these cheap emulators? For example, if I buy a cheap composite to HDMI converter and plug that into a computer monitor, would that work better? Or are there formats I can convert into that TV's don't do processing on, assuming that all problems stem from that processing? Or maybe there are other options I didn't think about? Thanks.

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  • Any computer you could buy new in 2023 will run up to sixth gen emulators at 4K, no problem, except for Xbox, unless there finally is a working emu for that. Connecting a retro console emulator trinket to a modern tv is a diff Q and not worth the trouble.
    – Mazura
    Dec 29, 2023 at 4:15
  • "AliExpress has a rating of 2.93 stars from 7,761 reviews, indicating that most customers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases." an $11 PoC prob doesn't do what it says on the tin. "a several hundred dollar specialty converter" (comes free inside a computer) prob can't upscale the texture files anyway, or do AA, so it'd still look horrible.
    – Mazura
    Dec 29, 2023 at 4:16

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I had to face the same problem when I decided to connect my old PSX to new 4K TV. It was really a nightmare. Unfortunately, there does not exist any good solution for native retro platforms. The easiest and painless way is to play on emulators, but if it is not satisfying for you too, I understand your point of view - I have the same.

Here is my topic where I had a similar problem to yours and as you can see there, I did not receive a full answer. However, I recommend you to read the comments under my question because as far as I remember, those guys mentioned a few times some reasonable workarounds:
Which type of screen will provide good video quality for PSX/PS2?

Of course, the final conclusion is that retro gear works the best with old, heavy kinescope TV.

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