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View Full Version : Atari 2600/5200/7800 <-> LCD TV?



CP/M User
March 16th, 2007, 09:41 PM
Has anyone here plugged their console into a LCD TV?

While I'm here has anyone done this with their Atari Computers?

What's the quality like?

Retromaster
March 17th, 2007, 06:54 AM
I'm about to. you see, the origianl atari's did not out put composite video signals, so you must make a composite video circuit.

not too hard. I'll make a schematic for you, if you want...

I'll tell you what it looks like when I do.

NathanAllan
March 17th, 2007, 08:27 AM
Don't all TV's have coaxial in for cable? That's how I play with mine. I don't need composite just to hook the 7800 up. I don't have a flat panel, but I have a new CRT that both the 2600 and 7800 look great on. I *want* a flat panel, though. :P

Retromaster
March 17th, 2007, 08:30 AM
yeah...never thought of that....

composite is s little more crisp than RF, and S-video is better than all.

Starshadow
March 17th, 2007, 09:03 AM
I've actually hooked an Atari 2600 up to a Sega GameGear through the rare TV Tuner. Picture Quaility was quite good. I've also used this trick to hook other systems up ( An XBOX on a Game Gear screen :frankenstein: )

Vlad
March 17th, 2007, 09:28 AM
I hooked mine up to my LCD TV though Coax. Worked fine until that little computer/TV box gave out....

-VK

Bill_Loguidice
March 17th, 2007, 10:23 AM
Use this, available from lots of places: Coaxial (F-Type) to Female RCA Adapter - http://www.atariage.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=42

No need for the switchbox.

I've used a variety of my systems, computer and videogame, on my rear projection HDTV in both widescreen and 4:3 modes. It's not ideal as these systems do look best on 4:3 CRT's, but it works just fine.

carlsson
March 17th, 2007, 01:20 PM
I've heard that some systems (at least Commodore) outputs a signal that is not in 100% sync regarding what the TV expects from a composite video signal. Older TV's and monitors were not so picky, but a new LCD, TFT, Plasma may not sync properly on a such signal. Disclaimer: I have not verified this myself, just heard it from numerous sources.

CP/M User
March 18th, 2007, 10:10 PM
Sorry, I'd thought I'd made it clear in the heading. I just wanted to know if anyone have plugged the forementioned machines into a LCD - no Component, S-Video. I just thought a LCD would of had a Coaxial at least, doesn't it?

Yeah, I would have liked a Flat-screen TV, though it was tricky just getting a 34cm telly with the Component Video Output and NTSC compatability (though particularly the Component Video). Can't remember which year I got it now! :-( 2004 or 2005 perhaps back then it was tricky getting a small screen with a decent picture quality, though now just about every tubed telly has got them.

atari2600a
March 18th, 2007, 10:59 PM
Retro, the Atari computer line natively outputted Composite. Or at least the 400/800 did, I'm not sure if they put the port on the XL/XE line, as I don't own one & am too lazy to look it up.

carlsson
March 19th, 2007, 01:27 AM
CP/M: So you're asking about antenna (RF) input? I've also heard that some of the newer TV sets don't operate well with antenna input around UHF 36, which at least most PAL systems use (NTSC uses channel 3-4, which IIUC are VHF frequencies). Sometimes routing the antenna input via an old VCR may improve functionality if direct connection doesn't yield the desired results.

Maybe a lot of this are coincidences, but it may very well be so that for every year, fewer and fewer TVs and monitors are made to be completely backwards compatible with the computers and video games that 20+ years ago were made to connect to a TV. Older TV sets in good working order may be worth keeping for certain systems, or there will be a market for converter boxes that adapt old signals to new signals.

CP/M User
March 19th, 2007, 09:57 PM
carlsson wrote:

CP/M: So you're asking about antenna (RF) input? I've also heard that some of the newer TV sets don't operate well with antenna input around UHF 36, which at least most PAL systems use (NTSC uses channel 3-4, which IIUC are VHF frequencies). Sometimes routing the antenna input via an old VCR may improve functionality if direct connection doesn't yield the desired results.

Hmmmm. Not sure if we're discussing the same thing here, though my Atari's (both of them) work on a VHF signal.

All I was asking was if any of the foremention systems I made plug into a Coaxial plug (75-Ohm plug I believe) on a LCD TV? Isn't there LCD TV's with these plugs? If so, is the quality good?

I believe it is since people have told me they pluged their Atari 2600 into a TV tuner for their Sega Gamegear (that's good enough for me - even if it's a bit of an oddball mixture).

CP/M User.

CP/M User
March 19th, 2007, 10:00 PM
carlsson wrote:

CP/M: So you're asking about antenna (RF) input? I've also heard that some of the newer TV sets don't operate well with antenna input around UHF 36, which at least most PAL systems use (NTSC uses channel 3-4, which IIUC are VHF frequencies). Sometimes routing the antenna input via an old VCR may improve functionality if direct connection doesn't yield the desired results.

Hmmmm. Not sure if we're discussing the same thing here, though my Atari's (both of them) work on a VHF signal.

All I was asking was if any of the foremention systems I made plug into a Coaxial plug (75-Ohm plug I believe) on a LCD TV? Isn't there LCD TV's with these plugs? If so, is the quality good?

I believe it is since people have told me they pluged their Atari 2600 into a TV tuner for their Sega Gamegear (that's good enough for me - even if it's a bit of an oddball mixture).

CP/M User.

carlsson
March 20th, 2007, 02:49 AM
Yep, we're discussing the same matter. I don't know if PAL Atari systems work on VHF, but theoretically I see no reason why they shouldn't. Also I don't know why many other systems used a UHF frequency, but perhaps it was to not collide with aerial TV channels. VHS recorders also broadcast on UHF 36-40 somewhere, if I recall correctly.

As regarding to picture quality, I don't have a clue. Probably an old CRT with composite, separate, component, RGB or other video input makes a clearer picture than a LCD with RF input, which blurs things quite a bit. I don't know if the relatively low resolution on these systems makes a RF signal look better or worse than if the video game had a very high resolution but still used many pixels to represent graphics.

Retromaster
March 20th, 2007, 06:44 AM
Retro, the Atari computer line natively outputted Composite. Or at least the 400/800 did, I'm not sure if they put the port on the XL/XE line, as I don't own one & am too lazy to look it up.


Did they? Then how did they hook up to those old TVs that only took UHF and VHF and cable?:???:

or did they have RF boxes?

(correct me if i'm wrong, i'm a n00b)

atari2600a
March 20th, 2007, 06:46 AM
RF box....

atari2600a
March 20th, 2007, 06:52 AM
No Retro, they have BOTH. Composite AND RF output!

NathanAllan
March 20th, 2007, 07:53 AM
Just to be clear, the composite was on a 5-pin DIN jack and you had to have a cable with RCA jacks on one end.


No Retro, they have BOTH. Composite AND RF output!

Not sure if I mentioned it, but my C64 wouldn't produce a picture when hooked up to RF (but will with the TI monitor) but the 2600 and 7800 would. Might be the RF or it could just be that the RF is damaged on the C=. Never tried with the Atari 800, though. Running it through a VCR is the popular opinion with all the gamestore people around here. I ask questions when I can't experiment myself.

carlsson
March 20th, 2007, 09:14 AM
As far as I understand, it is as following:

Atari 400: Only RF output, no DIN video connector
Atari 800: Composite output, not Y/C (??)
Atari 600XL NTSC: Only RF output (??)
Atari 600XL PAL: Composite output, not Y/C
Atari 800XL Late series: Composite output + Y/C, otherwise as Atari 800

I don't know about 800XE, 65XE and so on. They probably have both composite and Y/C output in the video connector, either with external or internal RF modulator on the side.

The Commodore 64 has a built-in RF, so you shouldn't need to connect it to an external RF. Probably it won't work anyway, as the RF box may assume a voltage on one of the pins to drive it, and the C64 doesn't supply a such signal.