I read that some people thought that his system was a hoax or a pirate version. I would like to firmly debunk that nonsense, but first some background:
When Nintendo redesigned the NES in 1993, they sought to address the various issues of the original box. First, the hated front loading, push down cartridge mechanism had to go. The solution was to use a top loading mechanism, which most other consoles used. This greatly improved reliability with the cartridges. Second, they needed to make the design cost cheaper if it were to reach a low price point, in this case $50. To do this, the NES Top Loader does not have the unused expansion port, a lockout chip or composite AV outputs. They simplified the board (based on the original Famicom), eliminated metal shielding and simplified the case shell design. They included an internal RF modulator and external switch only for audio and video output.
Nintendo's research showed that very, very few people connected the front loader NES with the AV outputs, so they decided to forgo the AV outputs in the Top Loader. Everybody could use an RF switch on their TVs back then, so they went with that. However, many users observed visible vertical lines on the screen. These lines are much more noticeable than they are on the front loader. Some users complained and Nintendo repaired their systems by sending them a replacement motherboard. This motherboard had a NES Multi-out (as seen on the SNES, N64 and Gamecube) instead of an RF modulator. This improved the video quality and the lines were a lot less noticeable.
Back in Japan, the original Famicom began showing its age. It only had an RF modulator and non-detachable joystick controllers. Nintendo decided to use the NES Top Loader as its model for creating a revised Famicom. In 1994, they released the Famicom AV. Instead of an internal RF modulator, it had a Multi-out. It also had detachable joystick ports using the NES design (but are not compatible with the Zapper and some other peripherals without modifying them). The case styling based off the NES Top Loader. The video output is the best quality available outside the RGB NES variants (Playchoice 10, VS. System, Famicom Titler).
The NES and Famicom's PPU outputs a composite video signal, so it cannot be coaxed to do better (S-Video or RGB). Its audio mixing circuit outputs only mono sound, so in order to get stereo sound, you have to split the sound channels directly from the CPU. Officially, regardless of output jack, the NES is mono.
Watching this individual's videos, I am convinced that those users who reported that Nintendo repaired their Top Loaders by switching the board to an AV output gave an accurate recollection of events. The motherboard shown is clearly a Nintendo manufactured board. No pirate board is as cleany designed or silkscreened with © Nintendo. The board also looks virtually identical to my Famicom AV's board, except for the cartridge slot and expansion port. It also has the RF shielding covering the main chips found in a Famicom AV but lacking in the NES Top Loader. It also has the same chips contained in the Famicom AV.
Next to the Multi-out on his system, the port for the power adapter says "DC IN". This is definitely a Famicom AV design influence. The Famicom AV also uses a DC IN port. Specifically, the ratings on the power supply are 10VDC, 850mA, center negative. (Actually, the Famicom AV did not come with a power supply, you were supposed to use your original Famicom power supply.) Interestingly, in video 1, the sticker on the bottom tells the user to use the AC brick that powered the NES front and top loaders. This is not adviseable when the board expects DC input. This lends more credence to those old reports that the motherboard was a drop in replacment to the original Top Loader shell.
One disagreement I have with the gentleman who made the video is that I do not believe his Top Loader AV came like that in the original box. I believe that original purchaser complained about the video output and sent his RF Top Loader to Nintendo for repair. Nintendo replaced his motherboard and sent him a Nintendo mono-AV cable (so he could actually connect it) and a replacement power supply. He does not claim to be the original owner, and while he has an original box, he does not claim to have purchased it sealed. I would think that it is extremely unlikely that Nintendo would have replaced the advertised contents of the box without some kind of sticker marking the change at least. On the other hand, he does show a NES Dogbone controller that seems to be in its original wrapping and twisty tie.
Edited by Great Hierophant, Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:25 AM.