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Should I run my 2600 through a VCR?


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#1 TheBluFalcon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:56 PM

I'm currently running my 2600 through a box connected to the coax input on a VCR and running the VCR to a CRT TV using composite cables. Does this give any benefit in video quality over modding the 2600 to directly output composite?

 

Also, before you say anything, yes, I'm aware that the switch box thingies are bad and I should get an RF-Coax adapter, but I don't currently have one and arm running other things into the box as well.



#2 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:58 PM

If it is working good for you I say go with it.  There is no harm in doing so.

 

EDIT:

I don't think it would be any better video quality however than a composite mod but if the picture is clear enough for you I wouldn't worry about modding the system.


Edited by SignGuy81, Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:00 PM.


#3 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:00 PM

Yep, if it doesn't bother you, leave it.  I would suggest getting rid of the box though.



#4 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:34 PM

If it is working good for you I say go with it.  There is no harm in doing so.

 

EDIT:

I don't think it would be any better video quality however than a composite mod but if the picture is clear enough for you I wouldn't worry about modding the system.

 

yea a (proper) composite mod will be better quality, but depending on the setup the end result may be negligible, for instance my LCD I use out in the garage just sux with RF, even very good quality RF, but my 10 inch trinatron you have to get right up on it and LOOK for the differences  



#5 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:40 PM

I had a lot of trouble getting my mate's Master System to work properly when its RF output was plugged directly into a new LCD TV - the changing number of scanlines on the title screen and in different sections of the game caused the TV to display fuzzy black and white images.

 

So I think a VCR is actually a pretty smart way to swing your setup - its the cheapest option, and it gives you the most bang for your buck.

 

I'm with everyone else here - if you're happy with it, then it's all good!



#6 CRTGAMER OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:40 PM

I'm currently running my 2600 through a box connected to the coax input on a VCR and running the VCR to a CRT TV using composite cables. Does this give any benefit in video quality over modding the 2600 to directly output composite?

 

Also, before you say anything, yes, I'm aware that the switch box thingies are bad and I should get an RF-Coax adapter, but I don't currently have one and arm running other things into the box as well.

 

Since the Atari is not modded and putting out RF, there is no point running thru a convertor box to composite and then thru the VCR. Your CRTV can already pickup the 2600 RF with its analog tuner. Just go with what you alluded; get an RCA to RF adapter plug. This prevents signal loss going thru the extra pieces.
 

Modding the 2600 to composite will definitely improve the signal connected directly to the CRT composite input.



#7 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:00 PM

Back in 2012, my Atari 2600 wouldn't work with my LCD HDTV until I ran it through a complicated mess. Below is based on what I posted.

 

I have a broken DVD recorder and running it through there didn't fix anything, just like the VCRs and a little RF Modulator that kind of looks like this, but there's something I didn't try until now.

The broken DVD recorder has S-Video output, so I plugged that into the little RF Modulator which has S-Video input, then ran the coaxial cable from the RF Modulator to the HDTV and now I'm getting a stable picture!


Here's what I did in case it might help others or in case I forget:

1. Atari 2600 connected to broken DVD recorder using a Coaxial (F-Type) to Female RCA Adapter.

2. S-Video cable connected from broken DVD recorder to the RF Modulator.

3. Left and Right RCA cables connected from broken DVD recorder to the RF Modulator.

4. Coaxial cable connected from RF Modulator to LCD HDTV.



#8 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:16 PM

That might actually help with the Sega Master System I had trouble with...



#9 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:17 PM

Get an RCA to RF adapter - just a few bucks, yet I found it can make a huge improvement in picture quality.



#10 Nathan Strum OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:50 PM

I use a Sony TU-1041U TV Tuner (basically, a VCR's demodulator, without the VCR). The quality is very good. You can find them all over eBay for around $25.



#11 TheBluFalcon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:14 AM

Probably should have mentioned in the original post that I can't run the RF signal directly to the TV, as the coax input is actually broken off because I would always rotate the TV around with the coax still connected to something, and it eventually snapped off, which is why I'm running it through a VCR in the first place.



#12 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:20 AM

Call me crazy, but I never saw a need to mod any of my systems, Atari or otherwise.

With two notable exceptions: the Timex/Sinclair 1000 (and also my ZX81) and the DINA I used to have (that's a whole sad story for a different thread about scammers). The stock RF on the TS1000 is seriously bad. The DINA outputs to VHF channel 13 (the system originated in Taiwan), which isn't really a problem in theory--especially now that TV stations don't broadcast in analog anymore, so the interference you'd get on Ch. 13 doesn't really happen anymore--but it was a mild nuisance, and the RF was just okay even on its best days. Of course, this is symptomatic of both of these systems being made as absolutely cheaply as possible. They were junky even in the '80s. :P

 

The Atari 7800 is a contender as well,  but only because the RF connection on mine is so touchy.



#13 wongojack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:32 AM

I use a Sony TU-1041U TV Tuner (basically, a VCR's demodulator, without the VCR). The quality is very good. You can find them all over eBay for around $25.

 

I have 2 or 3 of these as well (different brands).  Smaller than a VCR (usually) and should be able to keep giving you composite output with no mod for years.



#14 famicommander OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:32 PM



I use a Sony TU-1041U TV Tuner (basically, a VCR's demodulator, without the VCR). The quality is very good. You can find them all over eBay for around $25.

Thank you for this. I've been looking for a decent price on an RF Demodulator for quite a while. My Sony PVMs don't have RF input and I still have two systems that I haven't had modded for RGB/S-Video/composite: my Intellivision and my Odyssey2.

 

If you type "RF demodulator" into eBay you just get a bunch of overpriced nonsense.

 

With this device I can finally throw away the stupid VCR. I threw away all the VHS tapes ages ago (you'll get my LaserDiscs from my cold, dead hands though).



#15 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:38 PM

Leave it. RF rules!! If the picture is not snowy and no noise interference that bothers you why mess it up with a video mod?

#16 famicommander OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:05 PM

Leave it. RF rules!! If the picture is not snowy and no noise interference that bothers you why mess it up with a video mod?

Even with no RF interference, there's a clear hierarchy in picture quality for these classic systems.

 

RGB >>>> S-Video >>>>> Composite >>>>>>>>>> RF

 

I didn't think it really mattered for systems that old but after I got my Colecovision and 7800 composite modded, I'm not going back to RF. Hell, I wish I'd had the foresight to have them RGB modded instead. 



#17 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:16 PM

I too quite like RF - but there's no need for anyone to dictate someone's preference a

#18 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:20 PM

I too quite like RF - but there's no need for anyone to dictate someone's preference a

 

IMO RF is serviceable, hell I ran it for decades in hopes of one day owning a tv with composite, composite works very well for most systems up till maybe the ps1 era but for sure then outwards go component (though a SNES at 240p over component if your tv supports it is glorious) 

 

I have never had much love for svideo, I try it and its kind of like someone took a 1992 jpeg and cranked the sharpness filter to 100 in the gimp ...

 

again preferences, and like opinions and whats that hole ... um .... ah yes a mouth we all have them 



#19 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:20 AM

My a8 computer has svid and composite.
The sound and picture are clear. I like it so I can keep my 7800 straight into the antenna and swicth between the 2 with tv inputs instead at switch boxes etc.
To each there own.

#20 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:25 AM

S video is like having chroma and luma for separate cables, but in one plug. My only real experience was early computers though.

Honestly I like rf, and see little reason to upgrade the console, especially the 2600, outside of possibly compatibility with newer TVs.

#21 Schmudde OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:48 PM

I have a 2600 that I'm running into a new Samsung with an BN39-01154P Cbf Signal to RF NTSC converter. It's not working. Do you think I can just go in composite using one of the Philips RF Moduator Video Converters listed above? Seems like the simplest solution. Or do I needs something like the Sony TU-1041U TV Tuner.

 

Sorry for the noob questions, but there is something about the modulator/demodulator I'm not understanding here. Any insight would be appreciated.

 

/Schmudde



#22 davyK OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:24 PM

Using a VCR with composite to the TV is only replacing the TV's tuner with the VCR's. So if it has a better tuner then it's worth doing - if it doesn't - then it's not(!)

I ran mine through a VCR for a long time. My VCR is a Sony one and gives a great picture and I assumed it would be better than my Panasonic CRT's tuner. I've since tried it direct to the TV and to be honest I didn't really notice any difference.

Edited by davyK, Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:25 PM.





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