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Allycuk

how do I connect my atari 2600 to a plasma tv

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Hi,I usually play my atari on a 15" lcd tv with no probs but recently hooked it up to my 42" plasma tv straight into the aerial socket and done a channel search...got a great picture and sound but the problem is the picture flashes every 2 seconds! I tried messing around with different tv settings for ages and can't figure it out.Anybody have any ideas how to solve this?

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Check the manual for the TV (or the menus) and see if it has a "game" setting. Otherwise, feeding the signal through a VCR might be the only way to work around it.

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Check the manual for the TV (or the menus) and see if it has a "game" setting. Otherwise, feeding the signal through a VCR might be the only way to work around it.

Hi AJ, I tried it in game mode today with no joy :( Some games like pac-man and river raid 2 work fine but space invaders and joust etc. keep flashing.Is it something to do with the way the signal from the atari is processed by the TV?(I read somewhere that alot of modern TVs struggle with retro video games) I don't have a vcr is there any kind of modulator I could get to hook it up?(its a pal atari,and i'm over in the UK...so no radio shack here)

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What he said.

 

The problem is technically not with the TV, but the fact that the signal from the console doesn't fully conform to the PAL standard (the same is true of NTSC consoles). Back when all televisions were analog, all or very nearly all sets would react to the signals in well-known ways, such that the designers of the system knew the kinds of ways they could fall outside the standard and still get a good picture. Now that most televisions are digital, and not designed with obsolete game consoles in mind, they're much pickier about adherence to the standards, and simply have no understanding of what to do with an out-of-spec signal. Some happen to handle the flaws gracefully, while others don't.

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What he said.

 

The problem is technically not with the TV, but the fact that the signal from the console doesn't fully conform to the PAL standard (the same is true of NTSC consoles). Back when all televisions were analog, all or very nearly all sets would react to the signals in well-known ways, such that the designers of the system knew the kinds of ways they could fall outside the standard and still get a good picture. Now that most televisions are digital, and not designed with obsolete game consoles in mind, they're much pickier about adherence to the standards, and simply have no understanding of what to do with an out-of-spec signal. Some happen to handle the flaws gracefully, while others don't.

thanks to both of you for your help.my uncle has an old vcr,I will get some rca leads and let you both know how I get on!

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Back when all televisions were analog, all or very nearly all sets would react to the signals in well-known ways, such that the designers of the system knew the kinds of ways they could fall outside the standard and still get a good picture. Now that most televisions are digital, and not designed with obsolete game consoles in mind, they're much pickier about adherence to the standards, and simply have no understanding of what to do with an out-of-spec signal. Some happen to handle the flaws gracefully, while others don't.

 

A little further detail: In older television sets, the vertical and horizontal sweep were essentially independent. If the time between vertical sweeps was an integer multiple of the time between horizontal sweeps, successive fields would be drawn precisely on top of each other; if it was an odd half-multiple, they would be 2-way interlaced. If they had some other relationship, 3-way, 5-way, or other interlacing would be possible. An important thing to note, though, is that a television set wouldn't care whether a signal was interlaced or not. An LCD, plasma, or other such set has to care about such things, because it has to know which parts of the display to update on each scan.

 

I've sometimes wondered whether it would be helpful for programmers to adjust game sync timing to somewhat better match the standard. Unfortunately, many games for best appearance require a non-interlaced display; outputting an interlaced signal may improve compatibility with some digital televisions, but would make the game look worse on traditional ones. Further, I'm not sure it's possible to do anything with the vertical sync timing on a PAL machine without jinxing the color.

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Don't know if this is an NTSC specific problem as I've had my PAL Atari hooked up to my 42" Panasonic plasma with no issues at all! :?

Edited by stvd

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