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Atari 5200 HDMI, Component Video, S-Video and video upgrade comments

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I am considering maybe purchasing an ATARI 5200 videogame console for the very first time. Back around 1982 or 1983 I played a ATARI 5200 in a retail store briefly. However, I preferred the ColecoVision/ADAM system instead when it came to arcade classics like Donkey Kong, etc. However if the online specs are correct the ATARI 5200 had a 384 x 240i pixel count which is better screen resolution then the ColecoVision/ADAM 256 x 192i pixel resolution.

 

What is the absolute best video output quality one can get from the ATARI 5200?

I know the Atari 5200 shipped with the grainy RF modulated output like all videogame systems in 1982. A Windows PC with a HDMI output offers the absolute best picture quality when emulating 8bit videogames since digital is nice and clean.

Does anyone make a HDMI or component video upgrade for the Atari 5200? I heard that a RGB kit used to be available for the ATARI 5200. In addition, S-Video and composite video kits are available for the ATARI 5200 videogame system.

 

Also, is the ATARI 5200 video upgrade kits 100% compatible with the ATARI 2600 add on adapter? I know some upgrade kits for the ColecoVision/ADAM system do not work with the Coelco ATARI 2600 adapter.

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No idea about HDMI or RGB so I'll let other answer that.

 

 

 

Also, is the ATARI 5200 video upgrade kits 100% compatible with the ATARI 2600 add on adapter? I know some upgrade kits for the ColecoVision/ADAM system do not work with the Coelco ATARI 2600 adapter.

 

Only older 4 port console needs mod to be compatible with the 2600 adapter. 4 port that has an asterisk * in the serial number is 2600 compatible. All 2 ports are 2600 compatible.

 

However the 2600 video will not work with common AV and S-Video mod since the video signal isn't passed through. I don't know if any of the mod works correctly or not but I have a 7800 system so I can play 2600 games without having to deal with funky video issue from adapters.

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Thanks for your answers. If I do purchase a ATARI 5200 in the future I will look for the official ATARI 4 port version that has an asterisk in the serial number so that it works with the ATARI 2600 adapter just in case I every decided to buy the adapter. If HDMI modification does not exist and the RGB modification is out of production then the best option would be S-Video since it sounds like no one made a component video modification.

 

That was a smart decision by ATARI to make the ATARI 7800 100% backward compatible with ATARI 2600 games without the need of any adapters (That is the only videogame system that does not need an adapter to play ATARI 2600 games, except of course the actual ATARI 2600 itself). The other advantage of doing this is any video modification is 100% compatible with both ATARI 7800 and ATARI 2600 videogames. The more powerful ATARI 7800 also sold 3.5 million consoles. The ATARI 5200 only sold 1 million consoles.

Edited by HDTV1080P

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I can't confirm on Bryan's UAV setup for the 5200, but all other 5200 AV mods render the 2600 VCS adapter useless since the video is cut as was stated for the AV mod to work. So even getting a 4-port unit with the '*' isn't going to do you any good if you have the 5200 AV modded. Again, would have to check with Bryan's UAV since he developed them to not require cutting or removing any part of the original circuits for that board to work. But the others...yeah..

 

The 2 port is model is generally considered to be easier to deal with since it doesn't require the proprietary switch-box as the un-modded 4-port models do. So I would advise for most people starting off with the 5200 that might also want the 2600 VCS, to just get a 2 port model, and then purchase the 4-port BIOS kit to install into the 2 port version to regain the compatibility with the few 5200 games that do not work with the 2 port model. This way you have essentially covered 100% for the games. I do advise that if you do AV mod, that you go the s-video route and then either use it on a CRT or find the means to convert over to view on a modern display. I really enjoy playing games on my 5200 much more since I AV modded mine a few years back now.

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I have a 5200 unit that gets very little use. I have future plans for an AtariMax and that joystick clone thingy, but it is ALL on hold until an all-in-one HDMI or at least a VGA adapter is released. It's just not fun playing with fuzzy/blurry graphics.

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I have a 5200 unit that gets very little use. I have future plans for an AtariMax and that joystick clone thingy, but it is ALL on hold until an all-in-one HDMI or at least a VGA adapter is released. It's just not fun playing with fuzzy/blurry graphics.

 

The AV mod I currently have installed on my 5200 is quite clear and certainly not fuzzy. Just too bad ElectronicSentimentalities doesn't offer it any longer... But again, as I stated, Bryan's UAV looks to do the same job and is likely easier to install even.

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I guess there is no native HDMI yet for the ATARI 5200. RGB is a little better then component video and I have one old desktop CRT computer monitor that accepts RGB. Many old CRT NTSC TV’s from 1987 to 2008 have 480i S-Video (The Super VHS format in the late 80’s made S-Video popular, however now S-Video jacks have went out of production on all consumer electronic products. Component video jacks are better quality when compared to S-Video jacks). In the late 90’s around the introduction of the DVD format in 1997, 480i component video jacks started appearing on consumer CRT TV’s, then later on around the turn of the century 480p component video jacks started appearing on both CRT TV’s and flat panels. However up to 1080i component video jacks was common on HD 1080i CRT’s and flat panels in the early 21st Century. Now in the last several years all CRT TV’s and CRT computer monitors are out of production since flat panels were the replacement. In addition, component video jacks are no longer offered on desktop computer monitors and many HDTV’s in 2017 dropped component video jacks for HDMI jacks that can offer up to 8K video quality.

 

At this time I am going to hold off on purchasing a ATARI 5200 and getting a RGB upgrade. I still am using the ADAM computer with composite video. I would prefer to upgrade the ColecoVision/ADAM video quality first, before I even consider buying a ATARI 5200. I understand why people use free emulation programs on their Windows or MAC PC for classic videogame systems. It does not cost anything and its better picture quality with a modern HDMI display. Collecting videogame systems from the 80’s and trying to keep them running correctly can be an expensive hobby.

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If one is not going to make internal modifications to their ATARI 5200, then the 1983 2 port ATARI 5200 is clearly a better system when compared to the original 1982 Atari 5200 4 port system. The problem with the 4 port system is that only the later production models work with the ATARI 2600 adapter where as 100% of the 2 port systems work with the ATARI 2600 adapter. In addition, I am now realizing that the ATARI 5200 has a much more complicated RF connection when compared to the 1982 ColecoVision. The very negative feature of the ATARI 4 port system in the 21st Century (which was a positive feature back in the 80’s and 90’s when people actually used the RF NTSC TV tuner to watch analog TV and cable TV channels), is the fact that a custom automatic switch box can only be used. That 4 port model has the power going directly into the switch box to power the entire game console (Now I realize the 4 port can be internally modified to bypass the switch box, however that is extra work that existing two port owners do not have to do). However, even on the two port ATARI 5200 what is disappointing is that even though the RF TV switch box can be bypassed, the other problem is that the ATARI 5200 two port still has the RF cable hardwired internally on the circuit board. The advantage of the ColecoVision 1982 system is that the RF RCA jack is external on the outside of the console case. Which allows one to replace the RF cable easily with a different length. The newer ATARI 7800 has that external RF RCA jack on the console case just like the ColecoVision. Some articles online mention that over 5 million ATARI 7800 were sold worldwide where as only 1 million ATARI 5200 systems were sold.

 

However it sounds like the 2 port ATARI 5200’s will not work with all the games on certain firmware BIOS versions. The only real advantage of the 4 port ATARI 5200 is having 4 controller inputs. However, how many games for the ATARI 5200 actually have up to 3 or 4 players? I guess if there were a lot of games that use all 4 controller ports then one could modify their ATARI 5200 4 port so the TV switchbox over RF does not need to be used anymore. However if one is going to internally modify the ATARI 5200 they should also do HDMI, RGB, S-Video, or composite video which well also disable the ATARI 2600 adapter from working.

 

I guess I am going to hold off for now since I cannot decide if I should go with the 4 port or 2 port ATARI 5200. In addition, I have a lot of projects going on right now and the console would just sit around not being used.

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Well back when I was throwing together a set we installed a 4-port bios into a 2-port system to fix compatibility issues

 

I also think it was crossbow telling me that the reason was a 2-port registered player 2 as player 4, but with the bios swap is was assigned properly

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One BIG reason for having the 4-port system:

 

M.U.L.E. !!!

 

The only other way to play 4 player is with a 800 computer or 400 computer with 48k of ram.

 

Tennis is more fun with 4-players!

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I always chuckle to myself when people talk about the 2600 adapter "...to play 2600 games on the 5200!"

 

I'm still looking to for a DVD adapter to play DVDs on my VCR!

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ignore 1080, he makes everything a simple fucking google search turns up into a 90 page dissertation, often with spam links, acting like he invented the shit

 

grade A class 1 moron and a spammer, who contributes nothing and should have been banned a long time ago

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One BIG reason for having the 4-port system:

 

M.U.L.E. !!!

 

The only other way to play 4 player is with a 800 computer or 400 computer with 48k of ram.

 

Tennis is more fun with 4-players!

I see there is a thread on the 4 player games for the ATARI 5200. It looks like there is only a handful of games that are made for 4 people to play at the exact same time. Therefore the 2 port is still a very attractive system that does up to two players.

 

Thanks for the Tennis information.

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/145656-4-port-5200s-and-4-player-games/

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Personally I don't consider the output of the 5200 going into a CRT/tube TV(if you want it to look as intended/how it was designed/and best IMO).....to be blurry or fuzzy....phosphor glow is what you need for these games.

 

So IMO, to get the BEST quality video experience:

 

Get yourself a nice tube tv with good sound and hopefully an audio out that you can run into a sound system....Get the heavy duty video cable upgrade....set your cables up clean with a quality switchbox.

 

 

 

also about the 4 port compatibility, I LOVE 5200 Pitfall....best version IMO.

Edited by inthe80s

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Personally I don't consider the output of the 5200 going into a CRT/tube TV(if you want it to look as intended/how it was designed/and best IMO).....to be blurry or fuzzy....phosphor glow is what you need for these games.

 

So IMO, to get the BEST quality video experience:

 

Get yourself a nice tube tv with good sound and hopefully an audio out that you can run into a sound system....Get the heavy duty video cable upgrade....set your cables up clean with a quality switchbox.

 

 

 

also about the 4 port compatibility, I LOVE 5200 Pitfall....best version IMO.

What’s the “heavy duty video cable upgrade”?

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So, what is the current status on a 5200 A/V upgrade? S-video would be preferred but, having both composite and S-video would be a plus.

 

electronicsentimentalities.com has them still listed on their site, so I emailed them. Any other "affordable" options here ?

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My first choice would be native HDMI or component video which could be done with a video chip replacement. However it appears that ATARI 5200 does not have a modification on the market to do HDMI or component video which is offered for the ColecoVision game system. Therefore the best available option is S-Video. However S-Video does not exist on any display manufactured after 2010 to my knowledge. Composite video is still available on some new displays but is being replaced by HDMI.

 

Long term every 70's,80's, and 90's computer/video game system well need a video graphics chip update to connect to displays coming out in 2020+. Offering native HDMI from a video chip replacement on the motherboard is better then a external composite to HDMI adapter that has latency issues. A internal HDMI modification gets rid of the latency issues and offers a beautiful picture and sound quality.

Edited by HDTV1080P

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So, what is the current status on a 5200 A/V upgrade? S-video would be preferred but, having both composite and S-video would be a plus.

 

electronicsentimentalities.com has them still listed on their site, so I emailed them. Any other "affordable" options here ?

Currently it would be to use the UAV AV board in a 5200. Gives you both composite and s-video and likely exactly what you are looking for.

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Currently it would be to use the UAV AV board in a 5200. Gives you both composite and s-video and likely exactly what you are looking for.

 

UAV AV plugin board is like $25 for the 5200 ? That is it ? I sent him a PM and want to order one... Sounds like a very easy kit to install too...

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/246613-new-video-upgrade-coming-soon/page-8?do=findComment&comment=3412378

 

 

Oh...just building up the projects ! Maybe some day I will get to my NES RGB kit sitting here.... even ready with a SNES connector for it...

Edited by TheCoolDave

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UAV AV plugin board is like $25 for the 5200 ? That is it ? I sent him a PM and want to order one... Sounds like a very easy kit to install too...

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/246613-new-video-upgrade-coming-soon/page-8?do=findComment&comment=3412378

 

 

Oh...just building up the projects ! Maybe some day I will get to my NES RGB kit sitting here.... even ready with a SNES connector for it...

 

No...you now order the UAVs from The Brewing Academy here: Bryan turned over the designs and rights to produce the UAVs there.

 

https://thebrewingacademy.com/collections/atari-7800/products/tba-ultimate-atari-video-uav-board-for-atari-7800

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No...you now order the UAVs from The Brewing Academy here: Bryan turned over the designs and rights to produce the UAVs there.

 

https://thebrewingacademy.com/collections/atari-7800/products/tba-ultimate-atari-video-uav-board-for-atari-7800

 

Do I want the Plug-in version for the 5200 ? Looking for the fairly easy install here.

 

And I noticed on his site, they list the Plugin version for $30 but, if you select the options, you can only select Basic or KIT.

 

Edit: Never mind, I needed to look under the 5200, not the 7800 and the plugin version is an option.

 

Will order on Friday, Thanks !

Edited by TheCoolDave

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