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graywest

Issue with 2600 output to HD TV?

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Hello all,

 

Quick question - trying to make sure I'm not crazy. So I sold a four game bundle on Ebay. Four different 2600 games that I didn't need in my collection as they were duplicates of games that I had with better labels. I tested all of them before I shipped them out.

 

The buyer received the games today. Says that three of them work fine, but that Smurfs is broken. He/she sent a picture. (See attached.)

 

Now, every time I've seen a failed 2600 cart, I either don't get a picture at all, or I just get random lines on the screen. I've never had a cart "fail" but still display the top half of the picture. It seems to me that, in a technical sense, they just can't fail in that way.

 

Do you think this is an issue with the buyer's setup? The picture is dark, but it looks like he/she is running output to an HD TV. Could that be the issue? I still play all of my games on an old CRT television, so I've never seen this issue myself.

 

Thanks for the help! Wanted to check before I sent a partial refund.

s-l1600.jpg

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Hard to tell from the pic but my first instinct is to blame the TV. I had a weird problem with a copy of Adventure on a modern TV and almost returned it, but I knew enough about the system to realize what I was seeing couldn't possibly be a cart error. Worked perfectly on a different modern TV. I know, nobody has two television sets, but have them try anyway.

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Occasionally it can be a bad luck scenario with the cart and the console and the tv setup. My first thoughts as a programmer would be to switch the TV, then try the same TVs with a different console. Variances can cause issues on occasion. I don't own a 4K TV so don't know how they would handle it, but traditional 1080p TV's shouldn't have an issue.

 

My first thought however was to simply blow into the cartridge slot (don't kill me!) for a dozen tries and hope for the best, if not, give the contacts a clean. It might be an issue with dirty contacts is skipping some code and causing the image to drop in a funny way.

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I see a Retron 77 joystick in the picture which makes me ask the question, is the person trying to run the game on a Retron 77?  That would be my next question because those things are very unreliable with actual cartridges.  The real test would be to try it out on actual Atari 2600 hardware.  If it's still messed up, then maybe it's the cartridge.

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Thanks everyone. I didn't even notice the Retron 77 stick in the picture.  I told the buyer that it's more than likely an issue with the setup on his end. I did offer a partial refund if he ships the item back at his expense. Haven't heard a response.

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19 hours ago, atarifan88 said:

I see a Retron 77 joystick in the picture which makes me ask the question, is the person trying to run the game on a Retron 77?  That would be my next question because those things are very unreliable with actual cartridges.  The real test would be to try it out on actual Atari 2600 hardware.  If it's still messed up, then maybe it's the cartridge.

Good catch, it's probably this! I tested my pal cart and it had some difficulties including freezing but did eventually appear to work. 

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