Retro Gaming vs Modern Televisions
It was only a matter of time before I completely ran out of space and inputs on my gaming rig. The Saturn ended up on the floor and the PS4* just had nowhere to go and nowhere to plug in. So I had to make a decision; Somehow get more power (which I actually did, there are 20 sockets behind that lot), more inputs (I was watching an Aten HDMI switcher), and somehow much more space. The last one was stumping me to the point that I've made the inevitable decision to split the system.
* Yep, 3 years into it's life span and at the announcement of the PS4-Pro I've finally entered the current generation of consoles. Essentially because there's enough games on it that it's worthwhile, and I can get them all fairly cheaply now. Gone are the days when I'll spend £40-50 on a single game. I expect to get at least 4 for that sort of money... ;) Oh and the console was cheap and the PS4-Pro makes absolutely no sense unless you have a 60+ inch 4k HDR display that has very low latency. Which I don't, nor could I have one in a room this small.
This is now my HD Rig. I'm still using the Neet mini 3-way HDMI switchers into my amp's two ports. In them I've got the PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Blu-Ray player and Dreamcast (via Hanzo VGA box and Neet VGA-HDMI converter). The remaining consoles; PS2, Xbox and GameCube, are all wired to the amp's component inputs. In addition to this the TV has the Mac Mini (under the GameCube) media server going directly into it's 2nd HDMI, with the audio going to the amp as optical. Finally there's a Raspberry Pi running RetroPie fixed to the back of the TV running into the last HDMI input.
At this point my inputs are once again maxed out, but I'm not planning on going any further with this rig anyhow. The Xbone does nothing for me. Nor do the incoming faster versions of the current gen. Amazingly, this system is done! I could even re-fit my CD player if I felt like it, and hadn't put all my CDs into boxes in a cupboard when I totally ran out of space again on the media side of things.
Ahhh, you might have noticed a theme here... I have serious space issues and an absolute shit-tonne of media. In order to stop being buried by all this, I've embraced the media server fully for music and boxed up all my CDs (several hundred of those). When it comes to films on DVD and Blu-Ray, I have even more. They've sadly been consigned to three giant CaseLogic CD wallets and their boxes to the skip. Being a little bit of a collector of things, this smarted a little. But as the games collection expands, there was just not enough room to keep everything.
The final inevitability was that I would go full retro. If I'm going to have a rig that only has the old 240p consoles on it, it made no real sense to plug them into a modern panel. I toyed with it for a while, maybe running an old 4:3 VGA monitor that was compatible with the SLG, but the most sensible option was to abandon all the processing and go old school with a CRT.
What pains me greatly is that about 4 years ago I threw this exact same model TV away thinking I'd never need a CRT again and it was too bulky to keep around. I'd had that TV from new and had many consoles running through it... But I found one online, it's a minter and I picked it up for the best part of bugger all.
"Wait!" I hear you cry, "why haven't you bought a Sony PVM/BVM?". The answer is quite simple, there was a 20" PVM for sale, just up the road from me. It won't have the geometry, or offset issues of this TV (annoyingly this set doesn't appear to have a factory menu to adjust that. So it'd likely be a manual, back off job). It'll certainly have a better picture. But they're selling for £250 here, which is 25x more than I paid for the TV. I can put up with deficiencies of a domestic tv for that saving, also it's more realistic given this is the TV I used to plug these old consoles into anyhow. The only difference is that all the consoles are now modded and running the best possible signal to it.
I've topped this off with two faux leather bean-bags for me and my bro to sit on whilst getting all misty eyed playing old games.
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