Frequently Asked Questions

Availability Video Signals Quality Compatibility Other

This is amazing! How do I buy one and how much will it cost?

Please click on the Shop link at the very top of this page to be taken to our online store. There, you can look at prices and purchase cables when they are in stock.

They're all sold out! Do you have an approximate date on when you'll have more?

We are currently investigating improvements to our cable circuitry, including a solution to reduce or eliminate the shaky jitter effect seen by some televisions. We are unsure at the current time as to if/when we will be ordering more cables. To receive the most up to date news on availability, please sign up for our mailing list. You can also find recent news on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Do the cables support both PAL and NTSC?

Yes. Our cables universally support the video signals from either region. However, it can get more complicated if you want to mix console regions with TV regions (i.e. an NTSC console on a PAL TV). Success while doing this can change on a TV-by-TV basis.

Do the component cables do any up-conversion or scaling of the video signal? What is the output resolution of the cables?

No. The cable passes through the original signal timing that the console provides to it. So 240p/288p gets passed through as 240p/288p, and the same thing for 480i/576i (in the rare cases when one of these older consoles uses an interlaced signaling mode).

So your component cables don't output "High-Definition" (HD) video?

No. High-Definition video is usually considered any video content with vertical line resolutions of 720p, 1080i, or 1080p (regardless of framerate). Our cables do not change the video framerate nor resolution of the console it is connected to. Since consoles like the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis output Standard-Definition 240p/480i (288p/576i for PAL), our cables also output that same Standard-Definition signal.

Don't compatibility issues exist between 240p/288p signals and the component video inputs of certain TVs?

Indeed, that is true. The input stages in some TVs and display devices were not properly designed and do not accept 240p/288p timing signals over the component video connection. However, based on new trends in how TVs are designed, we believe that this problem is becoming increasingly less common with newer sets. Regardless, we have a future product in early development which will completely eliminate this concern. For a more in depth discussion, please see here.

Do your cables use CSYNC to avoid the noise from composite video?

Through the custom design of our cable we are able to strip sync from composite video without introducing noise. The two main reasons for this are (1) we are not driving a full video line, and (2) composite video is only travelling over a short distance before being terminated.

My TV has component video inputs, but it's not an HDTV. Will the cables still work?

Absolutely. An HDTV is not required to experience the clarity provided by our cables. In fact, many users are thrilled with the quality experienced on their standard definition CRT TVs which have YPbPr inputs.

Why does the video from the component cables look so much better than the standard composite (yellow) cable?

Without getting too technical, the component cables keep the video at the destination (display) as true to the original signal source (console) as possible. For composite video, the added "tricks" to create a single wire video connection need to be undone in the display, hence the original signals cannot be completely recovered. In addition, these composite video "tricks" were implemented very poorly in video game consoles in order to keep their cost down at the time. Component video avoids all this. See this blog post for more details.

How is this any different than using an RGB SCART cable and a SCART to YPbPr adapter?

Several reasons. First, our component cables are more affordable than purchasing those two items separately. Second, our cables are completely plug-and-play and don't require an external power adapter. Lastly, each of our cables is optimized for the console it was designed for. The RGB signals from video game consoles don't follow any particular standard. These video signals can be too dark, too bright, have smeared lines (field tilt), and contain unwanted noise so using a fixed conversion adapter will not always provide optimal quality. By using custom test software, the signals for each console were accurately measured and characterized in order to be properly compensated for within our cables. Think of our cables not only as simple plug-and-play conversion devices, but also as "signal conditioners" to achieve the best possible output from your consoles.

What does "best possible output" mean? Is there a component video standard you are following?

Yes. HD Retrovision component video cables satisfy the video level specifications set forth in CEA-770.2-D (similar to EBU N10-1998). The standard is shown to the left, while actual measurements taken from the Sega Genesis component cable are shown to the right.

Which versions of the Sega Genesis / Megadrive will the Genesis cable work with?

Almost all of them. The cable was tested with nearly all versions. We have a compatibility list on our Genesis product page which you can refer to for details.

What about the Sega Master System II?

No, sorry. The smaller Sega Master System II without the card slot (Model No. 3006-XX) does not have the required connector on the rear of the console.

If the audio is only mono when using the Genesis 1 adapter, why are there two audio cables (white and red)?

Within our cable, the white and red audio outputs are tied together internally to the mono audio output on the Genesis 1 / Master System. This is to support devices that don't have internal detection switches on the right (red) audio jack and also when using certain support equipment such as switch boxes, receivers, and other intermediate devices.

So how do I get stereo audio out of the Genesis 1 while using your cable + adapter?

The easiest way would be to purchase a 3.5mm audio cable from our store and connect it between the headphone jack on the front of the Genesis and the audio jack on our cable. Make sure you turn up the volume slider all the way up when doing this!

How does the Genesis 2 Component Cable connect with the Sega 32X?

It simply plugs into the A/V output port on the back of the 32X. A patch cord is still required from your Genesis to the 32X. If you're connecting a Genesis 2, full stereo output will always be available from the 32X on our cable. However, when connecting a Genesis 1 it depends on the type of patch cable being used. Using the official Sega adapter + patch cable which shipped with the 32X results in no audio from our cable. The same thing happens with many 3rd party patch solutions. But using our own Genesis adapter with any Genesis 2 patch cable results in instant mono audio. Additionally, you may upgrade to stereo using the method described above (this also works with all 32X patch cords).

How do I properly connect audio when using a Sega CD, 32X, or both with my Genesis?

The beauty of our Genesis cable is that it greatly simplifies audio connections with all Sega combinations. There is no need to mess with additional connections between the individual expansion consoles. It universally boils down to this depending on your base console:

Genesis 1: Connect the white/red audio output from the component cable to your TV or audio device. For mono audio, nothing further needs to be done. For stereo audio, just as you would with a standalone Genesis 1, connect the stereo upgrade cable from the front of the Genesis 1 to the 3.5mm jack on the side of the component cable.

Genesis 2: Connect the white/red audio output from the component cable to your TV or audio device. This always grants stereo audio.

Why only mono audio from the Genesis 3?

That's how the console was designed internally. The mono audio is only present on the white audio plug coming off of our cable. Due to possible audio connectivity complications (described above), you might need to connect the white audio plug to a 1-female to 2-male RCA Y-adapter (available in our store) in order to get audio to play on both channels of your TV or audio system.

Which versions of the Super Nintendo / Super Famicom will the SNES cable work with?

It will work with any original model Super Nintendo (SNS-001 / SNSP-001A) and Super Famicom (SHVC-001). The smaller SNES "mini" (Model No. SNS-101) does not directly work with the cable. It's possible it can work with SNS-101 units that have been modified with added RGB output capability, but there is no solution we official support at this time. We have a compatibility list on our SNES product page which you can refer to for details on supported SNES models.

Will the SNES cable work with my Nintendo 64?

The short answer is "no". The long answer is: depending on when your Nintendo 64 was manufactured, it might be possible to internally modify the console to work with our cable. Keep in mind though, that our cable design is based upon measurements taken from various revisions of the SNES. Depending on the type of mod performed, you could get different results. We have officially recommended this specific mod performed by RetroFixes to allow certain N64s to be compatible with our cable.

How about the Gamecube?

Sorry, the SNES cable will not work with the NTSC Gamecube. The North American Gamecubes do not output the required signals from the Analog A/V port. Only the PAL Gamecubes do and we have not measured the signals or specifically designed the circuit to accomodate this. On the other hand, a project we had our sights on for a while would be duplicating the official Gamecube Component Cable. This is the one that goes in the Digital A/V port, which unfortunately only half of the Gamecubes have. Nintendo dropped the port sometime during the Gamecube's life to save on costs. Although it is a project we would like to do, we can't delegate any resources to it right now.

Will the SNES cable work on "X" modded console, since it uses the same A/V connector port?

It's hard to say for sure, since not all console modifications are created equally. The SNES cable was designed by taking measurements from various SNES consoles, so using them with other non-SNES devices is not 100% guaranteed to work. We're hoping that the community will experiment on its own and test our products with as many devices as possible.

If I use the YPbPr cables on a standard definition CRT, will light guns games still work?

Yep. We have tested the SNES Super Scope and Genesis Konami Justifier on a Toshiba CRT when using our YPbPr cables. Both light gun devices worked without any issues.

I have a Rev. AG0 cable. Do I need to buy a Rev. AH0? What's the differences between AG0 and AH0?

There are very minor changes, mostly dealing in compatibility with TVs and other end devices. If the YPbPr cables you have right now are working with your current setup, then there's no reason to consider any newer revision. See this changelog for more information.

Do you plan on making component cables or adapters for any other consoles?

We are currently looking into that. Likely candidates are Sega Dreamcast, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and SNK NeoGeo AES.

Is it possible to make a solution for NES / is that something you might do in the future?

We don't have any plans to tackle the NES. There is an upgrade available that we recommend by Tim Worthington. This does require the console to be modified.

What product do you recommend that does X, Y and Z?

We have begun listing such items here.