Troubleshooting

Compatibility Issues

"I plugged your component cables in and all I get is a black screen!"

If you have composite (yellow-white-red) cables for your console, please verify that your TV or display device works properly using those first. Very few TVs have compatibility issues with composite, so this is a very reliable test to see if your console equipment is working properly.

 

"Nope! Doesn't work with composite."

Try cleaning your game cartridge and cartridge slot first. Also, try a different power adapter if you have one or can borrow one from a friend. If you still have issues, try bringing your console and games to a videogame repair shop. Most local game shops will help you verify that your console and/or cartridges are functioning properly and if they require repair.

 

"Works fine on composite. What's the deal?"

Verify that your console is compatible with our component cables by checking out the lists on our SNES product page and Genesis product page.

 

"I already checked and my console model is definitely on the verified compatibility list."

Your TV or display device might not be compatible with retro game signals over its YPbPr component inputs. Please read more on our 240p page and also try running the compatibility test at the bottom of the page. Also check the specific SNES/Genesis troubleshooting items below to make sure it's not another possible issue.

 

Connectivity & Setup Issues

"The picture is all blue and the right speaker on my TV (or sound system) is buzzing really bad!"

The cables are not connected properly. There are two red RCA connectors at the end of our cables. One is for video (Pr) and one is for audio (right channel). You can differentiate between the two by finding the small black clip that is pairing the white and red audio cables together. The remaining red connector not bound to this clip is the video one. Make sure these are connected to the correct spots on your TV and/or other equipment.

 

Video Issues

"The picture is too bright (or too dark)."

There is a brightness switch on one side of the fat black part of the cable. Try moving the switch to the other setting. If that doesn't work, then try adjusting the brightness and/or contrast in your TV's menu.

 

"I get a picture but it's a little shaky and can't really describe it."

Some TVs are very sensitive to something called "sync jitter". Please see this technical article written on the subject.

 

Noise Issues

"I get wavy lines and sparkles on the screen when hooking up your cables!"

Poorly built 3rd party AC adapters provide noisy and unsafe power for your console which greatly affect the video quality. Specifically stay away from the multi-console 3-in-1 adapters such as this, that, and the other. Try using an official SEGA or Nintendo adapter instead, or look for decent alternatives here.

 

"I don't have an official SEGA or Nintendo adapter. The ones on eBay are too expensive!"

There are a few cheaper ones we can recommend. For Genesis 1 or Master System we like this one.  For Genesis 2 or Genesis 3, this one works well. And for SNES, this is the best affordable one we found. We also recommend the RetroDC since that uses a safer, fused switch-mode power supply which also wastes less power than even the official adapters do.

 

"I don't believe you! My 3-in-1 power supply works fine when using composite."

The video signals used for YPbPr component video occupy different and more frequencies than composite does. A lot of the inherent filtering used in processing composite video (which also reduces the image quality) has the side effect of hiding certain types of noise occupying those frequencies.

 

"I have a good power supply, but it's still noisy."

Certain revisions of consoles are just inherently noisy and there's nothing we can do about that. We guarantee that our cables don't add any noise that isn't already there. In fact, we included power filtering in our cable circuitry to do our best to reduce the effect of noisy power. For SNES in particular, we have discovered the following internal revisions to be noisy: SNS-CPU-RGB-01, SNS-CPU-RGB-02, and SNS-CPU-APU-01 (confirmed on Assembler Games forum). Certain Genesis consoles can also have noise problems, but are less apparent and harder to notice. They usually manifest themselves as a faint vertical scrolling pattern in dark areas of the screen.

 

Genesis Specific Issues

"I plugged my headphones into the port on the side of the cable and get no sound!"

That port is not a sound output, but rather an input. The purpose of that port is for Genesis 1 and Neo Geo AES consoles to be connected to it via a 3.5mm stereo audio cable from the front of the console. It upgrades the cable's audio output to stereo. This is completely optional, as the cables will output mono sound to both speakers on those consoles by default.

 

"The picture is very clear, but I see faint thin vertical lines in solid color areas."

This has been dubbed by the gaming community as "jailbars". It's more technically called color subcarrier noise. It's caused by the color part of composite video bleeding over into the RGB video signals we use to make the component cable. This crossover happens internally in the console and can only be removed (without sacrificing video quality) by modifying the console. We tried to implement an optional removal filter for this externally within the cables, but it wasn't feasible and didn't give good results on all games. We hope to be able to tackle this problem digitally within the HDMIzer at some point in the future.

 

"The Genesis cable works great on my Genesis 2, but not on my Master System using the adapter."

Make sure the Genesis 2 cable is fully inserted into the female port of the adapter. For fresh adapters, this might require a little additional force.

 

"My display is 100% compatible. A composite A/V cable works fine on my Genesis, but I get no picture using your YPbPr cable."

The A/V ports on Genesis consoles can wear out from overuse and/or stress, causing bad connections on certain critical pins. For example, composite cables for Genesis 1 only use 3 pins of the connector while our YPbPr cable/adapter would require 7 of those pins to be fully functional.  It might seem unlikely that the extra pins would be the exact ones to cause no picture on the screen, but this has already happened to a few customers. This can usually be remedied by reflowing the solder for the connector on the underside of the console's motherboard. Try contacting a local video game shop or other electronics store to help you with this repair.

 

"Some games don't work at all, but other games work perfectly fine. There are also a couple games that only work during certain parts of the game."

The Genesis has two horizontal video modes which allow a different amount of graphics elements (tiles) to fit across the width of the screen: 32 tiles & 40 tiles. Normally, something like this in itself wouldn't cause any issues, but the Genesis graphics processor has a strange side effect where it changes the pulse width of the video sync signal based on which graphics mode it is in. It is very rare, but there are TVs out there that will reject any video signal containing a sync pulse width that is too long (40 tile mode). For games that switch between the two modes, a fully compatible TV might briefly lose signal due to the pulse width changing. This usually doesn't last for more than half a second, and since it only happens during significant graphical changes (transition screens) it doesn't affect fluid gameplay.

 

SNES Specific Issues

"I see a faint, wide vertical line of extra brightness down the middle of my screen."

This is a well-known issue with SNES consoles and isn't caused by our cable. The easiest way to diminish this problem is to use an older internal revision of the SNES: SHVC-CPU-01, SNS-CPU-GPM-01, or SNS-CPU-GPM-02. These older revisions use a video output topology which is more resistant to the internal causes of the vertical line. Please see this page by RetroRGB and this thread on Assembler Games for more information.

 

"My TV works fine with the Genesis cables, but doesn't work with the SNES cables."

This is an inherent issue with the video timing signals of the SNES. The vertical refresh rate of the SNES when running in 240p mode is slightly out of specification and is enough to throw off video processing circuits in certain TVs: particularly all Vizio TVs, some Sony TVs, and some Panasonic TVs. This is why we stress that you test your TV or equipment with every console you intend to use.

 

"My console doesn't turn on when using the inexpensive AC adapter you recommended."

This is not an electrical defect with the power supply, but a minor mechanical issue. The length of the DC plug on this supply is slightly longer than the official Nintendo ones. Therefore, if you push it in all the way into the jack on the console it might lose connection on certain revisions of consoles due to variations in the plastic around the jack. If you're having this issue, our suggestion is to fully insert the plug into the console, flip the power switch on the SNES without a cartridge installed, and then start slowly pulling out the plug from the jack until the front LED comes on. This is harder to do with a SNES mini, since there's no LED, but you can connect the console to the TV with a cartridge and pull out the plug until you get a signal on the TV. For that, I would use a game cartridge without a save battery so you don't cause too many random power fluctuations. It's unlikely something would happen, but it's good to be cautious.

 

Other Issues or Non-issues

"Help! My modded XYZ console doesn't work (or work properly) with your cables."

Sorry, but we don't guarantee our component cables to work with user-modded equipment. You'll need to troubleshoot this yourself.