About this project
More Stretch Goals (see update for description)
- $37K - Neo Geo R&D - HIT!!!
- $42K - Test Cartridge Art
- $50K - Level upgrades
- $60K - Sega Dreamcast R&D
- $70K - HDMIzer Development
Stretch Goal #1 - $27,000 - HIT!!!
The original design from our front page will be option #1. If you'd like to vote for option #2, please direct message us.
Bring your retro consoles into the HD era!
HD Retrovision was founded with one goal in mind: to rescue consoles stuck in their owner's closet, or worse, on their way to the trash can. Since most modern HDTVs no longer support S-video connectivity many users are forced to play their Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis using composite video (single yellow cable). With composite video, you get an ugly and blurry video with messed up colors and other distortions.
HD Retrovision has a better way: component video.
Component video lets you play your retro consoles on modern TVs (that support 240p/288p, see here for details) and see your old games the way they were meant to be seen. It provides a crystal clear picture with no color smearing or blurriness. In the video below, you can see a gameplay demo of the improvement HD Retrovision component cables makes over composite video. Please note that our cables are handling the transcoding of video to YPbPr, and provide the original standard definition video content generated by the consoles.
Component video wasn't around in the early days of video games, but we've managed to engineer a solution to bring component video to your old consoles in a simple plug-and-play cable.
That's right! No modding, no soldering and no expensive converter boxes required.
But wait... there's more! Many have asked, so now we want to let you know for sure: the cables work great with a Standard-Definition CRT too!
We will be offering two versions of the Sega Genesis Component Cable:
Sega Genesis 1 with mono audio output - Also compatible with the original Sega Master System (Power Base Model No. 3010-X)
Sega Genesis 2 with stereo audio output - Also compatible with the Sega Nomad, 32X, Genesis 3 (mono only), CDX, and JVC X'Eye
The Super Nintendo Component Cable only works with the original SNES (Model No. SNS-001). There is no out-of-the-box solution available for the SNES 2 (Model No. SNS-101), but our cables might be useable with a hardware modification.
We are aiming to make these cables universal, but in the event that becomes infeasible, we will simply have region specific versions for both PAL and NTSC.
The goal of this Kickstarter is to fund an initial production run of the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo component cables.We have years of research and development under our belt. We have spent hours writing custom test software, testing a multitude of console hardware revisions and building working prototypes (which our beta testers love). Now we are approaching the final production ready cable design. We need your help to get us through the final steps to be able to produce these cables in a factory setting.
And by supporting this campaign, you're not only helping us raise the capital to fund our initial manufacturing costs, you're also letting us know what kind of demand we can expect for our products.
The plan for the money we raise is just as simple. After Kickstarter fees, we will use the money towards purchasing necessary materials, securing our production capabilities for the cables, and fulfilling our reward obligations.
Oh, and speaking of rewards... here are what a few of ours look like (subject to some changes, photos for reference only):
Finally, here are some longer videos comparing composite to component with full screen gameplay for each:
Ste Kulov - Lead Design Engineer
Nick Mueller - TCB (Takin' Care of Business)
Credits (in no particular order):
Music from the Kickstarter Video:
- Rolemusic - A ninja among culturachippers / CC by 3.0
- Azureflux - Rainbow Ride / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
- Azureflux - Graveyard Shift / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
RoccoW - xyce - Quelle Surprise (VRC6 Remix) / CC BY-SA 4.0
Tom Wysocki - Graphic Design and Video Editing
Michael Hickey - Video Filming and Editing
Ben Scott - Lighting
Darek Wysocki - Sound Effects and Music Director
Chris Sowa - Software Engineering
Peter Azra - Software Engineering
Bob Galassi - Acting
A special thanks to GamesYouLoved who have really helped us get the word out!. GamesYouLoved is born out a love of retro games of every description from your childhood. By being reminded of the retro games through images and video, what people say about them and things you were doing at the time, you are unlocking these memories to see, share and enjoy. They love retro gaming!
Also thanks to Adam Buchanan (@Cauterize) and Retro Collect for being the first major news outlet to cover us. It was thanks to their article that we started getting noticed by other media outlets and began building a fanbase. Check them out at: www.retrocollect.com
Risks and challenges
1) Unknown compatibility issues and/or unaccounted differences between console revisions still might exist. We've spent an enormous amount of time testing consoles, but there still might be something we don't know about. Our engineering expertise will help us tackle these issues quickly, if they do arise.
2) It's possible the final SNES design won't fit in the currently manufactured enclosure. We would redesign this enclosure, but that could cause a delay in production.
3) It might be difficult to secure cost-effective labor to manufacture the final cable assembly. It is possible that production time would increase.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Absolutely. An HDTV is not required to experience the clarity provided by our cables. In fact, one of our beta testers is very thrilled with the quality experienced on his standard definition CRT TV.
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).
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 rare 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: http://www.hdretrovision.com/240p-compatibility-issue
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 by performing a simple tweak (similar to the SNES 2 mod above). We are still looking into whether this is feasible or not.
Sorry, the SNES cable will not work with the Gamecube. The North American Gamecubes do not output the required signals from the Analog A/V port. Only the European Gamecubes do and, as such, we probably will not pursue any sort of cable using that A/V port. 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.
Our goal with the final design is to have the cables be universal. If that proves to be infeasible, we will fall back on having separate cables for each region.
The Neo Geo AES A/V port has the same pin connections as the Genesis 1, but the connectors themselves are slightly different and would require an adapter. Regardless, we spent a month or so writing a Neo Geo test ROM to run on the AES so we can measure the signals to determine compatibility with the Genesis 1 cable. With that, we determined that the RGB signals coming off the Neo Geo were too strong and would create too bright of a picture when using the same circuit as for the Genesis/Master System. Because we advertise optimal quality conforming to a particular standard, we decided to not "officially" support the Neo Geo AES with our Genesis 1 cable. Keep in mind though...we haven't fully closed the book on this and it's still possible we can add some sort of selection switch to make it work (with correct brightness) in both cases.
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