Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sega in my free time....

Herzog Zwei for the Sega Genesis

As work on the new Westinghouse documentary has been moving along, we're nearing the narration of the film and final editing. I've been pretty darned busy. Coupled with a few editing system complications is the fact I had to re-write part of the script about the Burlington Brake Trials in 1886 after learning a few more facts from some train experts who are kind enough to help out.

Anyway, by the time I get home, walk the dog, cook dinner with my wife and actually sit down its already 10pm and I'm usually too damn tired to do anything except hide in my basement for an hour or two and succumb to my addiction to Xbox Live.

Modified Sega Genesis with s-video

Another shot:

Modded Sega Genesis 16-Bit System with s-video

A few months ago I decided to hook my Sega Genesis up to an HDTV. After a great deal of research it seemed that modifying the Sega with s-video was the way to go. Obviously the Sega does NOT output true HD video, but the video it does output looks much better with s-video.

I'm not technically competent to do the mods myself so a few weeks ago I sent the system to Canada where Old School Gamer did the work. I just got it back and they did a great job! I don't have any side by side comparisons, but the difference between composite video and s-video on a high def LCD screen (in standard def) is remarkable. Sega-16.com has a few screen shots on their website, but seeing it in person is even better.

Wiring nightmare

I run the s-video and stereo cables through my preamp and switch the video and audio with it. That's the Genesis s-video going into the DVD slot there. The DVD player uses HDMI and optical so it avoids the analog inputs altogether.

I have an Xbox 360, PS2, Atari 7800, Sega Genesis and NES all hooked up at once and switching through an Outlaw 950. The Xbox is using HDMI video independent of the preamp, PS2 is component, Genesis is s-video, NES is composite and the Atari runs through a VCR using the RF thingy, and then gets converted to composite. My Dreamcast and N64 will be going s-video, but they aren't hooked up just yet (which is fine because I have no time for them anyway).

The Ninendo Entertainment System

Old School Gamer also repaired my NES which has not been working well since we used it to record the Classic Game Room episodes back in 2000. Yes Game Room fans, this is the actual NES and Sega Genesis used to capture footage for the illustrious Classic Game Room. You know the Genesis we hold up during the X-Men episode? I bought this in 8th grade with Altered Beast and it still works flawlessly today.

M.U.S.H.A. the best Shmup for the Genesis

The s-video brings out sharper details in the graphics and text (it's really noticeable in the text on M.U.S.H.A. and Herzog Zwei, my two favorites). The shadows beneath the jet in Herzog are now clearly a group of dots instead of a blur. The colors are much better of course. It was like playing MUSHA again for the first time because of all the detail in there.

My NES looks really nice too, but to be fair I never used it on my current setup. Which although isn't fancy, is better than the 19" TV I had 7 years ago.

Xbox 360 HDMI cable

I use the HDMI with my Xbox 360 which outputs games in 720p. I got the Atari Classics game for Xbox and love playing Yars' Revenge in HD. The Quotile are that much sharper and scarier. I still suck at Pong, even in HD.

It's probably pretty excessive to mod a 20 year old game system, but as I tell people, "I don't golf. I watch movies and play video games. I have all those dozens of dollars left over to spend on classic game cartridges."

Holy video game controllers, Batman!

What's your favorite controller? Personally I like the PS2 and Genesis controllers the best, but the Xbox 360 controller is growing on me. I never did care for the original Atari 2600 controller, which is why I got the European version that feels more like the old-school NES gamepad.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Heh, pretty neat stuff you've got going on there.

My favorite controller is the PS1/PS2 controller easily, with the NES controller a distant 2nd. The N64, Dreamcast, and original XBOX controllers are probably the worst controllers ever conceived.

I'll give the DC a pass though, because I know how much Game Room loved that damn little fighter.