HD Retrovision Sega Genesis Component Cable Review

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I’ve been looking forward to HD Retrovision’s Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis component cables for a long time, and now I finally managed to snag one for the Genesis! With all my S-Video mods and research into retro console image quality, I was looking forward to getting one of these. So how does it look? Well, I decided to test it on all the TVs I have access to to see how well it works. Check out my review and the tests after the break!

 

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision

The cable has an adapter to work with the model 1 Genesis (an extra from HD Retrovision), but without it the cable should work with the Model 2 Genesis, Sega Nomad, and Sega 32X. I can confirm that it works with the Model 1 and the Nomad. However, because I have S-Video modded my 32X, the cable didn’t work with it. This was something I had talked to the guys at HD Retrovision about before, and we weren’t 100% sure whether or not it would work. I can confirm it doesn’t, but I hope to experiment a bit to see if I can get it to work.

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision

Also, the component cable has a 3.5mm audio jack to connect to the front of the Model 1 Genesis to tap into stereo sound. However, I was able to get mono sound without the extra audio cable. The video and mono audio worked fine even though my Genesis was modded with S-Video and stereo audio ports in the back. And as a sidenote, my Sega Genesis has also been overclocked to 10MHz, and the Genesis component cable still worked just fine.

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision

I had heard some TVs may have trouble accepting a 240p signal through component, so I grabbed my Sega Nomad and went out testing a variety of TVs. Here are the results:

Test 1: Sony WEGA Trinitron CRT

The first test was on my Trinitron CRT. I tested it with the cable’s brightness switch on and off, and for the CRT it definitely looked better with it on.

The CRT was very difficult to photograph, and most of the photos ended up with dull colors. In real life, the colors really popped and looked great!

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
Difficult to tell from this picture, but the image is very sharp and the colors are excellent.
Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
Here’s a photo I edited to try and show what the colors really look like. Ignore the banding, that’s only in the photograph.
Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
I also tested with the Sega Nomad. It works great!
Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
Fabulous scanlines! Note, this is the first time I noticed there are animated blinking lights on both ships that are only 1 or 2 pixels in size.

Test 2: Sony 37″ LED 1080p HDTV

This is my HD TV that I usually use for Wii U, Steam Link, Playstation 3, and Playstation TV. I was excited to try the Genesis component cable on an HDTV.

When I first tried it, I was disappointed. The picture was sharp, but the colors seemed dull. Sonic was a light blue, the grass was washed out with missing details, and the clouds had a pinkish hue.

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
The colors seemed dull and lifeless. Not what I was hoping for.

Then I remembered the brightness switch on the component cable. Turning it off made the colors better, but the image a bit too dark. I worked with the picture settings, and I managed to get a fantastic picture by turning the brightness and backlight up!

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
That’s more like it! Sonic is now his iconic cobalt blue, the yellow spring really “pops,” and the clouds are a perfect white!
Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
The adjusted picture was a major improvement!

Test 3: Sony XBR KDL-37XBR6 37″ 1080p LCD HDTV

This TV has always been one of my favorites, as the S-Video input looks fantastic with classic consoles. So how does it handle the Genesis component signal?

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision

It does very well at stock settings! The colors were great, and Sonic’s tan areas looked very accurate. I couldn’t figure out how to get a 4:3 picture, but it still looked fantastic in 16:9!

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Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
The image is crisp and the colors seemed the most accurate of any other TV I tested.

 

Test 4: Samsung UN40F5500AF 40″ 1080p LED Smart HDTV

I expected a great picture from this one but was left disappointed. The colors were alright, but the image didn’t seem as sharp as the others and the vertical “scanline”  effect was more prominent. I don’t mind the vertical lines, but this was a bit much.

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
The image isn’t as sharp as other TVs.

Test 5: Samsung 32″ UN32J4500AF 1080P LED Smart HDTV

This TV produced slightly oversaturated colors, but for a cheap Sam’s Club TV, I thought it did alright.

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
Again, I couldn’t find the 4:3 setting on this TV.

 

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
Colors are slightly oversaturated and image isn’t quite as clear, but it actually looks alright in person.

Test 6: Sylvania 15″ 1024×768 resolution “HD” TV

This is a weird one. The TV has a strange scaled 720p 4:3 screen, but it does take component so I thought I would try it out. I expected weird artifacts or flickering, but it actually did alright. The scaling makes the edges of objects feel “off,” but other than that it did better than expected.

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
Sylvania “HD” TV. You can see how Sonic’s tan areas don’t look right.
Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
The weird scaling makes the pixel size inconsistent.

 

Sega Genesis Component Cable HD Retrovision
But with lots of detail, it doesn’t look too bad.

Conclusion

This cable is awesome! Great build quality, and even better picture quality. I was worried about 240p compatability, but I didn’t run into any issues, or any flickering in the image. I highly recommend it and can’t wait until the Super Nintendo version is back in stock!

EDIT: I’ve now been able to test the cable with an unmodded 32x, and it works flawlessly!

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