Q and A: Connecting older video game systems to new TVs
Q. I recently purchased the Samsung PN42C450 after reading your blog. With my PlayStation 2 hooked up I get sound with a black and white picture. I am using the regular red/white/yellow cable that came with the PS2. What do I need to get a color ...
Q. I recently purchased the Samsung PN42C450 after reading your blog. With my PlayStation 2 hooked up I get sound with a black and white picture. I am using the regular red/white/yellow cable that came with the PS2. What do I need to get a color picture?
A. Your TV does not have the composite (yellow) connection necessary for a color picture with the yellow cable. You need to use the red/green/blue component video connections. PS2 component video cables with red/white stereo audio are available at prices ranging from $4 to $20 or more. Using this cable will give you a color image that is sharper as well.
Many older video games do not have proper connections for modern TVs. If you can't get a component cable for a particular video game system you can run the video signal through your audio/video receiver if it has video upscaling. The receiver will convert the signal to a digital HDMI signal that will work with your television. Be sure to connect the audio cables so the sound will come from your sound system's speakers, which will sound much better than the TV's speakers. In the case of a PlayStation 2, an optical digital audio cable can be used for both better sound quality and for Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound on some game titles.
System building feature hiatus: Readers have responded enthusiastically to the recent system-building segment. I have had a lot of fun writing it but after next week I am going to take a break and just do Q&A for a while.
Most of the featured systems have been very modestly priced. This week's system is for those of you who expressed an interest in spending a bit more for something special. All told it's still not expensive for what you get and its performance is near state-of-the-art.
The new Panasonic TC-P55ST30 3D plasma HDTV is available for only $1,515. It uses the industry's best technology to provide a big, beautiful 55-inch picture with 3-D as icing on the cake. The memory card slot displays pictures and plays movies from your digital camera or camcorder, also in high-def. It's an absolute knockout in every way, but especially in value.
The sound system uses Definitive Technology's new BP-8020ST bipolar SuperTower speakers. I am enthralled with their ability to realistically portray the most dramatic action movie as well as capture all the subtlety and nuance of chamber music. Built-in powered subwoofers mean simpler placement, big bass impact and modest receiver power requirements. The complete 5.1-channel BP-8020ST system is available for only $2,199. I don't know of a better performing home theater speaker system at the price point. Visit http://tinyurl.com/3m9cmff to see the entire system.
Onkyo's TX-SR609 receiver sells for $499. It is 3-D-compatible and offers ample clean power for the Definitive speakers. www.onkyousa.com
There are several reasons I am recommending the Sony PlayStation 3 for disc-playing duties. It is still one of the best Blu-ray players you can buy, it can stream Internet content, it is 3-D capable, and it plays high-def video games. http://us.playstation.com
$4,000 is what it cost to get a primitive HDTV not all that long ago. Now it gets you a big beautiful TV, spectacular sound and 3-D movies and gaming.