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Best options for playing Retro Consoles on HDTV

Best options for playing Retro Consoles on HDTV

, by Av Kandola, 5 min reading time

With most new HDTV's no longer offering AV, component and S-Video connections, playing original retro consoles has started to become an issue. All original consoles such as the NES, SNES, Megadrive, PC Engine etc all offered either AV or ariel output which was perfect for the old CRT televisions but using them now on even HDTV's with the appropriatre connection can still be an issue as the picture quality is so poor on modern televisions.  

As newly released HDTV's become better and better, offering amazing features such as 4K, built in apps etc to satisfy the most demanding tech freaks. One thing it leaves behind is the ability to play original retro consoles as the newer HDTV's no longer offer RF Out, AV, S-Video and Component connections. 

What does that mean for our beloved original retro consoles such as the NES, SNES & MegaDrive? well it means you have to either keep hold of your old HDTV with the correct connections or invest in a bulky old skool CRT. Don't forget the picture quality from your original retro console looks horrid on any HDTV unless you mod the consoles, which can be very expensive to do so.

Problem is all original consoles offered either 'AV' or 'RF Out' output which was perfect for the old CRT televisions but using them now on even HDTV's with the appropriatre connection can still be an issue as the picture quality is so poor on modern televisions.  

Currently one of the best options to play retro consoles on modern HDTV's are the retro remake consoles such as the below, as they offer HDMi and crystal clear picture thanks to the upscaling. 

Super Retro Trio+ HD - NES, SNES & MegaDrive

The SRT+ not only offers HDMi but it allows you to play all-region NES, SNES and MegaDrive original cartridge games. This is the most popular choice for retro gamers and collectors who want to play original cartridges as this one console replaces three consoles and offers a fantastic picture. You can also use original controllers as well.


  • Compatible with original NES, SNES and MegaDrive game carts
  • Crisp picture in HD!
  • NTSC/PF/NJ/PAL Region Switch
  • 6 controller ports compatible with original and third party controllers
  • AV compatible
  • HDMI compatible
  • Comes with: 2 Controllers compatible with all 3 console ports

Super Retro-Cade - NES, SNES, MegaDrive & Arcade

The SRC is a mini console which has over 90 games pre-loaded and offers save states. This is a fantastic option for gamers looking for a small compact console which offers HDMi and has built in games. You can add more games onto a SD card as well.


  • Two USB controllers
  • Save States
  • HDMI


The RES+ is a NES remake which plays original NES cartridges from all-regions and not only offers HDMi but also has a AV output as well. Perfect way to play NES original cartridges on a HDTV with the added bonus of being a top loader. 


  • Compatible with your favorite classic NES® game cartridges
  • Top loading cartridge slot
  • AV and HDMI® (included) compatible
  • Includes two 6 ft. wired classic pro controllers
  • Controllers compatible with NES® and Retro-Bit® consoles

RetroN HD - NES

One of the best looking retro remake consoles is the RetroN HD with its sleek and nostalgic look. This is similar to the RES+ as it plays original NES cartridges and can even play EverDrive N8 carts as well. The console comes with two controllers but you can also plug in original NES controllers as well.


  • HD audio and video (720p), 16:9/4:3 aspect ratio switch
  • High compatibility for NTSC AND PAL cartridges (via bottom case switch)
  • Premium classic-style “Cadet” controller (10 ft. cable)
  • 3 ft. HD cable, 6 ft. Micro USB charge cable with USB AC Adapter
  • Also includes AV ports with AV cable

Atari Flashback 8 Gold - Atari 2600

The Atari Flashback 8 Gold has an incredible 120 built-in games all in 720p HD quality and offers scanline, save states and pause/rewind features. Even comes with two original looking joysticks.

120 built in games including:
•3D Tic-Tac-Toe •Adventure •Adventure II •Air Raiders •Air·SeaBattle 
•Aquaventure •Armor Ambush •Asteroids •Astroblast •Atari Climber 
•Backgammon •Basketball •Black Jack •Bowling •Breakout 
•Canyon Bomber •Centipede •Championship Soccer •Chase It 
•Circus Atari •Combat •Combat Two •Crystal Castles •Dark Cavern 
•Demons to Diamonds •Desert Falcon •Dodge ‘Em •Double Dunk 
•Escape It •Fatal Run •Flag Capture •Football •Frog Pond •Frogger 
•Frogs and Flies •Front Line •Fun with Numbers •Golf •Gravitar 
•Hangman •Haunted House •Home Run •Human Cannonball •Indy 500 
•International Soccer •Jungle Hunt •Maze Craze •Millipede •Miniature Golf 
•Miss It •Missile Command •Motorodeo •Night Driver •Off The Wall •Outlaw 
•Polaris •Pong (Video Olympics) •Radar Lock •Realsports Baseball •Realsports Basketball •Realsports Soccer •Realsports Volleyball •Return to Haunted House 
•Saboteur •Save Mary •Sea Battle •Secret Quest •Shield Shifter •Sky Diver 
•Slot Machine •Slot Racers •Solaris •Space Attack •Space War •Sprintmaster 
•Star Ship •Star Strike •Steeplechase •Stellar Track •Street Racer •Strip Off 
•Submarine Commander •Super Baseball •Super Breakout •Super Challenge Baseball •Super Challenge Football •Super Football •Surround •Sword Fight 
•Swordquest: Earthworld •Swordquest: Fireworld •Swordquest: Waterworld 
•Tempest •Video Checkers •Video Chess •Video Pinball •Warlords 
•Wizard •Yar’sReturn •Yars’ Revenge 

 RetroFreak 12-in-1 Console - 12 Different Consoles

This amazing console can play 12 different console cartridges in HD. It plays the below consoles and allows original controllers to be used as well.

  1. Nintendo Entertainment System (NTSC/PAL)
  2. Famicom (Japanese version NES)
  3. Super Famicom (Japanese version SNES)
  4. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (NTSC/PAL)
  5. Game Boy
  6. Game Boy Color
  7. Game Boy Advance
  8. Mega Drive (NTSC/PAL) *
  9. Genesis (US version Mega Drive) *
  10. PC Engine (Japanese version TurboGrafx-16)
  11. TurboGrafx-16
  12. PC Engine SuperGrafix
  13. * Sega Master System is also available while using Power Base Converter.


  • Supports Games for 12 Legacy Consoles!
  • HDMI output and HD up-scaling
  • Transfer Original cartridge Data into SD Card For a Digital Archive
  • Advanced Emulator Options including multiple save states, filters, cheat codes, and more!
  • Upgradeable firmware
  • 3 Pin UK Plug and EU 2 Pin Plug
  • Full CE Mark
  • NES adapter (Both Standard and Premium versions)

GCHD - Gamecube

The Nintendo Gamecube is one of the most sought after and played Nintendo consoles within the Nintendo collecting and playing scene. Up until now the only way to play the Gamecube on a HDTV that did not offer AV option was with an official component cable which only came out in Japan, but this sells on eBay for over £200 alone.  The GCHD plug & play converter upscales the signal to HD which is a great option for gamers with HDTV's as it upscales the picture to HD and gets rid off the ugly blur and non HD picture.




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