How to Connect Retro Games Consoles to Modern TVs for Your Nostalgia Fix

Wednesday 15th June 2022 - Della Bentham


How to Connect Retro Games Consoles to Modern TVs for Your Nostalgia Fix

Retro gaming is really popular right now. Many manufacturers have released mini consoles which play your old favourites, but a growing swathe of hardcore gamers prefer the original. We take a look at how to connect your retro consoles to modern TVs in this article.

Do you miss your childhood games console? The one you spent hours upon hours playing Sonic the Hedgehog or Super Mario Brothers on? Those were the days! Fast forward a couple of decades and it seems like everything is moving to HDMI’s, smart TVs and 4K. But what about our retro gaming consoles? How can we connect them to modern TVs and enjoy our favourite classics? In this blog post, we will explore four different ways to connect retro games consoles to modern TVs.

While gaming technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last few decades with realistic graphics and sounds, there's just something special about the classics. So, sit back, relax, and let's take a trip down memory lane!

Most retro game consoles connect to the TV via a scart or RCA connection. Before the days of HDMI, these were standard connections on television sets. Nowadays, however, you're unlikely to find a Scart connection on a smart TV or even many regular TVs. So, what can you do?

1) Computer Monitors

If your TV does not have the required connection ports, it's possible that your computer monitor may have. Take a look at the inputs on the back of your monitor to see if the console can hook up. If it does, bonus, plug the console in and test it out. This method may not always work, but it won't cause any harm trying.

2) Buy an Adapter

If your TV doesn't have the correct input ports and your monitor doesn't either, then you could look at buying an adapter. These can be found online or in technology stores. Simply Google 'RCA to HDMI adapter', 'AV to HDMI adapter', 'Scart to HDMI adapter’ or something similar and a whole host of options will come up.

The adapters can be picked up relatively cheaply. A quick Google found one for just £1.75 on eBay. Of course, the picture and sound quality may not be as good as an adapter costing more money. Once you have your adapter, follow the instructions to connect it to both your TV and games console. It's really that simple!

3) Find a Middleman

It may be possible to find a suitable connection on the back of another device such as an old DVD player. This way, you can connect the games console to the DVD player's inputs and use it as a middleman.

DVD players themselves can be picked up relatively cheaply from auctions, car boot sales or online marketplaces. In some instances, they may even be free. All it takes is a little time and effort to source one if you don't have one lying around.

4) Buy an Old CRT

If you're looking for a more authentic experience, you could just take the plunge and grab an old CRT TV. There can often be picked up for very little or even free as people clear out houses or upgrade their set.

These old TV sets will give you the full retro gaming experience. Just make sure you get one with the right input ports for your console.

Once connected, by whatever method you choose, you'll be able to begin playing the games of days gone by. Remember that old consoles can be a little more temperamental than their modern-day counterparts. If you're having trouble accessing the game, try some of the troubleshooting steps below.

  • Ensure the TV is on the correct channel to play the game.
  • If you're using an old cartridge console, try blowing the cartridge to ensure dust is removed.
  • Check the connections - Is everything properly plugged in?
  • Adjust screen resolution - Retro games were optimised for the standard TV size of the era, so you may need to adjust your modern TV for the best experience.
  • Examine the console. Check the power lights are on and listen for the sounds it should be making.

If this has inspired you to relive your youth, then you can find some fantastic deals on retro gaming on easyliveAuction. Here are some of our top suggestions.

The Sega Saturn was released in Europe in 1995. Unfortunately for Sega, it went up against the new player in the market, Sony, with their first Playstation and never really reached the success of previous Sega consoles. In fact, this was the penultimate console released by Sega. This fine example even comes in the original box with some games. It goes under the hammer with Sutton Hill Farm Country Auctions on June 18th starting at 10 am. View the lot here.
Sony knocked both Nintendo and Sega out of the console race when they launched the Playstation One. While Nintendo still make consoles, their success paled in comparison to newcomers Microsoft and Sony until the launch of the Switch. This lot is perfect for Playstation fans. It comes complete with a boxed Playstation one as well as a PS2 alongside a nice bundle of games for both consoles. You'll find this lot in Sutton Hill Farm Country Auctions on June 18th starting at 10 am. Check it out here.
If you prefer your console's 16-bit, then this Mega Drive by Sega is worth a punt. Sega brought us the loveable hedgehog, Sonic, who was a competitor to rival Nintendo's Mario. With an estimate of just £15-£30, it's good wholesome fun. This unit is in the Featonbys sale on June 23rd starting at 10 am. View the console here.
In the Eighties and early Nineties, Nintendo dominated the video games market from the launch of the NES to the upgraded SNES. This Super Mario All-Stars Edition SuperNintendo looks to be in excellent condition which is reflected in the estimate of £80-£120 making it ideal for more serious collectors. This one goes on sale with Elliotts UK Auctioneers on June 18th starting at 10 am. Find out more here.
The original NES is the console that Super Mario and his friends launched back in 1985 bringing joy to kids and adults alike. There was something so accomplishing about completing the game from start to finish when there were no saves. This NES comes with a zapper gun and two controllers with an estimate of £30-£50. This one is for sale with Warrington & Northwich Auctioneers & Valuers on June 21st starting at 10 am. View it here.
If you fancy going even further back in time, then how about the Commodore 64? This lot comes with the Commodore 64 alongside a selection of games to be enjoyed. With a low estimate of just £10-£20, this one's definitely worth bidding on, in fact I might even place a cheeky bid myself! It goes under the hammer with Harrisons Auction Rooms on June 25th starting at 10.30 am. View the lot here.

We hope this article has given you some ideas on how to connect your retro games consoles to your modern TV. Happy gaming!