1 Reply Latest reply on Nov 13, 2012 2:56 PM by nickgray

    building a ADC for running old game consoles through hdmi (upscaling)


      hi everyone. this is my first post here and i have been trying to figure out something for a long time now. i dont even know if i post this on the right place:P


      first things first. im norwegian and we dont have communities like this here. its even impossible to get parts here to build devices on your own. i only know of one place to buy parts from in norway but it cost over 10$ for shipping no matter what you buy. and there is only 1 workshop in this city that fixes electronics even. its a dying profession here.

      im a builder by profession and im a heavy tinkerer. i like fixing stuff rather than buying something new and about half a year ago, i started up electronics as a hobby. note that im at the absolute beginning steps, though im confident with soldering/welding


      but anyway, back to my questions:

      i recently saw a video on youtube about a guy showing his retro gaming system collection and he said once in one of his videoes about that he was running them all through hdmi but built a computer inside his NES cause it was so hard to get working with hdmi so the computer was running windows + an emulator.


      i then started researching how one could do such a thing and came over the Analog to Digital Conversion. i dont understand how it works and how i can use it. i want to build an ADC inside all my consoles so all of them will run on my hdtv with upscaled pictures. i know i cant increase the resolution on the console (like the SNES runs in 512×478 at max) but i wanted the image to look native, like how it looked on the old tv's.


      is there anyway to do this? and could someone give me some diagrams with part numbers or something?


      if the job is different for all consoles, then i would want it for a NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, PS2, Genesis, Xbox and also, 360 (the NON-hdmi version 360 is what i got. 2 of them in fact) and they are all PAL.


      would mean alot for me if anyone could help me with this!

        • Re: building a ADC for running old game consoles through hdmi (upscaling)

          Hi, Andre -


          Perhaps I can help a little.


          I know that getting electronic components is difficult in some parts of Europe and have two suggestions. If you make a large enough purchase on-line you can sometimes get it without shipping costs, but the requirements for this might be high. I do not know about Europe, but in the USA many suppliers will provide free samples of some products and pay for the shipping themselves. Since you are onthe European continent, I would try German and French manufacturers. Just go to their web sites. A good web site in the U.S. for training materials is http://www.adafruit.com, but I do not know if they ship to locations outside of the USA and Canada.


          As for getting video through HDMI or to a computer or television, there is definitely a way to do this, but you need more than just an ADC (Analog-to-Digital Converter). There are formatting and data rate things to consider. It has been so long since I did any video work, so I am afraid that my knowledge is outdated. I suggest you search on line for information about the HDMI protocol. Note that audio can also be sent over HDMI.


          I am afraid that I can not give you a diagram or part numbers, but you first need a good understand of the composition of the HDMI video signal and of ADCs and how they work. For information on ADCs, I suggest "ABCs of ADCs", which I wrote a few years ago when I was working at National Semiconductor. You can find it at http://sva.ti.com/assets/en/other/ABCs_of_ADCs.pdf.


          All consoles with an HDMI interface would accept the same signal, yet I do not know if the consoles you mentioned have HDMI or not. You will have to check this out yourself.


          That is about all I can offer without doing a lot of research, which I am sure you can do for yourself. If you have any further questions, let me know and I will try to help.


          Good Luck!

          Nick Gray