GBA ON TV (
TV de Advance PAL / NTSC version)
or later, it had to happen. An Asian company by the name of Gamesark
has announced its intentions to produce an unofficial peripheral
for the Game Boy Advance which enables gamers to play their favourite
titles on any television screen equipped with A/V inputs.
The TV de Advance, as it will be known, will go to retail consisting
of a cable which `plugs` into the GBA, through to the RCA leads
of your television. While this may all sound fine and dandy, there
is a catch. Users will be unable to simply slot a cable into a port
on the GBA. Instead, you`ll have to perform the relatively `simple`
task of snapping one end of the cable onto the GBA`s circuit board.
While this sounds decidedly dangerous, Gamesark promise that it
is an easy process, which requires absolutely no soldering. While
the video output comes from the circuit board directly, the audio
will stream from the GBA`s headphone socket, meaning another cable
from console to television.
If you`re brave enough to carry out surgery on your precious handheld,
then be warned: opening the machine will void your Nintendo warranty
- so if you break it, its your own fault.
It seems, however, many are sceptical about the new device; one
reason for which is nobody`s ever seen one working. Normally, developers
have to use expensive kit known as AGB Capture in order to have
video and audio output from the GBA to an external display. How
TV de Advance will pull off what it promises without costing an
arm and a leg, or pigs flying remains to be seen.
SOME PROCEDURES OF THE PRODUCT
If you've always wanted to play GBA games on your TV, then the
GBA TV Adapter from Gametech is the peripheral that you've been
Purpose And Features Of The Gametech GBA TV Adapter
As the name suggest, the GBA TV Adapter is a peripheral that attaches
to your GBA and allows it to display your games on a regular TV
or monitor. Of course, you don't only get to see your games on TV,
you also get to hear it, since the adapter also supports the GBA's
PCM sound system.
Using The Gametech GBA TV Adapter
Using the GBA TV Adapter is relatively simple, although you'll
need to remove the GBA's original back cover and replace it with
a special dual-purpose back cover (item No: #2 in the picture below).
Both the Tri-wing and Cross-wing screw drivers are included in the
package so you won't have any trouble removing the screws.
You will also need to insert a ribbon cable into the same slot
that the GBA's LCD screen is plugged into. This is an easy operation,
and once you've done that, you only need to screw in the cover and
you're done (see picture below).
The new back cover will then allow you to easily attach or detach
the AV Unit. You can still play your GBA without the AV Unit, so
you needn't worry about loosing your GBA's portability.
The AV Unit has 3.3 meter long cable that branches out into 3 RCA
plugs for your composite video and stereo sound inputs. It also
has an S-Video plug for better quality picture. The on/off and picture
size switches are also there, as well as a mini-jack that plugs
into the GBA's headphone socket (see picture below). The picture
size switch allows you to toggle between the regular 240x160 format
or full screen. In the regular mode, the screen will have a black
border around it just like a letterboxed movie.
You'll also need to plug in the supplied DC power pack to power
the system. Once all that is done, you're ready to plug the AV connectors
into your TV or monitor.
Pros Of The Gametech GBA TV Adapter
Of course, the best thing about the GBA TV Adapter is the fact
that you can now view your GBA games on a regular TV. Another good
thing is that GBA's portability is not hampered, since the adapter
can be easily detached, and the GBA used as normal.
For those who want to capture screen shots or even short videos
of their games, the GBA TV Adapter, together with a computer and
capture card is all you'll need.
In terms of picture quality, in my opinion, the output from the
GBA TV Adapter is really good. I prefer the native letterboxed format,
as I found that the full-screen format made pictures look a little
distorted, and tend to shimmer during fast speeds and quick scrolling.
For better picture quality, however, you'll need a TV that has an
S-Video input. The composite input from the adapter isn't that bad,
although not as sharp.
Cons Of The Gametech GBA TV Adapter
Although it's not really an issue for me, one disadvantage in using
the GBA TV Adapter is the fact that you'll need to replace your
original back cover and insert the ribbon cable that's attached
to it. This unfortunately, will void your warranty.
Aside from that, I couldn't find anything else that would warrant
Conclusion & Final Remarks
Some might comment that a TV Adapter defeats the GBA's purpose
of portability and gaming-on-the-go. This is true, if the adapter
totally alters the form and function of the GBA. The TV Adapter
from Gametech, however, doesn't do this. What it does, and very
well I might add, is to give us all choice between home and portable
video gaming. A choice is always nice to have, and so I have no
qualms in heartily recommending the GBA TV Adapter as a must have
accessory for any GBA fan.
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