GBA ON TV ( TV de Advance NTSC version)

Buy it now!Sooner 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 waiting for.

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 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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 a grumble.

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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TV de Advance (NTSC version)

Game Boy > Cables & Adapters