S-video From An Atari 2600


[Ben Heck] posted this writeup about getting S-Video/composite out of an Atari 2600. This is actually the hack of [Longhorn Engineer], who showed it to [Ben] at a recent event. If any of you have tried to play these classics on a modern TV you may have found it to be quite difficult. If you manage to get it physically connected, through adapters and such, you may still have video issues. This alleviates that issue completely. After you solder this in, your Atari has native composite/S-video. As you can see in the video after the break, it seems to work pretty well.


14 thoughts on “S-video From An Atari 2600

  1. VERY nice. Makes me wish I hadn’t sold my 2600 now BUT I gotta wonder if we can use this with other game systems as well like NES, etc. or even older computers like the TI-99/4a, Coco and such.

  2. I have done this (with video and audio),like five years ago. If you have a brain and a hand to solder is not so dificult… To get audio and video out of an Atari 2600 you have to solder one or two resistances and the cables, nothing else…

  3. Hey tomasito. If you would take the time to read the article this is not as simple as one or two “resistances”. The mod you performed is not up to par with this mod in terms of clarity, color, or sharpness. You can download the schematic to the mod on my website if you wish to see for yourself.

  4. sweet! i’m reading this a few days after i pick up 2x 2600’s, a 5200, and a 7800 on craigslist.

    btw, i know for a fact the first model (fat) usa snes is s-video ready… and maybe rgb as well?
    the 2nd model (mini) would need a board such as this, i believe.

    i think the nes needs a chip from one of the arcade boards (playchoice-10 or vs. unisystem) to do rgb…

  5. @Longhorn Engineer:

    Ok, you’ve used an video filter and a buffer to get more quality. I’ve an old 20” TV, so your mod doesn’s make much difference in the image with my TV. I don’t even have an s-video input. So with only a few passive components i get what i want.
    You have right, i don’t even have read your article at the first time. What i wanted to tell was that with a few passive components it is possible to get something similar.

    PS: Sorry for the “resistances” word. I meaned “resistor”. I’m from Argentina and i’ve learned english without a teacher, just by my self, so i’m not the best spelling :P

    I didn’t wanted to criticize your work, just saying that is possible by other ways to get something like that, with some less quality.


    I didn’t remember very well how the nes worked, but i do remember that i’ve made an stereo sound mod to the famicom (nes clone). If it had Y/V/C lines it might be possible i think…

  6. The NES outputs Composite video native so its the best you are going to get. The SNES2 actually does have native RGB just need to pull it off the chip in there.


    The 5200 and 7800 versions of the mod are in the works along with PAL versions of the 2600 mod.

  7. The NES will actually output RGB if the video chip is swapped with the chip from the Playchoice 10 arcade board.

    From what I understand, most games work well, but a few have palette issues.

  8. Some 2600 games might also have “palette issues” when displayed via luma/chroma component video if they rely on NTSC color artifacting. A significant minority of the Atari 8-bit home computer games did, and the display hardware is not that much different between them: the computers add the ANTIC dma display list controller but the GTIA functions very much like the 2600 TIA.

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