The age of analogue TVs may be gone but don’t despair; you can still use your old CRT TVs for the good of retro gaming. And when I say old TVs, I do mean old ones! You don’t have to dump them at the side of the road hoping someone will come along and pilfer it or take them to the dump. Sure we all know that the old CRT TVs are good for gaming but if you want to step up the retro in your retro gaming, you can still use your grandparents old TV for not only gaming, but also watching your favorite high-definition digital TV shows (although not in high-definition of course). All it takes is a little know-how and a couple of dollars investment in some old technology; a VHS recorder and perhaps an antenna cable and connector. With this trick, TVs on the side of the road or in junk shops suddenly take on a whole new appeal and can make your retro collection more spectacular and classic.



One of the great things about VHS recorders is many of them can easily be picked up by analogue TVs on the lower channels without any tuning-in required; they’re essentially plug-and-play. This includes dial-tuning TVs, that in many cases date back to the 1970s. What’s more, many VHS recorder models have A/V inputs which allow you to hook-up just about any form of retro console or even modern set top box through to your old TV via the antenna connectors. This is on the proviso that your console / set to box has A/V outputs. You can even watch your Blu-ray movies and play your Xbox One / PS4 on a TV which predates these gaming machines by 30 years or more.

To set up your old TV for the modern era or to run your consoles, connect the A/V cables to the VHS recorder inputs. Next, connect the antenna out connection on your VHS recorder to the antenna in connection on your TV.

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This may just be a straight connection to the TV using the antenna cable or may require an adaptor which may require a quick trip to your local electronics shop or junk store to find one similar to the one in the image below. Some older TVs had connections for an external two-wired antenna cable which simply clipped into two connections on the TV or fastened with Philips head screws.

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Tuning in

Once connected, turn on the VHS recorder and change over to A/V output on the channel selector. This will send the signal from the A/V-connected device to the TV.

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Change channels on the TV until the correct station is found. There may be some small adjustments such as vertical hold or fine tuning required on the TV in order to obtain a clearer picture. Once the VHS recorder is tuned in you should be ready to go. One further thing to note is that there may be fine tuning required when you change over to different consoles or A/V devices. However, the outcome is quite spectacular and will provide many hours of additional classic fun to your retro gaming or entertainment. It’s very simple and effective!

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