There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

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Alucard1191
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There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby Alucard1191 » May 10th, 2021, 7:13 pm

For those of you that live in Europe or just have the knowledge, my wife is pondering an eventual move out of the US to Europe. I would of course be bringing my retro systems. I still play light gun games and have a CRT TV for that purpose specifically. Can you hook a Saturn or SNES up to a European CRT without issue? I remember reading places that the TVs are different. I'm assuming that modern HDMI TVs are the same all over now, but if that isn't the case please inform me as well. (I'd prefer not to have to haul a TV with me when the time came just to keep playing Virtua Cop 1+2)

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ActRaiser
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Re: There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby ActRaiser » May 11th, 2021, 7:18 am

I found this.

In summary - it's a bad idea and may or may not work. At best things will be slower. At worst it's a no go.

https://www.reddit.com/r/crtgaming/comm ... _european/

TheEagleXIII
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Re: There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby TheEagleXIII » May 11th, 2021, 8:33 am

A very common thing I see in retro game mags is about ‘Grey Imports’.

Because we were third in line after Japan and NA to get releases (sometimes up to 1-2 years later), some independent retailers specialised in importing consoles and games. Even the magazines made use of it. One brand new magazine in 1990 actually had a review of an imported Super Mario World (referred to as Super Mario Bros 4) a couple months before they reviewed the UK release of Super Mario Bros 3!

Imported Nintendo and SEGA 8/16 bit consoles worked but I don’t know beyond or before that. Apparently even the infamous PAL slowdown doesn’t become an issue but I can’t confirm that for certain. Add ons like SEGA CD and 32X also seemed fine, but I don’t know about peripherals like light guns.

I’ll try track down a few of the articles about imports, for ya.

TheEagleXIII
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Re: There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby TheEagleXIII » May 11th, 2021, 9:07 am

Excuse the double post - I read this recently but still wasn’t expecting to track it down so quickly!

Super Play Magazine Issue 1:
https://archive.org/details/Superplay_I ... 9/mode/2up
(Page 19/20 if it doesn’t load automatically)

Multi-page feature on regional differences between SNES and how to connect imported machines and other pros and cons.

Importing definitely was the way to go. Besides the PAL slowdown, UK SNES owners also had the aspect ratios squished!

Alucard1191
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Re: There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby Alucard1191 » May 11th, 2021, 10:10 am

Oh wow, I didn't realize it was so much of a difference. I'll definitely have to haul an old CRT with me then. (Assuming HDMI is the same over there?) That is a bummer that you folks across the pond were so late in line. I have an enormous one right now, and shipping it would be extremely cost prohibitive, but my wife owns a second hand store, so I'll just have to set a much lighter (and probably smaller) one aside whenever one comes in. I most certainly want to be able to play my SNES and Saturn and Dreamcast as they were intended!

TheEagleXIII
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Re: There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby TheEagleXIII » May 11th, 2021, 12:40 pm

The impression I’ve got from what I’ve read, is that PAL slowdown and the aspect ratio squishing (exclusively a SNES oddity as far as I know) is a console issue - not TV. As long as you’re using NA hardware and software, the performance should be ok regardless what region your tv is.

But if you can’t guarantee your systems from other generations are gonna work, it’s probably best to be safe and bring your own CRT and plug/outlet adapter.

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Atariboy
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Re: There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby Atariboy » May 11th, 2021, 1:10 pm

PAL CRT support for 60hz NTSC was pretty universal (Much unlike the situation over here where consumer tv support for 50hz PAL was non-existent). And like TheEagleXIII says, game speed is dictated by the game itself and the console it's running on, not by the television.

With the rise of digital high-definition video via HDMI, most of the differences indeed are gone today. The main exception is some stuff is going to be a 50hz signal over in Europe versus 60hz like over here. But Euro HDTV's all support 60hz and I've yet to come across a North American HDTV flat panel that can't display something like 1080p at 50hz.

The differences if any exist on modern HDTV's across regions will involve the analog inputs and what signals that they support. I haven't been to Europe in a few years, but I imagine SCART connections are still offered on some models sold in Europe where as we're down to pretty much just a single composite input over here. And while I imagine Euro HDTV's can still make sense of NTSC 480i to this day, I bet many American HDTV's still would refuse to display a picture if it was PAL 576i (The Euro equivalent).

I can't speak for lightgun support in something like a NTSC NES game when played on a NTSC capable PAL CRT. And you'll of course want to look into a good step-down converter to get 220v down to 110v (A mere plug adapter isn't going to be good enough for classic consoles since the hurdle isn't the physical shape of the plug, although some more modern stuff like PS3's are dual voltage and will work with just an adapter or a native power cable).

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Atariboy
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Re: There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby Atariboy » May 11th, 2021, 1:23 pm

I left off something potentially important that I didn't want to edit into that long post of mine and have it possibly get overlooked. If Virtua Cop 1 and 2 are all that's crucial for you for light gun games, be aware that arcade ports of each were bundled together on the PS2 in Japan and Europe.

A good excuse to buy yourself a European PS2 if you make this move. Or at least a good backup plan to fall back on if you discover that while you get a picture just fine with your Saturn on a PAL CRT (I don't believe you'll have an issue there), your light gun doesn't like the PAL CRT (A real possibility, I suspect).
Last edited by Atariboy on May 12th, 2021, 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alucard1191
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Re: There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby Alucard1191 » May 11th, 2021, 7:46 pm

Thanks for the detailed rundown Atariboy. Old light gun games, the Saturn being the main one, is the primary reason for all this thought process. I know there are ways to hook up your classic systems to modern TVs with things like a framemeister and similar products. (They're probably even better now than the last time I looked into it.) It is admittedly a lot of work to play a small handful of light gun games. I'm not even opposed to doing something like getting modded mini systems and just running my retro gaming that way, just no light gun games... and they're one of the few genres of games I can actually play with my wife. (She isn't a console gamer)

Another crazy thought.... are there any light gun style products for a PC? Perhaps just getting a decent gaming PC and running MAME with a light gun USB peripheral would solve all of this.

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ActRaiser
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Re: There a difference with older US vs European TVs?

Postby ActRaiser » May 12th, 2021, 7:59 am

Alucard1191 wrote:
Another crazy thought.... are there any light gun style products for a PC? Perhaps just getting a decent gaming PC and running MAME with a light gun USB peripheral would solve all of this.


Aimtrack and Sindens. Goodluck getting a Sinden light gun. They are backed up with production delays. You're better off getting Aimtracks.


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