How To Set Up Sega Genesis On An HDTV

Even though Sega’s Genesis is a thing of the past, the titles that were released for this console still live on in the hearts of hobbyists and fans all over the world. Some of these games have never been rereleased in a modern format, meaning the only way to play some of these classics is on the original hardware or emulation. If you want to play some of the classic Genesis fighting games, RPG’s or racing games, you have a couple of options.

Emulation is nice, but doesn’t capture the excitement of booting up an old console, blowing in the cartridge, and popping that chunk of plastic in. TV’s have changed since the 90’s though, meaning connectors may not be supported anymore, so playing a retro console on a new TV can cause some weird visuals.

During the lifespan on the Sega Genesis, Sega released two revisions, each somewhat tweaking the hardware of the previous iteration. The first version featured the RF box, as well as A/V connectors, which are still supported. The A/V connectors for the original Sega Genesis model only featured sound, so gamers still needed to hook the RF box to the cable hookups on the back of their TV.

The second model of the Genesis provided full A/V hookups, which can still be used on current TVs. These cables are probably familiar with anyone who used a console from the mid 90’s to around the era of the Wii. These cables aren’t HD, but still provide a pretty good picture as well as stereo sound. This change also held true for the third iteration of the Sega Genesis.

There are some workarounds that can help you set up a Sega Genesis on an HDTV. These tricks can differ in quality so some methods may look better than others, depending on personal preference as well.

Using “Legacy” Hardware

Depending on what model of Sega Genesis you own, your options on using the original hookups may be limited. TVs still include coax ports for those who still subscribe to cable. The original model can be hooked up on this port located on the back of the TV. These will need to be thumb screwed into the port.

Models 2 and 3 can be plugged into the familiar white, red, and yellow A/V ports on the back of most modern TV’s. The RF coax connector is still an option for these models, but the A/V connection provides better picture and sound quality.

These options are great for those who want the original experience using original hardware. While on HD TVs, you will not get the same picture you may have gotten on a CRT television back in the day, these options are the easiest using all of the hardware that was originally included with the console.

Using New Improvements

Since original hardware usually does not look as good, there are options that will make your original hardware look fantastic on modern LCDs. These somewhat can depend on which model Genesis you own, but there are solutions for each model.

If you are an owner of the first Sega Genesis model, you can purchase an RF to A/V converter to get the same functionality that the second and third models use. LukieGames is a pretty good store for retro gaming needs that sells a first model A/V converter. This will not provide an HD image on modern TVs, but is still a lot easier than messing with the coax outputs on the RF box.

If you are looking for an HD gaming experience on a modern television, the retro gaming scene has been keeping up with advances in technology. There are multiple adapters available online to convert old consoles into HD. One of these awesome adapters is an RF to HDMI which supports HD images on modern TVs. This option is available for all models of the Sega Genesis, giving model one owners an adapter for the RF box. These plug directly into the back of the console in the RF port then into your TV’s HDMI port which is usually located on the back or the side. This one, and many others out there, may require additional power (in the form of a micro-USB cable on the box) to give a clearer picture and fix any bugs.

  • Updated September 3, 2020
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