Could I and how would I make something like this?

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endrien
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Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by endrien » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:35 am

Id like to make something that plays NES/SNES roms on my TV. I dont want to have to build a huge library from hard to get and expensive NES/SNES games so Id like to simply have something that plays roms. If it matters, Consoles I have just laying around: Ps1,N64.
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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by XCVG » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:14 pm

Well the only platform I know of that can do this would be a PC. Therefore, you need to decide how big you can go. If you can make it big enough you can use a cheap-as-dirt microATX mobo. But if you want to make it smaller you need a mini-ITX motherboard, which costs more. Then you need to cram in a hard drive and you'll probably want an optical drive- you can use cheaper, larger desktop ones or smaller, more expensive laptop ones. For NES/SNES you should be fine with integrated graphics, but if you want to play PC games you'll need a graphics card. Also, do you need wireless internet, or can you run a cable? You'll also need to fit in a power supply. There are small ones and big ones. The big ones are dirt cheap and plug right into a wall. The little ones are expensive and need 12VDC.

So basically you need to decide what parts to use and then design your case. You can build a really cool case or one that blends in with the background. It's also (sometimes) possible to cram a computer into an old console case! Search NES PC on google and you'll get the idea.

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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by DK » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:06 pm

Easier way, modded xbox. Check ouy www.xboxscene.com for all the info :wink:
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endrien
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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by endrien » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:26 pm

Well I happen to have an old IDE hard drive(Like 5gb or something) and a computer powersupply lying around and possibly a motherboard or two from old PC's. Would I be able to get a cheap PC from somewhere(Assuming I cant get these old parts to work) and then that be the base of a console? Would I be able to get some kind of custom operating system that only loads up an emulator, not windows and maybe even have a custom bootup screen? Also how would I connect it to a TV?

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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by nevermind1534 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:22 pm

You can pick up a new mini ITX motherboard with an intel atom CPU pretty cheap.
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endrien
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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by endrien » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:30 pm

Would you guys happen to know where? I dont really want to spend TOO much on this project.

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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by bicostp » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:36 pm

NewEgg has a couple for around $80, but most of them don't include TV out so you'll need a PCI graphics card or an external VGA to TV converter box.

You could definitely use a regular PC for this purpouse, since basically anything can run NES and SNES games.

I also highly recommend getting a decent size hard drive and XBMC (free) and using it for videos as well.

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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by nevermind1534 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:54 pm

If you don't mind single core, you could get one of the DTX ones that also has a PCIe x1 slot on it.
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endrien
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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by endrien » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:28 pm

Well Im definitely looking for cheap, so I don't really care aslong as it can run roms. Also what do you mean by having video on it? And is it possible to set it up so it uses audio/video(Red white yellow) cables? I was also thinking about going to a computer liquidation store and getting one cheap there.

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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by bicostp » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:46 pm

Like I said, basically any computer made in the last 10 years will do what you want perfectly. The only thing you'll need is a way to get the video to the TV, which means you need either a video card with a TV Out port (which is normally S-Video, which can be made into composite easily), or an external VGA to TV box (which usually have both S-Video and composite jacks).

If you want quiet and compact use, you could get away with a laptop with a cracked screen hooked up to an external converter box. Throw in a wireless gamepad and you're done.

If your TV has S-Video, use it! It gives you a much sharper picture than composite.

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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by nevermind1534 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:56 pm

the board with the atom 330 ($80 from newegg) has an s-video output. you can buy an adapter for it to get you the yellow plug. You can buy a y cable for the sound.
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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by endrien » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:23 pm

sorry for the nooblike response but whats an external converter box?
I think that a normal desktop would probably be easiest. How much would a card that would allow me to use the computer on the TV be?

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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by bicostp » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:05 pm

I was referring to a box that plugs into the VGA port (like a monitor), and turns that signal into composite or S-Video. Here's an example:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815323003

The alternative is a video card with a TV-Out port paired up with a small adapter that converts S-Video to composite.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6882021048

There's no price range to look at for video cards with TV out, since it's more or less standard equipment. It depends on what you want to do with it. For just videos and emulators on an older PC, you can go with a somewhat older video card. If you want Xbox 360 style gaming, then you're looking at spending a lot more. :lol:

Video cards around the $100 price range are more than enough for what you want.

It also depends on what your computer has for expansion slots. If it has PCIe x16, get a PCIe card. If you have AGP, get an AGP card. If you don't have either, get a PCI card. More than likely, if you're using a secondhand computer that's more than a couple years old, you'll need an AGP card.

Here's an AGP card for $60 that will suit a somewhat older/low-end computer, just don't expect to run brand-new games at maximum resolution and settings with it. (You'll still be able to do some newer stuff; I've run Half-Life 2 with no problem on a lot less. :lol:)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814102781

The built-in video on the motherboard will work just fine with a converter, but you might as well get a dedicated video card. It's cheaper and will improve performance!

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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by endrien » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:43 pm

Ouch thats quite a dent in the wallet :( , Isnt there something thats got a VGA connecter on one side and composite on the other? I'd really prefer not to spend that much on something like that, Infact I paid less for my 8600gt GFX card...

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Re: Could I and how would I make something like this?

Post by bicostp » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:04 pm

endrien wrote:Isnt there something thats got a VGA connecter on one side and composite on the other?
Yes, a VGA to TV converter box. You can't just connect wires to go between them because the refresh rate is different.

GeForce FX 5200 128 MB AGP for $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130210

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