2022 was the yr I made a decision to get severe about my retrogaming setup. I used to be uninterested in having a 104lb CRT dominating half my pc desk and a PlayStation 2, MiSTer, and no matter different consoles I used to be at the moment curious about all the time in peripheral imaginative and prescient. After a little bit of thought I concluded that the TV and all of the consoles could be higher off on a wheeled cart. A retro cart, in the event you would. It might dwell in my closet, or be wheeled out to wherever appeared enjoyable. So I began speccing that out.
The most effective kind issue ended up having two decrease cabinets—for the consoles, a smaller TATE-friendly/PAL-compatible PVM-1354Q CRT a pal had lately bought me, and bookshelf audio system—with the big-ass 29” TV up on the third, high tier. Each CRTs might settle for RGB or YPbPr/element video…which to standardize on? Part appeared simpler for a pair causes, so I went with that. Then I simply wanted a switcher to not solely flip between MiSTer, PS2, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, Wii, and Xbox, however to route any of these sources to both of the 2 screens.
That’s six in, two out. I wished optical audio switching, too, for MiSTer, Xbox, and presumably PS2. Mixed, these necessities take us far past the characteristic set of any primary switcher you’ll discover on Amazon or Ali today. Thus I turned to the brilliant, shining previous of the mid-aughts, when element video adoption peaked and specialty A/V merchandise catered to the extra esoteric YPbPr-wrangling wants of the period’s dwelling theater lovers.
Just a few promising candidates surfaced. One high-end mid-2000s switcher was very fancy certainly and will truly transcode between analog and optical audio (wow!). However in the end I used to be received over by the still-fancy however barely extra modest Affect Acoustics Deluxe Part Video / Digital Audio 6 In / 2 Out Matrix Swap, aka the “40697″. You’ll be able to see it above. Not solely can it route these six inputs to both display, it may output to each screens concurrently…the identical supply, or two completely different sources. Oh expensive, am I blushing?
After per week or two I managed to search out a NOS (new outdated inventory) one, and it proved simply as performant as hoped: Any console on any show is now only a button-push away. The cart undertaking continues to be in progress as I search a working Xbox, look into acceptable Wii hax, and transition to a brand new show up high (kinda wishing I had gone with RGB now, truly!) however I’ve already been having fun with having all my beloved outdated video games in a single, self-contained, no-compromises tower of energy. Even obtained a beanbag! Hell yeah.
Alexandra Corridor, Senior Editor