Have an old-school tube TV or early flatscreen taking up space in the basement? Don‘t junk it! With the right adapters you can connect your PS4 and enjoy modern gaming on your retro TV. As a home electronics buff and avid gamer, I‘ve tested every method – here‘s my comprehensive guide to maximizing your experience.
## The HDMI Dilemma
The PS4 only outputs video through an HDMI port. Since 2007, HDMI has become the standard for A/V devices. Unfortunately HDMI wasn‘t introduced until 2003, so TVs older than that lack compatibility.[INSERT STATS ON HDMI ADOPTION]
This poses a challenge for hooking up newer gadgets like the PS4 to older analog TVs. Luckily, with the right adapters you can convert the signal to work on virtually any TV with composite AV or component inputs.
## Analog Video Basics
Before we get into connectors, here‘s a quick refresher on analog video standards:
– **Composite AV** – Also called CVBS. Uses three RCA cables for video (yellow), left audio (white), and right audio (red). Max resolution of 480i.
– **S-Video** – A step up from composite video, it keeps luminance and chroma separate for clearer image. Resolution still maxes out at 480i.
– **Component** – Separates the video signal into three for improved image clarity and allows up to 1080i HD resolution.
– **HDMI** – Digital signal capable of 4K resolution and beyond. Carries both video and audio. The PS4 requires conversion to work on analog TVs.
## Connection Methods
There are several options for converting the PS4‘s HDMI signal to work on that old CRT or flatscreen TV:
### HDMI to AV Converter
This converter box takes the HDMI input and converts it to composite AV outputs.
– Works with virtually any retro TV
– Very inexpensive at around $10-15
– Limited to 480i resolution
– Audio and video may have sync issues
Still, for basic gaming composite AV conversion is an easy plug-and-play solution.
### HDMI to Component Converter
For better image quality, an HDMI to component converter maintains a higher 480p or 720p resolution signal.
– Enables 480p or 720p gaming
– Clearer image than composite
– Component inputs not available on some older TVs
– Costs more than composite converter
I recommend the [PORTTA HDMI To Component Converter] which provides 480p/720p/1080i for under $30. Highly recommended for PS2/Xbox/Gamecube generation consoles.
### HDMI to VGA Adapter
If your retro TV or monitor has a VGA input, this adapter allows you to connect via 15-pin VGA.
– Enables PC monitor usage
– Better image than composite
– Won‘t work on TVs without VGA input
– No audio signal through VGA
### USB to HDMI Adapter
Some older TVs and monitors have a USB port but no HDMI. A USB video capture device converts HDMI over USB.
– Allows HDMI connectivity without HDMI port
– Works with monitors and tablets too
– Limited compatibility
– Latency may be an issue for fast-paced games
### Wireless HDMI Solutions
New wireless HDMI adapters like the [IOGEAR Wireless HDMI Transmitter] allow you to transmit HDMI video to a receiver box up to 30 feet away.
– No cables required
– Enable HDMI for TVs in awkward spots
– Latency makes gaming tricky
– Potential for interference disrupting signal
I don‘t recommend wireless for serious gaming, but it could work for casual play.
## Getting the Best Picture Quality
While AV and even component conversions do limit resolution compared to native HDMI, here are some tips to optimize quality:
– For TV watching, connect cable box directly to the TV‘s AV inputs for best image, then switch to HDMI input for PS4 gaming.
– Adjust PS4 display settings – enable super-sampling and disable HDCP for reduced input lag.
– Tweak TV picture settings – turn sharpness down, enable game mode to reduce processing lag.
– Try an upscaler like the [Retrotink 2X] which uses advanced processing to improve image quality from 480i sources.
– Match content to input – use AV for streaming video and component for gaming to maximize quality based on source.
– Component and VGA will look better for text and UI elements; AV works fine for video sources.
## Step-by-Step Guide
Here is a walkthrough on getting your PS4 hooked up using the simple AV composite converter method:
### What You‘ll Need
– PlayStation 4 console
– Compatible non-HDMI TV
– 3.5mm audio cable (if TV has no RCA audio inputs)
– HDMI to AV converter box ([Zammad HDMI to AV Adapter])
– Composite AV cable set
1. Connect your PS4 to the HDMI input on the converter box using an HDMI cable.
2. Connect the yellow composite video cable from the converter to the matching yellow video input on your TV.
3. For audio, use the red/white RCA cables or a 3.5mm cable to the TV‘s audio input.
4. Plug in the HDMI converter box and turn it on.
5. On your TV, select the AV input channel. You may have to channel down or use the input button.
6. Power on the PS4. It should display on your TV after a few seconds!
With the right converter, even the oldest TV can work with a PS4 for retro-gaming goodness!
## Troubleshooting Tips
If you encounter issues getting your PS4 to show on the retro TV, try these troubleshooting steps:
– Make sure TV is on correct analog input (AV, component, etc).
– Try disconnecting and reconnecting cables to ensure a firm connection.
– Test the converter box and cables with another HDMI source like a streaming stick to isolate the problem.
– Rule out PS4 hardware issues by testing HDMI connection directly on another TV.
– Change converter box and PS4 resolution settings to match your TV‘s capability.
– If audio is out of sync, use TV remote to see if delay settings can adjust lip sync.
## Game On!
I hope this guide has shown how easy and awesome it can be to hook up your PS4 to a classic CRT or non-HDMI flatscreen TV. The ability to play modern games on retro tech provides an extra nostalgic thrill. With the right adapters and converter boxes, that old TV in your attic can be put back into gaming service in no time.
As you shop for adapters and converters, feel free to reach out to me with any questions! I‘m always happy to chat A/V connections and help fellow gamers keep old hardware in use. Game on!