Comparision Between Composite and S-video

I got my S-video adapter for the Nintendo 64, which means that I can change from standard Composite video to what’s the best thing for the PAL N64 system: S-video. The difference isn’t huge between this and RGB but still noticeable according to most sources.

I quickly noticed that the image got black and white when I connected the Sound output cable into the adapter. This was quickly solved by pulling it out a little bit and presto! I had both sound and a markedly improved image to enjoy.

zelda composite1Standard Composite cable

zelda svideo1S-video cable

zelda svideo3S-video Cable

Unfortunately I forgot to grab a pic with the Composite cable of the gameplay, but the intro screen shows off both the 3D, sprite and texture aspects of the game so I hope that’ll do. I’m pleased with the improvement and I’d say that this is a cheap way to make your older consoles much more visually appealing, it’d cost about 10 dollars per cable and you’d be set to go, even on new flatscreen TV’s.

The reason why the image is still blurry is because the N64 had some kind of blur filter that was meant to make the graphics better. While it looked better on most standard CRT TVs it looks dated when Compared to the modern sharpness of video output. So this is basically what you get if I’m correct.


7 thoughts on “Comparision Between Composite and S-video

  1. I’ve heard the blurriness refered to as a Vaseline filter, like someones smeared Vaseline all over your screen. I also recall some people preferring composite because they felt the S-video made the image “to sharp” and that’s not the way the n64 was meant to be seen. I myself use S-video and I did use RGB when I used to have my RGB monitor around and modded system.


    • I get what they mean, I guess it’s a matter of preference. I grew up with a 64 but didn’t have one after we gave it away, until a couple of years ago that is. By then I thought that Vaseline filter was bothering me and I think that S-video made everything better.

      How great is the difference between RGB and S-video in your experience?


  2. It’s been a good 6 or so years since I had the modded N64 out but from what I remember I wasn’t horribly impressed. I did the mod myself and I vaguely remember something about getting the RGB to look correct needed some kind of amplifying mod which I didn’t do which may be the reason I wasn’t all that blown away by it. wasn’t bad by any means though. Wish I wasn’t 2k away from my storage unit where 90% of my stuff is or I’d pull it out and do screen shots. On another note the N64 was one of my least favorite systems though recently I bought one at a flea market and giving it another go.


    • I’d think the Vaseline layer thing in many ways kills most attempts to acquire a perfect picture. It’s awesome how many devices you own 🙂 I’ve tried modding a little, the first being region unlocking the NES which worked out fine, and the other adding a defunct GBA SP light source to a GBA, which didn’t work for some reason. I’m not the handy type so I don’t know what I did wrong.

      I’ve seen videos of RGB modded N64 units who look pretty much like mine does from what I can tell, a little bit sharper though.


  3. Most of the mods Ive had done I’ve had others do but there are a few easier ones like on the n64 and nes I can do. I was really into A/V quality at one point and had a huge number of consoles modded for RGB or S-video from an Atari 7600 to my Japanese master system. I even have a RGB modded 3d0 system which at the time there were only a handful in exsistance. This was right before I got into Retro computing heavily. I wish I was near my storage unit or I would write more about these systems but I moved about 2 years ago and the bulk of my collection is two thousand miles away.


    • Wow! That’s awesome!

      Man, has to be tough being so far away your stuff, then again you’re closer to retro computing now so I guess it adds up.

      I’ve been looking into retro computing a little bit but I have Neither the cash nor the space for that, so for now I’ll make do with your great blog and Lazy Game Reviews on Youtube. I used to game a lot on the PC as a kid so there’s a lot of nostalgia to be had there for me as well.


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