2022 was the yr I made a decision to get critical about my retrogaming setup. I used to be bored with having a 104lb CRT dominating half my laptop desk and a PlayStation 2, MiSTer, and no matter different consoles I used to be at present involved in all the time in peripheral imaginative and prescient. After a little bit of thought I concluded that the TV and all of the consoles can be higher off on a wheeled cart. A retro cart, should you would. It may stay in my closet, or be wheeled out to wherever appeared enjoyable. So I began speccing that out.
The very best kind issue ended up having two decrease cabinets—for the consoles, a smaller TATE-friendly/PAL-compatible PVM-1354Q CRT a good friend had not too long ago bought me, and bookshelf audio system—with the big-ass 29” TV up on the third, prime tier. Each CRTs may settle for RGB or YPbPr/part 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 probably PS2. Mixed, these necessities take us far past the function set of any fundamental switcher you’ll discover on Amazon or Ali as of late. Thus I turned to the intense, shining previous of the mid-aughts, when part video adoption peaked and specialty A/V merchandise catered to the extra esoteric YPbPr-wrangling wants of the period’s house theater lovers.
A couple of promising candidates surfaced. One high-end mid-2000s switcher was very fancy certainly and will really 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 may see it above. Not solely can it route these six inputs to both display screen, it could actually output to each screens concurrently…the identical supply, or two totally different sources. Oh expensive, am I blushing?
After every week or two I managed to snag a NOS (new previous inventory) one on eBay, and it proved simply as performant as hoped: Any console on any show is now only a button-push away. The cart mission remains to be in progress as I search a working Xbox, look into acceptable Wii hax, and transition to a brand new show up prime (kinda wishing I had gone with RGB now, really!) however I’ve already been having fun with having all my beloved previous video games in a single, self-contained, no-compromises tower of energy. Even bought a beanbag! Hell yeah.
Alexandra Corridor, Senior Editor