Help with N64 svideo - overbright image

AlexMcIver

Novice Member
Whenever I try to connect my N64 via s-video I get a ridiculously saturated image. It's so bright that even when I turn the brightness on my TV down to zero it still looks stupid. On my old CRT I had a stopgap solution where I plugged a composite cable in alongside the s-video cable, which reduced the brightness to a normal level, but this doesn't work on my new plasma screen. I've now tried 3 different s-video cables and, at £7 a shot, I'm getting a bit fed up of wasting money on this issue. Unfortunately composite looks utterly terrible on anything above a 21" screen so I desparately want to get s-video working correctly. Can anyone reccomend me a cable that would actually give me a good picture of correct brightness?
 

Tetlee

Distinguished Member
Did PAL N64s support S-Video then? I didn't own that console but I know that neither the PAL Gamecube or Wii support S-Video(unlike NTSC) in the same way the NTSC consoles don't support RGB scart.

Can't offer you any advise unfortunately.
 

AlexMcIver

Novice Member
Just a quick update to say that I solved the problem, so if anyone else is experiencing this here is what fixed it for me. Firstly open up the end of the cable that plugs into the N64 (this involved smashing it with a hammer...). You then need to solder a 75 ohm resister so that it connects the luma pin to the video ground. These pins are the 2 middle pins (3 and 4) on the top row, such that the small tab on the centre of the connector is facing up. This brought the brightness down to a normal level.
 

minikoopa

Standard Member
Just a quick update to say that I solved the problem, so if anyone else is experiencing this here is what fixed it for me. Firstly open up the end of the cable that plugs into the N64 (this involved smashing it with a hammer...). You then need to solder a 75 ohm resister so that it connects the luma pin to the video ground. These pins are the 2 middle pins (3 and 4) on the top row, such that the small tab on the centre of the connector is facing up. This brought the brightness down to a normal level.

Hey AlexMcIver

I am to experiencing the brightness problem was just wandering if you have any pictures of your mod. As I am worried I will blow something up. I have found this diagram I dont know if it is correct.

Thanks
 

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AlexMcIver

Novice Member
Hey AlexMcIver

I am to experiencing the brightness problem was just wandering if you have any pictures of your mod. As I am worried I will blow something up. I have found this diagram I dont know if it is correct.

Thanks
That is exactly the same diagram I used when I did my mod, however I just used one 75ohm resistor and used it to bridge Luma to ground (pin 3 to 4). Bridging Chroma would probably mess up the colours, so I don't know why that diagram showed doing that. I also didn't do anything with composite-ground. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the cable when I modded it and I've sealed the N64 input end with tape so its not possible to see the connectors. However if you just take apart the plug that goes into the N64 (I smashed it, you might decide to be a little more delicate:D) and solder those pins it should work great. The important thing is that it is just a cable mod and as it's adding a resistor it shouldn't pose any risk to your system or TV as all you are doing is cutting the output voltage.
 

minikoopa

Standard Member
Hey I have just done it now was really easy I will take a picture and post later maybe helpful for over people. Can actually play 64 properly now. I also have a composite cable but the pins are in different places according to that diagram its strange.

Thanks again :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

minikoopa

Standard Member
I have fixed the composite cable as well. there was no video ground in the cable so I soldered it to the audio ground and it worked a treat. Although the s-video is much better quality. But will put it on ebay I thinks see if someone buys it.
 

DragonQ

Member
Sorry to bump such an old thread but I have a related question...

I bought an S-Video cable which has connectors for the PS1, PS2, Xbox, N64 and GC. It arrived today and I plugged it into my PAL N64 and...it looks fine. I just compared it to my composite cable that came with the N64 all those years ago and the brightness/gamma is the same. This is just some cheap 5-in-1 S-Video and Composite cable so I am a bit confused as to why it seems fine. Could it just be that the brightness/gamma increase is way over-exaggerated or have I actually got a cable that strangely happens to have the correct resistors and capacitors in the N64 connector?

It's definitely S-Video too, the difference is quite significant. Everything has gone from blurry to jaggy :)p) and there's no more dot crawl. Looks pretty much as good as my GC and Wii's RGB Scart. Here are two photos of my 24WMGX3 with the N64 hooked up by both cables:

Official Composite Cable
New S-Video Cable
 

happyhomer

Active Member
Out of interest, which cable did you buy? I bought a dedicated N64 one recently and it was way too bright, a particularly bad example of which was the first level on Shadows of the Empire. Your screen shots look much better, there's definition in the window pane which I would not have expected to see with mine.
 

DragonQ

Member
I bought this one:

Console Plus: PlayStation 2 » AV Cables and Adapters » Universal AV/Svideo 3-in-1 Cable

However, I just realised something...the composite cable I use isn't the one that came with the N64, it's the one that came with my GameCube. So that's why I see no brightness difference in the images. There are two possibilities:

1) Both cables are too bright because they lack the resistors and capacitors
2) Both cables are fine because the N64 has the resistors and capacitors built-in

I've never heard of option 2 so I assume option 1 is correct but then, as you can see, it looks fine so if it is too bright, the difference must be smaller that other people seem to experience. The way to know for sure would be to compare it with the original RF cable but I have no idea where I put that.

I kinda want to try soldering the correct resistors and capacitors in the cable connector at work to see if I get an "aaah that's what they mean by too bright" moment but then it might be so close to normal now that the extra resistors and capacitors will make it too dark, which'll ruin that S-Video cable. :/
 

happyhomer

Active Member
Thanks for that-I may give it a try. I don't think that using the Gamecube composite cable will have any bearing on how it looks; the problem is down to the lack of a resistor on the luminance channel which is nothing to do with the composite video channel. Yours certainly looks playable-I found that anything with any hint of brightness was rendered unplayable when using the s-video cable, even when I turned the settings on the TV right down (and that is on a CRT).
 

DragonQ

Member
The monitor in that picture hasn't been calibrated (waiting for PC parts to arrive so I can calibrate it via DVI) so it's just on around 50% brightness. I could turn it down more quite easily.

I'm sure I've read that the capacitors and resistors were needed for the composite cable as well though? Maybe I didn't... if you're going to buy the same cable to try it, I'd be very interested in whether it works for you or not. :)
 

MoonpigMoonpig

Standard Member
Just a quick update to say that I solved the problem, so if anyone else is experiencing this here is what fixed it for me. Firstly open up the end of the cable that plugs into the N64 (this involved smashing it with a hammer...). You then need to solder a 75 ohm resister so that it connects the luma pin to the video ground. These pins are the 2 middle pins (3 and 4) on the top row, such that the small tab on the centre of the connector is facing up. This brought the brightness down to a normal level.
I am having the same problems with my Innovation VGA Box, it plays my PAL SNES in great quality but when i use my PAL N64 i get the same brightness issue on my monitor (Nec EA231WMI)

Innovation VGA Box Innovation VGA Box For SNES, N64, Or Gamecube [email protected]@K!!!!! | Rare SNES Games

Couple of questions.

1) Will this mod work on my Innovation VGA Box?

2) Will this mod stop my SNES from working on my monitor through the VGA box?

3) Is there a better solution to get my Pal N64 to work on my Monitor?

Sorry for bring up an old thread
 

Member 55145

Distinguished Member
interesting thread

just so you know, IIRC the answer is because even tho the SNES/N64/GC all used the same connector into the back of the unit. the newer GC cables were different and not compatible unless you added a resistor
 

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