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Gametech GBA TV Adapter




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Review - Gametech GBA TV Adapter
(Added 27th December 2001)


If you've always wanted to play GBA games on your TV, then the GBA TV Adapter from Gametech is the peripheral that you've been waiting for.

Purpose And Features Of The Gametech GBA TV Adapter

As the name suggest, the GBA TV Adapter is a peripheral that attaches to your GBA and allows it to display your games on a regular TV or monitor. Of course, you don't only get to see your games on TV, you also get to hear it, since the adapter also supports the GBA's PCM sound system.

Using The Gametech GBA TV Adapter

Using the GBA TV Adapter is relatively simple, although you'll need to remove the GBA's original back cover and replace it with a special dual-purpose back cover (item No: #2 in the picture below). Both the Tri-wing and Cross-wing screw drivers are included in the package so you won't have any trouble removing the screws.

You will also need to insert a ribbon cable into the same slot that the GBA's LCD screen is plugged into. This is an easy operation, and once you've done that, you only need to screw in the cover and you're done (see picture below).

The new back cover will then allow you to easily attach or detach the AV Unit. You can still play your GBA without the AV Unit, so you needn't worry about loosing your GBA's portability.

The AV Unit has 3.3 meter long cable that branches out into 3 RCA plugs for your composite video and stereo sound inputs. It also has an S-Video plug for better quality picture. The on/off and picture size switches are also there, as well as a mini-jack that plugs into the GBA's headphone socket (see picture below). The picture size switch allows you to toggle between the regular 240x160 format or full screen. In the regular mode, the screen will have a black border around it just like a letterboxed movie.

You'll also need to plug in the supplied DC power pack to power the system. Once all that is done, you're ready to plug the AV connectors into your TV or monitor.

Pros Of The Gametech GBA TV Adapter

Of course, the best thing about the GBA TV Adapter is the fact that you can now view your GBA games on a regular TV. Another good thing is that GBA's portability is not hampered, since the adapter can be easily detached, and the GBA used as normal.

For those who want to capture screen shots or even short videos of their games, the GBA TV Adapter, together with a computer and capture card is all you'll need.

In terms of picture quality, in my opinion, the output from the GBA TV Adapter is really good. I prefer the native letterboxed format, as I found that the full-screen format made pictures look a little distorted, and tend to shimmer during fast speeds and quick scrolling. For better picture quality, however, you'll need a TV that has an S-Video input. The composite input from the adapter isn't that bad, although not as sharp.

Cons Of The Gametech GBA TV Adapter

Although it's not really an issue for me, one disadvantage in using the GBA TV Adapter is the fact that you'll need to replace your original back cover and insert the ribbon cable that's attached to it. This unfortunately, will void your warranty.

Aside from that, I couldn't find anything else that would warrant a grumble.

Conclusion & Final Remarks

Some might comment that a TV Adapter defeats the GBA's purpose of portability and gaming-on-the-go. This is true, if the adapter totally alters the form and function of the GBA. The TV Adapter from Gametech, however, doesn't do this. What it does, and very well I might add, is to give us all a choice between home and portable video gaming. A choice is always nice to have, and so I have no qualms in heartily recommending the GBA TV Adapter as a must have accessory for any GBA fan.

@ EAGB Advance 2002. All rights reserved.