How To

Lemmings World!

Recording video from a retro computer

Getting retro computers, such as an Atari ST, running on modern digital LCD TV’s isn’t the easiest of tasks, so recording them without reverting back to a VHS video deck is a little tricky. If your modern TV does have analogue connections such as SCART, composite or component connections then, certainly on the TV’s I have access to, the analogue to digital converters built into the TV aren’t that great at understanding old video signals. I either have to use my old CRT Philips monitor, which isn’t going to last forever, or use an external analogue to digital converter and a modern TV. For the latter I use a fairly cheap analogue to digital ‘HD Video Converter SCART to HDMI’ box from Amazon.

HD Video Converter SCART to HDMI

I make sure I get SCART leads (eBay) for all my old computers as typically these will use component video (RGB) output from the old computer and present it in a neat SCART plug which easily connects to the converter. The HD video converter I have also has a composite connecter, but composite video is a combined video signal which is inherently poor quality because the video signals are all squashed into one stream. So there you have it, old analogue video signals in, and great 1080p digital video signal out to the HDMI socket on your 55 inch super brand new OLED TV (yes I would go OLED over QLED any day, but that is a discussion for another time). A BBC Micro never looked so good!

DIGITNOW! HD Game Capture

Once you have your nice digital signal from your video converter then recording it should be a doddle, and it is. I use the DIGITNOW! HD Game Capture box, again available from Amazon. Its simple and works really well. Just plug the HDMI out of the converter to the HDMI in of the recorder, then another HDMI out from the recorder to the TV and you are just about there. Shove a USB2 thumb drive into the recorders USB port, hit the record button on top and hey presto, whatever is passing through the recorder will also end up on the thumb drive as an MP4 video file which you can edit on your PC.


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