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Thread: [Review] Innovation's GBA TV Adapter

  1. [Review] Innovation's GBA TV Adapter

    I just received mine from yesterday for $66. Hrm... I no longer see it in their accessories section so they probably sold out... Anyway, here are my thoughts:


    From what I've learned on this board, this is basically the US version of the TV de Advance, manufactured by the same company, but published by Innovation here. The device allows you to hook up your Gameboy Advance to a TV through either composite or S-video, and is powered by an A/C Adapter, so it kind of doubles as an a/c adapter allowing you to save on your batteries even if you don't want to play on the TV.

    The device has two video modes, one with black border but is scaled correctly, and full-screen which is scaled incorrectly. You can toggle between the two instantly and easily so you are always in control. The GBA will also show the picture on both the GBA screen as well as the TV it's outputted to.


    Installation is really easy. It literally requires not much more than unscrewing 7 screws, and they provide you with two screwdrivers to do it. The only other step is plugging in the ribbon, which is easy as long as you are a little bit patient. It's basically just sliding it in a narrow space. The ribbon seems a little fragile, but as long as you don't jam it in there as quick as possible, you shouldn't have any problems. Once you plug in the ribbon, you just screw everything back on and you're done.

    The longest step is just taking off the 7 screws. Extremely easy to do.

    Does it work?

    Indeed it does. I tested all my games, but keep in mind that I'm connected via composite. All reports from people and IGN say that S-video looks a lot better.

    here's what I've come up with:

    * Vibrant colors
    * Choice of two video modes: Normal, Full-screen
    * Doubles as an A/C Adapter
    * Can remove the output attachment and use on the go as a normal GBA
    * It's GBA... on TV!

    * Low resolution. The games were obviously not made for TV and what looks crisp on GBA turn out pretty pixellated on TV
    * On full-screen mode, the resolution ratio is screwed so it generally looks odd. It depends on game though and you have the choice
    * Refresh-rate doesn't seem as good as on the GBA screen
    * The output attachment that goes on back of GBA makes the "controller" awfully bulky, and slightly uncomfortable. My hands weren't in pain after playing a few hours, but I muchmuchmuch prefer the small "controller" that is the bare GBA.
    * The output attachment also gets warmer the longer you play. I've played for over an hour though, and it was never hot enough to affect playing. But you do notice it.


    In short, games look worse on TV than they do on the GBA. If this bothers you, you probably shouldn't consider getting it. I'm sure if you have a S-video set up, you'd be a little more pleased with the video. I really wish the extra attachment didn't bulk up the GBA that much. It makes the "controller" a bit harder to hold. But the product works, installation is easy, and if you were looking for a way to play GBA games on a TV, you've got it. And really, if you've read this review, isn't that what you were looking for?


    I'd be curious though about that transverter someone here found the other day. It looks far less bulky and if it does the same job, I may pick one up as well.

  2. * Low resolution. The games were obviously not made for TV and what looks crisp on GBA turn out pretty pixellated on TV

    * On full-screen mode, the resolution ratio is screwed so it generally looks odd. It depends on game though and you have the choice
    Hehe, these were my two main concerns with the GBA->TV adapters. The GBA resolution always seemed like it'd be a bad match for a TV, and generally look better on a GBA screen. Nontheless, once these products begin to be discounted, I'm curious enough to pick one up.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. Actually, you just talked me out of the GBA to TV addition.

    Nice review, thanks.

  4. I've done a side by side with the Svideo and compostie. It is a huge difference. Much more so than the difference between composite and Svideo on say....a PS. I've also done an RGB mod and that looks even better than the Svideo. In RGB (with the letterbox boarders) the picture quality is as good as what you seen on the GBA screen, only it's on a 27 inch screen. One thing I found odd is that this thing line-doubles no matter what connection you use. If you are not a fan of line doubling low res images (as I am not), be warned. From my personal use I highly recomend this thing if you run Svideo. Svideo looks fine. If you run composite you might want to try before you buy, since it looks really bad. In addition to the standard dot crawl composite video always has, there are very pronounced vertical stripes of color the entire length of the screen. About every other pixel or so. The color stripes are also present in Svideo, but they are extreemly faint almost to where they are not noticed. The stripes are gone in RGB.

    As for the extra bulk on the GBA, I like it. The standard GBA is to small for me to use without extreeme hand pain, so take that as you will. When I'm not using the TV adapter, I use a Mad Catz battery grip to add the needed bulk.

  5. I love this thing. Chibi is absolutely correct about the difference in Composite and S-video. It's like night and day. If you love the GBA games I highly recommend it. I personally like to sit at home and play my games so this is the perfect device for me.

  6. I'm picking this up along with 'vania HoD when its released.

    Thanks for the review Tsubaki!

  7. Just an update:

    I just got a TV with svideo-in so I finally had the opportunity to check out the differences. The picture clarity is very noticeable, especially in the area of text. On Pro Yakyuu Team wo Tsukurou!, the colors they used for the menus looked like an illegible mess on composite. But on svideo, everything is crystal clear. In THPS4, there were some fonts that were too tiny and blurry to read, but with SVideo, everything is very sharp.

    But such clarity may have a price. On mine, there are these vertical stripes running along the entire screen. They're not that bad, especially if you're not right in front of your TV. But they can be noticeable. I'm not sure if this is a result of shoddy workmanship, a problem that only mine has, a drawback in the line doubling or what, but the picture isn't perfect still on SVideo. This striping problem disappears entirely on composite. The GC-GBA Player may be the de facto solution after all.

    Despite all that though, the added sharpness in picture, and the ability to read text is more than enough to make me love the device on SVid.

    Anyone else with the product experiencing the same issue?

  8. I'll wait until Nintendo releases their official product, but thanks for the review.
    matthewgood fan
    lupin III fan

  9. I get vertically lines when I use my Super 8 (Innovations domestic release of the TriStar), I don't know if they have a fix for the GBA TV adapter but there is a way that it can be fixed in the Super 8... but I've yet to do it myself on my Super 8.

  10. As I said in my post above, I get very pronounced vertical stripes in composite, and faint ones in S-vid (just the opposite of what you had). I guess manufacturing isn't consistant. Stripes are gone in RGB with the RGB mod.


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