Everything wrong with Adam Koralik’s “Turbografx 16 (PC Engine) – Best Possible Video Quality”

After watching a recent video review of the db GrafxBooster on Youtube, I immediately recognized several inaccurate claims concerning the TurboGrafx-16 hardware and how it interfaces with video peripherals. While I appreciate any positive feedback and reviews with respect to my products, and I thank the video’s creator for that – I cringe a bit when information is either misrepresented, confusing, or simply false in these reviews. Whether that information is directly related to my products is irrelevant. As the proprietor and designer of the db GrafxBooster, I feel a tremendous responsibility to sort out any and all misinformation concerning the user’s experience. Any person who reviews and/xor endorses a product has a responsibility to their viewership to be factually sound in their statements. 

Intent

The internet is filled with erroneous and/or misrepresented data. My goal here is not to be a jerk, nor to be condescending towards this series of videos. Personally, I enjoyed being corrected because it results in a greater understanding on my part.

Here is a list of every false assertion that I found in this particular video. I have included links to the precise places in the video for each offending statement.

1 – The Turbografx-16 has a wide range of A/V cables

Quote from video:

“Basically what that means is it had a wide range of cables it could support.”

https://youtu.be/6Nj0ZHgaCug?t=2m20s

FACT:

This statement is incredibly confusing, especially since a few seconds later he correctly mentions that the only video port available on a standalone TurboGrafx-16 is the RF port. What he is implying here, via a gross oversimplification, is that the expansion port has additional signals that can be used to generate the proper interfaces for other video types. This is exactly what NEC’s official TurboBooster does with composite video. It takes the composite video signal from a pin on the expansion port, and runs it through circuitry to put it in a form which can properly drive a composite RCA cable.  Simply connecting that expansion pin directly to a cable (as done by some cable sellers on eBay) is not sufficient.

2 – The Turbografx-16 supports S-Video

Quote from video:

“When NEC released them, they made it so it could support multiple different types of output. It supports RF. It supports composite. It supports S-Video. It supports RGB.”

https://youtu.be/6Nj0ZHgaCug?t=2m10s

FACT:

The TurboGrafx-16 does not natively support S-Video. There are no Luma or Chroma signals available on the expansion connector. Even internally, there is no straightforward way to tap into the circuit board to access those signals. To create S-Video, the db GrafxBooster generates it from RGB. The TurboGrafx-16 has RGB pins on the expansion connector, but similar to composite video it is not intended to drive an RGB interface (e.g. SCART) directly. The db GrafxBooster takes this RGB, creates composite & S-Video, and then conditions all three video types to properly interface with video equipment.

3 – The Turbografx-16 has component video built-in

Quote from video:

“All those video outputs are built-in. This box isn’t doing anything other than tapping into what is already in the machine.” [referring to the component video box he has in hand at that time]

https://youtu.be/6Nj0ZHgaCug?t=3m43s

FACT:

Similar to the S-Video discussed above, the Turbografx-16 does not directly output any form of component (YPbPr) video. Only RGB and composite are available unamplified on the expansion connector. It’s evident that the box he has in hand has active conversion circuitry to extrapolate RGB from the expansion pins and transcode it into YPbPr.

4 – Stone Age Gamer recommends retro_console_accessories for SCART cables

Quote from video:

“There’s an eBay seller named retro_console_accessories. That’s where I buy all my RGB SCART cables. It’s actually the same one even Stone Age Gamer recommends.”

https://youtu.be/6Nj0ZHgaCug?t=8m27s

FACT:

Stone Age Gamer, based on my own recommendation, recommends www.retrogamingcables.co.uk for SCART cables to use with the db GrafxBooster. This is clearly indicated on the Engine Block AV page at Stone Age Gamer. It’s true that Stone Age Gamer did previously recommended retro_console_accessories, but that information is outdated. The construction of retro_console_accessories cables are inconsistent, based on my own findings along with a growing consensus in the community. Also, their inclusion of unnecessary and ill-conceived  CSYNC “boosters”, as a remedy for jailbars, is a clear indication that this particular cable manufacturer lacks a solid understanding in these topics.

René

Electronics engineer and retrogaming fanatic!

3 thoughts on “Everything wrong with Adam Koralik’s “Turbografx 16 (PC Engine) – Best Possible Video Quality”

  • June 15, 2017 at 13:24
    Permalink

    Thanks for clarifying Rene,

    Even when youtubers mean well, mistakes are still made as you mentioned above.

    Cheers

    Reply
  • July 30, 2017 at 20:18
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    Adam says allot of false things on his channel. I don’t think its ever intentional but more just out of ignorance. its kind of the reason why i unsubbed and dont even watch any of his videos he just spits out videos without doing much research or has knowledge with certain subjects.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2017 at 07:17
    Permalink

    Regarding the last point, r-c-a has since corrected the design flaws in their cables. I myself rewired my entire wall of consoles last month using their coaxial RGB SCART cables, and when they arrived, I inspected each and every one of them with my multimeter. They were solidly and correctly built with the proper attenuation where needed. I’ve been very happy with them and will continue to do business with them.

    Reply

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