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Why doesn't an 80's game console work on a modern high definition television?
My wife bought me a retro Nintendo game system with the Mario/Duck hunt game for Christmas. The game console appears to function, the game loads, but the gun for the duck hunt game does not register a "hit" when shooting the ducks. I tried to play this game several times without ever successfully shooting a duck. When I disconnected the console from the HD TV and hooked it up to our old 19 inch standard definition television the game worked just fine. Any thoughts as to why it would not work on the HD TV?
I did some research and I think it has to do with the latency involved in newer LCD and plasma TV's. Unlike an older CRT the newer HDTVs run in a native resolution. When you're pumping a low resolution signal into the HDTV, such as from a NES game, it can take up to 6-7 precious milliseconds to convert the signal.
The NES Zapper has a small photon sensor in its barrel, which is pretty simple technology that's been around for decades before. In Duck Hunt when you pull the trigger it blacks the screen out and puts a white box over the targets one by one. If the Zapper detects a white signal it scores a hit, otherwise it sends a miss. The screen blackout is only there for a frame, so the latency on the newer HDTVs can delay the test long enough for the Zapper to not score a hit. That's just one idea however.
I found a site that explains this with a handy and informative video.
The retro Nintendo is no technologically advanced enough to be compatible with the modern HD TV. The HD TV is not equipped with the 'old' technology to read retro equipment. I would just use it with the older TV.
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