Shortly after I made the acquisition of my Sega Genesis model 1, I went out in search of an RGB SCART cable for it, because there is no point in having the best sounding Mega Drive and keep playing with the terrible image and monaural sound of the included RF cable, or even an A / V cable with mono audio and composite video, which I do not have but I could buy or make myself. To extract the best possible image of a Mega Drive is necessary to use an RGB cable, as I explained in the article about the RGB cable that I bought for my Mega Drive III by Tec Toy, because in that case each color component (red, green and blue) is transmitted in a separate conductor.
Notice that I can't use the same Mega Drive III RGB cable on the Sega Genesis, since the output jack of both consoles are different. While the Mega Drive III (and all Mega Drive model 2) has an output jack with mini DIN where you can extract the video component RGB and stereo audio, on the Sega Genesis (and all Mega Drive model 1) the output is a DIN jack (no mini) which also allows one to extract RGB video, but only mono audio.
The solution was the acquisition of the SCART RGB cable for Mega Drive 1 / Sega Genesis 1 / Mega Drive 2 by Tec Toy with Stereo Audio (Pack-a-Punched!) (Sega Mega Drive 1 Megadrive 1 / Genesis 1 RGB AV Stereo Scart Cable TV Lead Cord (Pack-a-Punched!)) for the Sega Genesis. This cable gets the RGB video from the DIN jack from the Sega Genesis and the stereo audio from the frontal headphones output, which is a P2 jack. It may sound strange, but remember that the Genesis model 1 was made in a time dominated by mono TVs, then the stereo sound ended up only in the headphones output. Today with stereo TVs and receivers with multiple channels, the best solution is to get the sound right away from the headphones jack.
The store Retro Gaming Cable belongs to the seller retro_gaming_cables from the eBay, from whom I have bought the Mega Drive III RGB cable, directly from England. I didn't buy on eBay again because this specific cable (Pack-a-Punched!) is only available from the store. For those who preferer the standard SCART RGB for Mega Drive model 1, it is also available from eBay. Moreover, the retro_gaming_cables has RGB cables for a wide variety of consoles in the eBay. [Update on 26/03/2021: now sales are only in the store Retro Gaming Cable, the seller is no longer in the eBay]
And why I have chosen the Pack-a-Punched! which costs four times the value of the standard SCART RGB cable for Mega Drive model 1? Because when it comes to analog signals, cable quality can make all the difference. In digital signals there is not much difference between a good cable costing US$ 10 and an AudioQuest Diamond which costs more than US$ 1.000. Maybe the $ 1.000 last longer by having gold-plated contacts, conductors which do not oxidise, covers that do not dry out or break, etc, but the rest is nonsense. While the cable of US$ 10 keeps passing the signals correctly and without flaws, it will offer a picture as good as the cable costing US$ 1.000 and that is it, because the signal is digital.
But when it comes to analog signal, any minor detail can cause change in the signal. If they are visible or not is another story, but the fact is that a good cable can avoid interference that would translate into a worse picture or sound. The Pack-a-Punched! has separate meshes to audio and video. One annoying thing I noticed in Mega Drive III (that is not cable fault, but the console itself) is that the video cause noise in the audio. If you observe the audio samples of Genesis III, you will notice that in Sonic, for example, as soon as it appears the SEGA logo with totally white background, you can hear a big noise in the sound, which is probably due to the proximity of the conductors within the Genesis itself, perhaps inside the ASIC . This is evident in brighter screens but it fades on darker ones. This problem does not appear in Sega Genesis audio samples, probably because it has better isolation between channels of audio and video internally. So why not keep this isolation also on the cable to ensure the best quality?
The Pack-a-Punched! also benefits from gold plated contacts on all three connectors: DIN, P2 and SCART, so that it will have better performance and lifetime. In addition it uses the signal CSYNC (Pure Sync) from the Sega Genesis for synchronization instead of the composite video. I will not go into details of why this configuration gives you a better picture, but you can check the RetroRGB website for more information. A detailed review with detailed comparisons between the Pack-a-Punched! and common cables can be seen at Videogameperfection (here and here).
The video below also shows a Mega Drive with the Pack-a-Punched cable! in action:
Just as I did with the Mega Drive III RGB cable, the Super Nintendo RGB cable and the Playstation RGB Cable , I plugged the Sega Genesis SCART RGB cable to my SCART switch, which in turn is connected to the SCART to HDMI Converter, which in turn is connected to my LCD TV. That way I can easily select the classic console that I want to play and get the image already digitized and a good upscale to 1080p. The switch may introduce losts? In fact it can, but I think it will be minimal because the cable is short, input selection is done mechanically and its plugs are is also gold plated.
I really liked the result obtained with the Sega Genesis SCART RGB cable . Now my Sega Genesis has the best picture and the best sound that can be obtained from a Mega Drive. My sense of nostalgia certainly comes down to play the classic games and have the actual hardware in my hands, I definitely prefer the enhanced image and the stereo sound with an 7.1 upgrade simulated by my receiver than the audio and video via an RF cable connected to a TV with worn tube and mono speaker as I played in my childhood.
Amazingly the package came from England and was delivered in just 18 days. The package is small and was not taxed. And now the Sega Genesis now occupies that niche that was empty in my rack. Only missing is a spot for my Atari 2600.
Check out some photos from the SCART RGB cable for Mega Drive 1 / Sega Genesis 1 / Mega Drive 2 by Tec Toy with Stereo Audio (Pack-a-Punched!) (Sega Mega Drive 1 Megadrive 1 / Genesis 1 RGB AV Stereo Scart Cable TV Lead Cord (Pack-a-Punched!)):
And the tracking information package:
|23/09/2014 17:54||CSD [Removed]||Delivery Effected|
|23/09/2014 10:18||[Removed]||Out for delivery to the recipient|
|22/09/2014 11:00||CTE CAMPINAS – VALINHOS / SP||Routed|
|Referred to CDD [Removed]|
|18/09/2014 15:30||CTCI PARANA – CURITIBA/PR||Routed|
|CTE transit Em CAMPINAS – VALINHOS / SP|
|18/09/2014 15:29||TREATMENT UNIT INTERNATIONAL – BRAZIL||Awarded|
|Freed peels alfândega|
|05/09/2014 14:51||INTERNATIONAL TRAT Unidade PARANA – CURITIBA/PR||Routed|
|In transit to Customs Enforcement – Customs Enforcement / BR|
|05/09/2014 14:50||INTERNATIONAL TRAT Unidade PARANA – CURITIBA/PR||Awarded|
|Received / Brazil|
And the purchase summary table:
|Product Name:||SCART RGB cable for Mega Drive 1 / Sega Genesis 1 / Mega Drive 2 by Tec Toy with Stereo Audio (Pack-a-Punched!)|
|Name Original:||Sega Mega Drive 1 Megadrive 1 / Genesis 1 RGB AV Stereo Scart Cable TV Lead Cord (Pack-a-Punched!)|
|Store:||Retro Gaming Cable|
|Current value:||£ 39,99|
|Shipping Fee:||£ 9,89|
|Package Home Country:||England|
|Time in Transit:||18 days|
|Declared content:||Scart Cable|
|Type Marked Content:||Gift|
|Declared Value:||£ 40|
And I'm ending here with a very positive recommendation for the SCART RGB cable for Mega Drive 1 / Sega Genesis 1 / Mega Drive 2 by Tec Toy with Stereo Audio (Pack-a-Punched!) (Sega Mega Drive 1 Megadrive 1 / Genesis 1 RGB AV Stereo Scart Cable TV Lead Cord (Pack-a-Punched!)) for the Sega Genesis and also for the Retro Gaming Cables belonging to the seller retro_gaming_cables from the eBay.
Update (04/10/2014): And to better close the article: a video of my SCART RGB cable for Mega Drive 1 / Sega Genesis 1 / Mega Drive 2 by Tec Toy with Stereo Audio (Pack-a-Punched!) together with SCART to HDMI Converter in action, in other words, my Mega Drive RGB image upscale to 1080p as done by SCART to HDMI Converter and displayed on my LCD TV. Notice that, as I do not have an HDMI capture card, the best I could do was shoot the TV, which is far from ideal, because both sound and image get somewhat impaired, mainly by reflections and the shutter and diaphragm controls from my digital camera that are automatic.