Setting Up a Let’s Play: CRT TV Set-Up

My goodness, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? But I promised a long time ago to round out this let’s play set-up series with a description of how I attached four consoles (three of which are more current-generation) to a CRT-TV that only had one coaxial input.

If there’s interest, I can also post about how I have things hooked up to my new (!!) HDTV, but that’s a much simpler set up.

Anyway… This is a photo of the full set-up without any sort of recording device attached:


Here it is again, labeled:

set up

Let’s start with the easiest parts, first.

Wii and Playstation 3

These use RCA output cables (yes, I know that the PS3 technically has an s-av cable, but I’m calling it an RCA just so everyone knows what I’m talking about), and so they were just connected to the 4-channel selector in the center, which was then connected via RCA cable to an Rf Modulator that we got at Radio Shack years ago. From there, I connected a coaxial cable to the “Coaxial out” port, which went to the “Coaxial In” port of the CRT TV.

Nintendo 64

The console here has a coaxial output, and so it was connected to the Rf modulator directly via its “coaxial in” port. Interestingly, this meant that it pretty much overrode any other console that was on at the time (yes, I checked… for science).

Playstation 4

The Playstation 4 doesn’t have any sort of RCA cable, so I invested in an HDMI to RCA converter box (pictured above). It requires its own power source, and needs to be set to either NTSC or PAL (via a toggle switch on the side), depending on where you live (as far as I can tell). From there, the RCA cable is connected to the channel selector.

Channel Selector

This is the central hub for all things gaming. With my television, I simply had to select the switch that corresponded to the console I wanted to play on, and turn the console on. Anything happening on the television was overridden with the game. I didn’t have a cable box, but I imagine the selector could be connected to the box, which would then be connected to the television, and work similarly. After being put on channel 3, of course 😉


I set up the Playstation 3 for recording. I imagine the PS4 follows similar principles, but since I didn’t record any games on the PS4 before getting the new television, I can’t be sure. But here’s how I got this jumble of wires to record some gameplay footage.

Just as a reminder, I’m using the Hauppauge HD PVR2 Gaming Edition that I talked about here. All the cables came with the device unless otherwise stated.

1 First of all, disconnect the RCA cables from the PS3. Then, attach the component cable (red, blue, green, with red and white audio cable) from Hauppauge to the s-av port in the PS3 (where the rectangular part of the RCA cable was attached originally).


2. Then attach the component cable to the component-to-A/V converter cable (short cable under knot of wires, above). Then, plug the A/V cable into the “A/V In” port on the Hauppauge (below)


3. You’ll notice a few other cables in the above picture that we haven’t talked about. On the far left is the power cable (don’t plug into a power source until everything is connected, trust me). The second-to-left cable (with the white wrap on it) is a USB cable that connects to your computer.

4. On the far right is the next cable to connect. My (used) Hauppauge came with only one HDMI cable (I think they’re supposed to have two), and this was it. You’ll need a total of 3 HDMI cables for this set-up. Connect one of them to the “HDMI Out” port.

5. Now, in theory this signal would only have to go to the television (and that is the case with my new TV). However, with the old television, this output signal for some reason also needed to go to my computer before the picture would show up on the television. If you want to try skipping this and see if your set-up works differently than mine, skip ahead to Step 6.

I invested in an HDMI splitter (which also needs it own power source). Connect the HDMI cable to the “HDMI In” port (so, the cable went “out” of the Hauppauge and “in” to the converter).P1030007

Connect two HDMI cables to the “out” ports of the HDMI splitter (shown above).

One of the “HDMI Out” ports went to my computer. The other “HDMI Out” cable went to…


6. …another HDMI to RCA converter (power source needed). Make sure that, if you are investing, you get a converter that converts from HDMI to RCA, otherwise the signal will go the wrong way and it won’t work.

Once that’s all squared away, connect the RCA cables to the remaining channel in the channel selector.


Once all the cables are connected, you can plug the Hauppauge into a power source. After it’s plugged in, it will flash green or blue. Turn on your console, and then open up the Hauppauge video capture program (yes, the order matters).

I did have to adjust the resolution on the PS3 in order to get the picture to show up, but pretty much as long as you don’t select the 1080p option, it should work (unless the television can handle it).

Otherwise, you’re all set to record some fabulous footage off of your ancient CRT-TV!

It’s been a long time coming to this, hasn’t it? I’m still not sure what’s going on with the whole YouTube situation, but hopefully someone out there will find this information handy, even if it’s just to set up the capture device.

Do you want to know about my current set-up? What does your set-up look like (if you have one)? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

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  1. Yay! My inner electronics geek loves these posts 😀 ⚡ I hope you get your YouTube situation sorted out! I would like to watch your Let’s Plays, someday. Your Mass Effect one is still on my “To Watch When I Finally Play the Game” list. I seriously need more gaming time… sigh.

    I would also enjoy seeing your fancy new TV setup! I hope you do a post for that too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I still have my good ol’ tube TV for when I have enough money to have my own place and a nice little gaming/entertainment room and want to set up my older consoles (tee hee).

      Oh? Do you mean for recording or just how everything is plugged in for day-to-day use?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds like an awesome goal! I have a 1 bedroom apartment with 4 TVs, many Amiibo, even more video games, and two cats. I can’t wait to win the lottery so I can move into my very own gamer palace 😀 The odds are sadly not in my favour though… *keeps dreaming*

        Honestly, all of the above! I love seeing people’s sweet day-to-day setups, and I’d be interested in seeing how you set yours up for recording. I’ll never be brave enough to do my own LPs though, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on getting a HD Tv! And welcome to the world of actually being able to read things in today’s games!

    I’ve said it before, but I remember having enough trouble with a few of last gen’s games on my old mammoth CRT. I really can’t imagine how bad the PS4 got on that.

    I hope your new TV doesn’t require as much finagling to get set up. I am honestly surprised spellcheck has no problem with ‘finagling’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many wires and instructions! I have a new(er) fangled TV so I can use the HDMI ports. I suppose that would change the recording structure if/when I get to that point. I actually have that Hauppage you recommended on my Amazon wish list! Not sure when I’ll pick that up, but since it’s compatible with the PS3, and that’s the main system I play on, it seems the best initial investment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t tell you how much playing around was needed before all of this fell into place! haha

      There’s been some interest in me posting about my current set-up, so I might do another one of these with my day-to-day set up and a hypothetical recording set-up for PS3 and PS4.

      The PS3 angle was the reason I went with the Hauppauge model that I did. My original plan was to Let’s Play my way through the original ME trilogy on PS3 before Andromeda came out, and then switch to Andromeda on the PS4, so it was the logical choice! It’s definitely the little-device-that-could 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just found this YouTube channel that deals in tutorials about pretty much anything gaming. I used it to help me get a better sound on my microphone just for general audio, but since I’m a noob in all of this, I can use all the sources I can get!

        Maybe I’ll use my Amazon GCs I usually get for Christmas to fund that capture device. It’s how I bought the Yeti microphone this year 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s cool! I’ve definitely been looking things up, but no one was crazy enough to try and connect four consoles to a CRT TV *and* record gameplay, so don’t worry, I got you covered for that brand of insanity 😉

          Hey, that would be a fun toy to find under the tree! haha So you’re thinking of going Let’s Play, then??

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh I definitely want to do Let’s Plays! I’ve been thinking about it for a few years, but it’s one of those things that I need to gather the equipment for and find the time and right now I have so many other things that I need to work on that it’s currently sitting in, “I’ll get to this one day” bin.

            Liked by 1 person

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