Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Flickering

Way back in November, when Linzy and I went to Duluth for Thanksgiving, I brought the PS2 along with because Linzy's parents wanted to see Guitar Hero. I didn't actually play the game a whole lot, but did show Larry just how difficult some of the songs are. Anyway, on the way home I lazily left video cord plugged into the machine and just wrapped the cord around the console for the ride home.

Not a smart move. Ever since then, the PS2's video output has been extremely suspect. It will be fine for a while, and then slowly start getting darker and then start flickering, and eventually will go completely out. Sometimes after a bit it will come back by itself. Other times it will come back if I jiggle the cord, or it might not come back at all.

Ever since then, I've basically written the PS2 off as broken since it is unreliable in the extreme. It managed to put together a few solid hours on New Years eve, but since then its been nearly unusable (particularly when Kendra and I were trying to use it and ended up having to give up and play original XBox games instead).

Normally I'd take an opportunity like this to vaguely justify buying a PS3 for its backwards compatibility and then never even try any of my many, many unopened PS2 RPGs cluttering up the basement. But since as far as I know the PS3 still doesn't work with Guitar Hero, that seems a bit silly even for me.

Last night Linzy and I happened to be near Best Buy and the broken PS2 happened to be on my mind, so I finally got around to buying a new video cable for the system on the off chance that it was a cable problem rather then a console problem.

Amazingly enough, after playing with the PS2 tonight for a bit, the cable actually appears to have fixed the problem.

The only downside is that the cable I bought happened to be a component cable which for a complicated set of reasons I don't have enough inputs for anymore. But in the interest of testing the problem I used it anyway. And the picture improvement was shocking. So much so that GH2 practically looked like a different game.

So now I will probably end up having to buy a component switch controllable with my universal remote in order to keep everything hooked up with component cables. Which means the total outlay for 'fxing' the PS2 will end up being almost as much as if I had just given up and bought a new slim PS2.

3 comments:

Brenden said...

I can help you choose the right one for about $60. :)
In all seriousness, it does work very nicely with my Harmony remote.

Bill Roehl said...

I purchased a 4 input one in 2002 when I moved to MN to switch between my N64, DVD player, computer, and PS2.

I also have a flaky PS2 video cable but it's from being in a cabinet that was cramped with all my other toys and it bent the cable. It's currently in another cabinet and as long as I don't move the unit too much it works reasonably well.

I have been playing N64's FZero-X lately so I have been using the switch box a little more often. I wasn't aware they had some that were controlled by remote! I'm so behind the times.

Steve Eck said...

I actually have a 4 or 5 input composite & s-video switch already. I don't use it anymore since we got rid of the cabinet that let me have all my old systems out.

The old switch is nice enough, but obviously it can't do component switching, and having to manually push buttons to get the right things on complicated the setup quite a bit.