Can I use the screen from a Game Gear, GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Lynx, or Nomad on my NESp?

One of the most common questions I get asked — and believe me I get asked this question at least once a week, is: "I don't have $80 to buy the LCD display that you used in your NESp - is there any way I can use a Game Gear screen instead?" Now, since I grew tired of answering this question months ago, I figured I would answer it here and then people who actually read my web site would be able to find out the answer.

First, to answer the people who were asking about using a Game Gear or Nomad display:

The Sega Game Gear and Nomad were conversions of home consoles made into portable form — and because of this the displays in both of these systems are analog RGB monitors. So, it is possible to hook any game system up to these screens that has RGB output.

However, the NES does not have the ability to output RGB — It can only output a composite signal where the red, green, and blue signals are combined into one wire. The only way for a NES to be connected to a RGB monitor is to buy or build a chroma decoder. A chroma decoder takes a composite signal and splits it out into a red, green, and blue signal.

Side note: if you really wanted to get wacky you could make a tiny chroma decoder using one of these bad boys


Above: Homemade Chroma Decoder

So now I will probably receive a few thousand e-mails asking "How do I make a chroma decoder?" So I will answer this question right now to save on e-paper: If you don't have $80 to buy the LCD display you would not have the money to make a chroma decoder (not to mention the time involved). If you still want to know bother this guy, he has made one.

Now, if you want to spend the time and money to make one of these — go ahead — I won't stop you.

There is only one other way to connect a Game Gear display to a NES, and that is through the Game Gear TV tuner. This looks like a huge cartridge with an antenna and tuning and volume control knobs. The TV tuner is only compatible with older model Game Gears -- not the ones that are manufactured by Majesco that can be bought for $29.99 at Ames and Toys R Us. You will have to find an older used Game Gear on ebay or some used game store.

How To tell if your Game Gear is compatible with the TV tuner:
look at the pictures of the game gears on the left -- notice that the older Game Gear has red, green, and blue colored ovals above where it says "Game Gear" If the ovals are white, then your Game Gear is incompatible with the TV tuner.

Above: Majesco Game Gear (Not compatible with TV Tuner)
Above: Original Sega Game Gear (Compatible with TV Tuner)

Did you know?

You can also output video from your Sega Game Gear with a modification.

Links:

Now to cover all the other systems:

All of the other systems have a digital display, and I am not even going to get started on how you would convert an analog signal to a digital signal. Don't ask me.

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