How to fix the Nintendo AV cable brightness problem

Video signal wire

Video signal wire

I have a PAL Nintendo 64 and GameCube at home. Unfortunately their AV cables have become unusable. Looking around on eBay I bought two new ones from a seller shipping from China. They were cheap and they did their job very well… on a CRT screen.

I only started to notice the issue when I switched to an LCD TV some time ago. The brightness was really clipping and no configuration of the TV made that go away. After some Googling it turns out that the NTSC versions of the consoles have some internal components the PAL versions do not. Without modifying the AV cable you cannot fix this problem on a PAL system.

Too bad that when you’re in the market for buying a new AV cable, sellers rarely specify if it’s an AV cable meant for a PAL or NTSC console. But fret not! They only thing you need is an 100 Ohm resistor and some soldering skills.

There’s plenty of guides out there that explain you have to add capacitors as well, though I did not see any notable difference when adding those to the circuit. In fact, when I did the GameCube’s video signal didn’t get through properly to the TV while the N64 signal did. So, to keep things simple ditch the capacitor and just add the resistor.

The only thing you need to do is connect the video signal wire to the ground wire by using the resistor, anything around 80-100 Ohm is fine. Easy as that! If you’re not fond of fiddling with the cable yourself, there’s a website where you can order modified cables, you can check that out here.

Here’s a picture of the first cable that was modded, I did a second one as well where you barely see the cable was opened up, for that you should probably use SMD components as, in this case, size really matters.

Nintendo AV cable fixed

AV cable fixed