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What is the Best N64 HDMI Solution for the money? EON, RetroTink2, Hyperkin & UltraHDMI?


– Hey guys, Metal Jesus here. Now, if you are a fan of
the Nintendo 64 looking for a solution to connect
it to an HD television, well, you are in luck, because in this video I’m gonna review and compare side-by-side
four different solutions at four different price points, and I think you’re gonna be
surprised with the results. Let’s take a look. (cartridge clatters) (rock music) Like I mentioned, we’re gonna take a look at four separate solutions
for getting upgraded video for your N64. One of those is the
Hyperkin 3-in-1 HD cable, which just happens to be
the cheapest at $29.99 Now, it’s called the 3-in-1
because Hyperkin makes this cable not only for the N64, but also the GameCube
and the Super Nintendo. The Hyperkin cable does
require external power, but one of its cool features is this aspect ratio button right here. You can easily switch between
four by three and 16 by nine. We’re also gonna take a
look at the RetroTINK-2X. This is an excellent upscaler that I have reviewed on my channel before. It’s very versatile
and it comes in at $99. This device will give you a ton of flexibility in your game room. So for instance, you can
upscale with a composite video, component video, and also S-video. Then we’re gonna take a
look at the EON Super 64. This is a brand new solution for the N64 and it’s coming in at $150. This device is brought
to you by the same people who brought out the
excellent GameCube adapter just a couple years ago. What’s interesting about this is that they’re able to pull it off without requiring an external power cable. It’s literally just plug-and-play. And this company cares about how these devices look when
plugged into the console. Their goal is to make ’em look like they actually came out
when the console was new. So that’s why it’s injected-molded and designed to look the way it is. And of course we have to take
a look at the UltraHDMI mod. Now, pricing that is a little bit trickier because the kit comes in at around $165, but you still need to install
it on the inside of your N64. If you have soldering skills,
you’re gonna save some money. If you don’t, you’re gonna have to pay somebody to do it
and these typically go anywhere for 350, 400,
sometimes even $500 online. For this comparison
shootout I have a stack of Nintendo 64 games,
nine of ’em in total, and I tried to pick across
the gamut of styles. So we have some first-person shooters. We have some racing games. We have some 2D games as well, which will show off how
the smoothing works. And we’re gonna basically compare those across each of
these different solutions. So let’s get started. The first game we’re
gonna take a look at is, of course, the classic, GoldenEye 007, and we’re taking a look at the
Hyperkin solution right here. This Hyperkin cable is outputting video at 720p at 60 frames per second, and as you can see here, it looks fine, although it’s definitely not sharp. But let’s go ahead and
switch over to the RetroTINK. Now this is outputting at, well, it has a couple different options here. You can either do 480i or 480p, depending on the button you press, but in this scenario I’ve connected it via the S-video cable
that you can get for the N64. And here they are side-by-side. As you can see the Hyperkin
cable is definitely darker. I’m not sure why that is,
but in this scenario here I think the RetroTINK
definitely comes out on top. And keep in mind the
RetroTINK is connected via an S-video cable. So I know some of you are cringing at my GoldenEye skills here,
and yeah, I apologize for that. I didn’t play this came
when it first came out, and so for me to go
back and play it today, it’s definitely kinda
clunky with its controls. I should also mention that
I’m running the RetroTINK with smoothing turned on. Now, that’s an option that
you can turn on or turn off, but I have it on here. Let’s go ahead and take a
look at the EON Super 64, which I also am running
with smoothing turned on with that device. And as you can see, I think both of these, the RetroTINK and also the
EON, look very, very similar. And now let’s go ahead and
bring in all three cables. So we have the Hyperkin, the
RetroTINK, and also the EON. And I do think that the
EON or the RetroTINK, those look pretty acceptable. And then the Hyperkin,
as you can see here, maybe it’s kinda hard to tell on YouTube, but the colors are just a little bit off. They don’t look quite right. Let’s go ahead and jump
over to the second level, and we’re starting with
the Hyperkin cable here. And then now let’s bring
over the RetroTINK. And again, remember that the RetroTINK in this scenario has smoothing turned on. And then for fun let’s go ahead and bring in footage
from the UltraHDMI mod. And as you can see here, it is just glorious how sharp it is. Now, one thing to know
about the UltraHDMI is that it has a bunch of
options built into it and you can actually
specify the exact resolution that you wanna output to. So in this case I did choose
the highest, which is 1080p. (smooth drumming) Now let’s go ahead and
check out Cruis’n USA, a fun little racing game on the N64. And we’re starting with the UltraHDMI. I just picked it because,
randomness, I guess. But again, it looks great here. It is outputting at 1080p. Now let’s go ahead and
switch over to the Hyperkin. And immediately you
see that the colors are just not quite right. Not terrible, but if you’re
looking for accuracy, this is probably not going to be it. But again, keep in mind
this cable is only $30, compared to the UltraHDMI,
which can be hundreds. Now let’s go ahead and bring
in footage of the EON Super 64. And let’s go ahead and put that
right next to the UltraHDMI. And so again, this is very
different styles of video here, where the UltraHDMI is of course modded inside the N64 itself, where the EON is taking S-video and then outputting that to HDMI. But as you can see, the
colors are definitely closer. And then let’s go ahead
and bring in the RetroTINK. And again, when you compare
all four of these together, well, I definitely think the RetroTINK and the EON are very, very
close, almost identical. Now let’s go ahead and
take a look at Quake 2. And Quake 2 is a really
good game to test with because it has a demo that
runs when you first fire it up. So in theory, all the footage
should be exactly the same. We’re starting with the UltraHDMI footage, but let’s go ahead and
bring on the EON Super 64 and compare those two side-by-side. Keep in mind that I have
the smoothing button turned on for that. (sinister music) (bullets ricocheting)
(grunting in pain) Let’s go ahead, add in
the RetroTINK footage, also with smoothing turned on. (beeps) (grunts)
(gun fires) And then finally the Hyperkin cable. And the think I keep coming back with that Hyperkin cable is just
that the colors don’t look quite right and I don’t
know why it’s so dark. It’s almost too dark. (footsteps clopping) (yells) (gun firing) (sighs) No let’s go ahead and take
a look at Resident Evil 2. And the reason why we
would wanna take a look at this game is because
it changes resolutions all the time while you’re playing it, and that changing of resolutions can really mess with upscalers. And so this is a good test for that, although we’re starting
off with the UltraHDMI. And what you’ll notice is that, when you go into the menu, there isn’t a delay
whatsoever with the UltraHDMI. It literally just goes into the menu. You can go into the map. You can go into the file system and then back again,
and it’s just flawless. And then here is the EON Super 64 footage. Now I expect there to be a bigger delay when you go into the
menu with this device, but as you can see, it
flickers a little bit, but it goes in pretty quick, and then you can go right back
out and you’re into the game. Yes, there’s a little bit of a delay, but honestly, it’s not bad at all. And then here is the Hyperkin cable, and we go into the menu here, and yeah, it flickers for maybe a second, kinda wiggles a little bit
as it adjusts its resolution, but yeah, it works just fine. There’s no long delay
or anything like that. You can definitely play this game with either of these cables. And it’s the same thing with
the RetroTINK, actually. Now let’s go ahead and check out something a little different. This is Pokemon Puzzle League. On the left we have the EON and on the right we have the RetroTINK. And as you can see they
are almost identical. I have to admit this is a game that I had not played before this video, and as you can see,
it’s a match-three game like so many others that
were popular at the time. But this is actually a really fun game. It was fun to capture all of this footage and play through it. I actually started to
get pretty good at it, well, at least on Easy mode. And now let’s go ahead and do a comparison that’s probably not that fair, but here is the Hyperkin
compared to the UltraHDMI. Obviously the differences
are night and day, as you would expect. And like I said, probably not 100% fair, but it is cool to kinda see
the differences side-by-side. Moving on to Star Wars:
Episode I Pod Racer. Oh, my gosh. I love this game. So much fun. And for this one let’s just go ahead and lay them all out side-by-side. So on the left we have the UltraHDMI, next to that the EON, next
to that the RetroTINK, and then again, the Hyperkin cable. And I do need to mention that, for this particular game,
I had the smoothing turned on for the RetroTINK and
turned off for the EON, and I did that to let you
guys see the difference between the two, and you can mostly see it in the actual pod itself. Notice that the RetroTINK is definitely a little bit smoother, where on the EON it’s a
little bit more jagged. And like many of the other games that we’ve already seen in this video, the UltraHDMI, the EON,
and also the RetroTINK, they have very similar colors. They look correct, where the Hyperkin is just a little bit off. It’s not terrible, it’s
just not correct, either. – [Announcer] New lap record. – Now let’s go ahead and take a look at another Nintendo 64 classic, and that is Wave Race 64, another game that I
absolutely love playing. It’s funny when we do these videos because it gives me an excuse to bust out these cartridges and
play through these levels over and over again, which I
am never complaining about. And so for this one we’re
starting with the Hyperkin cable, and as you guys might expect, again, it’s gonna be a little bit darker. Colors aren’t great, and if we switch over to the RetroTINK and
also bring in the EON, you’ll notice that it looks much better. Now, in this scenario I actually
have smoothing turned off for both of those, but let’s go ahead and turn on smoothing and then compare the two side-by-side. This is something that I wasn’t 100% sure what people would want to see, because you can make the argument that people wanna see the pixels, but then also the smoothing does look pretty good on both of these. Yes, it softens the image,
but I kinda like it. It’s hard to say. I might go back and forth, honestly. And then here is the UltraHDMI, which yeah, that does
look pretty glorious. (rock drumming) Now let’s go ahead and take a look at Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, and this is another game that I get really excited to be able to play when I’m doing these comparison videos because it’s just an example to replay one of my favorite games of all time. And as you can see here, I’m
having fun doing the tricks and trying not to wipe out. Like before, we have the
UltraHDMI on the left, next to that the EON Super 64, also the RetroTINK next to that, and I do wanna mention that
I have smoothing turned on for both of those, and then over on the right-hand side, of course, is the Hyperkin cable. (rock drumming) Yoshi’s Story is a good game to test with because it has a lot of flat 2D sprites. And so for this I wanna demonstrate some of the smoothing techniques of the EON, and also the RetroTINK. And some of the best places
to show that are on the menus, so let’s go ahead and jump
into the EON Super 64. And this is the menus,
where you’re choosing your character and what
type of game you wanna play. And this is with smoothing turned off. And then let’s go ahead
and turn on smoothing. And that’s pretty obvious. (rock drumming) Let’s go ahead and show the
RetroTINK doing the same thing. So that’s smoothing turned off. And then smoothing turned on. (rock drumming) In the game itself, I
think it’s a little bit more difficult to tell. And so you’re gonna see me swapping back and forth here as I play through the game with smoothing turned off,
and then turned back on. It’s a nice option and you don’t notice any lag with it turned
on or off, either way. So it’s just a preference thing. And then here’s what the game looks like running through the
UltraHDMI-modded N64. (rock drumming) All right, guys. Well, that is four different ways of getting HDMI video out of your N64 so that you can connect it
to a modern HD television. But the question remains, which
one do I recommend you get? Well, I have to say I
have no regrets getting that UltraHDMI mod done to my N64. Now, it is tough to get ahold of the kits because they only come out in batches, and when you do get them, well, you have to solder them on, and in my case I actually had
to ask a friend to do that. And so it’s definitely a challenge, but I think it is clearly the best way to get the best video out of your N64 that is currently possible. But for most people, I
recommend they choose either the EON 64 or the RetroTINK. Now, I do really like how elegant and simple the EON solution is because it doesn’t require
any external power, it’s got the built-in smoothing, it is upscaling S-video,
and it looks really good. You guys saw all the footage there. However, the RetroTINK
is $50 cheaper than that and is more versatile. Now, it does require its own power, but if you have a game room like I do and a bunch of different consoles, it’s incredibly useful because it’ll upscale component,
composite, and also S-video. So it’s very useful if you’ve got a bunch of different consoles like I do. So you really have to choose. Do you pay the higher price for the EON or do you want the
flexibility of the RetroTINK? It’s a tough call. And then I do think that there is a place for the Hyperkin cables because they are the cheapest, by far. It really just depends on if you are okay with the so-so video quality and the colors being off a little bit. But if you are on a
budget, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend and you just want a very simple, cheap solution,
well, that could work for you. So it’ll be interesting to know what you guys think down
in the comments below, and as always, guys, I wanna thank you for watching my channel. Thank you for subscribing and take care. At the end here I’d like to do a shout-out to Ryan from castlemaniagames.com. He’s the one who send me
the EON Super 64 for review and he’s also a big part of
the Seattle retro gaming scene. He runs a really cool website, so definitely check that
out if you have a chance. All right, guys, well, I
hope you like this video and have a great, great day. (heavy metal music)

Bernard Jenkins

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