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Since we reviewed the premium Pack-a-Punched Megadrive RGB SCART cable back in November 2012, several readers have pointed out that the cable we compared it to was flawed in the first place and a more fair comparison would be to put it against a properly wired standard RGB SCART cable. This is a fair observation, our old RGB SCART cable from the now defunct Telegames clearly wasn’t wired correctly. When our friends at Retro Towers offered to let us review their affordable MegaDrive 1 Stereo RGB Cable we jumped at the chance. Any company willing to let us review their cables clearly believes in them, so read on to find out how the cable compared to the benchmark Pack-a-Punched product.
Megadrive 1 RGB
The Retro Towers cable ships in a simple plastic bag with a small slip of paper at the top declaring it to be a Megadrive 1 RGB. There’s really nothing remarkable about the appearance of the cable, not that we expected there to be. It connects to the Megadrive easily and on the SCART end, all the pins are present meaning it isn’t likely to jam when inserted into the SCART socket.
Picture quality from the cable was good, clearly this is a properly wired RGB cable. There was more picture noise than with the Pack-a-Punched cable though. This can most clearly be seen on the colour bleed test (middle picture of the three below). Interestingly, the infamous Megadrive jailbar effect seemed about the same with this cable as with the Pack-a-Punched model. The Megadrive we were testing has been internally modified to remove the jailbar effect on the image but a tiny trace of them still remains under close scrutiny.
The pictures below show the cable in action. By default, you can see the screenshot captured using the Retro Towers cable. Mouse over to see what difference the Pack-a-Punched cable made.
To test sound quality, we hooked up each cable in turn and loaded the white screen test in the 240p test suite. We then turned the volume up on our home theatre receiver until the audio buzzing was clearly noticeable. Both cables performed well, but the Pack-a-Punched cable could go about 20% louder than the standard Retro Towers cable before audio hum became noticeable.
Remember this cable uses composite video for sync. On most systems that shouldn’t matter, but if you use this cable with an XRGB3 you will experience picture drop outs when you go from a bright screen to a dark one, such as when a bright flash occurs in a game. We recommend all XRGB3 users to seek out a raw/clean sync RGB SCART cable.
This is a correctly wired and well performing standard RGB SCART cable for the Megadrive. While it can’t quite compare to the Pack-a-Punched cable, it is a fraction of the price and more than adequate for many users. XRGB3 users and perfectionists should steer clear, but anyone needing an affordable cable to hook their Megadrive to their CRT TV will find this cable performs very well.