Analogue has just opened pre-orders on their Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) that allows RGB, component, S-Video and composite video output from their Kevtris-designed Mega Sg and Super NT consoles: https://www.analogue.co/dac/
I currently have a prototype in hand and have mixed feelings about it due to cost. First and foremost, the RGB output is perfect, making this the only plug & play RGB Genesis solution that requires no mod for excellent audio and video output. That alone will be enough for many enthusiasts to purchase this over something like a Genesis 1 + Sega Triple Bypass, as no modding is required.
SNES users might have a hard time justifying that price, when you can get a 1CHIP SNES and an RGB Cable for less money than the DAC + shipping. That brings me to another complaint…
Why does Analogue always charge SO MUCH for shipping? The DAC itself is less than two ounces and 6″x3″x1″. How does that equate to these insane prices…and isn’t it a bit misleading to call a product $79.99 when it’s far from that once it actually hits your door?:
We definitely need to focus on price for a moment, as this DAC only comes with itself and a USB power cord:
That means you’ll also need to buy a short HDMI cable to connect it to your console, plus buy whatever output cable matches your output needs. A custom high quality RGB cable costs about $50 after shipping, but you’ll also have to purchase separate cables if you’d like Component, S-Video or Composite Video output. Those aren’t too expensive, but it’s baffling to me why we need custom cables at all? Couldn’t they have included those jacks right on the board and saved us the trouble? Sure, you’d still have to buy some kind of RGB cable, but if they’d used a MiniDIN9, we could just use a standard Genesis 2 cable and any (potential) 32x support could just utilize whatever cables you already owned.
So overall, that means if you live in a city that’s reasonable shipping distance, you’re still spending about $170 if you’d like to have access to all outputs…and you’re spending much more if you live far enough away that shipping is higher.
While I’m a massive fan of Kevtris and his work, I’m thoroughly disappointed in this product. If it were $50 total, I’d feel the opposite and would be singing Analogue some giant praise right now, but “$170″…or even $150 for the device + RGB cable is way too much. I realize Chris Taber, the owner of Analogue enjoys selling “premium products” and has a history of selling things like brushed aluminum cases, all wood cases and even 24k gold cases!! This feels like the opposite though: A basic device at a premium price.
For $170, I’d have expected far more:
- Why aren’t all output ports just available on the board, so we can use cables we already own?
- How come there’s no SPDIF output? Can’t we enjoy digital audio and analog video?
- How come there’s no dual-output support at ALL, unless you build a custom VGA cable that breaks out all the signals and even then you’d only get multiple analog outputs, not analog + digital*.
- For that price, how about some cool, unique features like a 3.5mm jack for 3D glasses??? Sure, there are only a few 3D games worth playing, but if this is a “premium product”, isn’t that the perfect example of a premium feature?
I’ll continue to help test this product and support Kevtris in any way I can, but as always, I can only be honest about how I feel about this: It’s too expensive. It either needs to be cheaper, or redesigned to include enough features to justify the price. Maybe when Analogue’s next products are released, people will feel it’s worth the price, but for now, unless your specific setup really requires this, I wouldn’t recommend spending the money on it.
UPDATE 09/14/2019: Analogue responded to the shipping cost concerns by basically saying “premium product, premium shipping”: https://support.analogue.co/hc/en-us/articles/360033751871-Analogue-Shipping-FAQ
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*To clarify, I’m not insinuating that dual HDMI + Analog is either easy, or even something that should be included with this product. If the device were $50 total, I’d never even have mentioned it, but at such a premium, I felt it worth mentioning.