Retro-Bit Prism Component Cables For Nintendo GameCubeMarch 1, 2022
In this episode, RoXolid Productions unboxes and tests out the Prism component video cables for the Nintendo GameCube by Retro-Bit.
The Nintendo GameCube is a bit of an oddity in gaming. It came out at a time when other manufacturers were including DVD playback, Nintendo didn’t. It came out at a time when component video was more standard than ever. Nintendo didn’t make their cables easily available. While you could get your hands on Nintendo component video cables for a short time, they were extremely limited in their release. Thankfully, the folks over at Retro-Bit have come out with a set of component video cables, based on Korg GC video architecture, and best of all, they’re under 60 bucks!
00:00 – Introduction
1:51 – Unboxing
4:29 – System Fitment
4:50 – Comparison with Insurrection Industries Cables
6:54 – Resolution Testing with RetroTink 5x
10:45 – Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition
11:49 – Star Wars: Rogue Leader
16:34 – Mario Kart – Double Dash
17:44 – Luigi’s Mansion
18:53 – WarioWorld (Japanese Gamecube)
21:06 – Ikaruga
22:09 – Wave Race BlueStorm
23:26 – Earthworm Jim (GBA)
27:19 – Conclusion
The architecture that these are built upon is GC Video, something that has been utilized for years to make HDMI dongles for the Nintendo GameCube. As such, it is a proven architecture that simply works. One place where Retro-Bit did improve things up is in the way you receive audio. With other solutions, you need to use the analog output for audio. With the Prism component cables, audio and video come out of the same cable. And why not, it’s something that has been done for years with those HDMI adapters.
There are a number of subtle differences between the Prism cables and the Carby cables. Both provide beautiful video, but the way they get there is slightly different. The Insurrection Industries cables have a slightly thicker wire and insulation, so they could be more resistant to RF noise than the Prism cables. The Insurrection Industries cables also utilize BNC connectors at the ends with adapters that get you to RCA plugs. While beautiful, I have run into issues with the plugs touching each other on upscalers such as the RetroTink 2x. The Prism cables utilize a rubber shielded RCA jack at the end. The insulation on these makes for a smaller plug, eliminating the possibility that the connectors could touch, and even if they do, the connectors would be touching the insulation to each other, not the conductors. I really appreciate this.
I didn’t know what to expect out of these from the get-go. Having used the Insurrection Industries cables in the past, I thought they looked good, but I always thought the HDMI adapters just looked better. Going from the GameCube into my RetroTink 5x with no upscaling, I think this is still the case. But once I turned on the upscaling, whoa baby, there was a huge difference. I was not expecting these results.
Why It RoX:
– Only $60
– Combines audio and video into one cable
– Provides greater clearance between connectors
– Beautiful quality
– Snug fit without being overly tight into GameCube
What could be improved:
– No BMC connector for those with PVMs
– No built-in upscaling
– Thinner insulation then Carby cables
Should you buy these?
If you already have a set of Nintendo or Insurrection Industries cables, I don’t think these are a must-buy for you. And I don’t think Retro-Bit would argue with that. If you already have one of the HDMI adapters, you may want to consider these if your television does any kind of upscaling or if you have a RetroTink product. If you don’t have any existing cable and don’t have an HDMI adapter, and you have an upscaler, this is the way to go. While you will see a net image improvement with the RetroTink 2x, once you get to the RetroTink 5X, you really unlock the true potential of the GameCube video. And I think that’s the main thing, at least if you’re going into a modern flat-panel television. If you are going into a CRT, that’s one thing, but if you are going into a modern television, the Prism cables when mated with a RetroTink 5X are simply stunning. The video quality is sharp and clear, as is the audio, the colors just pop, and overall it is a wonderful experience.