Megaswitch HD – Lag Tested & Demo’d

I just had an opportunity to test out  a “hybrid emulation” HDMI mod for the model 1 Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, called the Megaswitch HD.  This internal kit taps directly into the console’s VDP and generates a fully digital, 1080p HDMI video signal.  Analog video is untouched, so I was able to run both outputs simultaneously and confirm it’s ZERO LAG in it’s buffer-less mode and less than half a frame in the most compatible mode.  More info below the link – And you still need to contact the creator directly to purchase (hopefully a direct purchase option is coming soon):

Main Site:

There’s a few things you’ll need to note before buying the kit.  First, it’s currently only compatible with a few versions of the Model 1 Genesis;  The website lists currently compatible models.  Next, the kit by itself only outputs video via the HDMI port – You’ll need to purchase the (cheap) custom ADC to integrate audio.  I showed that in the stream and it was a very easy addition.  I suggest tapping the audio points listed in my original stereo audio guide, as the output will be clean and the headphone slider won’t affect HDMI output.  Also, this kit is not compatible with SMS games or the 32x, however those will still work via the analog video output.  Lastly, firmware updating is really easy, but make sure you have a working reset button;  It’s common to see them fail on Model 1 Genesis consoles and you’ll need to hold it down on boot to enter firmware flash mode.  The latest firmware update actually improved output compatibility in the zero latency mode, so it’s important to stay current.

I think this kit is awesome, but you’ll need to step back a moment and ask if it’s for you.  I think it’s the perfect solution for people who want to game on a flat-panel, but also want to use original hardware.  While it’s “hybrid emulation”, most of the signals are generated completely by original chips, making it as close as you can get to original hardware.  Also, streamers who game on a CRT will love this – Just connect the HDMI output to your capture card and have a super easy dual-output solution with a really high quality stream.  Of course, if your focus is analog video output, you can just get a subcarrier bypass to enhance a Genesis 1’s RGB while keeping composite video.  And while the Sega Triple Bypass disables composite video, it gets your the cleanest output possible from all models of the Genesis.  And if you don’t care about original hardware at all, the MiSTer’s Genesis core is amazing.

Overall, I’m a big fan of this project.  I would love to see more resolutions added though – Especially “direct video” / 240p.  That would pair nicely with the RetroTINK 4K, allowing for a completely clean Genesis video output and would even allow HDMI to YPbPr or RGB converters to get pretty flawless output to things like PVM or BVM monitors.  Even as-is, the project is great though!

I demo’d all of this in the (long, boring) livestream below.  This was a very “slow & steady, be careful” stream, so if you just want to see it in action, skip to the very end:

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