How Does the Atari Flashback 7 Connect to a TV? [Step-by-Step]


The Atari Flashback 7 is one of the most popular versions of the beloved Atari Flashback series. After all, you can play different classic video games on your Atari Flashback 7, and all of such games have already been built into the system. But, because most of the televisions and displays we have today are far different from the classic TVs that were prominent during the time of the classic Atari console, how can you connect your Atari Flashback 7 to a TV?

In order to connect your Atari Flashback 7 to a modern-day television set, you’ll either need a special adapter that’ll transform the signal or a special jack adapter that will enable you to connect your device to the television. Atari Flashback 8 has, since, introduced support for HDMI television sets. 

In today’s article, I am going to tell you how to connect your Atari Flashback 7 to a modern HDMI television set. Namely, the Atari Flashback never offered support for newer television sets, which is why there is a special method of connecting these two devices, which I am going to explain here. Enjoy!

Atari Flashback: An overview

The original Atari Flashback was released in 2004. The console resembled an Atari 7800 in appearance and came with a couple of controllers that resembled those of the Atari 7800, although they were slightly smaller. The system had twenty built-in games, all originally developed by Atari Inc. and Atari Corp. of Warner Communication for the 2600 and 7800 gaming systems. 

Games that originally required analog paddle controllers were made to work with the included joysticks. It was designed by Atari veteran Curt Vendel, whose company Syzygy Co. (formerly Legacy Engineering Group) designs other home video games and video arcade products. 

Atari Inc. gave Syzygy Co. ten weeks to design the product, produce its games, and prepare it for the 2004 Christmas holiday season. The Atari flashback was based on “NES-on-a-chip” hardware, which resembled none of the Atari systems that Flashback supposedly represented (this was fixed with Flashback 2). As a result, the games it contained were ported and differed to varying degrees from the original games, and therefore Flashback was not popular with some purists. 

Still, the company continued to release the Atari Flashback. Most earlier models were much similar to the original, with the biggest innovation being a larger number of games included on the console. 

A short time after the original, Atari presented the Atari Flashback 2 (2005) console in the USA, which contained almost 100% compatible hardware. This was followed by Atari Flashback 2+ (2010), Atari Flashback 3 (2011), Atari Flashback 4 (2012), Atari Flashback 5 (2014), Atari Flashback 6 (2015), Atari Flashback 7 and Atari Flashback Portable (2016), Atari Flashback 8 and 8 Gold (2017), Atari Flashback 9 and 9 Gold (2018) and Atari Flashback X (2019). 

The Atari Flashback 8 Gold became the first Flashback series console that had an HDMI cable and wireless joysticks, as well as a save and load function. This was quite a revolutionary move on the company’s side, as it brought a completely new dimension to the Atari Flashback console, which combined vintage gaming with some modern-day elements that certainly helped in the evolution of gaming.. With the HDMI cable, content is displayed in 720p instead of 480p as in older models with cinch cables. 

How to connect your Atari Flashback 7 to an HDMI television set?

Now that I have given you a short overview of the Flashback series and, more specifically, the Atari Flashback 7, you’ll probably be wondering whether it’s even possible to connect your Atari Flashback 7 to an HDMI television set! It is of importance to note that the Atari Flashback 7 was the last in the series to not feature HDMI support, as the Atari Flashback 8 and all subsequent consoles featured support for newer television sets. So, is there something one can do? There is. 

There is, indeed, a way to connect your Atari Flashback 7 to modern televisions and I am going to guide you through the whole procedure in this section. 

The first thing, obviously, you need to do is connect your Atari Flashback 7, as, without power, the whole procedure would be completely useless. Now, depending on your television, there are several things you can do next. 

First, if you have the original TV/Game switch box that came with the original Atari console, you might try connecting it to your television set. Now, some older HDMI models still might have the necessary places to screw the two wires with the U-shaped connectors on the end, but most modern-day television sets won’t have them, which means that you’ll have to buy a new adapter. This adapter is quite cheap and it will allow you to screw down the two U-shaped prongs and also connect the coax cable to your TV, thereby enabling the console to communicate with the television set. Once you’ve done that, simply screw down the U-shaped wires and push the adapter into its place, and you’re done. 

Now, this method might not always work for you so I would, personally, suggest avoiding the switch box altogether, regardless of the model. The best way to continue would be to buy an RCA phono plug to F jack adapter. It’s a very small jack adapter that will allow you to remove the switch box altogether and use fewer wires. After you’ve disconnected the switch box, you need to connect the plug that was previously connecting the Atari to the switch box to the phono plug to F jack adapter. The final step will be to push the jack adapter onto the VHF/cable input on your TV and you’re good to go. 

If you’ve followed my guide correctly, you’ll be able to play your Atari Flashback on an HDMI television set. 

Ali R.

I'm Ali, and I'm very much a geek of the 80's. I love all things involving comics, weird dice, low-resolution pixels, badly lipped synced action films with plasticine monsters, loud bright clothes that nobody should have worn, pop songs that nobody should have sung, and TV cartoon shows that ...well everyone should watch.

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