What is it?

A new way to play your Game Boy Advance games on a high definition TV with stunning visual clarity and sub-frame input lag. The GBA Consolizer is an FPGA-based mod kit for the Game Boy Advance adding the ability to have a digital TV video output. The Game Boy Advance video is processed to produce reference level quality, with none of the stutter that plagues the Nintendo Game Boy Player.

What are the specs and features?

The GBA Consolizer outputs digital video over a mini HDMI connector at a resolution of 1280x720 and uses full 4:4:4 RGB for full color accuracy. The audio is taken directly from the GBA SOC PWM audio output and digitally decoded and re-sampled to 48 KHz, bypassing the need for noisy analog-to-digital conversion. This audio is embedded directly in the video stream, for use with compatible TVs. Alternatively, analog audio is available from the GBA headphone jack.

By default, the GBA Consolizer runs at a standard 60 Hz vertical refresh rate, requiring the GBA itself to operate with a slight overclock from its original speed. The GBA Consolizer can also output digital video at a 59.7276 Hz vertical refresh rate. In this mode the GBA is running right at the Nintendo specification. Both modes are low latency, tear free, and stutter free.

The adapter supports several types of scaling and smoothing modes, referred to as Zoom and Smooth in the video menu. Three Zoom levels are available, 4x/5x nearest neighbor scaling and 4.5x bilinear scaling. 4x scale is used for GBA games, the output is set at 960x640 letterboxed image in a 1280x720 frame, with aspect ratio properly maintained. 4.5x scaling fills the screen vertically for GBA games while maintaining proper aspect ratio. 5x scale is for Game Boy and Game Boy Color games allowing them to fill the screen vertically.

The user has a choice between the default colors produced by the GBA, or four altered color sets. Credit goes to user "Pokefan531" for providing the color correction coefficients from which these color sets were derived from. The color correction coefficients can be modified using the Color Wizard sub-menu. The Color Wizard along with adjustable gamma lets the user fine-tune the color output in real-time.

Default

Color Tone A2

Default

Color Tone A1

Default

Color Tone A1

For Gameboy games, the user can select from 40 different palettes from the Super Gameboy. Below are a few of the available palettes.

You can choose from a scanline or gridline image overlay is with varying intensity.

Gridlines 12.5% strength

A SNES controller can be plugged into the GBA Consolizer to control the Game Boy Advance. If you prefer, you can just use the Game Boy Advance to control the game. The GBA Consolizer also supports the 8Bitdo retro receiver, allowing for the use of a Bluetooth SNES controller, Wii U Pro controller, or a Switch Pro controller. Both the external controller and the GBA itself can be used to navigate the user menu. The user video settings can be saved to the on-board memory and will be loaded automatically at startup. Power is provided via a micro-USB cable. This device consumes very little current and can be powered from a 500mA TV USB port.

How does it compare to existing Gameboy Advance TV solutions?

The GBA Consolizer is a game-changer, providing a large jump in video quality, real-time image customization, and an unmatched user experience in ease-of use compared to the Nintendo Game Boy Player or the-ultra rare and expensive N64 WideBoy.

The adapter adds almost no input lag (20 GBA lines of latency) and can be considered a lagless solution. More importantly, it does not suffer from stutter when a game is scrolling vertically or horizontally. This is because the GBA Consolizer is frame-locked to the Game Boy Advance and as a result no frames need to be dropped, duplicated, or blended as is the case with the Nintendo Game Boy Player or other frame-rate conversion methods.

The GBA Consolizer will be available as a kit consisting of the circuit board and the 3D printed enclosure. Installation requires basic soldering and a screw driver, no permanent modifications are required for the GBA, however the GBA Consolizer module takes the place of the GBA LCD. Once installed all that is needed is the unit itself, a micro-USB cable, and a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable. Updates and bug-fixes will require a JTAG cable to reflash the board.



Installation Guide and other comments

The kit currently only works with the 40 pin GBA. Adapter boards are currently being worked on that will allow it to work with the 32 pin GBA as well as the GBA SP.

40 pin GBA HDMI Adapter Installation Guide

GBA HDMI User Manual

News and Reviews

Great review by Bob from RetroRGB.com

Some coverage from various news sites.
Kotaku
Gizmodo Japan
Hackaday
GoNintendo
Nintendo Soup
Dual Shockers
icrewplay
Den of Geek
Qooah
MS Power User
Hackster Blog
Standdew
Turn-On