Basically it boils down to screen size, clarity, comfort and availability. So let's start with my original setup in the living room on the large screen.
#1 - Living room, Big Screen:
- Toshiba 57" HD Projection TV circa 2003/2004. I know it's not super awesome cool, but it's got a pretty nice picture for the age and I don't want to sink money into a new one.
- Sony 5.1 Receiver - Around the same era and my only complaint is that it doesn't do HDMI.
- Connected via component to the TV
- Audio is run through the receiver for that realistic Wii Sports tennis ball sound to the sides. :)
- Larger TV generally makes for a more enjoyable experience.
- This is especially true with games like Mario Kart or 007 GoldenEye where you can split the screen for multiple local players.
- Great viewing for everyone even if they aren't playing.
- Sound is very good, but I can't say it makes a significantly noticeable difference.
- Really fits my comfort and laziness requirements of sitting in a recliner.
- Yeah, it's the large TV in the living room that's primarily used for TV viewing.
- Split or picture-in-picture just isn't an option that will work for everyone.
- The Wii U's tablet is starting to look very interesting with this in mind.
- Somewhat more cumbersome to power up and get all the components on the right inputs. No, I'm not buying an overpriced universal remote.
- Some virtual console titles don't need to be played at this resolution. It's best to stick to a smaller screen.
Overall I like this setup best, but the lack of availability when competing against TV time made me start looking for options. We have a lower-end Samsung LCD in the bedroom, but again I suspect gaming until 2a while she's sleeping isn't going to cut it.
So that brings me to my next and current setup:
- Dell FP2001 20" (4:3)
- Tivoli Model Two TableTop stereo
- Standard RCA cable (480i) to the FP2001
- Sound split from RCA to stereo
The problem was a severe lack of clarity which isn't surprising considering it's basically the worst possible connection available. So the search began for alternatives and went on for nearly 6 weeks when I found various component-to-VGA converter boxes. As luck would have it I had also emailed Chalgyr and while he didn't know of any immediate resources; did turn me onto monoprice.com. It turns out they have an OEM-branded version of one of these converters and it's cheaper than the one shipping from China so it was a no brainer.
- Component to VGA converter box
- Wii Component Cable (w/Net Jacket)
- Dell U2211H (21.5' 1920x1080) (this doesn't really count, it's from work so it has to go back at some point)
I've used it on both the new U2211H in 16:9 mode, but primarily play on the FP2001 in 4:3 as the sensor bar is already on it (3M stick strips) and the 2211h sits in portrait mode for long document/source code review.
I should note that the converter also handles audio which makes my purchase of the rca splitter a waste, but I'm not too concerned about that. It also has a VGA loopback so you don't have to go around swapping cables when you want to use it for your PC.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's the initial version without the converter box. Essentially it looks the same now, but there's a bit more wire mess behind the monitor to the right. Also note the Tivoli speaker squeaking into the frame on the right and I'm sure you can make out the gaming website that's up on the monitor.
|A tidy version of the initial setup with lo-def RCA cables.|
- No issue with anyone else wanting to use the monitor while I want to use the Wii.
- Purchase of converter box can be used for other items.
- Very good clarity.
- Lack of comfortable recliner in the office. My desk chair is pretty good, but it's not lounging comfortable.
- Boy it's a pain to walk around the corner when I'm being lazy.
- Gaming isolation. This is where the WiiU comes back to mind. (ok, maybe the 3DS too)
While each setup has a number of pros and cons I'm currently enjoying my office setup and think it works well for me. Mrs. Incomplete does give me grief for good measure, though she's not going to play the Wii and I've left all the wiring in place so it can be moved back quickly.
What I'm really looking forward to is having a real office in our next house, moving some recliners in there and possibly a LCD TV.
So what is your Wii or any other console setup and how does it work for you? Do you primarily use a TV, HD or not or something entirely different like a PC Monitor?