I'm interested in getting an Atari 8-bit (like I had 30 years ago), but have only LCD TVs (and computer monitors).

Can I hook this Atari to a flat screen TV, or do I need an analog CRT?

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    Welcome to Retrocomputing Stack Exchange. Thanks for posting this question; I hope you follow up with more. (The site needs more good users like you!)
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


Most classic computers will work fine on a TV with proper composite inputs. You want to make sure your TV has aspect ratio selection as many simply horizontally stretch the 4:3 image to 16:9.

As for Atari's, it will depend on which model you have and what cabling you have. I've very successfully run Atari 800XL and 1200XL systems with LCD TVs using the proper composite cable like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Color-Composite-Video-A-V-Monitor-Cable-DIN-to-RCA-for-Atari-800-XL-XE-6-New-/130888382784?hash=item1e798e3940:m:mEq5Xkccxwvlc7ClvaEIjWA

That is not my listing, I am only including it as reference.

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    Looks like exactly the information I would need. Thanks Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 20:45
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    I've used a 400, 800XL and 600XL with an LCD TV without any issues. That said, a good CRT will always look nicer for these machines.
    – Matt Lacey
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 23:34
  • The Atari XEGS will work out of the box with a LCD TV (via the composite video out). Also some TVs will accept a RF adapter on the back (as long as it accepts Analog channels).
    – user18
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 1:16
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    And for improved video quality, some Ataris will output S-Video (separate luma & chroma) through the video connector, while others can be modified to do so. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 14:45

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