Picture Quality for SNES Console Games

I recently bought the SNES console (please see the link below to see the console) and currently playing "Donkey Kong 3" on it. I have a Samsung 65" smart television. I have simply connected the console with the television through the audio-video cable (red, white and yellow) which is provided with the console.


The picture quality is not sharp. It is very fuzzy and a bit unclear. May be because the console is old and the television is new.

Is there a way to improve the picture quality? I tried to adjust the picture settings on my television but not much improvements.

Thank you.


  • +20 votes

    Maybe it’s something to do with the fact the game was released 23 years ago.

  • The SNES has a resolution of between 256x224 and 512x448. "Between" because it was designed for CRTs.

    Your Samsung TV is either 1080p or 4K, which is either 1,920x1,080 or 3840x2160.

    It's going to look fuzzy because you're doing the equivalent of blowing up a passport photo-sized picture to bigger than A4-size.

  • You need an upscaler, or similar.

    Quick google found this cable: https://www.hdretrovision.com/snes
    Apparently best quality without spending more than the console value itself on an upscaler.

  • Reminds me of the movies classic, "zoom in and enhance line"…

    1. Wow thats expensive, I have my old one laying about.
    2. why didnt you buy the SNES mini console? has all the BS scaling built in.
    3. best way to think is to use emulators and its various post processing effects. Still going to look like games graphics set to "Lego Duplo" mode.
  • The SNES is capable of several different video out modes. The usual composite cables are not a very good choice as you have experienced.

    You will get a significant improvement if you get an S-Video cable (assuming your TV can accept this cable), which is quite cheap to find 3rd party on eBay. This is the cheapest and simplest way to get a big upgrade in quality.

    Further improvements can be obtained by using a SCART cable (the SNES natively supports RGB out), though few TVs will accept that input.
    Some 3rd party providers also produce Component cables for the SNES (these look like the Composite ones, but instead of a yellow cable they have red, green, blue ones), though these are a little pricey (~$80 I believe).

    Finally, you have the option to HDMI mod the console, which is very pricey or obtain a Framemeister or similar upscaler that can provide high quality picture conversion with low latency. This option is much pricier than standard upscalers, but gives the best result.

    Also note, early SNES models are slightly blurrier than the later "1 chip" models that were produced in the later years of the SNES being produced.

    A video clearly explaining all of this can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k2HVB9S8CA

  • Use a PC. You'll need to learn Retroarch to emulate. There are upscalers which can help improve picture quality.

  • Were you really expecting sharp looking graphics from a 1996 game just because you have a fancy TV?

  • The problem is both the upscaling but also latency. Unfortunately the best upscaler is expensive, the Framemeister XRGB. Very quick, though.

  • There are different image modes built in the snes mini, 4:3 mode, Picture Perfect mode and CRT mode. Maybe try switching modes and see if you prefer another.
    Edit: my mistake. I assumed you had purchased the new mini snes.

  • You’re never going to get a good picture from the original hardware, so if that’s your concern I’d suggest just go with emulating. Otherwise, the option that nobody has suggested yet is investing some money in an old CRT television (preferably a former high end model that can accept the video input types that were mentioned by another poster above). If you’re set on using the original hardware, this is pretty much the best way to play and you don’t have those ugly black bars on the side of the screen.

  • $249 for a used 20+ year old console? :O

    I paid around $400 total for a new Super Nt by Analogue delivered + a new wireless controller off Amazon.

    "A reimagining of perhaps the greatest video game system of all time. Engineered with an FPGA. No emulation. 1080p. Zero lag. Total accuracy. The Super Nt is not a plug n' play toy. It is the definitive way to explore Nintendo's 16-bit era. Compatible with the 2,200+ SNES and Super Famicom game cartridge library. Explore and re-live one of the greatest video game systems of all time with no compromises."

    You can even hack/mod it like the mini classics. :)

  • Pick up an old box tv off hard rubbish for that authentic feeling.

  • Thank you everyone. It is a great help.