Hardware Review: EDFX–Krikzz’ Video Out Solution for PCE/TG16

The PC Engine and the Turbo Grafx 16 came at a time when there was almost a normalized video-out solution, but was still a bit “wild west”. Your modern-day consoles all use HDMI which is interchangeable and work on every current TV with just one cable. Our review today is a new device from Krikzz that works on PCE/TG16 and not just gives you RCA out, but so much more. Let’s discuss!

Features:

  • CD stereo support for EverDrive
  • RGB and composite video output
  • Audio filtering and levels tuned to match IFU audio
  • Compatible with MegaDrive2/Genesis2 video cables
  • Can be used without EverDrive as a standalone A/V expansion
  • Compatible with TurboGrafx and PCE systems

Unboxing Video:

Pros:

  • Compatibility. So this device accepts all Sega Genesis model 2 cords. It could be something like a cheap one you buy off of eBay or an expensive HD Retrovision cable. And this goes for all types of TV connectors and supports different video types. Whether it’s composite or SCART with RGB. Some have even reported that you can use the Pound HDMI cables to continue to get full RGB and stereo audio! This isn’t something that I could test as I no longer have the Pound cables that I reviewed a few weeks back. So, needless to say, your results may vary. However, I don’t see a reason why a Pound cable or equivalent HDMI adapter wouldn’t work if it’s originally designed to work on the model 2 Genesis.
  • CD Audio. The last point is a good segue into this point. Video can look good all day, but if you still only have mono, the game can feel a bit flat. The EDFX can absolutely support CD-quality audio, but truth be told that is only if you buy the Turbo Everdrive PRO which we just wrote a review on. That is simply due to the fact that this EDFX takes the port where your CD attachment would typically go. So the only way to boot CD-based games is via the Turbo Everdrive PRO. It also passess the HuCard games audio as stereo like normal, no change there. But yeah, you’ll feel like you’re playing a more modern console, like a Sega Saturn for instance, when using the two devices in tandem. One other point to bring up is that if you’re using the CD support via the Turbo Everdrive PRO is that it really lets you key in your exact settings via the options menu. I discuss where to go for that in the aforementioned article.
  • On Its Own. This device does not require the Turbo Everdrive or Turbo Everdrive PRO to operate, mind you. Feel free to use your standard HuCard games to play what you’d like. This device can be used on the back of any Turbo Grafx 16 or PC Engine model you’ve got that you normally play games on. This can still get you an upgrade from mono on your favorite HuCard games and a better, more convenient video signal to your retro or even modern television.
  • Build Quality. Another Krikzz product, another day. Meaning, the same ol, same ol here. There is nothing but perfection when it comes to the build of this device. You can see pictures of it down below. It’s structurally sound, being reinforced by the brass rods with screws. There is also an acrylic or plexiglass top to keep dust off of it. Adding the clear top further enforces the structural strength of the device. The bottom four brass rods also provide the device with a brace to stand on. Four little feet so that they reduce stress off of the plug. Otherwise the EDFX would be free floating out of the back of the console. That could lead to it bending downwards over time or if something fell on it could bend it down.
    With regards to the hardware itself, the plug is very snug, but in a good way. It takes a little bit of effort to plug it into the back of your PC Engine or Turbo Grafx 16. But it takes a bit more pull to get it out, and this is to make sure it doesn’t pop out if you accidentally pulled the system toward you while playing. It’s also likely that you’ll not be taking it in and out of your system. Especially if you have the Turbo Everdrive PRO up front. The two items in tandem satisfy everything that you could need to do with a PC Engine/Turbo Grafx 16. 
  • Cost. If you’re just wanting to buy one of these for your existing games and setup, then you’ll only have to pay a cost of $50. I think that that is a great middle-ground cost, especially if you already have a Genesis model 2 cable ready to go. If you’re wanting to get this and the new Turbo Everdrive PRO, your cost is even lower. The Turbo Everdrive PRO is $220, so it isn’t precisely cheap, but the overall cost if you buy them together is $260. So you can either equate that to being $10 less per item or $20 off of the EDFX. Either way, unless you’re trying to buy them separately across two separate paychecks, buying them together is the smartest idea.

Cons:

  • Covered Up. This device needs a better a shell or casing, if you will. There’s just too much chance for dust and then cleaning the dust out of the components is unnecessary. I’m sure Krikzz aimed to keep this device at the low price point that it is, but we need one that by default is a bit more expensive and is in a shell of some kind. As of now, you’ll have to buy one of the EDFX shells hosted on Stone Age Gamer if you want to reduce dust. If you don’t have a problem with dust, you can keep the device with the piece of single acrylic covering the top. If anything, if Krikzz is trying to keep the cost down, maybe remove the clear part and put a matching white or matching black top to it. That way it matches the color of the Turbo Everdrive PRO that you bought with it. 
  • S-Video. The only thing that I could not test and I couldn’t find any information online is S-Video. So until someone says that an S-Video cable works with it, I’m going to assume that it doesn’t. S-Video is also not mentioned in any marketing of the EDFX. So if you happen to have a S-Video cable and you buy this and confirm it works, I’ll gladly remove this “Con”. If you confirm that it does NOT work, tell me and I’ll update this section to state clearly that it does not work. Some people are very big S-Video heads and deserve to know.

Final Thoughts:

Above and below this section I added pictures of shells made by Humble Bazooka that you can buy for $15 and I think make this a tasteful matching product. I think I’m not the only one who dislikes the look of the transparent acrylic and further hate how it may allow in dust. So after you inevitably buy the EDFX from any one of the links below, I have the link for the 3D-printed shell as well. And of course, after that, I have the list of compatible RGB cables for the EDFX. These products are all great together; they’re a match made in heaven!

Purchase Links:

Krikzz’s Site

Everdrive.ME

3D Printed Shell

RGB Cables for Genesis

 

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