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View topic - TV Auto Tuner works fine on Majesco Game Gear

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  • Joined: 22 Apr 2018
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TV Auto Tuner works fine on Majesco Game Gear
Post Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:24 am
Last edited by bsittler on Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 am; edited 1 time in total
FYI SegaRetro claims "the TV Tuner is reportedly incompatible with the late 90s Game Gear produced by Majesco" however it works fine on this one.

Game Gear serial number is AG91052431 and the sticker on the back includes "Game Gear Model 2110G. Majesco Sales Inc. Assembled in Mexico"

Tuner used in this test is the Japanese TV Auto Tuner, in this case using composite video from a portable Famiclone.

This also suggests cartridge audio should work for e.g. FM sound on more Game Gears, maybe even all of them? It works with McWill mods too, even though cartridge video doesn't.

edit: reading old threads (e.g. https://www.smspower.org/forums/1199-GotMyNewMajescoGameGearToday ) it's clear other Majesco Game Gears have non-functional TV mode, so I am mystified. Maybe some of them are actually non-"Majesco" hardware inside?

edit 2: also, looking at the serial number it doesn't seem to match the documented patterns unless "AG" is a factory identifier — in which case this may have been assembled in 1999

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:17 pm
bsittler wrote
it's clear other Majesco Game Gears have non-functional TV mode, so I am mystified. Maybe some of them are actually non-"Majesco" hardware inside?


may be worth to try running the latest SMS Test Suite to see if the BIOS gets identified as the Majesco one
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  • Joined: 22 Apr 2018
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:18 pm
sverx wrote
bsittler wrote
it's clear other Majesco Game Gears have non-functional TV mode, so I am mystified. Maybe some of them are actually non-"Majesco" hardware inside?


may be worth to try running the latest SMS Test Suite to see if the BIOS gets identified as the Majesco one


I did, and it does

edit: to be fair, though, many Sega Game Gears have this exact same BIOS, including a 1992 model I have here (serial K271112888, with "Sega Enterprises, Ltd. Made in Japan" included on the serial sticker) so calling that BIOS "Majesco" is really quite misleading and just an artifact of which model a particular enthusiast first noticed it in.
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:46 pm
Just tried this on a second Majesco Game Gear (model 2110G, serial AG91074495, "Majesco Sales Inc. Assembled in Mexico") and the results are the same: Japanese-region TV Auto Tuner (Model HGG-3015, serial X30010463, TV System M, Channel: JPN) works fine and is able to display composite video from the Famiclone. SMS Test Suite likewise identifies this as a Game Gear with "Majesco" BIOS and CMOS CPU.

Also this time I verified the tuner works fine regardless of whether the system is powered by batteries or using an external DC jack.

So, any idea whether there are other versions of the Majesco Game Gear, and (if so) how they are different, and whether it is possible to distinguish them from the outside, e.g. by serial number prefix?
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:14 am
Just tried this with a PAL Game Gear TV Tuner (model no. MK-2101-18, color system: PAL, TV system: B/G) and that doesn't work in Majesco Game Gears (white screen but audio works?) while working fine in non-Majesco Sega Game Gears. So maybe it's dependent somehow on which TV Tuner model is used, and/or whether the refresh rate is 50 Hz vs. 60 Hz?
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:15 am
Just tried this with an NTSC Game Gear TV Tuner (model no. MK-2101, color system: NTSC, TV system: M, Channel: USA) and that also doesn't work in Majesco Game Gears (white screen but audio works) while working fine in non-Majesco Sega Game Gears. So it's dependent somehow on which TV Tuner model is used.

Summary:
Japanese TV Auto Tuner: works in both Sega and Majesco Game Gears.
Other region PAL or NTSC Game Gear TV Tuner: only works in Sega Game Gears.
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:11 am
Thats an interesting find. I wonder what the difference in hardware is between the tv tuner types that makes or breaks compatibility.
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