The JVC Videosphere looks like it’s from an alternate future despite being several decades old, but that didn’t stop one YouTuber from getting games from the Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, Nintendo Switch and an Alienware gaming PC all running on it.
Vince, the proprietor of a “How To” YouTube channel specializing in DIY electronics projects recently celebrated hitting 100,000 subscribers by rehabbing a JVC Videosphere and playing things like Forza 7 and Mario Kart 8 on it (thanks ResetEra). It wasn’t an easy undertaking, requiring not just one of TV history’s rarer artifices still in working condition but also a number of other old machines to help transform modern HDMI signals into something a 1970s CRT could comprehend.
Doing that required using a composite converter to turn the HDMI signal into something readable by a VCR. That’s because ultimately the signal would need to be transmitted to the Videosphere via an RF cable spliced into its aerial receiver (the Videosphere is so old it didn’t even have RF cable inputs). In order to have everything hooked up at once, he then ran all of the HDMI outputs from the consoles and PC into an HDMI switcher.
It’s really a sight to behold.
The strangest part is seeing Vince play with the station dial in order to locate the signal from the consoles and tune in the picture. Then there is the ghostly way the TV reconstructs the images in hazy detail. The snow falling in the opening of Horizon Zero Dawn is particularly haunting to see, like a bizarre fan version of Poltergeist starring Alloy.
None of it though can surpass the weirdness of the Videosphere itself, a glass fishbowl that looks like it would be more at home in a video game than playing one.