How to Hook Up the Old Nintendo

By Ciele Edwards ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • RF switch cord
  • NES console
  • AC adapter
  • Game controllers
  • Game cartridge
  • AV cables
Hook your old Nintendo up to your television.

Released in 1985, the original Nintendo Entertainment System captured the attention of an entire generation of youngsters eager to experience the 8-bit graphics that were state-of-the-art in the mid-'80s. Today, the original NES has been mostly forgotten in the wake of more advanced gaming systems, such as the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, that boast better graphics and more interactive gameplay. Should you ever desire to revisit the nostalgia of old Nintendo games, however, the original NES can be connected to almost any television set.

Hook Up NES via RF Switch

Disconnect the cable line at the rear of your television set.

Plug the thin end of the RF switch cord into your NES through the adapter port located along the side of the control box. Connect the thick end to the "VHF in" port of your television set.

Connect the cable line to the RF switch via the port labeled "ANT".

Plug the AC adapter into the your Nintendo via the adapter port. The adapter port is located in the rear of the control box.

Plug the other end of the AC adapter into an electrical outlet.

Attach the game controllers via the ports provided in the front of the console.

Insert a game cartridge, press the “Power” button and play.

Hook Up NES via AV Cables

Hook the AV cables into the side of the NES via the AV port. The yellow cable should be hooked into the “video” slot, while the red and white cables should be inserted into the red and white "audio" slots.

Connect the other end of the AV cable into the television or VCR, again following the color coding.

Connect the AC adapter to your Nintendo by plugging it into the adapter port on the back of the console. Plug the receiving end of the AC adapter cord into an electrical outlet.

Attach the game controllers, insert a game cartridge, press “Power" and play.

Tip

If you opt to hook the NES up via cables and your cable currently is running through a VCR, you may unhook the cable line from the VCR and connect the NES cable directly to the VCR.

If you have not played your NES in some time, make sure to use a can of compressed air to spray any dust that may have accumulated inside the console and any game cartridges that you own before you attempt to use the system.

Make sure the 3/4 switch on the back of your Nintendo is properly set to match your television video settings.

Warning

If you own a 1993 version of the top-loading NES, you will not be able to hook the system up using AV cables--the console box does not support this method.

About the Author

Ciele Edwards holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been a consumer advocate and credit specialist for more than 10 years. She currently works in the real-estate industry as a consumer credit and debt specialist. Edwards has experience working with collections, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, loans and credit law.