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Did your parents think your console would ruin their TV?


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Mine didn't, fortunately, so I got to play my Atari 2600 on the 25" RCA color console TV in the living room (and later, my 7800 and NES). My cousin Mike however, wasn't so fortunate. He had to play his ColecoVision (and later, his NES) on his 12" B&W TV in his room. One time, after he got his NES in 1986, we tried to see if we could get away with hooking it up to his 27" color console TV in his living room (we had rented Ghosts 'n Goblins), and it looked awesome (it was my first time seeing the NES in color). But then his step-father wandered into the room and put an end to it, proclaiming that it would "ruin the color" on the TV.

 

I heard that claim from a lot of adults when I was a kid, and none of them had any technical knowledge of the situation whatsoever. Yes, static images can result in "burn-in", AKA: "screen burn" eventually, but static images from any video source can do this, not just from video games. I've never seen a TV with screen burn from a console, though I have seen them with screen burn from the scrolling information bar at the bottom of the screen on news channels. Monitors in arcade machines on location are particularly susceptible to it, because they are left on all day, every day, with the exact same game running. It is very unlikely that anyone would ever do the same thing with a console.

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I don't remember this from my family (tho heard it from other people). On the other hand, I remember my parents going "don't get so clsoe of the TV or you're going to damage your eyes".

 

And they were almost right in their mind as I needed glasses very young... but thansfully the eye specialist explained that TV was totally harmless, and that I didn't damaged my eyes because I was getting close to the TV, but that I was getting close to the TV because I couldn't see it right....

Edited by CatPix
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My parents fell for that one, so all gaming was done on a "lesser" tv that they found for free. It was a large console TV that had bad color and only played in monochrome. We used this into the early 90's. It was like black and white, but all tinted green.

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My parents were the exact opposite. We had an Intellivision growing up. The original box and all of the original games said, "For color TV viewing only". So my parents insisted that using the Intv on a Black & White TV would ruin the console. Most of the time the Intellivision was hooked up to the color TV in our living room. Sometimes my brother and I would move it to the B&W TV in my bedroom - despite my parents' objection.

 

After about a month the Intellivision broke. A common occurrence with some of the early Intellivisions. While my parents were able to get the store to replace the console under warranty, my brother and I were blamed because we had used the Black & White TV a few times.

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The first console I bought myself was an Atari 2600 when I was 7. They didn't think it would break the TV, but then again, I played it on my own bedroom TV, not our main living room TV. Interestingly, in the latter part of the 70s my parents had a Sears Pong console, but only hooked it up on occasion, i.e., they didn't leave it permanently connected to the one TV in the apartment.

 

When I got my first modem, my parents WERE concerned about me "breaking the telephone," so they were certainly not immune to irrational fears.

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My parents were the exact opposite. We had an Intellivision growing up. The original box and all of the original games said, "For color TV viewing only". So my parents insisted that using the Intv on a Black & White TV would ruin the console. Most of the time the Intellivision was hooked up to the color TV in our living room. Sometimes my brother and I would move it to the B&W TV in my bedroom - despite my parents' objection.

 

After about a month the Intellivision broke. A common occurrence with some of the early Intellivisions. While my parents were able to get the store to replace the console under warranty, my brother and I were blamed because we had used the Black & White TV a few times.

 

That's hilarious. Were you ever able to convince them otherwise?

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Hilarious only for people that aren't tech wise.

While it seems amusing for us, remember that they grew up in an environment where electronics was less common, simpler, and where safety rules were loose, if not nonexistant, so they would come in warning signs preventing them to not doing something, because there was no physical safety to prevent them to do so.

 

This+Machine+Has+No+Brain.jpg

 

Also people get confused easily with different technologies and mix up lots of different thing they hear, in addition to not understanding the basis of this.

 

It isn't much irrationnal that a lack of understanding from the underlying tech.

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Fortunately not. Santa Claus gave me my very own black-and-white TV at the same time he gave me my first 2600, but my mother was still nice enough to let me connect it to the color TV in the living room now and then. She would worry about the cable box connection getting messed up, but I don't remember her ever saying anything about the TV screen.

 

Just to go off on a tangent, I did scare myself a time or two when playing on the living room TV. The TV we had at the time was one of those you "program" manually, where each channel button has its own tuning dial and a slot to hold an overlay with the channel number. Naturally we had one of the buttons set to channel 3, for the cable box. Being a curious 8-or-so-year-old, one night I started fiddling with those dials, and then later discovered "Channel 3" wasn't showing anything. I kind of knew what I was doing, so I didn't panic too much, and just started spinning the dials again. Eventually I got "Channel 3" back on channel 3, and all was well. Mom never knew. :)

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I did remember the warning. It's why some 2600 games had color cycling to avoid the burn ins. Later generation games included warning about static image and burn in.

 

It's a moot point now. LCD generally don't suffer burn in and some of the later CRT also don't suffer either. If you have the plasma TV or a CRT based projection TV, those can suffer burn in.

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My parents were the exact opposite. We had an Intellivision growing up. The original box and all of the original games said, "For color TV viewing only". So my parents insisted that using the Intv on a Black & White TV would ruin the console. Most of the time the Intellivision was hooked up to the color TV in our living room. Sometimes my brother and I would move it to the B&W TV in my bedroom - despite my parents' objection.

 

After about a month the Intellivision broke. A common occurrence with some of the early Intellivisions. While my parents were able to get the store to replace the console under warranty, my brother and I were blamed because we had used the Black & White TV a few times.

 

 

 

That's hilarious. Were you ever able to convince them otherwise?

 

I tried to explain that the Intellivision does not know what kind of TV is is attached to. I even explained that the warnings on the box were there because some games were dependent on color for game play. (Horse Racing is a good example. We had this game.) I wasn't able to convince my parents. Eventually the Intellivision became less used, so nobody cared what TV I hooked it up to.

 

To this day my Dad doesn't have a good grasp on technology. I stopped trying to explain things years ago.

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My dad used to think that video game consoles would strain or hurt the TV, so we didn't hook the Atari 2600 or NES to the expensive living room TV. We did eventually hook the Sega Genesis to the living room TV. Unfortunately there was a compatibility issue with that TV because it was a Zenith. We had to order a special adapter from Sega.

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Heh, well I distinctly recall that rumor going around and a lot of adults buying onto it. Back in the Atari 2600 / Pong days, it did not matter to me as I had yet to have my own console BUT I did have a friend, Gord, I spend time over there every chance I could, stay over when allowed because he had a Atari 2600 and some of the best games but GET THIS his mother was really weird abut it, not only did she believe it would harm the TV being hooked up and turned on but in fact the moment you where finished you had to completely disconnect and put away the system, all of it, TV switch box and everything, turn it off and unplug it was not enough nope you had to completely disconnect it as well every single time, so stupid.

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It's a know fact that Sega messed up their RVB output on the Master System and Megadrive 1, which is why the French ones shipped with a special cable :

 

cable1.jpg

 

But I don't see how or why the other video out would be messed up, especially RF and composite, and I suppose it was composite.

 

I did remember the warning. It's why some 2600 games had color cycling to avoid the burn ins. Later generation games included warning about static image and burn in.

 

It's a moot point now. LCD generally don't suffer burn in and some of the later CRT also don't suffer either. If you have the plasma TV or a CRT based projection TV, those can suffer burn in.

 

LCD can suffer from screen burn. I have a ZTE smartphone that is 4/5 years old, and the original interface had a white upper bar. And when you turn the screen you can clearly see the place wheer the bar is.

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A few years ago when I was getting my MBA, plenty of LCD screens in the labs were showing a ghost from the log-in screen. I think it's more common than some think it is.

 

I was never told that playing games on a tv was harmful for it, but I was told that playing computer games was bad for the computer. They still let me play games on it, but my mother was insistent that she was right despite all attempts to explain to her that a computer game was just another computer program like any other.

Edited by Atariboy
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My parents were paranoid about burn-in but I think I came along too late for the 'bad for the TV by nature' myth to take hold.

 

An aside, I have trouble imagining Keatah as a child. I imagine him just appearing as a full grown adult talking about the wonders of emulation. :grin:

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Our first "console" was Atari Pong, and it did ruin our TV. Oddly enough, it was my father who bought it, because I don't think any of us kids had ever heard of Atari Pong. That didn't stop us from getting an Atari VCS for Christmas one year, complete with half a dozen games like Space Invaders, Missile Command, Air-Sea Battle, and a couple of others I'm not sure about (Canyon Bomber? Sky Diver? Adventure? Superman?)-- and, of course, Combat. It's hard to remember which games we got along with the console and which were bought later. I don't think any of us had asked for an Atari VCS, so it was probably my father's idea (again). Later on, when we bought Pac-Man, he played it nearly as much as I did-- and he still plays a web version of Pac-Man on his computer.

Edited by SeaGtGruff
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This is just the weirdest thing to me. I never heard my parents or any of my friends' parents growing up ever mention anything about video game systems being harmful to a television, but this was in the late 80's and early 90's so perhaps this particular rumor ran it's course before my time. I'd be really curious to know what started it though, since it seems to be fairly widespread and I had never even heard of it until today. Snopes.com and a few Google searches turned up nothing, so if anyone knows about the origin of this myth I'd be really interested in hearing about it.

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