TV Tester

This is a battery operated signal generator / tester for CRT and LCD television sets. It intended to be taken on the road to test old TVs and monitors. CRT TVs are getting less and less common and many are in the process of failing due to old electrolytic capacitors. It’s always good to test one on-site before dragging it home only to find out that it doesn’t work well.

The tester supports the common SDTV resolutions commonly supported by older CRT TVs and some LCD panels. The tester will help you confirm whether the TV can display a 240p signal and a 480p signal. Older TVs may not be able to display a 480p signal properly, a format that is used by 3rd and 4th generation consoles like the X-Box and PS2. Newer TVs may not be able to able to display a 240p signal over RGB or Component which is used by arcade games and RGB / Component modded consoles.

Having one of these handy will definitely help you find that perfect CRT TV for your arcade and vintage gaming needs.

Here are some of the features of the TV Test Dongle:

  • Tiny – half the size of a credit card and it fits in your pocket
  • Battery Operated – about 5 hours battery life on a CR2032
  • Supports the signals
    • RGB (with separate composite sync)
    • Component Video
    • Composite Video compatible in black and white mode only
    • DOES NOT support RF signals
  • Supports following TV video modes:
    • 240p – arcade monitor compatible or modded console
    • 480i – standard video mode supported by all TVs
    • 480p – supported by newer sets and 3rd / 4th gen consoles
  • Supports the following tests in each mode:
    • Grid – for geometry and contrast checks
    • Checkerboard – for geometry and convergence checks
    • Color Bars – for color check and adjustment
    • Solid Color – for burn in and degaussing
    • Running Color Bars – bloom and color uniformity
    • Hollow / Filled Box – for bloom artifact check
    • Text – for yoke polarity checks
  • Battery life indicator shows battery status through MODE LED.
    • LED always on – full battery
    • Duration of on/off cycle indicates battery depletion level
    • 50% off/on blink – nearly dead

To operate the tester, use Component cables to connect it to the Component (Green, Blue and Red RCA jacks) on your TV port or similar RGB inputs if your TV supports that. Turn the tester on. For composite connect the yellow wire to the Y socket on the tester.

Use the RGB / COMP switch to switch between RGB and Component video signals. Using the wrong signal will cause your TV not to sync, or display nothing or possibly wrong colors.

Press the MODE button to cycle through the available video modes, and TEST to cycle through the tests.

Here are some images of the TV Tester in action.

Here is a video of the testers which also includes the TV Tester.

Here is a guide on how to use to tests to confirm proper operation of a monitor and adjustments.