This past week I had an incredible urge to play the original Katamari Damacy videogame on my old Playstation 2. Unfortunately, the PS2 does not play well with modern HD TVs, as the allowable video modes for the PS2 are often not supported. If you try and plug in a PS2 to a new TV, even using the more advanced component cables, you probably won’t get anything.
Fortunately, you can buy a cool PS2 to HDMI converter these days, such as the one shown below, for only about $16.
Unfortunately, the instructions that come with the converter are a little misleading and incomplete, and there doesn’t seem to be an online resource that includes all the info you need to set it up properly. Even though it isn’t hard, there are a few pitfalls: it took me a few tries to figure out exactly what I needed to do in order to get it to work.
I thought I would post the instructions here, both for anyone who wants a one stop explainer as well as for myself, so I don’t forget!
So, the device itself is simplicity itself: one end plugs directly into the PS2, the other end has an output for an HDMI cable. You can run the cable to an available TV port.
Pitfall 1: if you skim the advertisements for the converter, it says the following: “Hassle free! No power adapter, no messy cords, just one HDMI cable. Plug and play as you go.”
Makes it sound like it doesn’t need power, right? Well, it actually needs USB power, and it comes with a short USB cord.
Pitfall 2: if you’ve never actually used it, like me, you might not realize that the PS2 has a pair of USB ports which you can use to provide power to the converter. (I was plugging it into a USB power outlet cube on my first try.) So you can plug it right in, and the whole arrangement looks as follows.
Pitfall 3: Okay, you’ve plugged it in, turned it on, turned on the TV, switched to the proper HDMI port and… nothing.
The problem is that the PS2 has two video output modes: composite video (red/white audio, yellow video cables) and YPBPR component video (red, green and blue cables). The converter is designed to function only in the YPBPR component mode, but apparently defaults to composite video, so you need to switch it. But how do you change the video mode without seeing it?
Via knowledge of the unseen menus. As described on this Overclock help page, from the point where you turn on the PS2, perform the following steps on the PS2 controller:
wait like 10 seconds – 20 seconds
push [down] [X] (this brings you to system settings)
[down] [down] [down] [X] (this brings you to component video selection)
push [right] then [X]
(Left, right, up, down are on the D-pad on the left of the controller.)
If you’ve done all of this correctly, it should in principle work like a charm! The picture quality is pretty good, considering it is an 18 year old video game console.
One caveat: it may not work properly with all televisions. I have a Samsung, and it is working like a charm for me; other people online have reported various issues. But for $16, it may be worth the risk to you!
Funny you mention this – I was in the mood recently to play Katamari Damacy again and discovered that my PS3 is not backwards compatible. I didn’t know of these adapters, so I wound up buying a digital copy of the game on the PS store. Oi.
Ha! Yeah, I never had a PS3, so I didn’t have that option. And I’m kinda delighted that I can play all of my PS2 favorites.
Worked like an absolute freaking charm. Thank you so much. Been searching for hours for the fix and this was the only good one I came across.
Great! You’re welcome.
Hello! Sorry this question is a bit late, but does this converter also carry audio across the HDMI cable?
(think I just answered my own question with a Google search, durrr ) 😀
I’ve just followed your instructions and it worked perfectly. I’m impressed!
Glad to hear it!
Hi -I’ve tried all this -have all the lights on my old PS2 and handset and trid every channel on my tv…nothing but ‘no signal’ msg??
Hopefully you’ve selected the YPbPr video mode on your PS2 dashboard. It only works in that mode.
Hello from Poland!
First of all – it worked in my case, too. Big thanks for that!!!
Please only notice one thing – it is worth mentioning that above instruction (to change video output mode) shall be done without any CD inserted. Maybe that was obvious for some of you, but wasn’t for me 😉
It wasn’t for me. But fortunately, I realized that before giving up.
I luckily still have old TV and the composite video cable to connect. So I figured I should plug it to my TV, change the settings, and then try with the converter and HDMI cable. That’s how I discovered I won’t get to the console menu with game CD inside.
This sounds awesome.
I’m definitely going to try this out and I have a Samsung TV!
The ps2 connects to all the tellys in the house except the one I want it to so this is great. Thanks for posting this.
I will post again after I’ve ordered and set it all up.
hey, I have an old ps2 slim however I am missing the cable needed to connect it to a tv. All I have is the power cord. I don’t know what cable it is I need, how to connect it, or if I even can on my tv. I have a newer sony tv, probably a 2017, and I need some help on this one
With the adapter all you need is the power cord and an HDMI cable. The adapter plugs into the PS2 directly so there is no need for the original cables.
Is much better if you use a homebrew called GSM or Xploder. You can get a memory card with freemcboot on ebay that will allow you to run it on a unmodified console it is pretty cheap. This will allow you to force every game to run at 480P or 1080i. Or you can also do the same with open PS2 loader
I’m having trouble. When I play a ps2 game it works fine but when I play a ps1 game my tv looses the signal after the PlayStation logo appears. Any idea how to fix that?
Dude mine used to do that too, if u can’t find anything else, you might just need to get a different TV. 👌
You could try and change the settings in the system settings to YPbPr before using the hdmi converter instead of doing it blindly. I did it using the red white yellow cable then switched to hdmi. Worked for me. Also set display setting to smooth.
Hi Dave, this probably going to be a daft question. Once you’ve set the system to YPbPr does it stay locked to that setting. I would hate to have to do this everytime I switch the machine on
Thank you so much, job done looks amazing as if I had PS4!
Thank you so much for your help with this!!!!!!
Thanks so much, my other half was convinced this wouldn’t work and I proved him wrong with your help!
I have a different converter and it has a bit of delay. This makes it useless trying to play a game when you push a button and the character moves a millisecond later.
Is there any delay with this converter?
THANK YOU. HOLY SHIT. MY BEST BUDDY AND I WERE PULLING OUT OUR FUCKING HAIR OVER THIS THING. THE MENU THING WORKED LIKE A CHARM.
Help i did all of this but it didnt work what should i do?
if i need to buy anoyher ps2 its not a problem but does that help?
or is it better to buy a backwards compatible ps3 or ps3 test model?
or is it my tv? (i have a samsung 7 series)
i also have a problem that my controllers dont light up (all 6 of them)
is this a sign that my ps2 is wrecked?
what’s the input lag like?
i ask because for music games like Beatmania, DDR, bust-a-moove etc. input lag kills any way of playing these games.
I have this one, you dont need power cable when using it in slim models.power cable are for phat models
Will it still work if I plug the usb cord into my tv port, instead of into the ps2 itself (as shown in the photo) to power it? I need both usb ports on my ps2 for the guitar and drums for the RockBand game.
Actually you think that you got something better than component but actually you don’t. These adapter are just an analog to digital converter it just takes the component signal and pass through HDMI. That is the SAME component signal that you could have with component cables but without the quality loss of the analog to digital conversion. That why you have to change from RGB to component that is just the same component signal on a HDMI
hello, I need some help, when I do it its just sliver? and is there any way to change it back to colour?
Hey, thank you very much for the explanation ! I’ve followed every step and it seemed to work, until the PS2 symbol screen. Everytime I launch a game it leads me back to my TV menu… can you help ?
I have everything set up correctly an i have audio in the main dashboard area were you see your game data and disk to start the game, when i start up the game there is no game audio. Please help
Thanks, works like a charm. Now for some Front Mission 4.
Just bought one of these converter but not having any look getting it to work. I know the ps2 is working ok as Iv had it working on a tv with scart connection. It’s on the right setting when on the scart and iv tried doing the step by step method. Iv tried it on 2 different make tv without success. Anyone any ideas for my. Would appreciate. Thanks
So i followed the steps you provided, (which was extremely helpful) and i still get the “no signal”. Could this be because my tv just doesnt support it?? But my tv supprts my n64 and works just fine… could i be messing something up or os my tv just being complicated. I also get sound through the converter but no video. Should i replace the actual port itself? Is that even possible?
Can this work with a PS2 Slim?
Yes, this what you need. Were playing underground right now!!! 5 star product.
Also make sure every thing is in 16/9 tv and ps2!!! Works great tho!!! 5 star product! It dose work just figure out what setting needs to be changed took two hours for me to get it tho.
Does this work for the old school thicker ps2 as well?
Thank you so much!!!
Just connected our old play station2 to the TV.
You made my youngest son very very happy.
Now he can play with his older brother’s games.
My ps2 came with a red yellow and white cable but my tv doesn’t have a yellow cable and I think that’s the problem but it’s not working so I need help.
This did work but you can change the settings
Before you connect the hdmi connector but this was really helpful cheers
My ps2 works until it loads the actual game itself then the source goes off. Any ideas?
Can you not play PS1 games with this? It works for PS2 games but not PS1.
The PS2 is backward compatible with PS1 games. You simply need to use a PS1 memory card and you’re set.
Probably your TV doesn’t support 240p resolution which the ps1 games runs in. A lot of modern TVs and monitors doesn’t support this. I’m also looking for a solution to be able to play ps1 games on my ps2, if anybody knows one, without buying a ps3 or an old monitor.
Hi,bit late into this chat,but,I’ve used a av converter, In a Samsung tv,picture Is fine,but singstar doesn’t register both mics and doesn’t pick up mic in the game,they work before game starts,would this be a sound conversion problem?
You’re a genius, thank you!!!!
It worked a treat, thought I had wasted my money but found this when searching on the off chance before returning the converter.
Mind blown! Well happy can play ps2 on Samsung tv now
Hi i have a small ps2 and i want to connect it to my HDTV.
It is a new tv from around 2018/19 the tv have composite and component but the picture quality from composite is not really good so i want to buy a component cable but i have a video cable for the ps2 it have scart and s-video and i used it on a old HDTV from Sony that tv had scart and was from around 2009.
I play only ps2 games and most are race games.
Is it better to buy a component cable or a scart to hdmi converter?
Some people did buy a scart to hdmi converter and it didn’t worked well.
i have a startimes flat tv how can i connect ps2 to it?
I’ve installed the hdmi converter but won’t get past the no signal screen. When first installed it it would start to load and then switch to the no signal or the config screen. Now I can’t even do that. Any info would be great. I’m using a TCL tv
the converter didn’t work for me
I can’t get the converter to work either. Should you change the video component every time you turn it on? I had to change the setting by borring some elses tv, would it be that the setting reset when the power go off?
Hero! Thank you so much. It was driving me bonkers lol
PS2 use power adapter so I wanna ask you, I see the picture you show I didn’t see the power adapter and I’ve read the user manual it’s say no power adapter, no messy so I wanna know the manual mean no power adapter for the Ps2 to Hdmi or the Ps2.
I would really appreciate if someone can answer this question for me.
Your method worked brilliantly on my Samsung TV. Thanks for your most useful article.
1 word …… LEGEND!!!!!
Thank you very much for posting this info. It saved my wife from great disappointment when her ps2 wouldn’t work we thought we had wasted our money on an out of date machine.
Thanks to your advice we can now play our retro games to our hearts content.
Glad to hear it!
Hi have hdmi ps2 converter
It was great first time. Even worked with ps1 game. it was cool but the next day I went to play and the screen keeps blinking black on and off can still play ps1 game on ps2 but hassle please help me to fix. Thanks
Are the connectors fully push in?
Otherwise there may be a broken wire?