Skip to Content

Does Atari Work On New TVs?

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


Do you own an Atari and just can’t get it to work on your new TV? Maybe you are considering buying an Atari, and wanna make sure it can work on newer tvs. No matter what your problem is, we have the answer. 

So does Atari work on new tvs? 

Although the original Atari has a coaxial connection that is not on modern Tvs, you can simply buy an adapter for just a few dollars. This adapter will then make your Atari console able to play in modern TVs. 

If you are wanting to know more about the compatibility of the Atari and newer tvs, you will want to keep reading. If you learn better by visuals, here is a video showing you how to connect your Atari to a modern TV. 

If you are an old-school Atari lover then you have to get a classic Atari T-Shirt to show it! To see the most popular Atari T-Shirt retro designs that will stay classics for years just click here.

Atari Flashback 8 Gold Console HDMI 120 Games 2 Wireless Controllers

If you love all things Atari then you have to check out this awesome Atari Flashback console.

The Atari Flashback 8 comes with two wireless controllers (YES, WIRELESS!) two paddle controllers, and 120 authentic Atari games.

Can I connect an Atari to my new TV?

So you have an Atari console, but with a new model TV set, you don’t know if it can be connected. In summary, yes, the connection is possible, but it is easier said than done. Modern TV sets make use of modern connection systems with cables like HDMI, which is not the case with an Atari console. The Atari switch box was designed to work with old TV sets, and the port where it would be connected is no longer what it used on TVs. Although the AV port still exists, advancements in technology means that the port is not what it used to be and will often not work with the original Atari. 

It has changed to a more effective and efficient port, which the Atari cable cannot fit into. The console is not useless as there are adapters in existence that can help link your Atari to your TV. These adapters are easy to find and only cost a few dollars.  You can find these adapters in many electronic stores, or you can order one here and have it delivered in two days! . With this adapter, you are one step closer to having your Atari console working with your TV set. You can also purchase the Atari flashback for quite cheap that is designed to hook up to modern TVs, you can find it here

How do I connect the Atari to my modern TV set?

Once you have obtained an F connector adapter, you need to know what to do. If you don’t follow the right procedure, you will end up not playing the Atari on your TV. In some cases, you can tamper with some connecting cables and ruin the Atari. So it is best to know what you are doing as well as the things to avoid, so you don’t damage your Atari permanently.

If you follow the simple steps listed below, you will have your Atari connected to your TV set, and working:

1. Connect the console to the F connector

The F Connector adapter will help connect your Atari to your TV set. Remove the switchbox as it can serve no further function. Plug in the RCA cable of the Atari into the F connector adapter. This will link your Atari cable to the F connector adapter. The F connector adapter uses a connector that is suitable for the antenna port at the back of your TV set. This system is similar to the connection of the switchbox that would connect directly to the back of older TV sets. At this point, you can plug in your Atari and start playing. However, it is possible to get some interference while playing, but this can be solved.

2. Connect an RF interference filter

If you notice interference while playing your Atari, you may want to fix that. In some cases, you may want to get the best experience possible, and to achieve this; you will need an RF interference filter. It is a modern piece of equipment that looks like and performs functions that are like that of a switch box. You need to connect the F connector to the RF interference filter. When this connection is complete, you join the RF interference filter to the back of your TV set. The main aim of changing the kind of antenna ports attached to TV sets was to improve the viewing experience. With better picture quality and stronger signals, this is achieved. The RF interference filter improves the signal from the Atari to a signal that the TV can pick up easily. This will give you a better experience.

3. Toggle the channel dial

There is a switch located behind your Atari labeled channel 2-3. This switch determines what channel the signal will be transmitted to. If the switch is on channel 2, it will only transmit the signal to channel 2. If it is on channel 3, it will only transmit to channel 3.

If after all the connection is complete and you turn on the Atari but get no picture, you may need to flip this switch. It should begin to receive the signal once this is done. If you are still not getting any signal, you may need to change the channel on your TV set to test if the signal is being broadcast on another channel. Some televisions would require you to change the source to the antenna if it was on HDMI at the time.

History of Atari

If you played Atari in your childhood, then you know it won’t just plug straight into modern tvs. Many people have likely never heard of Atari, and will perhaps wonder what it is. Well, before PlayStation, Xbox, and even Nintendo, there was Atari. From the late ’70s through the 90’s Atari was one of the most popular gaming options. At that time, televisions weren’t digital, and Atari was designed to connect with analog Televisions. 

Since the 2010s began, digital Televisions have taken over, and as a result, Analog TVs are no longer manufactured. So if you feel nostalgic and want to play your old Atari, you may have to find an older Television. Although this isn’t impossible, in today’s day and age, most people or thrift stores don’t even have them anymore. It may be possible if you can find a store that sells vintage products in working condition, or if you talk with your grandparents about what is in their attic. You can also search for one online, and you may get somebody who has one for free if you pick it up. 

To keep loyal customers happy, and to maintain a presence in the changing market, the Atari flashback was developed. This has the features of Atari and can give you some of the games. The flashback has limited capacities and only has a limited selection of games available to it. So if your favorite games are unavailable, you may have to play them the old fashioned way. Even with the limited games, the Atari Flashback has 120 games including titles such as Frogger, Pitfall, and so many others!


Once all these steps have been carried out, then the Atari should be working, and you can enjoy your game. If it still doesn’t work, then your Atari may be faulty, and you may have to get a new one, or you can try out the Atari flashback