The Best Way to Connect a PS2 to an HDTV
By Aaron Parson
Updated September 22, 2017
Unlike more recent consoles, the PlayStation 2 does not support an HDMI cable, which offers the best possible video on HDTVs. Instead, buy a set of component cables. The component variety improves video quality compared to the composite cables included with the PS2, but won't eliminate the input lag caused by playing on an HDTV. Most game stores no longer sell PS2 cables, but the PS3's component cables will work on the older system.
Improvements Over Composite Cables
Unlike composite cables, which carry video data in a single cable, component cables split video signals into three parts, resulting in improved color quality. Component cables allow you to turn on progressive scan mode in compatible games. Once set up in each game, this mode eliminates the flickering lines that can occur on large TVs. Connecting component cables also makes certain games run in high definition, but only two games in the U.S., "Gran Turismo 4" and "Tourist Trophy," actually have this feature.
Component Video Setup
After hooking up a PS2 with component cables, turn on the console without a game inserted and open the "System Configuration" menu. Set "Component Video Out" to "Y Cb/Pb Cr/Pr" and change "Screen Size" to "16:9." Not all games support 16:9 widescreen, and you might need to set the screen size in each game's options menu as well. The PS2's progressive scan support also varies from game to game, so check the in-game settings. If you can't find a progressive scan option, try holding "Triangle" and "X" while the game loads to pop up the setting.
Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.