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Hook Up Your PSP Go to Your HDTV


Cost: Around $60

Time: 45 minutes

Tech-savviness required: Medium

Also required: PlayStation 3, PS3 wireless DualShock 3, DualShock 3 charger cable.

For the last couple of E3s, Sony has touted the PSP's ability to output a video signal to a television. My response: Big whoop.

The raison d'etre for a portable machine is that it is portable. Take away its portability by tethering it to a TV, boom, it no longer has a reason for being.

I admit, I've been using the PSP Go far more than I thought I would in the months since its release. It's not a bad little machine, all told. My constant need to keep it charged led me to investigate cradle options. While purchasing a first-party cradle from my local game store, the cashier asked if I also wanted the component cords to hook it up to my TV.

"What the heck," I said, laying out the credit card.

So began my quest to pipe a signal from the PSP Go through my 42-inch HDTV.

Yes, Kaz Hirai, I accept my plate of crow.

Mmm, crow.

STEP 1: Head to your local electronics shop or game emporium. You'll need to purchase a PSP Go Cradle and a PSP Go Component AV Cable. Each item costs around $30.

STEP 2: Go home. You know the way.

STEP 3: Find a box cutter or a sturdy pair of scissors. These items come packaged in those dreadful plastic-armor bubbles. Piercing the bubbles is no small task. Be careful. Always cut away from your soft, exposed belly. Be especially careful when cutting open the component cables. Cut too deep into the armor, and you run the risk of cutting the actual cables. If this happens: Epic fail.

Also: Never run with scissors. Your mom was right about that.

OK, let's focus on the cradle.

STEP 4: Prepare to be upset for several minutes. Neither item comes with explicit instructions on how to do any of this. The box for each item suggests that you consult the PSP Go operating manual, which by some miracle, I had not thrown in the trash.

Fact: The PSP Go's operating manual -- which is several hundred pages long -- is, pretty much useless. There is no information in this book that is useful on this subject.

Another fact: The first-party cradle does not come packaged with an AC cable. What Sony expects you to do is use the charger cable that comes packaged with the PSP Go. Unfortunately, if you're using the charger cable to power the cradle, that means you no longer have a charger cord to take with you when you travel. (Unless, of course, you go through the trouble of unhooking the thing and taking it with you.) I feel like I spend around 8 percent of my life looking for cords, coiling cords or shopping for new cords that I #$%@ing left in a hotel room in Tokyo.

Fortunately, the charger cable from an older-model PSP, which you will ostensibly no longer be using anyway, will work just fine. Plug the little end of the cable into the back of the cradle, and the prongs into a nearby outlet.

The cradle now has power. Woot.

STEP 5: Now it's time to deal with the component cables. Plug them into the appropriate slots on the back of your HDTV, or your receiver, if you're using a home-theater setup. Warning: It's very easy to mix up the blue and the green slots, because blue and green look very similar, especially when you are working in a shadowy, confined space like the space behind your television.

Once the cables are in place, plug the other end of the component cables into the back of the cradle.

STEP 6: It's Bluetooth time. Time to sync up a PS3 controller with the PSP Go. Switch on the PSP Go, scroll left into the Settings menu, then scroll down until you find the Bluetooth Device Settings symbol. Click on it.

First, turn on the Bluetooth Connection. It defaults to "off." Once it's on, a blue light will begin to flash on the top-right-hand side of the unit. Bluetooth is now enabled.

Next: You need to go into the Manage Bluetooth Devices menu. Switch on your PS3. Make sure you have your DualShock and the DualShock charger cable handy.

The PSP Go's charger cable splits into two parts. Part one goes from the prongs to a small square box. Part two goes from the USB end to the end that plugs into the PSP Go itself. You will need part two for this step.

The PSP Go does an OK job of walking you through the necessary steps for registering a DualShock as a recognizable Bluetooth device. In short, you'll need to connect part two of the PSP Go's charger cable (USB end to flat end) to the PS3 (USB end into a USB port on the PS3; flat end into the bottom of the PSP Go), while also connecting the DualShock to the PS3.

Follow the prompts on the PSP Go's screen.

If this sounds convoluted, that's because it is.

But you can do it.

If I can, you can.

Oh, and one more thing. The DualShock, once registered, will stay connected to the PSP Go unless (or rather, until) you connect it back to the PS3 again. Once this happens, you'll have to repeat these steps, cords and all, in order to reconnect the DualShock to the PSP Go.

It's not perfect. It's not even close to perfect.

But it works.

STEP 7: Place the PSP Go into the cradle. You would expect the cradle to snap into place with a satisfying, it's-in "thunk." It does not. It just kind of rests in the cradle.

If the little yellow it's-charging light is glowing on the right-hand side of the PSP Go, that means it's charging, and that means it's in.

STEP 8: On the PSP Go's tiny screen, scroll all the way over to the left in the Cross Media Bar, and look for the Connected Display Settings symbol. Yes, I realize this is difficult to do with the PSP Go in its cradle. Hang in there.

Here you can manage the display settings that will be output to the HDTV. You can monkey with 4:3 or 16:9, Progressive or Interlaced, and Flicker Reduction.

Make sure you have your HDTV turned on, and that the Input settings are matched to where the component cables are plugged in. Example: My cables are plugged into Component 2, because the Wii is plugged into Component 1.

STEP 9: And this is where things can get a little hairy. For some reason my PSP Go and HDTV would not get along. And so began the troubleshooting portion of tonight's program...

Though my settings were correct -- 16:9, Progressive Scan, etc. -- the signal still was not making it to the HDTV. I kept getting a grayed-out screen prompting me to CONNECT AN AV CABLE.

"BUT AN AV CABLE IS CONNECTED!" I shouted. I even double-checked the blue and green cables, to make sure they were in the right places. (They were.) I searched the Net. (Which was no help. Which is why I wrote this.) I phoned a tech-savvy friend for advice. (No help, either.) In the end, out of options and getting desperate and frustrated, I began tinkering with the display settings.

Question for the cosmos and/or Bill Gates: Why is there always a big, amorphous gray area when it comes to electronics? Why does it almost always end up with me simply trying random things?

With hope dwindling, I finally managed to make something good happen. For some reason, when I switched the settings on the PSP Go to 4:3 and Interlaced, the signal went through. The DualShock began working.

In the words of Dr. Frankenstein: It's alive.

Using the DualShock, I adjusted the output settings in the PSP Go's Cross Media Bar on my 42-inch HDTV. With 16:9 and Progressive Scan blazing away in all their glory, I proceeded to download Tekken 6 for the PSP Go (not bad!). I also checked out some of the old PlayStation titles now available in the PSN Store, like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Verdict: also not bad!

After the flush of success began to wear off (10 mins.), after the novelty of playing a portable machine on my big-screen television faded, I powered the whole thing down.

Will I bother to use the big screen for my future PSP Go reviews? We'll see. If the pain-in-the-butt factor winds up trumping the accessibility of just flipping the damn thing open and getting down to business, I'd guess not.

Meanwhile: Cosmos/Bill Gates: I am patiently waiting for an answer.


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