Released in late 1993, the HVC-101, or A/V Famicom was a total redesign of Nintendo’s Family Computer console. Unlike the Nintendo Entertainment System and the original Family Computer, the A/V Famicom is cosmetically identical to the NES model 2 in every way, except the size of the cartidge slot. Internally, however, the A/V Famicom houses the same, albeit condensed, Famicom guts. The NES model 2, however, is far inferior when compared to the original Nintendo. Although the problems with the zero insertion force (ZIF) cartridge loading mechanism have been addressed by making the console top loading, the NES model 2 also lacks the original’s A/V outs and relies solely on an RF connection. On top of this, scan lines are a major problem with the system because it has virtually no RF shielding.
The A/V Famicom was packaged with the console itself and two of the redesigned “dog bone” controllers. The power adapter and proprietary A/V cord were sold separately. The A/V cord is the same as one used for the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and Gamecube although it does not output S-Video and the original cord came with only one audio out (mon0).
The controllers are again exactly the same as the North American redesigned counterparts, save for the information stamp on the back;
The controllers were yet another added feature to the A/V Famicom, as they were no longer hard wired to the console, had much longer cables, and could be switched out. The ports are compatible with original Nintendo North American controllers, although an internal mod is required before the NES Zapper can be used.
The A/V Famicom is by far the preferred console of choice for fans of the Family Computer because it eliminates the hassle of trying to get an original Famicom’s RF signal to come through on non-Japanese TV, and also due to it’s lesser price tag comapred to the only other licensed Famicom console with A/V capabilities, the Sharp Twin Famicom.