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Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:41 pm
by Markies
I can't believe I have never posted in this thread...

So, I actually do not own any HD Consoles. I am truly old school, so the two televisions I own are CRT's. One, I have had for almost 20 years, which is a 27" Philips CRT that I play all of my really old school consoles on (NES, GEN, SNES & N64).

The other, I got for free from my Brother In Law. My sister wanted him to get rid of it as it is giant and really heavy. I've had it for almost a decade now and he tells me that he misses it. It is a 27" WEGA Sony Trinitron.

Now, I don't use both of them very often. I probably run the Philips the most because I watch Television on it. But, for both of them, I only run them like a few hours each day. I haven't had any issues and I hope to always have a CRT with me. The picture is just beautiful, especially for Retro or SD games.

Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:55 am
by Anapan
Nice! 27" is a really good size for getting optimal picture from SD content - esp. with the dot pitch of the last gen of CRTs. I've been tuning a 27" screen's geometry setting up to be a cocktail cab, and I'm very happy with the picture it's showing.

Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:47 pm
by samsonlonghair
Blu wrote:New decade, I'm curious if anyone is able to find CRT TVs, let alone a PVM. I really don't know where to begin to search for PVM's in Dallas, but I'd love to have a 13-20 inch Sony. Has anyone had any success?

I can still find CRTs for sale. The problem nowadays is the noisy flyback transformers. Some people are more sensitive to this than others. Just speaking personally, that noisy flyback transformer sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me. It seems like the majority of surviving CRTs exhibit this problem. I'm having a hard time finding any CRT that doesn't make that terrible noise. Some CRTs make that sound even when they're turned off. I have to unplug them to stop the ear-piercing noise.

Sometimes I wonder if the problem was always there. I remember hearing the sound when I was a child, but not so often. Maybe I was just tuning it out because all the TVs made that sound. I don't think that's the case, but I second guess myself sometimes.

Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:50 pm
by marurun
Yeah, that high-pitched whine drives me nuts. Any way to fix that?

Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:19 pm
by Anapan
I have a 6" TV that made the noise even when off. It can run off AC or DC, and I found when running off DC, the noise doesn't happen.
In this case I think it was a noisy ceramic capacitor that is bypassed when using a DC adapter.
I read that in most, it's the ferrite core of the flyback transformer. The usual recommendation is to replace the transformer, tho I've also read that using heat-resistant epoxy can stop the noise.

Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:29 pm
by Blu
The more I'm reading, a high quality CRT might be the way to go if you don't want to go down the rabbit hole of PVM and the appropriate modding and cabling. Is that accurate or am I offbase? Is it really fiddly or is it something you can do pretty easy?

Is there a CRT that can get you VGA and S-Video, possibly component inputs?

Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:55 am
by Anapan
I'd love to own a tri-sync arcade CRT that can do 15khz, 24khz, and 32khz RGB perfectly. Typically, if a consumer (Standard Definition) CRT Television accepts S-Video, it will only accept a 15khz signal and it will display 240p or 480i well, but not 480p; Likewise if a CRT monitor has a VGA input, it can usually only function @ 32Khz and will display a 480p+ signal well, but cannot display a 240p or 480i signal.

You can get a line-doubler, or upscaler that will take a 240p or 480i 15khz signal and convert it to a 32khz 480p signal for display on a CRT computer monitor or HDTV like the RetroTINK-2X line-doubler, or a Micomsoft XRGB scaler. When line-doubling 240 lines to 480 lines, you'll see two scanlines for every one that would normally be displayed (example pic). The devices often allow you to dim or blank every second line, but this results in very thin scanlines with a thick black band between every one compared to a SD CRT.

I read about EDTV (Enhanced Definition Television) screens, but have never seen one in action. They only existed for a few years before HDTV was common. They display max 480P and also display SD signals perfectly.

I've owned a few HD CRT televisions - those huge 200+Lbs wide screen displays and their image was always horrible. They are built to display 540p and always muck up the image with scaling and some weird smoothing/blur. No scan-lines visible & no clean image no matter what.
If I lost anyone with all this signal jargon, check out retrorgb.com
edit: fixed

Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:27 am
by Ziggy587
marurun wrote:Yeah, that high-pitched whine drives me nuts. Any way to fix that?


Maybe I loss some range in my hearing as I'm aging? I have several CRTs, and although I haven't used many of them in years I don't recall having an issue with the high pitch whine with any of them. And I have heard that whine before, so I know exactly what you guys are talking about. Lately I've been using my 13" PVM a lot and it's silent.

Blu wrote:The more I'm reading, a high quality CRT might be the way to go if you don't want to go down the rabbit hole of PVM and the appropriate modding and cabling. Is that accurate or am I offbase? Is it really fiddly or is it something you can do pretty easy?

Is there a CRT that can get you VGA and S-Video, possibly component inputs?


Are you saying you don't want to get a PVM because you would then have to invest money in RGB cables and modding consoles that don't output RGB? Well how about this as an option: You don't have to use RGB for every console and you'd still have an awesome CRT if you get a PVM. My PVM has composite, S-Video and RGB inputs. Later and/or better models also have YPbPr component. Right now I have almost everything hooked up to it with RGB cables. But my NES is still composite (I have the NESRGB kit but haven't had a chance to install it yet) and I don't mind using it that way. Every now and then I'll swap my Genesis to composite just to appreciate the fake transparency and smearing "composhit" dithering effects. And I was using composite for my PC Engine when I first got it, until I got the SSDS3.

My point is, just because you have a PVM doesn't mean you can only use RGB signals. If you get a PVM, then acquire the RGB cables slowly over time. Get RGB cables right away for the console(s) you care about most. Join the mailing list for retrogamingcables.co.uk and take advantage of sales and promo codes (I waited for a Black Friday promo code to pick up the last cable I got from them). You can still enjoy composite and S-Video on the PVM until you eventually upgrade. Or you might realize that you don't even care to upgrade. And as for modding, very few consoles need to be modified. I guess the big two are the NES and N64. Most other mainstream consoles (post NES) output RGB stock.

I'd also like to point out that the quality of the cables matters less on a CRT than an HDTV and a scaler. It seems like it would matter more, but I guess upscaling the image also upscales the problems. You can use lower quality RGB cables on your PVM and get fine results, just be sure the cables are wired correctly! I have a really cheap Genesis RGB cable that I got from someone that said he had horrible results using it with a scaler. I use it with my PVM, and aside from audio hum on a white screen, it looks great! So don't be afraid to pick up some cheap RGB cables from eBay. Again, just be sure they're wired correctly for the console and region.

But if you just want to go the consumer CRT route, that's fine too! For retro game consoles, using composite and S-Video on a consumer CRT is a million times better than the highest quality RGB cables with the best upscaler and lowest lag HDTV. The CRT is also infinitely easier to set up.

I have a Framemeister, but I got sick of how complicated it is to use. I didn't have access to my stash of CRTs, so I picked up a 13" Sony Trinitron (bubble screen consumer CRT) that only had a composite input. And I enjoyed the hell out of using it! So much so that I decided to pick up the 13" PVM that I have now. I was always scared to get a 13" screen, but if you can sit close to it then it doesn't matter at all. My point is, my 13" bubble screen with only composite CRT was so much more enjoyable than an HDTV.

For VGA inputs on a consumer CRT, as far as I know that only exists on those HD CRT. But I would stay away from those. Am I right in assuming you're only asking about VGA for the Dreamcast? Well, a consumer CRT will only do 480i, so you don't have to worry about VGA for the Dreamcast in this case. Just use S-Video or RGB.

Older model CRTs wont have S-Video inputs, but it's very common on later models. Component is also very common on post 2000 models. If you hunt a Sony Wega (that's their flat screen Trinitron models) I'm pretty sure they will all have S-Video and component inputs.

Anapan wrote:I've owned a few HD CRT televisions - those huge 200+Lbs wide screen displays and their image was always horrible. They are built to display 525i and always muck up the image with scaling and some weird smoothing/blur. No scan-lines visible & no clean image no matter what.


A lot of people complain that they digitize SD content and they're not desirable for that reason. At least, not for retro gamers.

Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:22 am
by Jagosaurus
I've seen some rhythm players (DDR, etc) say they can tell difference between HDCRTs & SDCRTs with display lag. I have zero experience in that community though. I remember HDCRTs still being big in Halo community around 2010, but I think it's bc the early LCDs were pretty rough on lag & picture.

Pretty cool there's no native res on HDCRTs.

I have watched 1080p BluRays on them. Beautiful. Haven't played many games on them.

Re: How many of you are actually still using CRT TVs?

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:26 am
by JoeAwesome
What I hear is HDCRTs downscale from 1080i, and that's how lag is introduced. I didn't notice it much in my gaming, but I didn't play many shmups or rhythm games on it (if at all).

That HDCRT has recently been let go, but finally, I've found some PVMs at a fair price. The picture's sooooo nice, but I've got to move at least one on. HMU Jag :lol: