Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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Anapan
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Re: CRT TV Shopping Guide

by Anapan Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:56 am

hmm, posting random thoughts... No responses to previous posts - didn't read through them all.

I've owned a lot of CRTs, and for a few years I tried my best to own any skirting-the-line capable-of-both SD and HD from cheap available crt-to-Plasma/LCD upgrades, buying any available at a good price in this range locally - many were at the time high-end consumer sets. No matter what - I failed - but only because they were the consumer side of displays. The ones that did HD and SD were these huge wide-screen 250LB monstrosities that were totally disappointing. They were almost all Toshiba brand and they all tried to filter the results, which was invariably horrible and distorted. The equivalent software filter on the PC side to explain the distortion is "eagle", tho eagle doesn't warp the definition and colours that badly even when fed composite.

Painful memories due to the effort moving the three of them to and from some places (they got passed around, tho at their best, they did make up a triple ~90 degree 720P setup.

They sucked, tho at the time it wasn't so apparent to anyone but me when I tried in vain to make them not suck through their service menus. It was not possible to fix their white balance, edge geometry distortion, SD filters, basic geometry or any other flaws. Improvements were made, but it was always a compromise

The only good 480P displays I've owned on the consumer side of things are PC RGB/VGA displays.

The oldest one I own is from 1991 and it is the most forgiving on bad sync signals. It consistently displays no artefacts with any of my consoles bad signals sent through SCART adapted directly to it's DB9 VGA port

It's actually been a decade-long struggle to get a set of video adapters that will make my consoles display an unwavering perfect display like this shitty (I kid) 14" display always shows. It can't even display a 1024x768 VGA signal, but it does show a stable picture without a BSOD every 5 minutes.

Of course you need to adapt your console signals from 15Khz to RGB, tho that hardware has been around since early PS1 era. The XRGB3 was/is the pinacle of the conversion to this display standard.

One time I bought a SONY 5" BVM SD CRT because of the great price and the "BVM" moniker. Bad buy simply because the vertical grille on a display that small causes unfixable moire patterns on all inputs.
The colour is the best of all my displays and since there's no adjustment, it's rendition of blue, green and red is technically infallible. It's color rendition is what I calibrate my other displays to, and the blue filter glasses test reaffirms it's BVM correctness. Irreguardless, The picture sucks. Do not buy.

Gotta mention, Given a correctly-wired cable (I built two myself and also bought one from ebay for $12) and one of the 15khz software/driver packages the VGA port can be transcoded directly to y-pb-pr without an expensive machine processing the result. While not really plug-and-play it is rewarding and cheap.

Plug-and play can be sorta obtained from Ultimarc and using their ArcadeVGA card. The older ones I still own and use do work well.

Most displays that have Component Y-PB-PR ports can be coaxed into displaying most arcade and nearly all console resolutions despite their inability to display 480P or other HD resolutions.

I'm still trying to tweak the PSP wide-screen resolution of 480x272@60hz onto these SD displays without warping and collor distortion as this is approaching the lower dot-clock limit before the image fails and the screen gives up...

I've been testing and readjusting the display limits of a couple of old televisions for a few years because even in their unfinished forms, a couple of WIP arcade cabs play and display games perfectly. There are some rolls of high-quality vinyl mack-tack that have been neglected too long.

I can't really recommend buying a color CRT without it having Composite Y/Pb/PR input, tho b&w can easily display a beautiful greyscale image through composite if you disable chroma)....

I actually do like how the Sega Saturn looks through S-Video on nearly all CRT displays. :wink:
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chuckster
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Re: CRT TV Shopping Guide

by chuckster Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:21 pm

Later Sony models are well-covered. I myself have a KV-27FS320 and it is immaculate. I'll post some comparisons between it and my Sony PVM 1354Q. The images are big so I'll link the album.

https://imgur.com/a/7ADnK

Also for consumer sets Toshiba, JVC, and Panasonic are generally good picks. I've even seen Sanyos that were pretty good with component. As a rule of thumb I'd say any post-2000 set with component is worth looking at. When looking at the set itself, look for excessive wear. CRTs are very robust in my experience but a busted up set is a good indicator that it may have been treated poorly in general (left on all night, burn-in, etc.).

Here's what I look for when I'm picking up sets:

1. Burn-in. If it's very light it may not be permanent, but generally a set with burn-in has been ran for a long time.
2. Dim tube. If the brightness is all the way up and the picture still isn't as bright as a standard LCD it may be on it's last leg. It could just need a few new caps, or the tube could be wearing out. Most older tubes will have a green tint to the blacks; this is a good way to quickly gauge the life left in the caps or the tube itself. Depending on how great the set is in general it may be worth it but I skip most consumer sets with very dim pictures. If it was a BVM, a high-end PC monitor, or a big NEC monitor I'd probably take the chance.
3. Loose connectors and broken buttons. This is usually a problem with cheaper sets, and may not be that big of a deal. I have come across some otherwise nice sets with a jacked up S-video or composite port, or buttons that are either missing or non-functional. Fixing either can be a bit of work, it's just good to check to see what's what when you pick it up.

Those are the biggies for me, not sure if that's the best list but it's what I go by. Geometry issues and slight color problems are no big deal, you can pretty much tell a dud when you see it.
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Melek-Ric
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Re: CRT TV Shopping Guide

by Melek-Ric Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:21 am

As for the actual transaction. Be flexible and willing to go the extra mile.

Buying CRT's in my experience is always a local transaction that requires help from multiple people. These things are heavy! Be willing to move the TV. Most sellers will offer to lower the price if you move it. Or they might charge you more to deliver it to you. People selling these TV's are usually older folks who don't realize the value of the TV to retro gamers. At the end of the day, they'll get what they can for it, trash it, or take it to Goodwill.
"Challenging my unit was both foolish and reckless! You are nothing more than my prey... one that is soon to be retired!"
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