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Thread: Any recommendations on consumer grade CRTs?

  1. #16
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of the Trinitron. My last 3 CRTs were from Sony and they've all performed very well. Your best bet is finding a CRT on Craigslist. People are pretty much giving them away on that site.

    Here's a good example. https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/zi...575428183.html
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    Raging in the Streets Thierry Henry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SegataS View Post
    Never heard of it.
    They were released over here as well. Good quality.

    I still have a smaller (Composite only) model that I use from time to time.




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    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Round tube. Meh!
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    Yeah, no thanks to bubble screens. Looks like a 3rd rate electronics like a Zenith or Coby.

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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orchid87 View Post
    For those like me, who can't find any PVM at a reasonable price locally. What are the best consumer grade CRT TVs for retro gaming? What about Sony Trinitrons? Which models are better and which ones to avoid?
    The Sony KV-XXFV310 (replace XX by inches number) is usually regarded as the best one.

    AFAIK it's the only consumer set with a high voltage regulator which prevents image distortion by bright pixels (I'm writing this in a very superficial way but just to not get too much into it).
    Other than that it has:
    - 3D comb filter (which is considered the best for improving composite video signals)
    - Dynablack (which is handy for increasing the sharpness of the image without generating artifacts as velocity modulation does).
    - Frontal S-Video and composite connections. Component connections on the back as well.
    - Really great sound system with internal subwoofer.
    - A plethora of service menu options with real-time adjustment feedback which among other things allow you to: disable red push (AXIS options in the service menu), disable velocity modulation, have S-Video signal still working great with several of the dithered patterns in Mega Drive games, etc.

    The Sony KV-XXFV300 has all those same features and just lacks the high voltage regulator.
    I own a Sony KV-29FV305 which is basically the 300 model with a few different internal components.

    Also, they use the same chassis, the BA-5D which is also shared with other models:
    KV-XXFV300
    KV-XXFV305
    KV-XXFV310
    KV-XXFA210
    KV-XXFS100
    KV-XXFS105
    KV-XXFS12B

    The KV-XXFS100/KV-XXFS105 are the simplest ones but still pretty awesome. They all share the same service menu options; the FS100 picture quality is still pretty much the same of the FV-310/FV300 aside from the composite stuff since it doesn't have the 3D comb filter.
    The really big difference between the FS100/FS105 and the FV300/310 is the sound. The FS100/FS105 sound is just OK (I own one of them), with regular speakers and no internal subwoofer.

    So, you're better off getting one of BA-5D models. Not that other ones are not good, but BA-5D ones are usually regarded as more reliable as well.

    All Sony Trinitron models (Wega or not) are aperture grille tubes while the vast majority of the other tubes are shadow mask (but there are a few exceptions).
    Aperture grille vs shadow mask is an endless debate and each one of the technologies has pros and cons.

    In the US and Europe you guys have a ton of other good options such as Panasonic's, JVC's or Mitsubishi's (older sets, not for the flat screen era).


    Here in Brazil it's pretty much either Sony or Philips for flat screen CRTs.
    I own a Philips DWIDE 32 with zooming capabilities and a couple of image improvement features. In terms of coloring I like it better than the Trinitron sets, especially when using S-Video.
    Some of its service menu options have to be set directly into the NVM without being able to have feedback first, which sucks; but, once you go past that setup phase, it looks really, really nice.
    Since it's shadow mask, the scanlines are not as thicker as in the Trinitron ones but it also doesn't have the vertical grain which comes with aperture grille. Pros and cons like I said.

    I also strongly recommend this tool to help you calibrate whatever CRT you have/get:
    http://junkerhq.net/xrgb/index.php?t...40p_test_suite


    CRT collectors usually recommend you to avoid Samsung TVs, which are said to use low-quality components when compared to the other TVs with similar features.

    Scan Velocity Modulation (a.k.a. Scavem, VM, SVM, ClearEdge, etc.) should be turned off since it increases sharpness and contrast but adds noise and artifacts to the image. It usually looks hideous with 2D games.
    Last edited by Barone; 04-30-2018 at 06:33 PM.

  6. #21
    Mastering your Systems Shining Hero TmEE's Avatar
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    Philips has much better phosphors than anything Sony and pretty much everyone else, colors are much more vibrant and for example red is nice deep red rather than also giving out a little bit of yellow. Blues are blue without any sort of purpleness visible to it. On blackline tubes the phosphors have their center wavelengths in roughly the same places as modern UHD gamuts, they were really good when new, and are still good now. Electronics are hit or miss though, there are a lot of chassis versions with varying improvements and deficiencies. L04E is the last fully analog chassis without any image degradations. Later ones introduced digital image processing (small memories don't allow lossless processing) and earlier ones don't have as good geometry control and stabilisation (important to minimize breathing when brigtnsess changes rapidly).

    100/120Hz sets always have halved color resolution even on RGB, the very first step that is done is converting all sources to YCbCr where luminance has max res while color components half res. RGB sources suffer from very noticable sharpness reduction from it, especially pure red and blue, similar to composhit and S-video. Of course deinterlacing and input lag of one frame suck too and there's no way to defeat them though some TVs allow you to change the deinterlacing strategy (things based on certain Micronas scalers).

    I stay away from completely flat tubes, it is impossible to get good convergence and purity at the edges of a large flat tube (try a purple square that gets to edges of the screen and weep how there's poorly overlapping blue and red squares). Focus is also iffy unless dynamic focus is present. There's also usually much change in pixel density toward edges on the flat screens, to help with convergence. The lines of phoshpor are wider at edges than at center.

    Completely round tube will have best convergence, focus and purity. "Half round" are a compromise between totally flat and round, always beating a flat while possibly getting close to a round one due to much less effort needed to produce a good image. Computer monitors are small and have much smaller distance difference compared to center and edge which massively helps with all these things even when they're flat, but TVs do not far so good. Deeper tube is always preferred over a narrow one, as it reduces the beam length differnce between center and edges.
    My 39" tube is very rounded and relatively deep and due to it there's no focus and convergence are perfect even in the ends of the corners and purity is also perfect. Roundedness is annoying when you're very close though, but once you're meter+ away there's no problem. It is only a problem on smaller TVs (21" and less) as they normally do not have EW correction makes sure the raster is square on the tube surface, whatever the shape of the surface is like.

    Samsungs have poor tubes but the rest is usually ok. Cathode lifetime isn't great and image will get worse and worse over time, with discoloration in dark parts in particular that is not fixable by any means. This is also a problem with small TVs in general as they very often lack cathode calibration that helps to combat this discoloration issue.

    Mask based tubes are fine as long as the mask is made of invar which it is in large and high contrast tubes. Invar mask won't cause discoloration to happen from doming in high brightness areas, most notably seen as slight to severe discoloration in left and right edges of screen. I'm not sure how will a grill behave when it is in similar situation, it would make sense for the wires to get longer and looser from the thermal effects and produce uniform purity loss in whole vertical direction, most particularly in center as opposed to edges. I have no grill tubes to experiment with. To experiment have a completely white screen for about 30 seconds and see if there's any subtle changes seen in color temperature. Switching to pure red or pure blue at that point will reveal any purity issues dramatically. Secondary emissions should be lower on grill tubes, as there's less non phosphor surface area for the beam to slam into. You can see secondary emissions as a weak halo around bright objects on a completely black background. Electrons that exit from the mask or grill still have enough energy to light up the phoshpors and it is the main limiter of contrast for a CRT, and one area where OLED can surpass CRT as there is no equivalent mechanism in them to produce such contrast loss. Only thing that gets kind of close is light from one pixel bleeding into neighboring one but the reach of that is gonna be one or two neighboring pixels at most while on a CRT it can be several cm even.

    Scavem is garbage, in pretty much only produces strange image distortion around dark to bright and bright to dark edges, turning some bits fatter, some thinner depending on direction of the brightness change. I turn it off or disconnect the scavem coil if it is hardwired on all sets and upgrade video amplifiers instead. Scavem is pretty much used to allow use of lower quality video amps. 100/120Hz TVs have much higher quality video amps than normal things, but the whole 100/120Hz thing has worse image quality due to digital processing done, giving results similar to typical LCD.
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  7. #22
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Im going to beg to differ on that flat screen comment. My 32 Sony KV-32HS420 is really nice.

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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    Im going to beg to differ on that flat screen comment. My 32 Sony KV-32HS420 is really nice.
    From your screenshot I can notice both convergence issues on the corners and geometry bowing on the center (nothing too bad though); and that's what TmEE was talking about (among other things).
    And it's doesn't mean it doesn't look nice either, but the flat tubes are for sure far more prone to convergence and geometry issues.

    I think the semi-flat tubes were supposed to be the sweet spot between fully curved and fully flat stuff. But from my experience:
    - It's much harder to find semi-flat tubes which don't have a gazillion hours on them compared to flat ones. Simply because the flat era would be soon affected/ended by the early LCD, plasma or even the HD versions of those models.
    - Feature-wise the flat ones usually have far more and nicer options; both in terms of image and sound. Curved and semi-flat era still had lots of models with tiny bottom-positioned speakers opposed to the vertical side strips you have on flat tubes and which are much better for stereo separation, surround effects, syncopation, etc.

    I received a PM asking for semi-flat recommendations.
    Well, in Brazil I didn't find any good Philips set of those models. Even the 32-34 inch models (which usually have lots of features) were RF/composite-only with very few options and just about 4 steps of sharpness level - which is a complete no-go for me.

    In the groups and forums I have been with people from other countries, I've seen good things about the black/dark gray Sony Trinitron line, the Mitsubishi ones, the black Panasonic models, JVC, etc.
    I also know that Mark Cowan has modded several TVs to have RGB/SCART inputs; and I think most of them are the black Sony Trinitron ones. People seem to have a soft spot for those; with far less geometry and convergence issues than the Wega ones. But, then again, the lack of proper features for those inputs is a bit of a no-go for me.

    There's also people modding fully featured flat tube TVs in order to add RGB/SCART inputs to them and get rid of the SCART-to-Component boxes which bring some image quality degradation (Shinybow SB-2840 is pretty good, the generic one sold on eBay is OK and there are others which are pretty bad).
    For that purpose, the Sony ones using the BA-5D chassis are easier to mode than the later ones (the BA-6 chassis for an example).
    So it's easier to mod a KV-XXFS100 than it is to mod a KV-XXFS120.

    I'm not really into TV modding so my knowledge on the subject is very limited.



    Quote Originally Posted by TmEE View Post
    Philips has much better phosphors than anything Sony and pretty much everyone else, colors are much more vibrant and for example red is nice deep red rather than also giving out a little bit of yellow. Blues are blue without any sort of purpleness visible to it. On blackline tubes the phosphors have their center wavelengths in roughly the same places as modern UHD gamuts, they were really good when new, and are still good now. Electronics are hit or miss though, there are a lot of chassis versions with varying improvements and deficiencies. L04E is the last fully analog chassis without any image degradations. Later ones introduced digital image processing (small memories don't allow lossless processing) and earlier ones don't have as good geometry control and stabilisation (important to minimize breathing when brigtnsess changes rapidly)
    This makes sense with my own experience so far.
    Color-wise I can't make my Trinitrons match the Philips I have. Without red push, they look drab in comparison. With red push, you have to go a long way tweaking the HUE and color channels strength to have something which is not overly red all over the place.
    It's difficult and the end result is never as good IMO. And yes, red is yellow-ish and blues are purple-ish. There's some common blue-bleeding as well which may vary according to the model you're using and how lucky you are.

    And, yes, the digital processing has its effects as well. Even if you disable most of the offered stuff you'll still notice some definition degradation on scrolling, for an example.
    Last edited by Barone; 05-01-2018 at 12:02 PM.

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    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Edit* I waited until I got home to add this. Yeah, that image was from a SNES Classic, zoomed in from the 720 widescreen to 480p 4:3. It's probably the most extreme situation for that tube.


    Here's a real SNES connected with S-Video on the same set. There's maybe 2 pixels of shift down on the edges, which isn't that bad at all. I prefer it to having the corners cut off like most curved tubes do.








    Youre talking about the older black Trinitrons that are a bow curved screen that is flat vertically?

    I played a House of the Dead 2 deluxe that used a large 36 Black Trinitron in the arcade. Ive held on to my old black 27, because I loved the picture quality, even more than the 27 SD Wega I have sitting next to the 32. I just dont feel like removing the main board to get to the tuner to redo the solder joints.
    Last edited by gamevet; 05-01-2018 at 06:15 PM.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    I was lucky to get my Toshiba 27AF42 manufactured March 2003. If was to say anything bad about it is the flat screen makes the the edges warp the image on a count the glass is thinker there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thierry Henry View Post
    They were released over here as well. Good quality.

    I still have a smaller (Composite only) model that I use from time to time.




    I have the bigger model with a flat screen, not a rounded screen, and thick, very strong glass. It weighs a fucking ton but looks and sounds superb and has done for going on 13yrs now.

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    What about someone that has invested in a couple of RGB cords? Or would I just be better off using my framemeister?
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  13. #28
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    RGB, or Component?
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post

    I received a PM asking for semi-flat recommendations.
    Well, in Brazil I didn't find any good Philips set of those models. Even the 32-34 inch models (which usually have lots of features) were RF/composite-only with very few options and just about 4 steps of sharpness level - which is a complete no-go for me.
    Any opinion about Toshiba TVs? It seems to be more common to find models with a curved screen and component video.

  15. #30
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    I believe in the early 2000s, Sonys patent on the Trinitron screen had expired. There were later model Toshiba CRTs that used a screen that was very comparible to the (Wega) Trinitron.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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