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Thread: The Unofficial CRT Television Thread

  1. #1
    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Default The Unofficial CRT Television Thread

    Well these things are all the rage now because of retro gaming...when I was a kid I had a small 9" CRT in my room but we had from 2004 on a large rear projection Sony WEGA TV with HDMI. So retro games never really looked great on it. But looking at the shaders in retroarch and how some 2D games just look absolutely fantastic with scanlines and play excellently with zero input lag on older TVs with analog video inputs, its been on my radar for a while to try and grab a good vintage CRT for retro gaming.

    To scratch this itch, today I picked up this old Magnavox HD1926 C822 that was sitting in a TV repair shop for $20. Composite and RF only, but stereo sound. It has some of the worst banding on a TV I've ever seen. Doesnt seem to be a tube problem since this issue does not occur on RF for television. It is a shame because the colors on the set are otherwise nice. Apparently people are starting to mod these TVs for RGB and component input. Seems kind of crazy to me, but what do I know.




    Guess I'll have to keep looking for a better model. Currently my work has a 27" or so Toshiba SD Theater CRT with component, 16:9 widescreen and 240p/480i only. Perfect for retro gaming.

    Since we are all aficionados here I am sure many of you still have solid CRT Televisions laying around. Show us your setup!
    Last edited by Baloo; 11-04-2022 at 04:57 PM.
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    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    The picture is months old and things were more disorganized but a 27inch Trinitron. A 19inch Daewoo and the 19-inch is the best. The colors are amazing. Often play my Saturn on it esp shmups.

    Life?!...What console is that on?

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    Hero of Algol
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    Nice thread, Baloo!

    I was using this setup months ago to test D32XR:


    The one on the left is a Philips 29PT6566 (chassis L04LAB SL6) and the other one is a Philips 29PT5642 (and this specific unit is one of those which use the same tube that is used by some of the JVC I'Art 27) modded to use a later chassis (L04LAB SL7).
    I also own a Sony KV-29FS140 and a Sony KV-29FS100.
    And a 16:9 Philips DWIDE 32PW6542.
    All of them are standard definition (240P/480i).


    Since you're still looking for a better consumer-level model, here are some tips/notes/observations that I gathered after 10+years in CRT communities, collecting and maintaining a bunch of CRT TVs:
    - Ignore YouTubers' advice for the most part. A lot of them are trying to sell you expensive crap you don't need and comparing stuff like a poor shadow mask TV to an aperture grille pro monitor to push the PVM/BVM/Trinitron narrative.
    - Most of the best consumer TV models are 27-inch (which is 29-inch in Brazil and several other countries).
    - Curved tube TVs are nice and all but in this day and age they'll usually have way too much use/be more prone to image issues and maintenance. Stick to non-slim flat CRTs.
    - Slim CRT = utter crap.
    - The vast majority of the arcade cabs use shadow mask, not aperture grille.
    - The bigger the TV, the worse the geometry issues.
    - I prefer models which have composite, S-Video, and Component input.
    - The difference in image quality between Component and RGB is usually marginal, so it's not worth modding a TV that already has component input.
    - The Sony Wega models suck in terms of color fidelity and image processing, for the most part. The only really good one I found in such an aspect is the FS140, which is a later model.
    - The Sony TVs usually have better/more powerful sound than the other brands.
    - Best middle ground for Genesis games is S-Video.
    - The best consumer SCART-To-Component converter is the RGB2COMP by Retrotink. The second best option I know is the Shinybow SB-2840. Both are pretty good in terms of color fidelity, but the Retrotink one results in a clearer/less blurry image.

    - Brands I recommend: JVC, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba. Philips models in US usually aren't as good as the ones available in Europe or even in South America.

    - Models I recommend (only the Sony ones are aperture grille): JVC I'Art, Toshiba AF models (27AFX54, 27AF45C, etc), Sony Wega FS100 (FS140 is far better but it's South America-only AFAIK), Sony Wega FS210, Sony Wega KV-300 (overrated), Sony Wega KV-310 (overhyped/now expensive).
    The standard definition Panasonic Tau models are usually pretty good too, but to get rid of the SVM (Scan Velocity Modulation) crap you'll have to detach a cable from the neck of the tube.
    The Philips Real Flat ones can be really good depending on the specific model.

    Overall, IMHO, the best thing you can get in US for your money is a JVC I'Art. They use tubes that have better definition than the average consumer set.
    After that one, the Toshiba AF models shouldn't give you a lot of headaches.

    Then you have the sea of heavy and expensive/overhyped Sony models. The FS100 is the best one if you want to mod it to RGB and then bypass the nasty image processing it usually has.
    Avoid the HD models if you want to use 240p content, they'll never look as good as the SD ones for such content.
    The FV310 has achieved holy grail status so people will usually ask a lot of money for them.
    The Wega models are known for having poor geometry at this point, so I strongly recommend testing them prior to buying if you don't want to spend a lot of time trying to fix a broken egg.

    The biggest advantage I see in the Sony Wega TVs is that you can crank up brightness and contrast to insane levels, well beyond what the other TVs usually can take.
    And you won't have color purity issues (like when a white screen shows pink/purple stains), which are not so rare in later flat CRTs.
    Last edited by Barone; 11-04-2022 at 06:04 PM.

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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    "You must spread some reputation before giving it to Barone again."

    Thanks so much Barone! This is exactly the kind of advice I've been looking for with regard to these CRT sets. The advice online is terrible, and the eBay listings are poor and overpriced based on the retro gaming craze. I'll be sure to look for those set types. Do you have any specific models that are SD wide-screen CRT sets in mind? I would love something that I can both game and watch old DVDs and movies on, particularly old anime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    "You must spread some reputation before giving it to Barone again."

    Thanks so much Barone! This is exactly the kind of advice I've been looking for with regard to these CRT sets. The advice online is terrible, and the eBay listings are poor and overpriced based on the retro gaming craze. I'll be sure to look for those set types. Do you have any specific models that are SD wide-screen CRT sets in mind? I would love something that I can both game and watch old DVDs and movies on, particularly old anime.
    Thanks for the feedback!

    SD widescreen CRT sets? In US they are not common, it was more a European trend. It's much easier to find HD widescreen CRT sets (especially the Sony ones).
    BUT the SD ones I've seen found by US residents were all Philips and they were pretty much identical to European models (assembled in Mexico).
    My DWIDE was assembled in Brazil but most of it, including the tube, was made in the Czech Republic.

    The trustworthy models usually look like this:


    It will be written DWIDEand/or RealFlat and/or Matchline.
    If it's written Cineos (or HDTV, duh!) then it's an HD set.

    Here's one SD widescreen set from a US guy:
    Philips 30PW6341/37 (made in 2004)




    They're not easy to come by but you may as well find one for free since they're cumbersome and not well-known yet.


    Adding more info about good and affordable 4:3 options in US:

    - Here's a sample of the image quality of a JVC I'Art AV-27WF35:




    - Here's a sample of the image quality of a Philips RealFlat 27ST6210/27 (made in 2005) (https://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/27ST...inch-real-flat)


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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Thanks Barone for the advice about the SD widescreen sets being rare, that is very good to know so I don't keep wasting my time combing through eBay listings to try to find one. I'll see about whether I can simply try and get one of the ones they have at work. Here it is in action:




    First was a Genesis Model 1 plugged in with Composite. Ignore the color of Sonic eyes in the photo....that appears to have been caused by the camera as the set did not look like that.

    The second was using a PSP with component cable outputting a UMD of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie.

    It looks quite good, though something was slightly off with PS1 games outputted to it being cut off on the left side. Couldn't quite figure it out last time I used it. Plan to test the Wii out since that outputs 480i wide-screen as well.

    https://streamable.com/dse7qs

    https://streamable.com/amq73r
    Last edited by Baloo; 11-05-2022 at 03:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    I can simply try and get one of the ones they have at work. Here it is in action:
    Dude, that's a pretty good one and not that common these days.
    I think it's a Toshiba DF model. Probably made around 2006.

    It's not all models that have Dolby Digital support, so it seems to be one of the more expensive models of its family.
    It should be quite good.


    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    First was a Genesis Model 1 plugged in with Composite. Ignore the color of Sonic eyes in the photo....that appears to have been caused by the camera as the set did not look like that.
    CRTs are difficult to take pictures of with regular cameras and default settings.
    Lowering the color and contrast of the TV usually yields better results though.

    But, anyway, the native composite on Genesis 1 is filthy, not really much the TV can do about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    The second was using a PSP with component cable outputting a UMD of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie.
    It looks good.
    I can notice what seems to be SVM enabled (Scan Velocity Modulation) by the artifacts around her hair contour. That can probably be disabled on the service menu.

    Convergence looks good for the most part, with marginal blue bleeding in the center toward the lower portion of the screen, but that's normal with consumer CRTs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    It looks quite good, though something was slightly off with PS1 games outputted to it being cut off on the left side. Couldn't quite figure it out last time I used it. Plan to test the Wii out since that outputs 480i wide-screen as well.
    You were using the PS1 through component, right?
    The left side cut is due to the image being offset through component; that's normal. It's really just a matter of the horizontal size and position of the image.
    Hopefully, this model allows you to save geometry values separately for each input in the service menu.

    What I noticed is that the image is a bit tilted (rotated) clockwise. Another common issue with CRTs these days but it's relatively easy to fix.
    My 4:3 Philips TVs all needed such adjustment since they don't have such a setting in the menu/service menu.

    If that one also doesn't have it, you can fix it by following this tutorial (the part that really matters starts at 2:33):

    Basically, you'll need to loosen the belt(s) screw(s) around the neck of the tube and then gently rotate the yoke with your hand. It's not rocket science.

    There he adjusts it with the TV switched on, but you can do it in a safer manner by trying to rotate it a tiny bit with it switched off; then check the result, then switch it off again, etc.
    Just takes more time but it's not difficult in most models.

    If you have access to running ROMs off one of these systems that you own, it would be very helpful to assess/calibrate the image if you used 240p Test Suite:
    https://junkerhq.net/xrgb/index.php?...suite#Versions

    That page has a lot of info on how to use each test, etc. But I can guide you through the calibration once you get the TV. By the way, be careful when transporting it, and avoid impacts on the set as much as you can.
    To access the service menu we'll likely need a proper remote control, the model number (there might be a sticker on the back of the TV with such info), and the service manual (usually we can find it online if we know the model number).

    Going by the stuff you shared with us here, I'd definitely get this TV.
    The image can be improved quite a bit with proper calibration and the TV doesn't seem to have any tech issues so far.
    Last edited by Barone; 11-05-2022 at 10:37 AM.

  8. #8
    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Dude, that's a pretty good one and not that common these days.

    You were using the PS1 through component, right?
    The left side cut is due to the image being offset through component; that's normal. It's really just a matter of the horizontal size and position of the image.
    Hopefully, this model allows you to save geometry values separately for each input in the service menu.

    What I noticed is that the image is a bit tilted (rotated) clockwise. Another common issue with CRTs these days but it's relatively easy to fix.
    My 4:3 Philips TVs all needed such adjustment since they don't have such a setting in the menu/service menu.

    If you have access to running ROMs off one of these systems that you own, it would be very helpful to assess/calibrate the image if you used 240p Test Suite:
    https://junkerhq.net/xrgb/index.php?...suite#Versions

    That page has a lot of info on how to use each test, etc. But I can guide you through the calibration once you get the TV. By the way, be careful when transporting it, and avoid impacts on the set as much as you can.
    To access the service menu we'll likely need a proper remote control, the model number (there might be a sticker on the back of the TV with such info), and the service manual (usually we can find it online if we know the model number).

    Going by the stuff you shared with us here, I'd definitely get this TV.
    The image can be improved quite a bit with proper calibration and the TV doesn't seem to have any tech issues so far.
    Thanks Barone. Yes, I used the PSP component cable with the 480i output. I did run the old 240p test suite for NES through the PS1 emulator since PS1 on PSP outputs 240p as you can see here, though I am not well versed in adjusting for geometry issues. I plan on bringing the Wii in when there is some free time to see how that looks outputting 240p to the Toshiba and using the 240p test suite.

    This TV also does have both the remote and the manual shockingly, so shouldn't be hard to try to get into the service menu. Now whether they'll let me buy it/take it is a different story. But I am going to ask in the building and see. Can't hurt to try.
    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    The Sega Saturn was God's gift to humanity. This is inarguable fact!



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    Baloo, if you didn't live half way across the country, I'd give you one of my CRTs. I'm all about these guys and got a ton of them when people were throwing them away.

    I have a few in my living room. My Genesis/CD/32X, SNES, PS2, and VCR are hooked up to this guy:



    He actually fell straight onto his face from five feet high one time. Not a single scratch or ding and still works perfectly.

    I have an Xbox, Wii, Dreamcast, and laserdisc player hooked up to this one:



    This Sharp has actually been one of my main gaming TVs for 20+ years.

    Saturn, NES, and N64 here:



    In the garage, I have a Model 3 Genesis and Atari 7800 hooked up to these guys (well, they were hooked up before things got moved around):



    I also have a wall of CRTs in the back (should probably reorganize a bit in there, eh?):



    Some of these have various issues, some don't work at all, and others work perfectly. Should probably try to work on the ones that aren't in top shape.

    Then, I feel like it's mandatory to have one of these in your bedroom so you can watch classic movies:


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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Excellent collection BubsyFan! Thanks for the offer...if I find myself moving closer to you I'll know exactly who to hit up. Which set do you like the most? Or do you tailor each system to each TV? I would have thought maybe all of 3rd Gen, 4th Gen, 5th Gen

    And Capcom vs. SNK 2 on Dreamcast...one of my goal games! I am considering picking up a Dreamcast just because I have been playing a bunch of 2D Capcom fighters right now and would love a system that has all of the best ones on one and can be hooked into a CRT.

    On a side note: Has anyone gone the CRT Emudriver route with an old AMD Radeon video card and hooked up their PC? It looks like a real pain, but would be cool for things like Sonic Mania.
    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    The Sega Saturn was God's gift to humanity. This is inarguable fact!



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    I'll just post these screenshots from my SNES (S-Video) connected to my Sony 32-KVHS 420 CRT. It's really hard to see scan lines on this Hi-Scan set and when using Component and S-Video, it's about as good as it gets.

    I'll post some more about the 27" SD Wega, later on.

    I probably should have used a darker setting for the TV. It sort of has some bloom on the brighter areas.








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    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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    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    I combed the screenshot thread and found these. I felt for composite it looked good but I got this TV for free. Sony I got for $15 in 2011. I went to look in the back and it does have an S-Video which I never used but maybe now I will. In fact, it has a lot of inputs in the back and one composite only front facing. I use those for the convenience honestly of switching consoles. I don't have the room to have more than one hooked up.



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    End of line.. Shining Hero gamevet's Avatar
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    So here's the 27" Sony Wega KV-27FS120. I believe that I got it brand new for somewhere around $500. It has Component and S-Video inputs. I liked my old 27" Trinitron better, it just seemed to have a better picture, overall.

    Here's the Saturn version of Mega Man X4 on the Saturn, using component. It's not too shabby on the SD CRT, though it does have that slight convergence on the right, like Barone pointed out.







    And here's Mega Man X4 on the 32" Sony Hi-scan.







    And here's the two beauties right next to each other. It will be a sad day when I have to load that 32" CRT to the curb. It's 169 pounds of pure workout, and the last time I'd moved the other one (I'd put to the curb about 8 months ago);My shoulder hurt for a couple of weeks.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    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 just wanted to add (also ran out of space for one more picture) that my reason for purchasing the Hi-Scan in 2005, was to play XBox and GC games in progressive scan. Here's Orta.


    Attached Images Attached Images
    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 Baloo View Post
    Thanks Barone. Yes, I used the PSP component cable with the 480i output. I did run the old 240p test suite for NES through the PS1 emulator since PS1 on PSP outputs 240p as you can see here, though I am not well versed in adjusting for geometry issues. I plan on bringing the Wii in when there is some free time to see how that looks outputting 240p to the Toshiba and using the 240p test suite.
    This TV also does have both the remote and the manual shockingly, so shouldn't be hard to try to get into the service menu. Now whether they'll let me buy it/take it is a different story. But I am going to ask in the building and see. Can't hurt to try.
    I hope they allow you to get the TV.

    Quick sanity checks can be made with 240p test suite using the Grid, Grid Scroll, and Color Bleed Check tests.
    If you want to quickly measure image quality using Genesis games, I'd recommend taking screenshots/videos from Sonic 1 Stage 1 starting point, SOR2 Stage 1 initial segment, and Ristar Stages 1-1 and 1-2.

    And here are some screenshots I took today:
    Philips 29PT5642
    MiSTer FPGA
    Retrotink RGB2COMP














    Last edited by Barone; 11-06-2022 at 11:46 PM.

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