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Best TV's for classic consoles.


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#26 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:43 PM

Goodwill Stores and other similar outlets are great places to find CRT televisions: you can try it before you buy it, and you save the money you'd otherwise spend on having it shipped to you. I usually bring a battery-powered Plug-and-Play TV game with me so I can test the television right there in the store: sometimes the inputs don't work, or the screen is distorted, or the sound is bad, and this is a good quick way of testing them all. I scored my 13" Trinitron at a Goodwill store this way, for about $20.

#27 boxpressed ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 1, 2011 11:21 AM

Goodwill Stores and other similar outlets are great places to find CRT televisions: you can try it before you buy it, and you save the money you'd otherwise spend on having it shipped to you. I usually bring a battery-powered Plug-and-Play TV game with me so I can test the television right there in the store: sometimes the inputs don't work, or the screen is distorted, or the sound is bad, and this is a good quick way of testing them all. I scored my 13" Trinitron at a Goodwill store this way, for about $20.


My local Goodwill doesn't accept old TVs, but a couple of other thrifts do. A couple of weeks ago, I bought an 13" Insignia (Best Buy house brand) with composite inputs for about $5. It's a nice little set until I can upgrade. I am now looking for a 13" Sony or Samsung with component inputs or a Commodore 1702 monitor.

#28 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 2, 2011 12:38 AM

My local Goodwill doesn't accept old TVs, but a couple of other thrifts do. A couple of weeks ago, I bought an 13" Insignia (Best Buy house brand) with composite inputs for about $5. It's a nice little set until I can upgrade. I am now looking for a 13" Sony or Samsung with component inputs or a Commodore 1702 monitor.

My local Goodwills stopped accepting CRT monitors, but they're still dealing in TVs....for now.

Today I saw a neighbor hauling off a NICE 32" Trinitron Vega XBR. He was at the stopsign in front of me and I could see the front of the set. I almost felt like stopping him and asking if it worked, and if I could have it.

I suppose it will still be quite some time before the CRT TV (a nice one, mind you) is a rarity, but it's definitely moving in that direction. I'm noticing that this year, some of my non-tech-savvy relatives have upgraded to LCD TVs....people I didn't think even cared so much about TV. If they wanted to get rid of their CRT, pretty much everybody must. Lots of dreamers on Craigslist; they need to price "free if U-haul."

#29 AtariLeaf ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 2, 2011 5:27 AM

Put me down for the Commodore 1702 as well. Damn fine monitor with a real nice sharp picture and it doesn't take up much space.

#30 NightSprinter OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 2, 2011 9:52 AM

Or if you also have arcade stuff you want to rebuild/restore, 1084 isn't too bad. Few friends of mine down over in ccatalyst's area actually use them to test boards they buy.

#31 Rex Dart ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:58 AM

I'm surprised nobody mentioned these babies.

*removed huge pic of Sony Trinitron PVM Monitor*

At some point I'll replace both my TVs with one, I just have to save up enough cash and mod the few remaining RF-only systems I have.



How nice are those? I've found I can get them relatively cheap (under $100) and the idea of RGB inputs as an option is really interesting. Would it be worth replacing a 27" flat 480i CRT w/ svideo & component with a 20" sony monitor, or would the benefits be outweighed by the size difference? Would I need to RGB-mod all my systems to make one worthwhile?

Edited by Rex Dart, Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:58 AM.


#32 ApolloBoy ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:42 PM

How nice are those? I've found I can get them relatively cheap (under $100) and the idea of RGB inputs as an option is really interesting. Would it be worth replacing a 27" flat 480i CRT w/ svideo & component with a 20" sony monitor, or would the benefits be outweighed by the size difference? Would I need to RGB-mod all my systems to make one worthwhile?

I've heard they have really good picture quality, especially considering that they're professional video monitors and need to have that quality for video editing and the like. You wouldn't need to mod all your systems for RGB since almost all Sony PVMs have composite and S-video as well, and some even have component inputs. You would need to get special cables and/or adapters since they use BNC jacks as opposed to RCA jacks.

Also, some systems have RGB right out of the box, so all you would need is a special cable.

Edited by ApolloBoy, Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:43 PM.


#33 SRGilbert OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:44 PM

I use a 32" Sony Wega Trinitron KV32FV300 and it's great. It has Composite (yellow) S-Video, and Component (480i) inputs, as well as RF obviously. In a way, I wish I could have gone for the full 36", but I find 32" to be a good sweet spot. For one thing, the 36" is some 40-50 pound heavier, and the 32" was clearly right on the edge of what I could carry half of.

The important thing to me was making sure I had a TV that had component inputs for modern consoles, while still being able to support light gun games for older system. :) :thumbsup:

#34 ATARI7800fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:13 PM

I use a 32" Sony Wega Trinitron KV32FV300 and it's great. It has Composite (yellow) S-Video, and Component (480i) inputs, as well as RF obviously. In a way, I wish I could have gone for the full 36", but I find 32" to be a good sweet spot. For one thing, the 36" is some 40-50 pound heavier, and the 32" was clearly right on the edge of what I could carry half of.

The important thing to me was making sure I had a TV that had component inputs for modern consoles, while still being able to support light gun games for older system. :) :thumbsup:

That is the flat screen right? will a Dreamcast light gun still work on Flatscreen sony tube Tv's. Also have a 32 sony trinitron but am not sure if light gun's would work. The TV was made in 2004. If I remember correctly it is a KV-32FS100.

Edited by ATARI7800fan, Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:19 PM.


#35 jamesk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:22 PM

I had a 32 Sony Wega '99 or probably '00. It had problems with bending the side edges when the edges were bright colors with my Xbox, PS2 and PS1. It was very annoying. I have a cruddy but serviceable RCA. I'd love to have a flat screen, but unfortunately people either charge too much for CRTs or put them in the landfills. In my area.

#36 Rex Dart ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:34 PM


How nice are those? I've found I can get them relatively cheap (under $100) and the idea of RGB inputs as an option is really interesting. Would it be worth replacing a 27" flat 480i CRT w/ svideo & component with a 20" sony monitor, or would the benefits be outweighed by the size difference? Would I need to RGB-mod all my systems to make one worthwhile?

I've heard they have really good picture quality, especially considering that they're professional video monitors and need to have that quality for video editing and the like. You wouldn't need to mod all your systems for RGB since almost all Sony PVMs have composite and S-video as well, and some even have component inputs. You would need to get special cables and/or adapters since they use BNC jacks as opposed to RCA jacks.


Right, but it wouldn't be worth getting one of those & then just using it for composite, would it? You'd want to use the best possible inputs or might as well use a Sylvania, right?

#37 ApolloBoy ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:38 PM



How nice are those? I've found I can get them relatively cheap (under $100) and the idea of RGB inputs as an option is really interesting. Would it be worth replacing a 27" flat 480i CRT w/ svideo & component with a 20" sony monitor, or would the benefits be outweighed by the size difference? Would I need to RGB-mod all my systems to make one worthwhile?

I've heard they have really good picture quality, especially considering that they're professional video monitors and need to have that quality for video editing and the like. You wouldn't need to mod all your systems for RGB since almost all Sony PVMs have composite and S-video as well, and some even have component inputs. You would need to get special cables and/or adapters since they use BNC jacks as opposed to RCA jacks.


Right, but it wouldn't be worth getting one of those & then just using it for composite, would it? You'd want to use the best possible inputs or might as well use a Sylvania, right?

For the prices that they usually go for, no. Plus, a newer Trinitron or a Commodore 1701/1702 would be a much better option for composite video than a cheapo TV like that.

#38 NinjaWarrior OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:46 AM

I just play my classic's on a old CRT TV

#39 maiki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:59 AM

I see no sence in modding the console and then feeding composite over to a TV. The console should be played like in the 80s, through RF. Period. Because that's the real experience, no fake.

Posted Image

Another question is quality. If some people think that composite is a synonym for that, they are tragically mistaken. I have made comparisons on my Sega Mega Drive going from RF to composite and RGB. I am from PAL region so that's quite easy over here. I can assure you that anything below RGB was completely unacceptable if speaking about really good video signal. I will even go as far as say that on my C64C I saw no difference between RF and composite.

Obviously, having RGB on Sega Genesis / Mega Drive makes sence because it is authentic to this system. On the other hand, modding Atari 2600 to output RGB would be rather bizarre and certainly not authentic.

Posted Image

In the end, you can always hook up your arcade monitor to your PC VGA output and enjoy the world of perfect RGB 15 kHz video magic if needed... and not destroy the original machines.

#40 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:02 AM

I see no sence in modding the console and then feeding composite over to a TV. The console should be played like in the 80s, through RF. Period. Because that's the real experience, no fake.

The sense is in wanting the best picture the machine (the console) is capable of generating. The fact that we used shitty connections in the 1980s is irrelevant; RF was all that was available on most TVs then, so it was the best (only) connection of the time.

Another question is quality. If some people think that composite is a synonym for that, they are tragically mistaken.

It depends on the system, and "tragically" is way too dramatic to apply here. On the older systems (Atari, Coleco, etc) the difference is more pronounced. On newer systems (Super Nintendo comes to mind) the difference is much less, and the RF quality much-improved. However, it's pointless to enter a debate with someone who thinks that RF is equal to S-video. However, it is of relevance that I think that you'd find most of the rest of the world in disagreement.

Obviously, having RGB on Sega Genesis / Mega Drive makes sence because it is authentic to this system. On the other hand, modding Atari 2600 to output RGB would be rather bizarre and certainly not authentic.

Many people don't care about "authenticity." Having RGB on Genesis makes sense - with practical reasoning - for the first reason I posted: People want the best picture the machine is capable of generating. "Authenticity" can be left to the philosophers. However, since most people DID NOT have RGB connections (let's be real here) on their Genesis, then it wouldn't make sense if you're looking for the historically-shitty picture that some are after, in pursuit of said "authenticity."

In the end, you can always hook up your arcade monitor to your PC VGA output and enjoy the world of perfect RGB 15 kHz video magic if needed... and not destroy the original machines.

Or, you can do a neat video mod with professional-quality craftsmanship that approximates what the factory should have done. It's ridiculous to suggest this "destroys" the machine (more drama here, eh?). The fact that consoles with video mods sell on Ebay for significantly more than unmodified consoles, is testament to this fact. That is a fact, and anybody who has been interested in consoles and browsing prices for any length of time can attest to this. Video modding is definitely sought-after, as is evidenced by the perpetual availability of DIY mods, as well as complete modding services. When it's well-done, it certainly doesn't DESTROY the machine, and pretending that destroys machines does nothing to strengthen your philosophical argument. I want the best picture the machine is capable of generating. This requires a NEATLY-installed video mod, which also enhances the value of the machine. I'll leave the philosophy to the philosophers and go with practical.

Edited by wood_jl, Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:03 AM.


#41 Metal Jesus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:00 AM

The great thing about right now is that people are practically giving away their CRT televisions on Craigslist, and most work perfectly. I bought a 37" JVC V'Art flat screen tube TV off a guy upgrading to a thin HDTV for only $50. Tons of inputs for all your old consoles and the picture is beautiful! Perfect for all of my retro consoles!

#42 ApolloBoy ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:15 PM

I see no sence in modding the console and then feeding composite over to a TV. The console should be played like in the 80s, through RF. Period. Because that's the real experience, no fake.

No thanks.

#43 Rex Dart ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:28 PM

I see no sence in modding the console and then feeding composite over to a TV. The console should be played like in the 80s, through RF. Period. Because that's the real experience, no fake.


Shit, man... do I have to drive over to my Mom's house to play it too? I think the carpeting's been torn out too, guess I can't play NES anymore since it won't be 80's authentic? WHERE DO I GET THE ECTO COOLER!?

#44 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:43 PM

Not to pile on, but this idea that "it ain't authentic if it ain't RF" has come up several times, and in my opinion it doesn't make much sense. I addressed it in another thread recently:

All an A/V upgrade does is take the original signals from the console and amplify or reshape them into a purer form, which can be used directly by modern televisions and monitors. The RF modulator might have been a necessary intermediary in the 70s and 80s, when all we had were televisions with antenna inputs, but it isn't any longer. By installing an A/V upgrade, you're really removing a restriction to seeing and hearing the console in its best possible state, not adding something that the console didn't originally have.

However, if your console works fine through RF and you're happy using it that way, that's your choice. In some cases (like the Intellivision), I've found that the available A/V upgrades don't give you enough of an improvement to justify the trouble and expense.

#45 SRGilbert OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:54 PM


I use a 32" Sony Wega Trinitron KV32FV300 and it's great. It has Composite (yellow) S-Video, and Component (480i) inputs, as well as RF obviously. In a way, I wish I could have gone for the full 36", but I find 32" to be a good sweet spot. For one thing, the 36" is some 40-50 pound heavier, and the 32" was clearly right on the edge of what I could carry half of.

The important thing to me was making sure I had a TV that had component inputs for modern consoles, while still being able to support light gun games for older system. :) :thumbsup:

That is the flat screen right? will a Dreamcast light gun still work on Flatscreen sony tube Tv's. Also have a 32 sony trinitron but am not sure if light gun's would work. The TV was made in 2004. If I remember correctly it is a KV-32FS100.


Well, it's a "flat" tube, but I think thats a trick done with a flat lens over a curved tube. Not sure though.

From what I understand, as long as the tube isn't one of the very last 480p CRT sets, then all light guns should work fine. Mine does 480i with component connections like Gamecube and PS2 and it looks pretty good. My Dreamcast is connected to it with an S-Video cable and looks great with House of the Dead 2!

Funny thing is that I wish I had room for a second game setup. I have a really nice Panasonic 42" plasma EDTV that looks incredible with 480p sources. Right now it's on our bedroom with an original xbox (modded) hooked up for XBMC.

#46 A2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:51 PM

The SONY FD Trinitron series 36" are the best

#47 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:28 PM

The SONY FD Trinitron series 36" are the best


The 35" Trinitron is also excellent! I picked up one of these.....

Posted Image


.....for next to nothing, and it's the finest gaming TV I've ever owned, esp. for light gun games.

It's a bit smaller/less bulky on the cabinet size, and slightly lighter than the 36" WEGA series. Emphasis on "slightly" because it's an insurmountable beast to move, too.

The 36" WEGA Trinitron.....

Posted Image

.....is friggin awesome, too, but larger overall (huge cabinet with the "speaker bars" on the sides and yet again heavier.

Either one is pure bliss for old consoles. For non-lightgun games - and older consoles - I find the screen is actually a little too big. I like a 20" to 27" (thereabouts) for general classic console gaming.

For the classic computers (A800, C64, etc.) I like a small, 13" screen, as the text is too large and in-your-face on big screens for desktop use - to me. Call me crazy.

I like this one for the computers....

Posted Image

and I got one of these 13" WEGAs for free, from craigslist....

Posted Image

#48 sheath OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:36 AM

I used a 32" RCA from 1998 up until I picked up a 40" Toshiba RPTV used in 2005. This last year I picked up a 40" 120hz LCD Toshiba 40G300U, which has a gaming mode and supports 480i. I could always see lines in solid color backgrounds that I could never completely eliminate on the RPTV and weren't visible on my old CRT. The picture quality on this new LCD is great for everything from NES and Master System to Xbox 360, the only down side I see is that I still can't play light gun games on the LCD TV.

If I ever see my old RCA at a pawn shop I'll be sure to pick it up. I don't want to try to move around a CRT much bigger than that and I doubt my pine board entertainment cabinet would hold anything heavier without reinforcement. If I found that set I would probably have to redesign my entire cabinet so it could hold both TVs.

#49 ATARI7800fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:24 AM


The SONY FD Trinitron series 36" are the best


The 35" Trinitron is also excellent! I picked up one of these.....

Posted Image


.....for next to nothing, and it's the finest gaming TV I've ever owned, esp. for light gun games.

It's a bit smaller/less bulky on the cabinet size, and slightly lighter than the 36" WEGA series. Emphasis on "slightly" because it's an insurmountable beast to move, too.

The 36" WEGA Trinitron.....

Posted Image

.....is friggin awesome, too, but larger overall (huge cabinet with the "speaker bars" on the sides and yet again heavier.

Either one is pure bliss for old consoles. For non-lightgun games - and older consoles - I find the screen is actually a little too big. I like a 20" to 27" (thereabouts) for general classic console gaming.

For the classic computers (A800, C64, etc.) I like a small, 13" screen, as the text is too large and in-your-face on big screens for desktop use - to me. Call me crazy.

I like this one for the computers....

Posted Image

and I got one of these 13" WEGAs for free, from craigslist....

Posted Image

Mine looks just like the 36 inch one.

Edited by ATARI7800fan, Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:26 AM.


#50 ApolloBoy ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:19 PM

Today I decided to get an early birthday present and picked up a Sony PVM-1390 for about $37. The picture quality is absolutely incredible, even through composite! S-video is incredibly sharp as well. I haven't tried RGB yet (it uses a 25-pin port for RGB as opposed to BNC jacks or SCART), but I ordered a SCART-to-PVM adapter so I should be able to try that fairly soon.




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