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Games Retrospect

What are the Best CRTs for Classic Games?

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I think I already asked this question before and everyone answered one thing: you should definitely get either a PVM or BVM. After doing some research online, reading a bunch of articles on dedicated websites and watching some YouTube videos, the answer still is "get a PVM or BVM". After asking around, looking at some old TV stores and even sending an email to the local TV station (the bastards never replied btw,) I kind of gave up. I'll definitely keep trying because you never know when one of those will turn up, but for now, I'll rephrase the question: what's the best TV I can get to play retro games on that's not a PVM or BVM?

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, I'll rephrase the question: what's the best TV I can get to play retro games on that's not a PVM or BVM?

 

the one that has the picture you're happiest with.

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You can't go wrong with Sony Trinitron. This will depend on whatever size you are looking for. There are plenty of 14" models that show up on ebay for cheap prices. If 14" is too small, then try a 20-21" model.

Mine are as follows

 

Sony FD Trinitron KV-14LT1U 14" TV - Nice flat tube, small footprint - so it doesn't need a massive amount of space. Great picture. But, only 1 scart, 1 RF, and 1 RCA input. I use a multi-scart + multi-RCA adapters.

Sony Trinitron KV-X2582U CRT TV 28" TV - This is massive, but the picture is amazing. RGB looks amazing on it. Not many inputs, but again I use multi-adapters.

JVC Model C-21TX1EK 21" TV - Nice all-round size, not too big, not too small. Picture isn't as good as the Sony TVs, and inputs are just scart and RF.

 

For multi-use monitors I use

Philips CM8833 Mark 1 RGB Colour Monitor.
Philips CM8833 Mark 2 RGB Colour Monitor.
These produce amazing pictures. Great inputs from TTL, to scart and RCA. They do come up on ebay, but I'm in the UK, so it might be different if you're in the US.
Hope that helps in any way.

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I think I already asked this question before and everyone answered one thing: you should definitely get either a PVM or BVM. After doing some research online, reading a bunch of articles on dedicated websites and watching some YouTube videos, the answer still is "get a PVM or BVM". After asking around, looking at some old TV stores and even sending an email to the local TV station (the bastards never replied btw,) I kind of gave up. I'll definitely keep trying because you never know when one of those will turn up, but for now, I'll rephrase the question: what's the best TV I can get to play retro games on that's not a PVM or BVM?

Are you close to Augusta GA or Columbia SC? I have a Sony 27" FS120 for free.

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If you don't want a broadcast monitor like a PVM, then generally you can't go wrong with a Sony set, especially one from the 90s or 00s that'll have s-video and maybe component inputs. Assuming you're in North America you can't expect a SCART input so those are the next best thing. I have a trinitron and it's real nice. Beyond making sure it has the inputs you want, though, just as long as the picture is good you can't go wrong.

 

I will add an addendum - if you can get a good Commodore monitor from the 80s and don't mind the smaller size and potential mono sound, they almost always have an amazing picture.

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The KV-fs120 is good. I actually picked one of those up a few months ago for free for my garage sale and gave it to my buddy after my sale was over. I have a KD-27FS170. The difference between the two is the 120 has 4 inputs where as the 170 only has 3 but it has a built in over the air tuner.

 

I as well have a KV-32FV300 which is about the same as my 170 but it is extremely picky on using original power supplies for good pictures.

 

The 120 and 170 in 27" models seem to handle after market power supplies w/no picture distortion where as the 32" 300 is picky. I would stay away from HD CRT TV's. I think SD 480 CRT TV's are much better than a 1080 tube.

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A Sony WEGA Trinitron for sure, if you're looking at consumer grade CRTs. You can still find them for anywhere from free to $20 on Craigslist all the time. I've had a KV-20FS120 for a few years now and absolutely love it. You can find more information on the different WEGA Trinitron models and their specs here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/FD_Trinitron/WEGA

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I think I already asked this question before and everyone answered one thing: you should definitely get either a PVM or BVM. After doing some research online, reading a bunch of articles on dedicated websites and watching some YouTube videos, the answer still is "get a PVM or BVM".

 

No, not everyone :) But yeah, the power of net-based groupthink can seem overwhelming, a sad side-effect of this medium.

 

Trinitrons are of course very good, but honestly, I suppose any non-HD set from a reputable manufacturer will do the trick. Sanyo, Toshiba, Panasonic, JVC and so on. IMO the differences between them regarding colours and such are minuscule and also often down to personal preference and settings tweaking. For example the RGB Trinitron colour does not look as vibrant as the one you can control on lesser inputs or other sets. It may be more "proper" one, but still. Overall, I don't think it's something worth dwelling on too much because you will just keep getting your head turned instead of enjoying the games.

 

I'm basically repeating what I said the last time but...yeah. Ask about inputs, S-Video to RGB are preferred but contrary to what most "experts" will say composite is perfectly workable too, it can actually benefit some games. Try to test before you buy if possible. Or, just gamble if the price/effort is low. Most of all, have fun and do not read/think about tech specs too much! :)

 

I've just moved to another country for a few months, I put an ad up, and within a week I got 2 Trinitrons (29"/21"), delivered to my 1st floor flat :) for about 20$ and an offer for another 24" one (considering getting it and putting in storage). It's all still possible, but not for many more years, so...

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Yeah, I'd also recommend a late model standard definition Trinitron that has all the analog inputs you could want. RF, composite, s-video, component.

 

Also, I see this rarely mentioned. Keep an eye out for a "feature" that was being tossed in on the last days of standard definition sets. :thumbsdown: scan velocity modulation :thumbsdown: . Different manufacturers probably had their unique snazzy name for it, but it's still scan velocity modulation. I think Sony WEGAs have it called something like ClearEdge in the TV menu, but it's still scan velocity modulation. Turn that crap off. Toshiba actually put this as a locked feature on some of their last SD sets, you can't even turn it off. I'd avoid those brand sets that have this locked. This puts unnatural harsh edges on objects on the screen, I don't think it looks good at all. I guess the modern equivalent would be Edge Enhancement you find on flat panels.

Edited by keepdreamin

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Just to add.

The more modern Sony Trinitrons, at least mine do, have a noise reduction feature than works wonders on RF. It works on composite and RGB, but the difference is minor. On RF, the noise is almost cleaned up and looks great. Not that I want to use RF, I just have a few machines where RF is the only option unless I mod the machine - Colecovision, Intellivision, 2600, etc..

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A

 

Actually, I live in a small city near Buenos Aires, Argentina, so... No? Thanks anyway!

Yeah, just a few too many miles away lol.

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You can't go wrong with Sony Trinitron. This will depend on whatever size you are looking for. There are plenty of 14" models that show up on ebay for cheap prices. If 14" is too small, then try a 20-21" model.

Mine are as follows

 

Sony FD Trinitron KV-14LT1U 14" TV - Nice flat tube, small footprint - so it doesn't need a massive amount of space. Great picture. But, only 1 scart, 1 RF, and 1 RCA input. I use a multi-scart + multi-RCA adapters.

Sony Trinitron KV-X2582U CRT TV 28" TV - This is massive, but the picture is amazing. RGB looks amazing on it. Not many inputs, but again I use multi-adapters.

JVC Model C-21TX1EK 21" TV - Nice all-round size, not too big, not too small. Picture isn't as good as the Sony TVs, and inputs are just scart and RF.

 

For multi-use monitors I use

Philips CM8833 Mark 1 RGB Colour Monitor.
Philips CM8833 Mark 2 RGB Colour Monitor.
These produce amazing pictures. Great inputs from TTL, to scart and RCA. They do come up on ebay, but I'm in the UK, so it might be different if you're in the US.
Hope that helps in any way.

 

 

So you're mentioning Sony Trinitron TVs. I checked and people are selling those on Facebook at an affordable price. Which ports should the Trinitron I get have? S-Video, RGB, Composite, all of the above?

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Obviously a PVM or a BVM is the highest quality choice, especially if you are aiming for RGB, but something to be wary of (which I think you've already figured out) with RGB-capable ones is, 1.) Price (they are uncommon and not cheap); 2.) Size (you might want a bigger screen, and in a lot of cases these are on the smaller end of things).

 

If you're doing anything from composite to component and want something mid-sized to something larger, the later flat screen Trinitrons from after 2000 are my go-to. These are easy to get and shouldn't cost you much (they might even be free, depending on where you look).

 

So you're mentioning Sony Trinitron TVs. I checked and people are selling those on Facebook at an affordable price. Which ports should the Trinitron I get have? S-Video, RGB, Composite, all of the above?

You are not going to get a RGB Trinitron outside of PVM and BVM models if you are located in the USA, on consumer sets that's mainly for people overseas. Composite and S-Video are the most common combination of connections on the post-2000 Trinitrons, but if you look around you can find ones with component as well. Ideally you'd get one with component, as it will also still come with s-video and composite.

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Like Austin said, you are in a different Country to me. I keep forgetting about the US market being different to the UK and Euro market. Here, our Trinitrons were mostly Scart (for RGB), RF, and Composite. It would be rare to find a UK CRT TV with Component, and S-Video. I've tried to find UK CRTs, mostly modern 2001 onwards, with 240p Component, but I've not found one yet. Even Flatscreens, are rare with 240p Component. I would have to look for very specific models that have been marked 240p by the internet community.

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IMO, it depends on the system you own.

 

If you're more focused on 8 bits systems, especially unmodded, a late 80's/early 90's set, 36cm (for the good old feel) or 43" (more comfortable if you play away, in a couch for example). (it's 15" and 21" I think.)

image111.jpg

WB148136343_2.jpeg

 

older, smaller TV usually have better tuners that late 90's/ early 2000's TV. On my Sony Trinitron from 2003, I cannot get any RF system I own to display correctly.

 

If you're more into 16 bits system, then you can drop the RF requirement and go to Trinitron systems, but you can also look for high end equivalent systems.

For example, the Trinitron equivalent for Panasonic were Quintrix tubes, which are as good as Trinitron. Thomson had Black Diva tubes, renowed for their level of dark (not sure they were available under any brand in the US).

 

If you want 8 and 16 bits "compabitility" and can't afford the extra room for two TV, then set up for a early to mid 90's TV in median size, 43 or 55 cm (21" and 23"? ) those should be reasonnably decent with RF and if you find a high end one, offers you plenty of video input.

 

IMG_5772.jpg

 

If you're really into high quality, for a few years, the RCA Dimensia TV set were sold with what they called "EIA Multiport" which is a SCART connector. (altough it seems that only a few model support RGB)

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I have some news. A guy from one of the local TV stores was cleaning up and gave me a TV for free. It's a 21' flat-screen Hitachi, I have no experience with that brand and I don't know if flat screen CRTs are any good for retro gaming, but it was free and it has all the connections I wanted: RF, Composite, S-Video and the one I'm most excited about, Component. Since there are several stores I couldn't go to yet, there's always a chance I can get a better TV eventually, like a Sony Trinitron and the holy grail, a PVM or BVM. In the meantime though, I have a CRT I'm really happy with and looks better than I expected. Thanks for all of your help and if anyone has had any experience with the Hitachi brand or with flat screen CRTs, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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I have some news. A guy from one of the local TV stores was cleaning up and gave me a TV for free. It's a 21' flat-screen Hitachi, I have no experience with that brand and I don't know if flat screen CRTs are any good for retro gaming, but it was free and it has all the connections I wanted: RF, Composite, S-Video and the one I'm most excited about, Component. Since there are several stores I couldn't go to yet, there's always a chance I can get a better TV eventually, like a Sony Trinitron and the holy grail, a PVM or BVM. In the meantime though, I have a CRT I'm really happy with and looks better than I expected. Thanks for all of your help and if anyone has had any experience with the Hitachi brand or with flat screen CRTs, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Hitachi is really good; maybe not as good as Sony, but certainly solid and providing a decent picture.

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This would be hard to answer as it would be subject to the individuals taste or preferences.

 

Some people want a giant screen, some want all the hookups. Maybe you like a crusty 13" set with poser woodgrain?

 

I'd say you need to ask yourself what you want in a tv, and look for one based on that.

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