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Are Sony Trinitron TVs as Good as Everyone Says?

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Sony Trinitron's and Panasonic's are top notch.

Also, if you happen to come across a Magnavox 13" (Model 14MS2331/17) in good condition then snatch it up - they have pictures atleast as good as the others with even better sound.

 

I lucked out years ago when Circuit City was closing up and got the Magnavox for cheap.

 

Here's my Sony and Magnavox.....

I remember going to school one day early in the morning during the world cup and seeing a plethora of CRTs on the street. Those are the moments that just ruin relationships. Most were crap, but as someone who grew up in the 90s, I'm really attached to CRTs.

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A couple of months ago, I posted about the best CRT TVs for retro gaming. At the time, I really didn't know that much about the different between RF, Composite, Component, RGB and so on. Although I'm by no means an expert about the topic by now, I feel like I've watched enough videos and made enough research to feel more comfortable about the topic. So I ended up getting a 21-inch Toshiba that a guy at the local TV store gave to me for free. I was extremely excited at the time, but I kept doing research and people keep bringing up the same sets again and again. So I already gave up on getting a Sony PVM, BVM or an equivalent from other brands. I live in a small city and the local TV station got rid of them years ago. The alternative is Sony Wega Trinitron and a couple of those keep reappearing on Facebook Marketplace. My questions are the following: Are they as good as people say because I've never seen one hooked up? How much would you pay for a 29-inch Trinitron (that's the size I keep seeing)? Which connections do those TVs have? I assume they do composite and component, but what about RGB Scart? Is it worth spending money on that TV and carrying it to my house for that alone? I'm not expecting to get answers for all of these questions, but if anyone can send me links to other people's articles so that I can read them that would be awesome. Then I need to convince my wife... but that's for another thread I guess. Thanks!

If you want to play light gun games on your playstattion or whatever, the corner processing for perfectly flat, square corners and three cathode processing may mess with it a bit more than a standard CRT, like not being able to shoot the villian in the corner of the screen.

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If I lived in Europe I wouldn't even consider a trinitron. Instead I would be on the lookout for a Bang and Olufsen or, maybe, a Loewe.

 

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The Sony Wega is extra heavy. That alone is a reason to pass on them.

 

Another reason I am interested in the JVC D-Series. They are substantially lighter than the Sony.

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Sony trinitrons are substantially lighter than the Sony Wega (aka FD trinitron).

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I had an FS100 and now have a FV310 (27" for both of these). Love it, and use it for almost all my retro gaming. I use my PVM 20" for arcade and testing systems.

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If I lived in Europe I wouldn't even consider a trinitron. Instead I would be on the lookout for a Bang and Olufsen or, maybe, a Loewe.

B&O was overrated most of the time.

I mean, don't get me wrong, they are good products, but B&O tended more to be gadgety than quality. I got a B&O CRT TV. I mean sure it was nice... But not THAT nice. It was a 51cm, but I swear it weighted more than a 70cm; due to being made with a motorized feet and a metal chassis. Another bit of useless fancy were the two slanted SCART connectors... and overall, the quality picture was.... okay. Not even great, but not bad. of course it might have been due to age so I would'nt say that all B&O TVs are like that, but for me B&O TVs are gadget.

Their sound system are good tho... lots of fancy options but that's more what you want in sound systems.

 

I heard good things about Loewe but never saw one.

Edited by CatPix
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I used to deal with Trinitrons back when I worked at Sears in the early-mid 90's. I wasn't all that impressed with them as their blacks didn't seem as true as a couple Panasonics we had on the floor. They looked a bit futuristic but they didn't seem to stand out display or sound wise. Now their computer monitors....those looked slick.

 

I did have a 35" WEGA, but it too had the issues I remember with Trinitrons. Heavy as f... too, which I left in my old game room after my divorce (though I'd help ditch it if I was ever asked to). It was a good gaming TV for its size.

 

Probably the best TV I had for gaming was a then $250 Apex 27" TV. Flat top to set consoles on, SVideo and two AV jacks, decent sound, flat front tube and great picture.

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There are a lot of cruddy trinitron consumer tubes. There are some decent JVC and toshiba sets. Having professional monitors I am not sure I would want to go back to consumer grade. I have a JVC d series in my garage, that is way to big to take up stair into my gaming room.

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B&O was overrated most of the time.

I mean, don't get me wrong, they are good products, but B&O tended more to be gadgety than quality. I got a B&O CRT TV. I mean sure it was nice... But not THAT nice. It was a 51cm, but I swear it weighted more than a 70cm; due to being made with a motorized feet and a metal chassis. Another bit of useless fancy were the two slanted SCART connectors... and overall, the quality picture was.... okay. Not even great, but not bad. of course it might have been due to age so I would'nt say that all B&O TVs are like that, but for me B&O TVs are gadget.

Their sound system are good tho... lots of fancy options but that's more what you want in sound systems.

 

I heard good things about Loewe but never saw one.

 

 

 

Good to hear your comments on the B&O. At least I know I am not missing anything.

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As I said, its only one testimony :) If you find a B&O TV for free it would be a mistake to pass on it. But on the other hand, if you need to pay more than 100€ for a Beovision 1 (like I saw in ads recently) then no, that isn't worth it, IMO.

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Are they as good as people say because I've never seen one hooked up?

Based on my experience over the last 3 years or so gaming on a Sony KV-20FS120 WEGA Trinitron I would say yes. Yes they are. :)

 

lPaljHv.jpg

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Surely it looks better in person. ;)

Yeah, my camera isn't the greatest at photographing CRT screens. :lol: If you zoom in on the top left though you can see the pixel definition and clarity to be expected throughout the screen, and that's just over composite.

Edited by Jin
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Trinitron tubes show up in other stuff, too. I had a Macintosh monitor that was obviously a Trinitron inside, though not labeled as such. Other examples include the Macintosh TV, eMac, and Apple Studio Display all of which used Trinitron technology.

 

Yea, that was something even the most adamant of mac haters couldn't fault, the 90's macs on was even the "cheap" monitors with Sony tubes looked good.

Thats something that isn't mentioned in general, The Trinitron CRT monitors were a huge selling point.

 

I got a DELL 21" with a Trinitron tube for free around 2002 - the resolution is insane. Picture is fantastic.

Was told the CRT cost almost twice what the computer did when the kid's dad bought it.

 

The TVs may be hit ans miss, but if you can get your hands on a Trinitron CRT computer monitor, I strongly recommend it.

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Yea, that was something even the most adamant of mac haters couldn't fault, the 90's macs on was even the "cheap" monitors with Sony tubes looked good.

Thats something that isn't mentioned in general, The Trinitron CRT monitors were a huge selling point.

Cheap? My Apple-branded Trinitron in the early 1990s was $400! The crappier curvy models were at least $100 less. I don't recall Sony stuff having a reputation for being inexpensive or poorly made.

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The Sony Wega is extra heavy. That alone is a reason to pass on them.

I have a 36" WEGA sitting in my basement on a furniture roller. I will only pick it up 1 more time in my life. Either to dispose of it, or to put in on a cabinet in my basement man cave if I ever build it.

It is as awkward as can be, and I think it is over 240 pounds. I had a JVC 36" that was super nice, almost flat and about 168 pounds, it was a beast, but I could move it by myself, barely. It was $850 new a year or 2 after my inlaws got the 36" WEGA, and the WEGA is nicer. When they got a "modern" 60" TV years ago, I got that 36" and gave my 36" to someone else.

It is, by far, the best tube TV I personally ever used, and I consider it the ultimate for classic systems.

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-iMYUY7TAFJu/p_15836FV27/Sony-KV-36FV27.html

has some info. They can change scan lines and do full "widescreen" without losing resolution. I think they do 480P as well.

Also, back in early 2000s I briefly had a 38" widescreen HD CRT TV (I've never seen another one). It also was a beast, but couldn't compare to the WEGA, and I ended up returning it, it had some weird video problem.

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Cheap? My Apple-branded Trinitron in the early 1990s was $400! The crappier curvy models were at least $100 less. I don't recall Sony stuff having a reputation for being inexpensive or poorly made.

Given the ", I think he meant cheap as in "low-option" not "inexpensive. Beside "Apple branded" :D Even if it was Sanyo, you would still pay 150% more because of that logo ;D

 

Regardless, no one said that Sony products are poorly made or inexpensive, but that by the end of the 90's, Trinitron was merely a label for Sony. Trinitron was relevant in the 70's when the tech was new and Trinitron tubes had the advantages of offering a brighter, sharper picture AND lower consumptions in comparison with classic shadow mask.

But by the 90's, manufacturing tech allowed the classic "ladder" shadow mak to be as efficient and thin, and the end of Trinitron patents meant that other companies, mostly NEC and their Diamondtron (for PC displays) could even improve the existing tech.

 

I found a nice small 36cm Sony Trinitron TV. It had a "monitor-y" feel and it even got a degauss function (at least, I think... when I power it on, it does that famous computer CRT "BWOMP" ) .But, that's really just about that. It get a SCART input. And that's it. One input only, no menu key to fiddle with options (although it's probably old enough that it didn't have any built-in menu).

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad TV at all, but as far as option goes, aside from the degauss, it's not quite the most fancy 36cm TV I saw.

Edited by CatPix

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I still don't get where that comment was coming from, even as a dig against Apple, because the Apple-branded "Sony Inside" Trinitron CRTs were always considered high-end. This went on for years until high quality LCD panels arrived.

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NEC computer monitors used them as well, awesome picture, about 2x the price of a standard PC monitor unless you got a deal, but regardless, little harder to plug a SNES into a vga screen

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In the 1990s one of the high end and more expensive monitors were made by Nanao and they used sony trinitron tubes. Diamondtrons were considered inferior; not sure if that was justified. I do have a 17" diamondtron monitor and it looks great. I also have a 26" sony tv trinitron (not wega) since 2000. It still looks great. It degauses on power and has a service menu with tons of options.

 

Did the NEC use trinitrons or diamondtrons?

Edited by mr_me

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In the 1990s one of the high end and more expensive monitors were made by Nanao and they used sony trinitron tubes. Diamondtrons were considered inferior; not sure if that was justified. I do have a 17" diamondtron monitor and it looks great. I also have a 26" sony tv trinitron (not wega) since 2000. It still looks great. It degauses on power and has a service menu with tons of options.

 

Did the NEC use trinitrons or diamondtrons?

 

good question cause after a while they got hooked up with Mitsubushi

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Cheap? My Apple-branded Trinitron in the early 1990s was $400! The crappier curvy models were at least $100 less. I don't recall Sony stuff having a reputation for being inexpensive or poorly made.

Cheap was in quotes - Cheap for apple. They were still twice as much as every one else.

 

I meant even for the 90's mac being poorly made for the price point (the pizza boxes mostly), at least the lower end Apple monitors are better quality that 90% of pc market.

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