let's discuss CRT TV ownership

Friend of mine gave me a nice 29‘ Samsung. I had to carry it down 5 flights of stairs. When I got to my car I realized my arms simply didn’t work anymore so I had to wave to a motorcycle rider dude passing by so he stopped and helped me. Very nice guy. Sometimes when i carry heavy things the pain in my back I felt that day comes back but it was worth it lol I love my baby.

The last great experience I had with it (like last week) was when I first tried watching old anime in it. Gainax's Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi is only available in 480p and looked terrible on my 4k tv. I was able to play it on my crt via a modded ps3 and it looked SO GREAT AND SHARP. There's something about the contrast in CRTs. I think we were already getting "true blacks" back then but we just weren't able to appreciate it enough.

@“TheFragranceOfDarkCoffee”#p42718 hmmm…i gave wind waker a shot on a 4K screen last year, just connecting GC directly via composite, and was amazed at how blurry it looked. maybe 4K is just too far of a gap? would my old 720P TV make a big difference?

I disagree with the audiophile comparison. Audiophiles exist mainly because along the line somewhere, audio companies decided they can make more money by selling cheap flimsy plastic crap, so they stopped advertising things like frequency range. Nowadays you still see tv monitors marketed with the exact specs front and center— resolution, refresh rate, etc.

I think that’s all I have to add for now. I’m a self proclaimed CRT expert, and I’ve gone from hating RGB-heads, to figuring out how to do things cheap and effectively, to now coming back around to composite blending superiority again.

Eventually none of this will matter once we get the perfect universal CRT filter.

I will say we had the Laser Bear CRT made with an Ipad screen (not my photo below, but gives you an idea) in at Video Game New York today and it really impressed me in terms of having the look of a real CRT in terms of color and vibrancy. So maybe we're not that far off.

[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/Y36Fd24.jpeg]

@“robinhoodie”#p42747 that does look nice!


I like your choice of demo games for a CRT. :+1::+1:

@“antillese”#p42758 Shoot. Not my photo. One I snatched from Twitter. But the game we were testing in the lab was Mario 64. On the giant flat screen through the Tink 5x with scan lines it looked okay, but on the little screen at the same time. A world of difference.

@“antillese”#p42608 I don‘t know man, sorry if I’m reading it wrong, you seems be annoyed by loud kids chasing accuracy but we all have our own whales to chase, you know? When you hear people say CRTs are better, please take it as statement of appreciation, not decree. I'm certainly not too high on accuracy but CRTs sure make me feel warm and fuzzy inside and kookoo in the head.

Last year my mom gave me her 32 year old 13 inch composite Sony Trinitron that my dad bought for $100 from a repair shop like 15 years ago. I was shocked at how good it looks running old consoles. I love it! It's impossible to photograph how good CRTs look.

[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/44Hu1Jk.jpeg]

To my eyes it looks better than my 13 year old $1500 Panasonic plasma tv and my 2 year old $209 27 inch AOC IPS 144hz 1080p gaming monitor running pc emulators/Mister. One of my friends also rediscovered Sony (3 19inch sets inbox from his dad's coworker) around the same time and was also wowwwwed. It's a bit of dangerous experience for certain people to see CRTs again in a long long while.....

Sony apparently cheated in loads of color beyond NTSC spec in consumer Trinitrons so it can get super colorful and vibrant. Of course I jack the saturation and brightness way up, total eye candy. Accuracy be damned. I tried to run emulator filters and crank the settings on my plasma and pc monitor but just can't get there.

Here is comparison I sent over to CRTpixels. It looks blurry because it's blown up from 13 inch screen but looks clear and even more vibrant in person.

I understand you brought up emulation to comment about people chasing accurate experience but I feel like it's a bit off topic. CRTs are just monitors so they're source agnostic on supported connections. Emulators on Wii look amazing on my Sony!! Cleaner than real consoles.

There are "audiophile" level of CRT fandom for sure but the image difference is pretty clear cut to me even on old cheap small consumer CRT with "bad" composite connection. No math, no latency blah blah, no calibration, just purely looking at it with my eye #1 and eye #2. So, am I gatekeeping with my TV that you can still buy for under $200 even on ebay that's still cheaper than LG gaming monitor?...... YESSSS!!! My 32yo 13in Sony CRT is motherfucking Citizen Kain of TVs and all your TVs/monitors look like poop!!

Not to get entirely objective here, but this is a neat discussion with a cool article that touches on how early game devs designed their art for CRT sets that compounds what I posted earlier about the “intended experience”.


I have a couple of notes I'd like to make, having lived through the CRT era but no longer owning any CRT displays.

I absolutely get the "intended" argument. Games designed during this era were made knowing the screen they would be displayed on, and took advantage of that. A lot of the dithering present in the "raw" pixel art was never intended to be seen; the artists knew it would be blended by the display.

The "gatekeeping" argument, as I see it, is simply a statement against the group trying to say "it isn't even worth playing unless you play it on original hardware on a CRT". I don't see any of that here on IC. Rather, I overwhelmingly get the feeling that everyone here essentially is in the "play stuff! enjoy it!" camp, regardless of the mechanics any individual employs to do so.

Of course, we can have discussions around how CRTs look nicer for some things -- but this is a far cry from telling people they shouldn't even bother unless they own a CRT.


Emulators have come a long way, also. Some of the CRT shaders are _very good_. Are they perfect? No, of course not. Is the experience the same on my gaming LCD monitor as it would have been on a CRT? No. It's still pretty dang good, though. For example, here is the title from Super Metroid, just scaled and showing the "raw" pixel art:
[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/zXmwL5C.png]

and here is the same title screen, but with a modern CRT shader enabled within the emulator (crt royale with a ntsc composite input layer):
[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/XmPLC9j.png]

It's clearly not perfect, but it is _pretty good_ and at least closer to the "intended" result, whatever that actually means.


I feel like you took my post more or less in the spirit that I intended it. You and I are both different people with different perspectives. And we are both assuming good intent with each other so we're solid. :sunglasses::+1:

I certainly don't want to come across as saying that you can't or shouldn't enjoy it on whatever hardware you have reasonable access too. I do appreciate them, I just want to make sure people don't hear it as a "oh, you didn't actually play _Metroid 3_ unless you played it over {string.specific.video.setup}".

Your comments about consumer Trinitrons are dead on. They look amazing because they cranked the gamut and let's all just admit NTCS color space sucked to begin with.

My comments about emulation were in the context of running on a modern digital monitor and using a filter/shader to simulate a CRT's image artifacts, not in the context of the source itself. And I love all the posts about how things look on CRTs vs the pixel art. It's again a great systems engineering example of understanding the use case of your product.

In conclusion, my 41-year-old eyes do not want to play any games on a 13" monitor because I wouldn't be able to read anything!


@“whatsarobot”#p42656 I find myself wondering, “Would this have been more enjoyable with different hardware?” Likely, the answer in most cases would be “No,” but the question still presents itself.

I play on emulators on my PC quite often because I play a lot of stuff that I don't have access to and that question haunts me everytime, also if the emulator has a lot of settings I get the same stupid thing where the question: "will I have a better experience if I turn on this specific setting?" is always in the back of my mind.

That being said I do prefer to play on crt's because I don't have any fancy scaler and I'm an input lag baby and even one frame of lag is enough for me to notice the game feeling slower. It is extremely playable but it's also noticable for me since I sometimes enjoy attempts at speedrunning. (I know i'm getting kind of in the audiophile level with this)

I explained the story of [how I managed to aquire (steal) a pvm from my highschool ](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/343-hardware-showoff/82)on the hardware show off thread a couple of months ago. So I figure if I already have a super fancy crt I might as well buy a couple of fancy rgb cables for it and use it.

I'm buying a MiSter soon to have an end-all solution to play most stuff that I want to play, and I'm curious to see where I will be playing most stuff when I get the MiSter with the dual video output. My guess is that I will still preffer to play on my PVM, but who knows. maybe the convenience of my hdtv will win.

I recently picked up a 23‘’ Trinitron from the side of the road and I love it to death. Large part of what I love is that the thing feels very much like an object situated in the physical space of my room rather than a portal to the Videogame Dimension. While I play I look out the window, attend to my posture, don‘t hold my pee as long. Something in Tim’s review of Pac Man reminded me that when I was a kid there was a continuity between videogames and other toys that has since been broken, and I‘ve enjoyed recapturing that. I don’t know that the “original intent” angle does a lot for me—probably any small, noisy monitor would have the same anti-immersive quality—but this is the way of achieving that effect that has at least some technical/historical justification.

@“tapevulture”#p42726 Flatpanels are just not good at scaling low rez analogue stuff. External scalers like Retrotinks do bang up jobs but kind of pricy even for cheapest one. If you wanna go nuts, $300 Retrotinks 5x pro also has pretty nice looking CRT filters. Pair that with $1500 LG OLED TV with black frame insertion on and you'll get something pretty close to CRT lol.


hey i‘ve got this same exact screen & case from laserbear, it’s really cool but every power supply i‘ve tried (which is only like, three to be fair) is really finicky and it takes me several minutes of adjusting it to even get it to power on. once it’s on it's real great. MiSTer actually has video modes for this specific resolution, it rocks. https://www.retrorgb.com/mister-1536p-support-added-3k-video-mode-recipe.html

here are some pictures i took of mine right after putting it together.

[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/ylqpLtS.jpeg]

[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/EviEvBa.jpeg]

i honestly like looking at this thing more than the 14" BVM that's been gathering dust in my garage for a couple years now, much easier to toss on my desk & put away when it's not in use and it looks fantastic, maybe i'd use the BVM more if i had a better place to set it up permanently but for now this thing is cool and fulfills the same brain-desire.

This thread made me want to retrieve my CRT from my parents house.

It‘s a Sony Trinitron and its really heavy. I’m thankful it‘s got handles on the side to make it liftable. I must of picked it up 8 or so times on the journey here.

I’m going to need a table or something to put it on because it's basically a cube. Looking forward to messing around with PS2 and Wii games on it.


I am quite fortunate to have a BVM D20F1 in my possession, I became interested in monitors just as their popularity really began to outstrip availability and managed to secure one for a reasonable price.

It is not clear cut that CRTs are always better than any given flat panel tech, but the motion clarity really is unmatched. Especially at a given refresh rate, i.e. 60fps gaming, is markedly superior in motion. Obviously we are getting the option for higher refresh rates, but modern AAA games simply aren't going to target 100fps+ any time soon, and we already have thousands upon thousands of games that cannot be played above 60fps or even 30. Black frame insertion is also pretty great for motion, but you lose out a lot on brightness. I think BFI or something like it will be the answer long term, though.

There is also a certain amount of comfort in plugging your old console straight into a device that has no problems with the signal, with no scalers, lag or any other kind of faff to worry about.

Still, CRTs are heavy, bulky, and have comparitively small screens. If I am playing games with a group of friends, crowding around a 20 inch monitor is hardly an ideal setup. Sometimes I just want to kick back in front of a huge screen. I would say my gaming is split about 50:50 between CRT and flat panel displays. On new systems I favour the latter, but I do still use scalers and the like to play older systems on them quite often.

On the topic of modern displays, though, what I find more amazing is how many people, avid game-likers, don't have game mode enabled on their TV. I have been in a few situations at friends' houses where they put a game on and I immediately notice how incredibly laggy everything is (and normally horribly oversharpened, too) so I politely ask if I can change all their settings.


The first is latency. Games both old and new run around 60 Hz, so anything that’s under 1/60th of a second (16.7 ms) is absolutely playable. If you think that you can react to something that is faster than Millia’s 19-frame overhead, you’re straight up lying to yourself.

@"antillese"#59 I disagree with this. Input lag and reaction times do not overlap, they are additive. If it takes me 250ms to react to a thing on a CRT, it will take me \~267ms at one frame of lag, and \~283ms at two frames of lag, etc. In most cases this doesn't matter, but it is still longer in _all cases_. Even if you don't notice it, there may be many occasions where if you'd got the input in a few milliseconds earlier you might have avoided that enemy, or made it over the gap, or whatever. I'm sure there is an element of placebo but I have on several occasions been struggling with a particularly tough timing-based task on an LCD (with known lag - only around 1 frame), then moved onto a CRT and had a significantly easier time reacting consistently.

So uh anyone else work in the AV department of Best Buy in the closing days of CRTs and have to heave 32" monsters up on shelves or try and fit one in the back seat of an Accord at the customer's request and scratch up the door frame of their car and have your boss not get that mad at you all things considered

I have 3 CRT TVs (non-pvm, 2 after Y2K with s-video) and 2 CRT PC Monitors (one that can do 1080p from ‘04 and one from ’95 I use with my MiSTer).

**I mostly try to stay period appropriate** since, yes, the **smooth motion** and sharp image you get from a CRT on 240p/480i signals was the intended design target and therefore looks the best (with good hardware), sometimes using the **physical electron beam phosphor bloom or composite rainbow to compliment the pixels**. With my MiSTer I use direct video 240p line doubled to 480p over VGA on a PC monitor and inject scanlines. It probably looks a little too sharp to some purists but I like how I can also quickly change the output to a scaled 1024x768 for easier compatibility for systems with weird resolutions instead of using one of my s-video TV sets (I use those with my real consoles - none are RGB modded thanks to the MiSTer).

I do use my **1080p CRT PC monitor** with my **PS3 and 360** though since most of those games **run sub-720p** (I set the output to max at 720p for improved frame-rates as well in some unlocked games). It helps to scale the game properly and not make a LCD TVs usually poor internal scaler muddy up the image and I get **better black levels**.

I will say the advent of **TVs with 120hz** is bringing back the level of **motion clarity** enjoyed by a CRT. It still uses sample and hold but the rate is so fast that it looks great with **black frame insertion**, but we are still a ways off from that being the norm (**2D games benefit** from this the most). CRT filters/shaders on an emulator can look pretty good, but again - **its all about the motion of 2D graphics getting messed up by LCD sample and hold**. Emulated 3D (n64, ps1) games can look pretty nifty with a decent CRT shader since the motion clarity isn't as important and some bob-deinterlacing can give you a good effect as well (see Bloody Roar 2).

I will also say that the **Retrotink 5x** and **OSSC** are great options to get very sharp looking scaling on any pre-HD system, and nice CRT-ish interlace effects on 480i signals. You won't get the nice CRT motion but at least the graphics are **sharp and the devices have extremely low lag**.

Getting a Retrotink 5x (or a 2x Pro if you don't want to RGB mod a console) is probably your best bet if you want to play your real consoles on a newer TV and you don't want to hunt down a CRT. If you have an **LG CX or newer** use 120hz with the TVs black frame insertion if you're using an emulator on your PC and you'll get some awesome results.

yeah i use a modded wii>hdmi adapter>receiver>projector setup, so i feel like it's gonna be hard to move to a CRT for the retro stuff, unless i somehow end up with a house big enough to have it in a different room cause the projector screen won out cause it takes up so little real estate when not in use

i wish i knew how/whether it were possible to get good CRT shaders for the snes and nes and genesis etc emulators on the wii, but if i would have to reinstall the emulators themselves that sounds like a total pain haha. plus that wouldn't solve it for ps2 games on my actual ps2, or psx games on the ps3, or gamecube or wii games on the wii hmmm. someday maybe!

bummed cause i love that TEXTURE. kinda like how i wish modern collections of vintage comics would use the original dots coloring, cause it just looks so flat and comparatively lifeless

EDIT: so i guess that retrotink or OSSC seem pretty cool. Any reason to think they wouldn't work with my setup? Should this give me at least close to the effect of playing on a crt, wrt the jagged edges inn HD, etc? I guess there's only one input per device probably? need to set aside some time to do research hmmm.