?
  1. Yes

    44 vote(s)
    64.7%
  2. No

    24 vote(s)
    35.3%
  1. SG854

    OP SG854 If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It
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    Who here games on a CRT and what are your opinions? Do you think it's overrated and a Flat Panel Display is perfectly suitable for retro games? Or is there really benefits playing on older displays?

    Flat Panel Tech no longer have horrible picture. The gap on picture quality from Flat Panel Displays and CRT technology has closed by a lot and CRT's have been surpassed long ago in many areas.

    Convenience is also a concern. Weight, Picture Adjustments (Geomytry and Convergence), Age and so forth.

    Gaming on CRTs has risen in popularity, probably still niche, but gaining more interest because of a few Youtubers talking about them. What are your opinions. Do you agree with people that say there are benefits to a CRT? Do you think it's worth carrying an extra older display just for the purpose of retro gaming? Or do you think the positives are overblown.

    I would like this thread for people to debate each other, people that think it's not worth it having an old display and people that do, and also want this thread to help people decide if they want to invest in a CRT based on the arguments presented.
     
    Last edited by SG854, Feb 16, 2020
  2. DaFixer

    DaFixer Dare to be stupid
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    For old 8/16/32bit 2d games Yes!
    I'm missing the scanlines on flat tv's, thats way i'm still using a CRT for my Commodore 64.
    But there are also options to get scanlines on flat tv's
    Input lag is also a thing, I notice this alot with R-type (arcade) on my Samsung F8000 tv and on my CRT monitor and Gaming Monitor.
     
  3. Hanafuda

    Hanafuda GBAtemp Addict
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    Depends on how important it is to you that the game is displayed exactly the way we saw it back in the 80's-90's. In the niche of people who are big on CRT's, the Sony PVM monitors are very popular and considered by many to be the ultimate ... but nobody was playing their Super Nintendo on one of those back in the day. (Take my word for it, I was there. In fact I was already in college when the NES launched in the US.)

    I do think a consumer model Sony Trinitron 27", with component input (or SCART FTW if you're lucky enough to have one) is plenty fine to get the experience of gaming on a nice CRT, and yes it's something you should experience if you can. But nobody needs that to enjoy the games themselves. I have exactly that ... a 27" Trinitron, with component & s-vid inputs. Unfortunately it is a flat screen model, I would prefer it be the regular style. It weighs a bunch, but not as much as our old 36" JVC (RIP) weighed. And I own a bunch of old consoles with RGB mods, and a Framemeister, etc. And, tbh I rarely use that stuff. I'm fine most of the time with plugging the SuperNT w/ SD2SNES into the 55" Sony LED HDTV and playing some F-Zero, or some Gamecube using the modded Wii w/ component cable.

    A few years back when people started figuring out that old game consoles didn't connect or work well with modern TV's, finding a good CRT was the best solution because it solved all kinds of problems instantly. But there are ways around that for a lot of consoles now ... HDMI adapters, upscalers, Analogue & retroUSB, etc. So I guess I'm saying that unless replicating the past exactly is your goal, or you just have a fetish for hunting down expensive & cumbersome old video equipment, then nah not really worth it.
     
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  4. SG854

    OP SG854 If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It
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    Scanlines are also dependent on TV line count. Higher TV lines gives you thicker more defined scanlines almost an emulator type look.

    TV lines is also debatable. Some prefer gaming on lower end CRT with lower TV lines for a softer image and with composite cables because it's how they remember their games when they were younger. Some prefer on a higher end CRT's with higher TV lines and more defined sharper emulator type look with cleaner Scanlines.
     
    Last edited by SG854, Feb 16, 2020
  5. SG854

    OP SG854 If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It
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    Back then when people didn't have much options displaying their old consoles to a modern display CRT was the answer. But nowadays many different options to play their older games.

    The only thing then for using a CRT is picture quality, but gap on that is closing. LCD's have perfect geometry, and don't have to deal with convergence, or warm up times for peak picture performance. Newer displays reach peak picture performance almost instantly after being turned on.

    And CRTs screens are very reflective, contrast and picture quality drops in a brightly lit areas, LCDs maintain better contrast in bright rooms. CRTs are best performed in dark or dim rooms and not many people want to play in basically in a depressing dark place.

    Deep Black levels is also no longer a CRT only thing, OLED and Dual Layer LCD's have deep black levels and produce higher contrast images.

    Unless people want lower quality composite picture for dithering and transparency effects but emulators can replicate that too. Or unless people game with actual consoles which I think modern upscalers can also replicate those effects too.
     
    Last edited by SG854, Feb 16, 2020
  6. Orangy57

    Orangy57 bruh
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    If you're playing on actual hardware, then a CRT is definitely worth it. There's something that just makes the graphics look so much worse when you play on an LCD or modern TV because it accentuates the awful, muddied signal from composite or even component cables by converting it to clear pixels. The CRT makes the experience nicer IMO because the whole image just looks blurry with the non-square beam that it shoots so it hides the imperfections, and is a way more direct signal from the console to the screen without any processing
     
  7. Xzi

    Xzi All your base are belong to the proletariat
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    I definitely dig my CRT for PSX/N64/Dreamcast and older systems. Anything newer or stronger you can mostly get away with displaying in HD/emulating just fine.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Feb 16, 2020
  8. J-Machine

    J-Machine Self proclaimed Pog champion
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    between the lag on modern tvs being better than crt and just better picture quality using an fpga console i'd say only the most diehard of purists actually need those 80 pound tvs around to have a good time. well except for 32/128 bit era stuff. but then you want the fancier sets with s-video and component.
    *i own a 27" JVC and it's only on for for ps1/2 and n64
     
  9. Rahkeesh

    Rahkeesh GBAtemp Maniac
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    No LCD display has input lag better than a scaler-free CRT. (Therefore not counting HD-CRT.) Never mind transitions and blur/persistence. Some have gotten much closer but they still aren't there are likely never will be.
     
  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Three things CRT gives you

    1) Almost inherently low latency. Towards the end I think there were a few computer driven models but most picture adjustments were made using good old fashioned analogue electronics

    2) A suitable input. TVs these days seem to lack much other than HDMI. Proper component, composite and RF... good luck with that. If it does something odd with it (much less tries to be a PAL signal doing something odd) then oh dear.

    3) Things as described on http://bogost.com/games/a_television_simulator/

    Low latency can be obtained by other means aka buying a suitable device

    Inputs can have adapters that do well these days, especially if you are going for the best options available on a given system (most systems having mods to move away from RF output and towards something nicer).

    That article notes that such things exist for emulators these days if you want, and most such things are edge cases or things you will have to be trained to note (some things with CGA colours aside).

    Some like the glow, smell and feel as well but that is all them and I still have to work out if plasticisers and fire retardants can be made into a perfume a la the ones people make for books and whatever else.

    They are often heavy as you like, especially if you are lucky enough to find a giant "flat screen" and wide screen telly with all the inputs (I never had the space but I would have cleaned up at charity shops if I had known back when LCDs started to trickle in and plasma dropped in price such that everybody else leapt and got a shiny 720i screen -- so many times did I see massive reasonably thin things with component in going for next to nothing). Barring plasma they also gobble a fair bit of power if that is a concern.

    On scanlines. I only ever had TVs some 27 inches or greater and was never one to have a little 14 inch thing in my room as a kid. Also live in PAL country. While I continued to play consoles on CRT... up to and including the 360 actually (I would later shift to VGA and only went HDMI at the very end), and also had one of the earlier generations of what were then known as VGA boxes, I have no particular memories of the concept or lacking them in emulators (which I took up in earnest towards the end of the 16 bit era and have not stopped with since).

    Above I saw a line saying exactly like it was back in the day, trouble is for that for me I remember a joke that video makers back then would tell you if you asked them what NTSC stands for. Answer is never the same colour, and for good reason. PAL was slightly better here but PAL for games is a tricky proposition.
     
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  11. ThoD

    ThoD GBATemp Addict (apparently), but more like "bored"
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    In my opinion, HD CRT monitors are worth it if you want to play something that requires incredible input precision competitively since inputs are pretty much instant due to how frames are drawn and there's a clear diffference between CRTs and more recent screens (CRTs are about 0.4 seconds when it comes to displaying and processing inputs). Other than that, just play on whatever you have, doesn't really change much besides it, although CRTs kinda require you to put the filter screen in front of them, so gamma can seem kinda bad...
     
  12. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08
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    If you have the space for both a flat screen and a decent sized CRT, I suppose it's worth it. It's just going to be too inconvenient for most people due to how heavy they are to transport and how much space they take up. And you also have to consider, why do you want a CRT? What would the benefits be, over getting something like a Framemeister? I personally can't think of any reasons, other than one - Retro games just look better on a CRT, because you can't tell how low resolution they are. The Framemeister has filters to emulate the CRT look, but of course it's not going to be the same exact thing. But then again, that's why I use emulators. 3D games up to GC/PS2 and even the Wii look awful on a modern screen. They look quite a bit better in emulators, but there is only so much you can do to make N64 and PSX look better. GC, PS2 and Wii show more noticeable improvements when emulated however.

    Also, I can't imagine playing N64 on real hardware ever again without an UltraHDMI. I've been spoiled by how crisp everything looks on emulators, and the blur filter built in to the N64 just ruins it for me. So if I wasn't emulating, I would want to play on a flat screen to take advantage of UltraHDMI. CRT would be a no go.

    Personally, I like the crisp look of flat screens and have no wish to go back to the dark days of CRTs where everything was smeared together. But maybe that's just me.
     
  13. CactusMan

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    It´s only worth it if you want to play lightgun games if you ask me.
    I don´t realy need minmal imput lag to play games. It´s not like I´m atmeting a world record speed run. To much of a drag seting it up with to less benefits. Il use the NES Classic or boot up retroarch.
     
  14. element6

    element6 Advanced Member
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    Like many have said, this is entirely a case of at least one or more of the following:
    • Personal preference
    • Space
    • Money
    If you are obsessed with old hardware, then it may follow suit that you would find the novelty in a PVM/BVM or CRTs in general. Keep in mind that like most things, owning a 15-30 year old PVM comes with upkeep ($) of its own, requires space, uses a decent amount of power, and god help you if you go down the rabbithole that is specialty cables, cards, and a framemeister (or similar) processor.

    I grew up on a 20" Hitachi with an NES that was handed down to my brother and I. Playing on a PVM with a modded NES is a different experience, and to me it's worth having, but you may be inclined to spend the money on something more important to you. Economics 101; utility.
     
  15. SG854

    OP SG854 If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It
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    That's probably dependent on the CRT and cables you have. Composite will make everything you describe. A good Scart/component will make everything look better not a smeary.

    It just seams a little bit nit picky to me. Flat screens have input latency so low that the very small fraction is probably not noticable to human eyes.

    A CRT does bring all of the best picture qualities under one display. Low Latency, good black reproduction, wide viewing angles, good motion handling (but there is phosphor trails), good colors. On an LCD there is usually a compromise. Low latency but bad picture. Really good picture but bad latency. Though recent flat screens are challenging that with both good picture and low latency. IPS panels (usually in the past having more lag compared to TN panels) are becoming more and more suitable for gaming, and Oleds TVs are shipping with lower latency.

    CRTs do require some kind of anti glare protector so that gamma won't be bad. But some people don't like the blurriness it gives, although this may also be bit nit picky and the slight blurriness probably is not very noticable, kind like people that complain about screen protectors on their phones.
     
    Last edited by SG854, Feb 16, 2020
  16. RowanDDR

    RowanDDR SNES Lover
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    Get an OSSC. Cheap scanlines and low latency.
     
  17. SG854

    OP SG854 If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It
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    A big problem is finding a good tv tech that can service these older displays. Most won't go near a CRT. So the only option left for those people are servicing yourself which can be very difficult finding documentation.
     
    Last edited by SG854, Feb 16, 2020
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  18. tech3475

    tech3475 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    I have an old CRT TV next to my Samsung 50" as it was just lying around the garage.

    It does come in handy since my current cheap upscaler can have issues and for light gun support.

    If it broke however, I'd sooner replace it with something like an OSSC, etc. than buy a new TV unless I got one dirt cheap e.g. charity shop.
     
  19. pop13_13

    pop13_13 Advanced Member
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    I used to play a lot on CRTs (mainly Samsung SyncMaster, and some IBM ones). Back then, it was the only option, I'm glad we have flatscreens.

    My eyed get tired from CRTs and backlight strobed LCDs. Other than that, it was OK.

    Would I shell out more than 100€ to play on a CRT? No, I'll stick with my IPS monitor.

    Do some games look better on a CRT? Yes

    Do I care about games which look betyer on CRTs (pre PS2 stuff)? No, I haven't grown up with the NES, SNES or the N64, and I don't realy care about those games. If I want to have the best experience, I emulate the consoles and upscale.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —
     
  20. Boesy

    Boesy GBAtemp Fan
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    CRT TVs are suitable for retro gaming so if you have space, then go for it.

    HD CRT TVs exist, but they can be incredibly heavy (SD CRT TVs can already be heavy as it is). I mean, I can generally carry most CRT TVs, but a HD CRT TV like the one below can literally kill someone or break an arm/leg. Not kidding.

    [​IMG]
     
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