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Discussion in 'Other Consoles & Oldies' started by HappyBuddy98420, Mar 2, 2014.
Depending on the effect you want to get and the games you're planning to play, different TV's might suit your needs. The general consensus is that for any sub-HD system, if you want to get the retro feel *or* you plan on playing lightgun games, you should invest in an SD resolution 60Hz CRT TV. The reasons for this are two-fold.
Firstly, lightguns will not work on contemporary LCD, Plasma TV's or on HD CRT's at all due to synchronization problems. There have been some attempts at releasing specialized lightguns which nullify this problem, but those are not available for all platforms.
Secondly, CRT TV's will display video "as it was intended to be viewed" - certain retro games use tricks specific to CRT displays such as pixel bleeding and have a natural degree of blur which is not present on LCD where the colours are more crisp and the contours more sharp - whether this is a good thing or not is a matter of personal preference.
If neither of those problems concern you, any TV with the appropriate hookups will serve you just fine.
EDIT: Since we're touching upon it below, I might as well point it out here for better visibility - HD TV's will scale the image up and this may have visibly negative consequences on picture quality. These could be okay or offensive, depending on the upscaling algorithm and filters used. Some people are bothered by upscaling, some aren't, so this is a matter of personal preference as well.
In all honesty, go to a charity shop or try and at least grab an old style CRT TV. Retro games never really look good on an HDTV especially if it's blown up to 32" and above.
I think it highly depends on the platform. I tried out my Sega Saturn on an LCD and I have to say that for such an early system, it actually looks splendid on an LCD TV. It's hardly a rule-of-thumb though - you're entirely correct in saying that anything below HD does looks better on a non-HD television since it doesn't have to be artificially scaled.
I have found out that playing my N64 on a Sony 32" HDTV ends up looks like crap but when I got a 19" HDTV from a supermarket, it actually looks nicer. The game I remember the most that looks HORRIBLE was Final Fantasy Tactics on a Sony 46" HDTV where I can't read any of the text at all.
In the end, it was when I visited a relative and they gave me their old Sharp LC 20SH1E TV that got a decent retro TV. To the OP, I would say that you should also be on the lookout for EDTVs. They're TVs that were made during a time before HDTV really took off where the maximum resolution it can output is 480p but at least it looks nicer than the old chunky CRTs if you don't like that sorta style of TV.
The discrepancy between a 16" and a 32" is obviously caused by the physical size of pixels. If you blow up 640x480 up to 1920x1080, each "pixel" will be represented by aprox. a square of 3x3 pixels on the HD TV - if those pixels are physically big, it's not going to look pretty, and don't even get me started on 320x240 or below. Of course there's filtering and resizing algorithms in play to account for the size discrepancies, but that can introduce unwanted blurring. At the end of the day, a game looks "as intended" when played on a TV type it was made for - HD games look horrible on CRT's, retro games are hit and miss on HD TV's.
Either way, it's going to suck to have to have TWO TVs. One for retro gaming and one for modern gaming and watching TV.
That's not surprising, since when you shrink the screensize you are increasing the pixel density per square inch. It's not even unique to LCD. My dad used to have this tiny (crt) TV, 9-10" or so, but damn... the picture on that thing... Even though it only had antenna hookups, not even composite, things looked gorgeous on it. But do you really want to play console games on a TV that small? Well, actually that's pretty much the only TV I ever played Intellivision on but when I got an NES, I really wanted to play on a bigger screen.
Like LCD/Plasma EDTV's? Do those exist? If so, wow, never knew that. But if you meant CRT, there's no reason to pick ED over an HD model, an HD CRT isn't going to have the issues with lower resolutions like you'd have on a LCD/Plasma. Not saying ED might not be a good choice if you JUST want it for retro games, but if you want something to play old and new, might as well try HD CRT over ED. Again, keeping in mind you need actual SD TV for lightguns if you are into those.
It's not as inconvenient as it seems - in my flat, there's an LCD TV in the living room for general use and a CRT TV in my room exclusively for gaming purposes. Now, I'm not one to be picky about displays and I game on both anyways, but if I do want a CRT fix or if a game downright requires it, it's there to be used.
For non-HD games = CRT TV
For HD games = HDTV LED / LCD / Plasma
PS1 games on PS3 look pretty pixelated but it's so much that it's not even good looking, so it's good to have the smoothing feature available.
If your going to get a CRT solely for classic gaming might as well go for the best of the best. In this case it would be one of the Sony PVMs
or you could spend $400.00 and get a XRGB-Mini aka Framemeister
I have 3 large CRT TV's I keep around just for the retro stuff. I just pray there is some sort of ultimate solution in the future as I just know they will not last forever.
That being said, emulation with a really good filter can help with most games being on a high res LED screen. (Of course lightgun stuff is still broken...)
As a side note to all this... One of the CRT's I have is like 40 or 42 inches... last time I moved it I thought I was going to have a hernia. I swear to God the thing has to weigh 200 pounds.
Meanwhile moving a 60 inch LED TV? No problem 2 people because it's kinda bulky but less than 100 pounds easy.
Edit: Thinking about it a bit more... a solution does sort of present itself to me for the whole light gun thing.
If and I say if the Wii-U gets fully hacked and emulators do get released on it (at least some PS1 and DC action.) the Wiimote could offer effective light gun "emulation"
At least that's my thought on the playing those old school games on a HD TV. (Emulation being the best option in that case.) Or maybe the Retron 5? (It seems like emulation + Carts if you ask me.)