VOGONS


Reply 20 of 38, by Azarien

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There are two factors why the monitor on the right is more blurry: different (and arguably better) arrangement of subpixels, and the fact that is has about 33% fewer subpixels on the same area as the monitor on the left (yes, I counted).

Reply 21 of 38, by dr.ido

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The focus control on most CRTs is at 2000+ volts and is sealed inside the flyback transformer to prevent arcing. Extending it or switching it without introducing other problems would be difficult.

.39mm and worse dot pitch VGA monitors did exist. Amstrad used TV grade CRTs in their cheapest monitors. I used a VGA monitor with a TV grade CRT that was removed from a poker machine for a while when I had nothing else - even 640 x 480 was painful. The experience was enough that as soon I could afford it bought a brand new 21" diamondtron, at the time it cost as much as my car. I actually liked the blocky look and even played emulated gameboy games on it in full screen.

Towards the end of the CRT era it actually went the other way - I saw a few no brand $99 14" TVs with VGA grade CRTs in them - I should have kept one.

Reply 22 of 38, by holaplaneta

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Azarien wrote:

There are two factors why the monitor on the right is more blurry: different (and arguably better) arrangement of subpixels, and the fact that is has about 33% fewer subpixels on the same area as the monitor on the left (yes, I counted).

Sorry if my question is ignorant and makes no sense. But by this do you mean that since the monitor on the right has bigger dot pitch, it is blurrier? So then a bigger dot pitch would be better?

I have never seen any of these monitors in person, so I am trying to visualize the results. I like what I see with this monitor just for DOS gaming, but I am aware that some people clarify that .39mm+ dot pitch would be a strain in your eyes (even for DOS?).

I wonder if there is a picture comparison somewhere between monitors that are the same size, display the same images at the same resolution but have different dot pitch sizes.

Reply 23 of 38, by Azarien

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holaplaneta wrote:

Sorry if my question is ignorant and makes no sense. But by this do you mean that since the monitor on the right has bigger dot pitch, it is blurrier?

Less detailed, yes. But phosphor arrangement contributes to the difference as well: Trinitron with its "aperture grille" screen has subpixels similar to LCD, resulting with LCD-like sharpness.

Reply 24 of 38, by dionb

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holaplaneta wrote:

[...]

Sorry if my question is ignorant and makes no sense. But by this do you mean that since the monitor on the right has bigger dot pitch, it is blurrier? So then a bigger dot pitch would be better?

Dot pitch is the distance between individual dots on the screen. The higher the dot pitch, the lower the sharpness.

I have never seen any of these monitors in person, so I am trying to visualize the results. I like what I see with this monitor just for DOS gaming, but I am aware that some people clarify that .39mm+ dot pitch would be a strain in your eyes (even for DOS?).

Dot pitch certainly isn't the only factor that determines monitor quality and/or eye strain, but it's definitely one of them. Doing any form of reading (which includes reading texts in games) is less comfortable on fuzzy screens (regardless of whether that is due to bad focus, bad contrast, bad convergence or high dot pitch). Obviously, the resolution you use is relevant; for anything over 1024x768 you *really* want 0.25 or lower, but at 320x240 0.28 would look great and you might even get away with bigger. I wouldn't recommend it though - there comes a point when 'nicely aliased' becomes 'so fuzzy you miss half the detail'. We didn't spend half the 1990s trying to get better screens with better contrast and lower dot pitch for nothing...

I wonder if there is a picture comparison somewhere between monitors that are the same size, display the same images at the same resolution but have different dot pitch sizes.

Unlikely.

But as already mentioned above, don't only focus on dot pitch. The mask/grille technology is at least as relevant. I wouldn't call aperture grille (Trinitron, Diamondtron) "LCD-like" - it's generally sharper than comparable shadow mask, but as there is no 1-on-1 pixel mapping as with TFT, the effect is different - 'angular' is how I'd describe it. That was considered desirable in the day, especially with SVGA resolutions. But if you want a more rounded feel, look for shadow mask monitors.

Here's a comparison:
1499100173444.png

I can't find any good comparisons of actual content though, and a complicating factor is that aperture grille screens tend to be more high-end devices with beter focus & contrast & other stuff. Finding a good-quality shadow mask screen is a real challenge. But there seems to be a lot of consensus here that given what you are asking, you really want a shadow mask. I'd once again suggest looking at a decent 0.28dp shadow mask screen before actually going out of your way to find a crap old low-end 0.39dp thing - particularly as you probably do want decent contrast and convergence, and you're not going to find that on some 0.39dp screen.

Reply 25 of 38, by 133MHz

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holaplaneta wrote:

I wonder if there is a picture comparison somewhere between monitors that are the same size, display the same images at the same resolution but have different dot pitch sizes.

I did exactly that four years ago with a pair of monitors I restored (you can read about it here in an earlier post I made which also has more pictures and information). I used a powered VGA splitter to send the exact same video signal to both monitors from one video card for the following pictures: (click on them for full resolution)

win95_sbs.jpg?w=800

win95_samsung.jpg?w=400win95_ibm.jpg?w=400

The Samsung monitor (on the left) allegedly has a 0.41mm dot pitch which is hideous for a 'high resolution' display but I actually like the look it gives to 200~350 line DOS games. The IBM on the right is more along the lines of your typical SVGA display.

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Reply 27 of 38, by amadeus777999

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I personally prefer the larger, late era CRTs with a Trinitron/Diamondtron tube.

There are cheaper and older monitors which have a very nice picture too... after some time you're starting to appreciate different CRTs for their uniqueness regarding reproduction.
I do not have many pictures and not a good camera to really catch the quality, but the HP1230s display 320x400 in a way I really like it - as does the IBM P260.

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Reply 29 of 38, by holaplaneta

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Thank you so much for your detailed answers! I really appreciate the throughout and detailed responses. I agree that looking at a decent 0.28dp shadow mask screen before actually finding an old low-end 0.39dp display could be a good idea.

The main games I play all the time are the old graphic adventures and RTS games, some FPS too. My plan to be honest is to one day to find a nice diamondtron and also the hideous large dot pitch one mentioned here but in a smaller size of 14" since I would use it for 200~350 line DOS games.

I was aware of your posts 133Mhz and I researched more on the models of that 14" monitor with 0.39mm dot pitch on the left.
I think that for America we got these models (maybe more, but these are the ones that look similar):
Packard Bell PB8537SVGA
Apple Basic Color Monitor

And Europe (and maybe others) got these:
Samsung SC-439VG
HP D2802A

All I can tell is that they are all Samsungs since they were manufactured in Korea.

Now I wonder if there´s a nice 14" - 17" Shadow Mask Monitor that you could recommend. Something like when people recommend the mitsubishi 2070sb (and equivalents) as the "gold standard" for CRT pc displays.

Reply 30 of 38, by dionb

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Given how scarce good CRT monitors are now, I'd recommend doing it the other way round: looking for what is available near you for a decent price and in decent state and seeing what specs it has.

Reply 31 of 38, by arncht

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Somebody tried to emulate the shadowmask for old games? I switched to a capure card, and i have good experience with the gsync based view, the scroll is smooth like on a crt. I mean, the 320x200 vga is 70hz without sluggish 60hz conversion (which is typical on the analog input lcds).

I started to develop an own capture software, which focus more to the view itself instead of the capture. It should be more advanced, than a normal tft, brings closer the original analog output on a modern display:
* without frequency conversion - smooth scrolls, etc
* more advanced filtering for lower res
* basically the output is more flexible, with many possibilities to do a better result

I am thinking about emulating crt sizes, and/or shadow mask. Of course you need a higher dpi screen, or the image would be bigger, than the original size. Eg my 3440x1440 34” display has just .23mm pixelsize, which is jist slightly smaller than a typical 14” 1024x768 crt from the early 90s.

Somebody has experience about this filtering?

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Reply 33 of 38, by kixs

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mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
VileRancour wrote:

If that's how it displays 320x200/240 modes, I don't wanna imagine even looking at text modes on it, let alone SVGA graphics. But hey, to each their own - if that's what you're after, you might as well just take any old CRT and mod it to deliberately unfocus the beam.

That's actually a neat idea. Maybe you could rig it up to a dial so you can tweak the amount of focus you want on the fly; set the focus all the way for textmode stuff and svga, turn the focus back for 320x200/320x240 games. 😉

Recently I've got a 14" CRT monitor with digital controls - seems to be made around 1997 - and it has the worst blur I've ever seen. I must test it in DOS games as Windows 95 looks terrible.

It's good I've seen this thread as it's been destined for the recycle center 🤣

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Reply 34 of 38, by rasz_pl

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anthony wrote:

For low res graphics 15khz displays optimal. 240p content should not be upscaled to 480p as it happened on pc. 30khz monitors all of you mention are far from the best solution

For my first PC I used normal 21 inch TV and VGA-to-Euro RGB cable with special TSR driver, worked like a charm for 320x200 DOS games. I dont remember a single 386 era game I couldnt play this way.
It was quite fun trying it for the first time blind (no real monitor), floppy came with little howto just for that occasion, typing into black void with hope I wasnt scammed 😀 Driver the cable came with was surprisingly robust, even 640x480 and 800x600 worked in interlaced mode.

someone at vogons mentioned http://mirrors.arcadecontrols.com/VGATV/pwp.n … /dosDriver.html a long time ago

Reply 35 of 38, by HanJammer

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What's the best CRT for DOS gaming?
I will tell you it's the one you have.

You will always find better one than the one you have. Stop thinking about hardware. Start thinking about making the use of it and enjoying it. If your CRT is already some low-end crap then grab any decent CRT that is easly available like Samsung 700IFT or 900IFT for example and really don't think too much that there maybe is something better - because there always is and it's not like you will spend most of your day on playing DOS games anyway so it just doesn't really matter.

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Reply 36 of 38, by kixs

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kixs wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
VileRancour wrote:

If that's how it displays 320x200/240 modes, I don't wanna imagine even looking at text modes on it, let alone SVGA graphics. But hey, to each their own - if that's what you're after, you might as well just take any old CRT and mod it to deliberately unfocus the beam.

That's actually a neat idea. Maybe you could rig it up to a dial so you can tweak the amount of focus you want on the fly; set the focus all the way for textmode stuff and svga, turn the focus back for 320x200/320x240 games. 😉

Recently I've got a 14" CRT monitor with digital controls - seems to be made around 1997 - and it has the worst blur I've ever seen. I must test it in DOS games as Windows 95 looks terrible.

It's good I've seen this thread as it's been destined for the recycle center 🤣

Tested it again. In Windows 95 it's unusable. The blur looks like the above 0.41 DOT monitor or worse. In DOOM I can't see anything special. In DOS Norton Commander the characters in the middle look very good, pure curves no edginess. While on the rest of the screen the focus is better and you can see some edginess and scan lines. Will post some photos later...

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Reply 37 of 38, by Deunan

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That focus issue is probably CRT being almost gone, too many hours clocked and cathodes no longer emit enough electrons to keep the brightness high enough. The electronics will detect that and attemp to compensate by raising high voltage (up to a certain, safe point) but this will have the side effect of throwing the focusing electrode voltages out of the sweet spot. It's no longer able to properly adjust the beam that is deflected a lot, due to change in electron speed. This is especially visible on high-res digital monitors that in general have the CRT working at the limits.

Reply 38 of 38, by pico1180

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In this instance, size does matter. You don't want to blow that 320res graphic up on a 17" monitor. I run a trinitron Mtiscan 100ES on my 386DX 40 playing all the games appropriate for such a system and it looks amazeballs. My eyes don't end up bleeding and the picture / graphics look really good