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Searching for a CRT monitor

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Reply 40 of 65, by Auron359

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Errius wrote:

I had a 19" Lacie back in the day and it was huge. How much bigger must the 22" model be? Make sure you know what you're getting yourself into acquiring one of these.

Well whatever happens I would have to go collect it myself and people have already said in other forums that you will probably need two people to carry the thing 0-o
Still here is the Ebay listing with pictures .. can't beleive he is selling two of them.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LaCie-Electron-22- … 2QAAOSwn~tdmHGA

Reply 41 of 65, by Errius

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Does anyone here have the 21" Apple Studio Display? That thing was also a beast.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 42 of 65, by Auron359

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Errius wrote:

Does anyone here have the 21" Apple Studio Display? That thing was also a beast.

Is this what you are looking for ?
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-Monitor-M486 … 1QAAOSwJRFco5Rl

Reply 43 of 65, by Errius

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Yes that's it. Crazy.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 44 of 65, by ynari

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Anything you're going to buy at this point will be a total crapshoot. It's so long since any CRTs have been manufactured (2003-2005) that they won't be at their best. Despite being a large CRT fan, I would caution everyone to look carefully at the alternatives.

After looking (again) at Sony PVMs etc for the consoles I've come to the conclusion my next purchase will be an OSSC, probably also a Gamecube GHCD, and a Dreamcast DCHMI slowly when I have the cash. Some people think it's better than a PVM, others not quite as good, but the only thing you're really missing out on is light gun support. Whilst I could probably find a PVM they all take up space and I want to think of the longer term when all the tubes fail.

So far as PC CRTs go there are three main use cases for this :

Period correct output
Handling unusual resolutions and refresh rates/other beam trickery
Every day usage

For 'period correct output' the original poster would be best buying the £25 15" monitor or applying a shader using a modern graphics card. My first PC monitor on an Amstrad 2286 was a 12" CRT that probably managed 800x600, and on which I completed Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Here, the heavy usage of anti aliased art at 320x200 was probably helped by the monitor not being pin sharp. Playing it again with either a high end CRT or a TFT shows the art's limitations.

For unusual resolutions and rapidly shifting refresh rates a high end CRT may not help, as it takes a while for them to re-sync. There are TFTs that are good at handling this, but you have to pick them carefully.

For every day usage, the ability to switch resolutions on a CRT is nice, but TFTs do tend to look a lot sharper.

My two IBM C220ps are needing the contrast and brightness to be pushed higher, and the connectors on one are a little dodgy so I keep losing colours.

Don't even mention the CRT projector, which I need to do a complete geometry and convergence reset on it (a few hour job).

I think I'm going to be moving/retiring one of my CRT monitors, and replacing it with a TFT which is adept at handling unusual refresh rates. At some stage I'd like a modern 1440p monitor too..

If you knew for certain a modern CRT with a long life span and perfect geometry existed it might be a more difficult decision, but everything is now designed for widescreen, and a modern CRT would in any case be damned expensive. Eventually you have to move on.

Reply 45 of 65, by Auron359

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ynari wrote:
Anything you're going to buy at this point will be a total crapshoot. It's so long since any CRTs have been manufactured (2003-2 […]
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Anything you're going to buy at this point will be a total crapshoot. It's so long since any CRTs have been manufactured (2003-2005) that they won't be at their best. Despite being a large CRT fan, I would caution everyone to look carefully at the alternatives.

After looking (again) at Sony PVMs etc for the consoles I've come to the conclusion my next purchase will be an OSSC, probably also a Gamecube GHCD, and a Dreamcast DCHMI slowly when I have the cash. Some people think it's better than a PVM, others not quite as good, but the only thing you're really missing out on is light gun support. Whilst I could probably find a PVM they all take up space and I want to think of the longer term when all the tubes fail.

So far as PC CRTs go there are three main use cases for this :

Period correct output
Handling unusual resolutions and refresh rates/other beam trickery
Every day usage

For 'period correct output' the original poster would be best buying the £25 15" monitor or applying a shader using a modern graphics card. My first PC monitor on an Amstrad 2286 was a 12" CRT that probably managed 800x600, and on which I completed Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Here, the heavy usage of anti aliased art at 320x200 was probably helped by the monitor not being pin sharp. Playing it again with either a high end CRT or a TFT shows the art's limitations.

For unusual resolutions and rapidly shifting refresh rates a high end CRT may not help, as it takes a while for them to re-sync. There are TFTs that are good at handling this, but you have to pick them carefully.

For every day usage, the ability to switch resolutions on a CRT is nice, but TFTs do tend to look a lot sharper.

My two IBM C220ps are needing the contrast and brightness to be pushed higher, and the connectors on one are a little dodgy so I keep losing colours.

Don't even mention the CRT projector, which I need to do a complete geometry and convergence reset on it (a few hour job).

I think I'm going to be moving/retiring one of my CRT monitors, and replacing it with a TFT which is adept at handling unusual refresh rates. At some stage I'd like a modern 1440p monitor too..

If you knew for certain a modern CRT with a long life span and perfect geometry existed it might be a more difficult decision, but everything is now designed for widescreen, and a modern CRT would in any case be damned expensive. Eventually you have to move on.

Very true about CRTs being on there last legs, but there are many unused stock being found in places which I would think had no reason to have any degraded components that matter.
As much there is one CRT I have found which is decent that was only used from new for 10 months then put away ..10 month use I am hoping means many years of life left in it.

Reply 47 of 65, by ynari

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Auron359 wrote:

Very true about CRTs being on there last legs, but there are many unused stock being found in places which I would think had no reason to have any degraded components that matter.
As much there is one CRT I have found which is decent that was only used from new for 10 months then put away ..10 month use I am hoping means many years of life left in it.

I'm not sure about 'many'. The last set of new (colour) monitors I saw were Dell monitors off ebay Portugal, and frankly they were pretty poor low end 17" items. You might as well not bother with something of that calibre.

There is a monitor on ebay UK at the moment I'd consider as probably being worth it - for £460. For that sort of money you can buy one hell of a TFT monitor, or a half decent modern TFT monitor, and a more specific TFT that supports multi resolutions and CRT timing tricks better than most CRTs.

Reply 48 of 65, by Duouk2000

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CRT monitors just have a look that you can't get on a TFT. I agree that it's not wise to spend hundreds on one but they're still worth it for the right price. Modern solutions aren't going anywhere so he can always switch over in the future.

I love my OSCC btw, great little device and worth every penny.

Reply 49 of 65, by dries_86

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I recommend to not use eBay for this but rather look at local 2nd hand websites and driving over there to collect them. Myself I collected 2x CRT monitors (17" Philips and AOC I believe) for free (gave 5 EUR for the effort). Some people are glad you can use it and they do not have to bring it to the recycling center.

Reply 50 of 65, by Auron359

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To be fair I have been looking all over the UK for CRT monitors and tbh there is no much about, places like charity shops and shops like cash converters don't take CRTs anymore either leaving online and carboot sales as the only hope.

Internet - Facebook marketplace, Gumtree, Ebay its hit or miss, 90% of CRT monitors for sale are 14" or smaller junk with unknown brand names thrown into the mix. whenever a good CRT is listen the seller knows who will want it as it is always listed with "retro gaming" in the title so they know they can ask a high price.

Carboot sales - This is hit or miss, no way to test before buying, condition can be rather bad but price could be cheap as chips.

I feel Europe and the USA have the majority of good CRT stock still floating around as I can find everything outside the UK but never inside it.

Reply 51 of 65, by Errius

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ynari wrote:

Anything you're going to buy at this point will be a total crapshoot. It's so long since any CRTs have been manufactured (2003-2005) that they won't be at their best. Despite being a large CRT fan, I would caution everyone to look carefully at the alternatives.

I got through two 19" Lacies last decade, one lasted 2 years and the other 3. They were in daily use though. This is why I asked about fixing CRTs upthread. I wouldn't buy another unless I knew how to fix it.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 52 of 65, by Auron359

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I found a CRT that is ..well cheap AF but I can't find any information about It is a Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 21TX Model Number: THN9105SKTKL.
The monitor is dated May 1996 but search google turns up nothing.. no specifications no supported resolutions like it doesn't exist outside of drivers which I don't want. Has anyone hears of this monitor before or know where to find any information about it ?
Its either this or a 2002 Diamond Pro 750SB.

Reply 53 of 65, by maxtherabbit

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Duouk2000 wrote:

CRT monitors just have a look that you can't get on a TFT. I agree that it's not wise to spend hundreds on one but they're still worth it for the right price. Modern solutions aren't going anywhere so he can always switch over in the future.

I love my OSCC btw, great little device and worth every penny.

agree 100%

I absolutely love my OSSC, and motion clarity on my plasma is "good" but a CRT is still noticeably better in motion

I got both my 19" PC-CRT and 32" JVC D Series SDTV for free, and they are in perfect condition with great geometry/convergence/focus

I would love a pro monitor, but the prices they are commanding these days are totally not worth it

Reply 54 of 65, by Errius

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Does anyone know why some of these big monitors have 2 video inputs? Is it so they can be used with 2 different computers without need for a KVM?

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 55 of 65, by dionb

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Errius wrote:

Does anyone know why some of these big monitors have 2 video inputs? Is it so they can be used with 2 different computers without need for a KVM?

Exactly. Same reason some modern TFTs have multiple inputs. Also the inputs have different connectors, aside from DE15 ("VGA") you could have BNC, DVI-A, 13W3 or DA15 ("Apple"). Essentially all handle the same signals, R, G, B, Hsync and Vsync. Only difference is that some systems use composite sync (one sync line for both sync signals) or sync-on-green (both sync signals added to the green signal line). If you want to hook up exotic workstation stuff composite sync and SoG are nice to have, but for PC use separate sync is the only thing you'll encounter.

Regarding specs I've seen some misconceptions here. There's no such thing as a CRT "native resolution". CRTs just have min and max sync speeds and anything in between should be possible. How good it will look is another matter. The relevant spec there is dot pitch. It describes how far apart individual phosphor dots of the same colour are. In general less=better=sharper image. 0.31 is fuzzy as hell, 0.22 is razor-sharp. However this also depends on resolution vs size. Low res on big screen doesn't need low dot pitch, high res on smaller screen really demands it.

Also, what you want to display matters. 320x240 VGA looks unnatural on a low dot pitch high end monitor, so for DOS stuff a good 0.26 shadow mask might be better than a 0.24 aperture grille.

That's the other relevant spec: how the dots are made. A shadow mask is essentially a plate with round holes in is, an aperture grille is a set of wires making square holes. Trinitron and Diamondtron are the best-known aperture grille types. Aperture grille screens give sharper images and to some seem too TFT-like, particularly when combined with a flat screen.

I'd suggest shadow mask for DOS and early Win9x and aperture grille for later Win9c and XP, but this is of course subjective - and highly hypothetical. Whatever the specs of a screen used to be, there's good chance of degradation after so many years, and if availability is an issue, beggars can't be choosers. If you find something working decently and available near you, grab it unless you already have something better.

On that last point, don't get too upset about being in UK - it's just the usual 'grass greener on the other side' stuff. Things are scarce here on the other side of the channel too - and Europe is big. If you're willing and able to drive a few hundred kms to pick stuff up there are more than enough options, if not you tend to be as stuck as wherever you are in the UK 😉

Reply 56 of 65, by Auron359

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dionb wrote:
Exactly. Same reason some modern TFTs have multiple inputs. Also the inputs have different connectors, aside from DE15 ("VGA") y […]
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Errius wrote:

Does anyone know why some of these big monitors have 2 video inputs? Is it so they can be used with 2 different computers without need for a KVM?

Exactly. Same reason some modern TFTs have multiple inputs. Also the inputs have different connectors, aside from DE15 ("VGA") you could have BNC, DVI-A, 13W3 or DA15 ("Apple"). Essentially all handle the same signals, R, G, B, Hsync and Vsync. Only difference is that some systems use composite sync (one sync line for both sync signals) or sync-on-green (both sync signals added to the green signal line). If you want to hook up exotic workstation stuff composite sync and SoG are nice to have, but for PC use separate sync is the only thing you'll encounter.

Regarding specs I've seen some misconceptions here. There's no such thing as a CRT "native resolution". CRTs just have min and max sync speeds and anything in between should be possible. How good it will look is another matter. The relevant spec there is dot pitch. It describes how far apart individual phosphor dots of the same colour are. In general less=better=sharper image. 0.31 is fuzzy as hell, 0.22 is razor-sharp. However this also depends on resolution vs size. Low res on big screen doesn't need low dot pitch, high res on smaller screen really demands it.

Also, what you want to display matters. 320x240 VGA looks unnatural on a low dot pitch high end monitor, so for DOS stuff a good 0.26 shadow mask might be better than a 0.24 aperture grille.

That's the other relevant spec: how the dots are made. A shadow mask is essentially a plate with round holes in is, an aperture grille is a set of wires making square holes. Trinitron and Diamondtron are the best-known aperture grille types. Aperture grille screens give sharper images and to some seem too TFT-like, particularly when combined with a flat screen.

I'd suggest shadow mask for DOS and early Win9x and aperture grille for later Win9c and XP, but this is of course subjective - and highly hypothetical. Whatever the specs of a screen used to be, there's good chance of degradation after so many years, and if availability is an issue, beggars can't be choosers. If you find something working decently and available near you, grab it unless you already have something better.

On that last point, don't get too upset about being in UK - it's just the usual 'grass greener on the other side' stuff. Things are scarce here on the other side of the channel too - and Europe is big. If you're willing and able to drive a few hundred kms to pick stuff up there are more than enough options, if not you tend to be as stuck as wherever you are in the UK 😉

Alot of good information thanks ^^
Obviously I know nothing about CRT monitors since i was only a child at the time, never had any good games either for the PC except AOE II.
Of course my main reason for building an old system is to play games like Quest for glory & Kings quest along with more newer titles in the 90s.
I guess my reason for asking about native resolution or what they support is due to many old forum posts from 2007 talk about how 1600x12000 is only good on a 21" or biger CRT while most ones I find at 17" with 16" viewable.
To be perfectly honest CRT monitors are getting more and more rare to find on Ebay..good ones at least and even though this guy is asking £200 for a 17" Diamond Pro 750SB he does accept offers...so I might offer him something more reasonable since it seams to be in rather good condition.

Reply 57 of 65, by dionb

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For supported resolutions, check the Hsync rates. However just because a monitor can do resolution X doesn't mean it will look good (or even usable). Generally the highest listed resolutions are only attainable at 60Hz interlaced, which is literally painful. Moreover they tend to be beyond what is sharp with the available dot pitch.

YMMV, but I'd say vertical refresh rates below 75Hz non-interlaced are essentially unusable and for regular use I want at least 85Hz. So look for the resolutions supported at that rate for a realistic evaluation of the screen. For 1280x960 at 85Hz vertical refresh for example you need a horizontal refresh of at least 85kHz.

You can use this calculator to determine what horizontal refresh is needed for a given combination of resolution and vertical refresh:
https://myhometheater.homestead.com/bandwidthcalculator.html

Reply 58 of 65, by ynari

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Auron, honestly bite the hand off of the local guy selling a 15" Viewsonic for £25. It's not very much money, it's a decent brand, you can see it working in the screenshots, and it'll do a decent refresh rate (85Hz) at 1024x768. It's also 'period appropriate' - as I mentioned previously, first time I played Fate of Atlantis I played it on a not very good 14" monitor. If it all goes wrong you'll have lost very little money, whilst everything else is a lottery.

CRTs don't have a 'native resolution' but they do have a maximum resolvable resolution - after that the unresolvable pixels blur into the other ones, but due to the way CRT works it's pretty seamless.

I'd agree that you need 75Hz as a usable minimum for use. Regardless of what the monitor supports, you should probably be running a 17" at a maximum of 1280x1024, and a 21" at a maximum of 1600x1200. My C220p monitors are high end 20" CRTs capable of synching to 2048x1536x75Hz, but what it can fully resolve based on the dot pitch (0.24mm) and screen size (16" x 12") is 1702x1276 pixels. The closest common resolution to that is 1600x1200 with a little left over, you could push this to 1792x1344 or 1920x1440, but you're losing detail at that stage. I have used it at 2048x1536 but everything is very small and it's hard on the eyes!

It's also an issue if you're running non retro games. Practically all CRT monitors have a 4:3 aspect ratio, a rarity in TFT these days which are usually 16:9 or 16:10, with a minority of super wide aspect ratios. Some games simply don't support 4:3 at all, and the older ones tend to top out at 1600x1200.

What the specification says you can do, and what your drivers support are also two different things. The C220p is capable of running 1600x1200x100Hz all day, but not all drivers support it. This is not restricted to closed source operating systems; if you're going to be running something open source based be aware that as CRTs are no longer produced, they are rarely tested against now and the defaults are for TFTs. You will probably have to do some tweaking, especially if your monitor is connected via BNC and therefore can't supply an EDID over DDC to specify what resolutions it can handle.