I remember back in the day when CRT screens had dazzling pictures.
I don't think I've seen a good one in at least 10 years.
The phosphors wear unevenly (burn in) leaving latent images, so many I've seen where you can see the windows xp login screen etched in even when they are turned off after a few months of use.
The cathode material will eventually wear, and scatter itself on the inside of the tube. Electron guns get worn down much like a pencil, leaving a permanently fuzzy and dim image which no tweaking of the focus and screen pots will fix. This backscattered material (as well as other contaminants) will reflect electrons that don't make it to the phosphor, causing a glow and ruining whatever hope of a superior contrast ratio your set's maker claimed back in 1996.
As the circuitry ages they tend to become noisier, I personally can't stand the 15.7 khz LOPT whine most NTSC sets make. The good news is they are very serviceable, if you are can find a good CRT tech (they are still around!). One of our lab techs at university had a very nice vacuum pump, he could rebuild tubes and everything, said he hadn't touched the equipment in 20 years, and this was 15 years ago! We had lots of sets in pieces, including a couple opened tubes with the electron guns removed. I remember marveling back then that I was shocked such a thing could work at all. THAT magic is gone with modern TVs
I recycled my projection TV when watching a football game back in 2011 or 2012, Chelsea was playing, can't remember who, they looked like they were wearing black kit instead of blue, with a strange glow around the players. The blue tube could show solid color but the detail was gone. It went from being old but serviceable to laughably bad over the course of a few weeks of regular use. When it went, it went quickly. A new tube was $400, an old one was $50 with a 30-day warranty... It'd be like buying a used lightbulb.
I had a 20" philips for a while after that, the doming of the mask was so bad the purity would be ruined after more than 5-10 seconds of white raster and would require a few minutes to cool down. This was back when flat-screen CRTs were the rage. It did this when it was new, too. I know because it used to belong to my parents. I went back to my old 27" trinitron, that was my last CRT and it eventually got so fuzzy parts of the OSD were unreadable. I had to pay to have it hauled away and recycled. Picked up a cheap 39" Vizio, it was just in time for the 2014 world cup, it's been working great ever since.
I said something similar about audio gear back in 2009
, and I'm going to say it again here: use your ears
eyes to decide.
vvostenak wrote:well, so doesnt someone know the S/N ratio and total harmonic distortion of the O2 audio board?
Those numbers are just marketing indoctrination. Theoretically they would have some meaning but each product is measured differently so it's pointless. Use your ears to decide.
The audio module is the A/V module with the video parts removed, so the specification should be the same.
I agree with the argument about old games. That's why the NES classic has CRT mode, most (modern) emulators have something to that effect. There was an NES game that used something about the RGB stripe and non-native resolution to make background stars twinkle in a night scene. I can't remember what game it was (SMB3???) but I remember commenting about how ugly it looked on a computer monitor (that would have been a CRT back then, too, we were using Nesticle as an emulator) and was told by my friend that the effect only worked on a "real TV" with a real NES... there was no such thing as LCDs at the time, at least not for common folk.
Yes, there are many things that only a CRT can do. Showing movies is not one of them.
If you have an "old" CRT in good condition today, bear in mind it has been well taken care of, very low hours, and was probably significantly more expensive than the average set when new, as most of them have long since been recycled. I have owned or at least used my fair share of high-end NEC and Sony monitors, including a couple SGI and Nanao branded ones. Typically it would be the weight or power consumption that made these guys undesirable.
One good thing about projection sets is you don't have to worry about purity or doming. Each tube is monochrome so there is no phosphor mask! Convergence can be a royal bitch tho. Mine supposedly had automatic convergence, it worked but it never got it perfect and there was no manual adjustment. (this was a fairly inexpensive AKAI-brand 1080i set from the early 2000s that I bought in 2008 or so, I'd expect a professional Sony or Barco to have manual adjustments).