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I just tried Metroid Prime 3 on the Wii using an old CRT TV and it blew my mind.

nkarafo

Member
they do when upscaled. PC ports of games from the time look great at higher resolutions
I thought you were talking about the real consoles, not emulators.

In that case, yeah, HD graphics obviously benefit from HD displays.

But again, motion clarity will be shit in HD displays, unless you are using an HD PC CRT monitor.
 

Naked Lunch

Member
I think about getting a retro tink all the time, but I want one that can scale to 4k. Seems like we don't have to wait that long.
Yup, that's right, I think a 4k version is imminent.

Lighting the Bat-Signal for Naked Lunch Naked Lunch who's inarguably the biggest RetroTink fan on this forum.
Yep. RetroTINK 4K is coming soon. The thing is going to be expensive though - Im pretty sure Mike Chi said double the cost of the RT5X.
Lots of inputs on it though - the thing is huge.

For my setup - I do my retro gaming stuff on 1080p so the Tink 5X is all ill ever need.
Whats wild though is Mike has been back porting some features to the 5X he is using on the upcoming 4K wherever possible - again its all 4K TV related stuff but still awesome.
 
Yep. RetroTINK 4K is coming soon. The thing is going to be expensive though - Im pretty sure Mike Chi said double the cost of the RT5X.
Lots of inputs on it though - the thing is huge.

For my setup - I do my retro gaming stuff on 1080p so the Tink 5X is all ill ever need.
Whats wild though is Mike has been back porting some features to the 5X he is using on the upcoming 4K wherever possible - again its all 4K TV related stuff but still awesome.
Wtf lol why does it have the clown world face on it
 

cireza

Member
Basically something like this:






PS2/GC/XBOX/Wii, are all SD devices. They don't benefit from HD displays. in fact the HD displays will make them look worse.

But this isn't even about resolution. It's about motion clarity. Even a modern game will have much better motion clarity on a CRT.
Retro games never looked like your blurry Link as I have been experiencing for 30 years the glory of RGB through SCART on CRT TVs. 30 years of beautiful scanlines.
 

nkarafo

Member
Retro games never looked like your blurry Link as I have been experiencing for 30 years the glory of RGB through SCART on CRT TVs. 30 years of beautiful scanlines.
I never had RGB back then, always played these games through RF. So it was blurry Link for me and i assume most others.

RF/Composite was also the "recommended" way for most consoles older then the N64, due to their heavy use of dithering. Composite bleeding blends the dithering creating more colors and transparency effects. There were intentional by the artists themselves.

But yeah, RGB/VGA and stuff like that are better for 6th gen SD consoles from the DC or newer.
 
I don't know what this video is about and i know DF also has a video hyping that fancy Sony CRT.

But this thread is 100% from personal experience. I tried a Wii game on the CRT instead of the LCD i used to have it connected and was almost shocked with the result. Don't need someone else's opinion to prove me right or wrong. I just posted what i saw.
Yeah, I have a shitty $99 19" CRT that my parents bought me for college 20 years ago next to me, and it is flat out a better picture than anything my computer would output. You simply don't need a PVM or high end Trinitron.

I never had RGB back then, always played these games through RF. So it was blurry Link for me and i assume most others.

RF/Composite was also the "recommended" way for most consoles older then the N64, due to their heavy use of dithering. Composite bleeding blends the dithering creating more colors and transparency effects. There were intentional by the artists themselves.

But yeah, RGB/VGA and stuff like that are better for 6th gen SD consoles from the DC or newer.
The number of houses I played 2600, NES, SNES, TG-16, or Genesis at in the 80s/90s probably is over 50, and I never, ever, ever did not use channel 3. Hell, a decent number of those TVs didn't even have coax in and needed a UHF/VHF adaptor.
 

nkarafo

Member
Splinter Cell on PC looks great at HD, no CRT monitor required
It will look better on a CRT PC monitor, which is also HD. This way you get high enough resolution AND motion clarity. I used to have a PC CRT monitor during the earlier Splinter Cell era, playing at 85hz/85fps with CRT clarity & 1280x900 something. Nothing comes close to this, not even the fanciest TV or LCD monitor you can buy today.
 
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Lasha

Member
I wonder if companies will ever produce CRTs again, even at short supply like vinyls are nowadays would be awesome
There are one or two manufacturers who do just this. Museums and exhibits are their primary clients. They sell for around 10k iirc. Sourcing components and expertise is a major challenge.
 

Surf Ninja

Member
It's a huge pain in the ass to get all the cables, but if you call up your local television station and ask if they have any PVMs laying around they want to get rid of, the engineers will almost certainly give you everything they have. They are all old nerds, so they hate throwing technology away. But if you can get the right cables and hook-ups, it's mind blowing how good old consoles look.
 

Xeaker

Member


I bought a CRT recently and started playing all my PS1/PS2 games on it and it is GLORIOUS!
I feel sorry for all those people who play these great games on some emulator on their PC Monitor.
 

abcdrstuv

Member
I feel like the only reason companies pushed the TFT/LCD tech as early as the late 90's, even without the technology being good enough, was the lower manufacture cost VS CRTs. Remember, companies don't give a shit about consumers, whatever they do has to benefit them first and if that offers some side-benefits for consumer as well, that's just a bonus they can use for marketing.
LCD and plasma let you do bigger screen sizes at reasonable weights, flat panels appealed to people aesthetically, and HDTV was on the horizon, much harder to do with CRT.
 

abcdrstuv

Member
Is it in theory possible for miniLED or OLED to reach CRT levels of image stability? Like, if you reach 960hz refresh rates they’re indistinguishable?
 
Hell, the concept of a "pixel" is tenuous at best on old systems because there is so much analog stuff going on with non square pixels and all sorts of weird shit. Like, if an artist is going to display a circle on an SNES the sprite would be 20x16 pixels, not 20x20 pixels.

"Pixel art" is unbelievably misunderstood, and playing emulators on a computer for decades by people who have never even used an actual console on a CRT has completely distorted the perception of it.
Looking at the dracula picture I remembered... not to mention blended/dithered transparencies.

Emulated Sonic, Sonic on LCD, Sonic on CRT with s-video and up.



Sonic on CRT with composite:



Of course, image quality takes a hit, and I never like to set foot outside S-Video, but the results are transformative. Genesis/Mega Drive and Saturn specifically feel like consoles designed for composite as people using it that way don't notice that they lack hardware transparency.

I always look at these specific quirks in Sonic 1/2/3 ports and feel they don't reflect how Sonic looked like back in the day.
Is it in theory possible for miniLED or OLED to reach CRT levels of image stability? Like, if you reach 960hz refresh rates they’re indistinguishable?
In theory yes, but neither will unless their expected lifecycle gets extended massively for some reason. MiniLED would be a better contender at this point due to black frame insertion being more feasible without nuking peak brightness.

MicroLED yes, eventually.
 
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cireza

Member
RF/Composite was also the "recommended" way for most consoles older then the N64, due to their heavy use of dithering. Composite bleeding blends the dithering creating more colors and transparency effects. There were intentional by the artists themselves.
Artists took into account the poor quality of the signal and used dithering in some games, but I would not say that it was the recommended way to plug your console, otherwise RGB and S Video cables would not have existed.
 
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nkarafo

Member
Is it in theory possible for miniLED or OLED to reach CRT levels of image stability? Like, if you reach 960hz refresh rates they’re indistinguishable?
Even if it does, you will still need the content to reach that kind of frame rate.

For instance, on my 240hz monitor, when i play something at 240 fps, like a somewhat older game that my PC can handle at 240 fps, the clarity is very good. Not CRT level but very good nonetheless. However, if i play some 60 fps content on it, such as games that are locked in that frame rate (all emulated console games for instance), while the monitor still at 240hz refresh rate, the motion is blurry as hell, just like a regular 60hz monitor/TV.
 
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Yeah, I have a shitty $99 19" CRT that my parents bought me for college 20 years ago next to me, and it is flat out a better picture than anything my computer would output. You simply don't need a PVM or high end Trinitron.
All that matters on Trinitron's (and CRT's) is the amount of TV lines.

PC monitors have plenty TV Lines against TV's of the era. (but not as many as their maximum supported resolution which is why they're fuzzy on per pixel detail when displaying them) certainly comparable to PVM's.
RF/Composite was also the "recommended" way for most consoles older then the N64, due to their heavy use of dithering. Composite bleeding blends the dithering creating more colors and transparency effects. There were intentional by the artists themselves.
True that it was the common denominator expected, but I don't think consoles before 16 bit used composite to their advantage often, it was just there. 8-bit Megaman, Alex Kidd or Super Mario look the same. So I would always prefer RGB for those.

16 bit and 32 bit are vastly different, but I usually find that SNES doesn't have advantage over composite. PSone depends, 2D certainly use RGB, 3D games depends on the amount of color dithering and type of screen. (Psone dithering is not a problem on CRT's I feel, but it is on LCD's)

With Saturn I don't have a solution, with Genesis, I've started using a Wii (capable of outputting 240p), with Mega Drive controllers plugged in and the Genesis Plus emulator. It has a composite transparencies option that works quite well giving me slightly less crisp RGB signal and the transparencies. Best of both worlds.
 
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nkarafo

Member
Artists took into account the poor quality of the signal and used dithering in some games, but I would not say that it was the recommended way to plug your console, otherwise RGB and S Video cables would not have existed.
"Recommended" was not the right word. I should say "intended" maybe?

Developers knew 99% of consumers would play these games on RF or composite/regular scart. Therefore they made the games catering to that crowd. And they took advantage of all the quirks and artifacts these connections cause while they were at it. There's already the Sonic waterfall posted but there are countless other examples using dithering for blending fake colors, smoother gradients and transparencies. By using a better connection you don't get these quirks and you lose some intended effects.

So yeah, you gain some you lose some. It's a "pick your poison" situation. Sure, i don't get as sharp image but i prefer playing pre-DC games on composite because i know i won't lose any of the intended quirks that complete the picture the artists intended.
 
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nkarafo

Member
You all need to get on my level. I'm browsing GAF on a CRT.







not really
I use smooth scrolling on my browser and always scroll down while i'm reading. I am used to this and can't change back to the abrupt "page up/down" teleporting.

But this is impossible to do on a 60hz modern panel because the scrolling makes the moving letters very blurry. When i had my CRT PC monitor though i didn't have this problem.

That's why i got a 240hz monitor after my CRT monitor died. The letters get just a tiny bit blurry at that rate but still sharp enough to be readable while scrolling.
 

nkarafo

Member
True that it was the common denominator expected, but I don't think consoles before 16 bit used composite to their advantage often, it was just there. 8-bit Megaman, Alex Kidd or Super Mario look the same. So I would always prefer RGB for those.
Dithering/fake colors/transparencies were more common on the Genesis/Mega Drive. Maybe because the console had a low color count compared to it's competition.

8 bit consoles probably didn't have high enough resolution to do dithering. But i feel like a lot of sprites benefit from the composite blending, making them look more rounded/less pixellated.

The SNES can do 256 colors and real transparencies so it didn't need these quirks as much. But it still uses dithering in many games to create smooth gradients (skies usually). But yeah, in the case of the SNES, maybe i would also prefer S-video or better.
 

Wildebeest

Member
One big problem with CRTs was inconsistency. Like, the discussion of the difference between NTSC and PAL often comes down to PAL ports being awful because of dodgy conversions from 30 to 25 fps. But PAL had better colour quality and more scanlines, so the "iconic" visible black scanlines that NA retro gamers remember were not nearly as visible in the EU, especially with smaller screens. Then if you are gaming on old PC monitors the scan rate and resolutions are much higher, and they are generally not interlaced.
 

deriks

4-Time GIF/Meme God
There are one or two manufacturers who do just this. Museums and exhibits are their primary clients. They sell for around 10k iirc. Sourcing components and expertise is a major challenge.
Fuck me. I was thinking with something close to 2k... I guess I can't put a price on their work thou

Since Linus started with click baits I stopped watching him. Some stuff are on par and ok, but some stuff he just rambles with a lot of numbers and shit only to say something like "it's not really that, but yeah"... yeah, fuck you. CRTs are no matter of discussion. Games were made with this in mind and that's it. We can argue with 3D games, but they sure look more fine than a lot of modern tvs
 

MikeM

Member
CRTs are great for older games. I forget where I saw the video (although I'm sure there's lots of articles or videos explaining it), but older games look and play great because they were designed for them. And Wii being archaic tech, I'm not surprised it looked good.

I used to have a plasma, but upgraded to 4k five years ago. Aside from a few key differences like the soap opera motion effect on TV shows (with that optional Motion Plus feature) and it being much lighter, I dont think my 4k Sony TV was any better than my 2011 Panasonic plasma. The plasma picture quality and refresh were just as good.
Tell me what you have.

I had a VT50 and currently still have a ST50.
 
last CRT i owned was the sony gdm-fw900. sold it for like 10 years ago when i felt the strengths of the pioneer kuro outweighed the strenghts of the sony. no regrets.

id rather mod old consoles + external hardware + modern TV than use a baby 20"-something CRT these days. i grew up with CRTs... had enough of that stuff (degauss buttons are still fun though).

i like seeing the raw, unfiltered/unblended/unblurred pixels of an old game on a modern TV.
i always saw scanlines as a bug, not a feature.
only problem is some older games (e.g., die hard arcade on saturn) will strobe your ass into a seizure when your TV is 100".
 

JohnnyFootball

GerAlt-Right. Ciriously.
I wonder if companies will ever produce CRTs again, even at short supply like vinyls are nowadays would be awesome
No. they won’t. They’re dead, it will not happen. It’s not cost effective. There aren’t any factories that even have the equipment to do it.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
When the internet came about and everyone was downloading emulators and old games and MAME, I couldnt believe how shit the games looked on a PC monitor. This was around 20 years ago. I dont remember what kind of monitor I had but it was a just standard one probably like 1024 x 768 or whatever the typical ho hum monitor was at the time that comes bundled with a PC.

Awesome! I'm going tp play some Genesis, SNES and Neo Geo games I never played before! Not only were the pixels and colours way too clear and jaggy due to hi res monitors, but it didnt even run as smooth. It's so bad you can literally count the pixels chunks like staircase steps. Maybe my PC at the time was shit or the emulators were, but playing those 16 bit games on a CRT from 1992 looked much better (as you guys said about blending) and the screen also panned smoother too on a CRT.
 
No. They’re not. Vinyl is still being made. CRTs aren’t being made and dont have a chance of being made again.
CRT's are still manufactured for some purposes/clients. There is also a (niche) market of professionally remanufacture/refurbish/rebuild existing CRT's with whatever is needed. Effectively making them new again.

A resurgency will never happen due to obvious reasons, like weight and convenience. R&D stopped years ago so real evolution it's a dead end. But it's still a pitty that apart from plasma CRT succeeding tech never got to mass production because it was promising and solved it's problems keeping the advantages.

LCD was never a true successor to crt as apart from convenience it was a massive downgrade.
 
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JohnnyFootball

GerAlt-Right. Ciriously.
CRT's are still manufactured for some purposes/clients. There is also a (niche) market of professionally remanufacture/refurbish/rebuild existing CRT's with whatever is needed. Effectively making them new again.

A resurgency will never happen due to obvious reasons, like weight and convenience. R&D stopped years ago so real evolution it's a dead end. But it's still a pitty that apart from plasma CRT succeeding tech never got to mass production because it was promising and solved it's problems keeping the advantages.

LCD was never a true successor to crt as apart from convenience it was a massive downgrade.
Where? There are no "new CRTS. The components inside undergo chemistry and can still degrade.
 
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lyan

Member
I don't get it, what is this picture supposed to show?
Left is an actual photo of a crt, on the right is the raw output data? Where is a photo of a scaled LCD picture incl its subpixelmask?
Colors bleeding together sounds like some rough antialiasing technique that certainly have been taken into account in those days but now should not when a pixel should just show its own information.
There is no need for a photo of the right because you are already looking at it through a modern display.
 

cortadew

Member
For older games they are essential.

But dunno, i feel like they are better for newer games too. I consider Metroid Prime 3 as a fairly modern game. Newer games also benefit from motion clarity. But i have to find a way to connect something more recent, i think the most recent console with a Composite/Component output was the XBOX 360 but only the fat models and i only have the slim (my fat RRODed).




RetroArch has plenty of great looking CRT filters.





The above is a Guest-Advanced filter IIRC and the screens are from my setup.

But even the perfect filter still can't solve the problem of the motion blur.





It's a Sony Trinitron, i have to move it to see the back side for the exact model. I rather not if it's not too important.

Basically something like this:






PS2/GC/XBOX/Wii, are all SD devices. They don't benefit from HD displays. in fact the HD displays will make them look worse.

But this isn't even about resolution. It's about motion clarity. Even a modern game will have much better motion clarity on a CRT.
Actually PVMs is the way they should look
 

cortadew

Member
I never had RGB back then, always played these games through RF. So it was blurry Link for me and i assume most others.

RF/Composite was also the "recommended" way for most consoles older then the N64, due to their heavy use of dithering. Composite bleeding blends the dithering creating more colors and transparency effects. There were intentional by the artists themselves.

But yeah, RGB/VGA and stuff like that are better for 6th gen SD consoles from the DC or newer.
Nah RGB is the best for everything much sharper and cleaner look
 

Stuart360

Member
I still feel that 240p 16bit and 32bit games are the games that really feel the benefits of a crt screen.

I mean i still remember 2005 and when i bought a 360 and a copy of Fight Night, and how it looked pretty good on my crt, but we knew we werent taking advantage of the 360's 'massive' 720p resolution, and me and a frind went and bought a pretty expensive 32inch 720p flat scren. Well fight Night came alive on the flat screen, and looked way better than the crt.

Just as these old retro games were made for crt's, modern games are made for high resolution flat scren displays.
 
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cortadew

Member
I still feel that 240p 16bit and 32bit games are the games that really feel the benefits of a crt screen.

I mean i still remember 2005 and when i bought a 360 and a copy of Fight Night, and how it looked pretty good on my crt, but we knew we werent taking advantage of the 360's 'massive' 720p resolution, and me and a frind went and bought a pretty expensive 32inch 720p flat scren. Well fight Night came alive on the flat screen, and looked way better than the crt.
That game would have looked great on a high end 16:9 pc crt trinitron.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
I wonder if companies will ever produce CRTs again, even at short supply like vinyls are nowadays would be awesome

No. Picture-tube televisions are very expensive to manufacture and the only way they could be sold for profit was through volume and economies of scale. If you could sell tens of millions of sets, yes, it could be done. But if your current market only allows for, say, 50,000 TVs? Forget it.

Sorry, but this is now an extinct technology. Better start hoarding and saving as many as you can before prices explode to the moon and back.
 

Lasha

Member
Fuck me. I was thinking with something close to 2k... I guess I can't put a price on their work thou


Since Linus started with click baits I stopped watching him. Some stuff are on par and ok, but some stuff he just rambles with a lot of numbers and shit only to say something like "it's not really that, but yeah"... yeah, fuck you. CRTs are no matter of discussion. Games were made with this in mind and that's it. We can argue with 3D games, but they sure look more fine than a lot of modern tvs

CRT aren't created equal. Most people never experienced peak CRT when those games released. We were gaming on basic consumer CRT using RF cables or composite. People didn't have high end RGB cables being fed into industry grade PVM. Many consoles didn't even support RGB without modification. Games don't look that great on cheap CRT.

Not much looks better than something like metal slug feeding RGB into a high end and properly calibrated CRT. That experience is still prohibitively expensive and complicated for many games, especially the reddit "look at my haul" types who buy garbage to farm karma. I think that is where the much of the debate about CRT looks comes from.
 

nkarafo

Member
and the screen also panned smoother too on a CRT.

That's not the PC monitor's fault though. Console games are locked at 60fps/hz. That means, if your PC monitor isn't at 60hz or something that fits 60hz (like 120), it won't sync properly and you will get judder. You probably had 75 or above hz, which was the typical setting to avoid flickering. But you could always set it to 60hz to avoid the stutters/judder for these games. And i'm talking from experience because i also had the same problem but i figured it out early enough (the emulators on my og XBOX console had smoother scrolling on the 60hz TV than the PC emulators on my PC monitor and managed to find the cause).


Nah RGB is the best for everything much sharper and cleaner look

Apparently not the best for "everything" since you lose intended effects, like the ones already explained in the thread (blending, fake colors, transparencies). It's the best if you prefer a sharper image though.
 
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Hoddi

Member
CRT aren't created equal. Most people never experienced peak CRT when those games released. We were gaming on basic consumer CRT using RF cables or composite. People didn't have high end RGB cables being fed into industry grade PVM. Many consoles didn't even support RGB without modification. Games don't look that great on cheap CRT.

Not much looks better than something like metal slug feeding RGB into a high end and properly calibrated CRT. That experience is still prohibitively expensive and complicated for many games, especially the reddit "look at my haul" types who buy garbage to farm karma. I think that is where the much of the debate about CRT looks comes from.
Image quality on a CRT is usually down to signal quality more than anything else. The SCART standard here in Europe made it fairly trivial to get an RGB signal even on the cheapest TVs.

Nowadays, you just need a Raspberry Pi with a hat like RGB-Pi. It cost me 30€ and image quality is cleaner than with any RGB SCART cable I used back in the day.
 

Lasha

Member
Image quality on a CRT is usually down to signal quality more than anything else. The SCART standard here in Europe made it fairly trivial to get an RGB signal even on the cheapest TVs.

Nowadays, you just need a Raspberry Pi with a hat like RGB-Pi. It cost me 30€ and image quality is cleaner than with any RGB SCART cable I used back in the day.

Signal strength is definitely impacted by choice of cable. The cheap SCART cables you used growing up produce a significantly worse picture than the modern cables retro gaming enthusiasts have access to today. Using a PI doesn't make the signal better. Old consoles did the same digital -> analog conversion. Emulators avoid interference generated by the console due to the positioning of the power supply or poor RF shielding. You can achieve the same signal quality from old consoles by modding them. Neither does anything for the interference caused by a cheap cable or the changes in sharpness and brightness introduced when a CRT (cheap or not) craps out.
 

Krathoon

Member
People get pissy about the Neo Geo Mini using a filter on HDMI and I am like, "That is how it is supposed to look!".
The pixels are supposed to blur together some. That is why they added the filter on the output.
The filter does not even blur as much as a CRT.
 
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