HDTV CRT? What's the catch?

Sony is coming out with a new HDTV CRT (34") at a price of $1200 (including shipping). What’s the catch? Will this thing work well with the XBox360?

I assume there’s a catch (besides the godawful weight of the CRT), since the price is so low compared to LCD/plasma… but I am well-nigh TV-illiterate, so please clue me in if you can.

No catch. There have been 34" HD tubes around for a while. They are heavy and limited in size to about 34" and have good picture quality from what I know. I think the main thing is people want bigger HD sets and thinner profiles and the other technologies allow that.

– Xaroc

Having had to help the guy who bought my 32" WEGA carry it out to his SUV, I shall never, ever buy a >26" CRT again. Nothing should weight that much.

It depends on who you have helping you move it, really. For example, my friend Jennifer once helped me carry my large Sony Trinitron up two flights up steps. I held it from the bottom, and she held it from the top, and I got tremendous views of her cleavage going bouncy bouncy as she bent over the top of the box in her halter top. It was awesome.

More women should help their guy friends carry >30" CRTs, IMHO. In fact, I will rent out my heavy Sony TV for $7.50/hr. to anyone who wants to get one of their girl friends to help them move it all day.

Read the specs on that page. It weighs 190lbs. God help anyone who has to move that thing.

Eek. Mine only weighed 120. No worries, that just means burglars will leave the TV and steal everything else.

I have a 34" Toshiba CRT HDTV and I’m quite pleased with it. Less than a thousand bucks too. Heavy as sin but I ordered it from Crutchfields and got it delivered by their nice folks who actually brought it into the room and set it right next to the entertainment center. So the only lifting I had to with the beast was out of the box and onto the entertainment center.

I’ve got a 30" Philips. It’s a heavy beast, but you gotta love it.

Most CRTs don’t do 720 from what I understand.

My father recently bought a 30" Samsung that is slimmer than most CRT HDTVs… very nice.

I’ve already lauded CRTs in general and this model’s “predecessor”, the 34XBR960, in specific here and here and here. “Predecessor” is in quotes because there is much speculation that this set is simply a rebadged and slightly enhanced version of a lower-end model, the 34HS420. It has a QAM tuner like the XBR960, but no cable card support, no firewire, and no subwoofer. Most importantly, it seems that it lacks the 960s Super Fine Pitch tube (though it hasn’t been confirmed). Thus, the 960’s 1400 lines of horizontal resolution versus the 970’s (assumed) 850-ish lines. This is the most probable difference in the marked price difference between the two models.

The question is, will you miss the extra resolution? By all accounts the HS420 series was a very good line and would probably still be around if not for the lack of a digital tuner (which all new TVs must have). The shorter your viewing distance, the more important an SFP tube becomes. At longer viewing distances (8-9" and above), it’s a diminishing rate of return. Also, you might want to be looking for a larger set at that distance anyway.

So the XBR970 might very well be what you want; it’s just not superior to the XBR960.

At this point, no CRTs do 720. They either don’t accept the signal or they scale to 1080i.

The features list on the one I linked at the start (the KD-34XBR970) says “1080i/720p/480p/480i capable”, but I don’t know what that means, in terms of pixels. Is it going to produce an image comparable to an LCD with 1366 x 768 pixels?

And yes, they seem to have dropped the superfine pitch TVs. I’m guessing the market just wouldn’t support the cost for CRTs.

I have this TV from Sony and it is absolutely beautiful. Granted, it weighs a ton, but how often do I move it? It’s simply stunning. Very happy with my purchase.

It means that it can accept all of those signals. What is actually displayed, though, is 480p (480i, 480p signals) or 1080i (720p, 1080i signals).

Well, that’s a rather subjective question. I’d say it produces a superior image because I greatly prefer the CRT’s color accuracy, blacks, and the quality of the scaling of different sources (especially SDTV) over most of the LCDs I’ve seen. What’s important to you may differ. For example, LCDs are generally brighter, have perfect geometry, and can do razor sharp text with PC input.

My XBR960’s output has been stunning at all resolutions. Small text is a bit fuzzy with PC input, so I wouldn’t recommend it for Civ IV and the like, but PC gaming at 1280x960 and 1152x648 (underscanned 1280x720) is fabulous. And 480p and 720p (scaled to 1080i) feeds from my consoles look superb. This is all post-ISF-calibration, but, really all types of HDTVs should be calibrated, professionally or otherwise.

Apparently, the XBR960 isn’t going anywhere for a bit yet, so I don’t think that’s the entire story. I think it also had to do with having to add a tuner to all non-tuner models. Whether the rebranding was to indicate that some XBR features had been added to the set or to fool the unsuspecting public into thinking they were getting the same level set as the XBR960 for hundreds less depends on your opinion of Sony’s marketing department.

EDIT: Looks like Sony has taken the XBR960/XBR960N of the Sony Style site, so maybe they are discontinuing the SFP tube. Shame. Luckily there are still outlets selling them, like Crutchfield.

This is essentially the same set as the XBR960, only without a few features (firewire, adjustable DRC, PIP, etc.) and without a full 2-year warranty (1 year on parts, 90 days labor). If you don’t need those things, you can save a couple of hundred bucks.

I don’t know if this helps or confuses the issue, but I’m strictly looking for something to play games on – XBox360 and otherwise. My family watches movies on a different TV in a different part of the house. (And no, there isn’t much pressure for HDTV on that score… they are happy with the 32" SDTV we use now, and removing it would require redoing the entertainment center, etc.)