Our LCDs suck: Modern games on a CRT

Rather than hide this in the “Nostalgia” topic, I think it should have its own thread. Enjoy the video, then go find your old Sony Trinitron computer monitor you’ve got in the basement, bring it upstairs and hook it to your current PC, and be amazed.

I haven’t watched the video yet, but I confess to be one of those old farts who tried that, and while it may look great (although you better not have motion blurs or that sort of effects, as it is like applying bilinear filters on a bilinear filters), the UIs are often undecypherable to me, as they are meant for much larger screen than my 60cm monitor.

They really don’t talk about text size. I’m tempted to try this myself and may do so as I have a Trinitron available to try it with. I’ll need to get the HDMI to VGA converter though as I’m not sure any of my video cards still have VGA out (or DVI).

Truth be told, I remember having already issues reading the text on a few Xbox or PS2 games way back when!
(No such issues on the wonderful rendering of the Dreamcast. Just saying ^.^)
Am I dragging this back into a new Nostalgia thread already? I’ll shut up!

This thread is a blatant advertisement for the 17 Trinitrons that Dave has in his basement that he plans to flip for his kids’ college education. Close and ban!!

As much as I love the benefits of modern monitors, there are several things CRTs still just decimate LCDs in (black levels, response times, and image sharpness outside native resolution).

I still have a 27" CRT TV for playing old console games on. I’m a little bit tempted to put together a retro rig and acquire a nice old CRT monitor for it. Not quite tempted enough to do it just yet, but I can see it happening. I’ve even saved most of my old hardware, so it wouldn’t even be difficult. Maybe I’ll set my Athlon 64 / GeForce 3 Ti200 back up…

I’ve been meaning to pick up a CRT to play some of my older consoles on, just need to talk my wife into it. What is the smallest size that makes practical sense? I’m thinking 13 inch. Also any model recommendations would be helpful.

13 inch is painfully small, no less than 19 if I were you

Right. The only way I’d get a 13 is if you’re talking about a PVM and using RGB input.

27 is the right size unless you’re sitting right in front of it.

Also, I think I buried the lede a little with the headline. In the video, he’s running Control at 1024x768 with every single RTX feature on at 120 fps. It’s kind of crazy.

I like 13 inch TVs, but I am lucky enough to have been in a land where RGB was the norm.

Yeah, we’ve been chasing the dragon for years, so to speak. Black Levels, Response Time, Ghosting, none of that was (really) a thing before LCDs. It was years before I jumped on the widescreen bandwagon, and I gave up a gorgeous, massive NEC to do it. Took a long time to get a display that blows me away like that one did, and that display still has to put up with the fact it doesn’t have the blacks of my old NEC.

No way I’ll go 27, that’s a much bigger tv than I have space for. I haven’t forgotten how truly big a CRT can be.

I think the worse culprits are semi-old monitors: my 15 Sony CRT looks deeper than its screen’s diagonal.

I don’t care if it looks better. The main thing switching away from CRTs got me was that I didn’t have to face this nightmare of moving a giant 27 inch CRT monitor every time I moved. Even with multiple people it was backbreaking and awkward. It honestly weighed way more than the 36 inch CRT Television I had back then.

I was so glad to get rid of that thing. I honestly didn’t care that the LCD monitors back then that I replaced it with didn’t look as good, and I still don’t care today. Though I am surprised. Certainly modern monitors look way better than the LCD monitor I got back in 2003 to replace my CRT.

We liliputians can’t relate to your story.

I have an OLED TV and I will never ever go back to a CRT. It’s probably nostalgic thinking, but CRT has terrible black levels too, unless you get the high end CRT with the black coatings inside the tube. Come to think of it, my LG 27" 4K LCD LED monitor also looks fantastic.

OTOH, old computers and game systems doesn’t look exactly right when emulated on LCD.

Years ago, I had one more chance to play Thief: The Dark Project on my old Viewsonic CRT before I took that monitor out of service, and the experience was enough to cause me to very nearly keep it in service, mostly due to how comparatively gorgeous all of that darkness looked.

I did wind up taking it out of service, however I refused to take it to the recyclers precisely because of that experience; I thought I might regret it some day. Aside from that, it was also because nothing was wrong with it, and I have a habit of hanging onto old tech stuff that still works.

John Linneman was specifically talking about Thief on Twitter recently and that it simply doesn’t look right or really play correctly on modern monitors because all the shadows and darkness you hide in do not render correctly on all digital monitors today.

I did notice that when Qt3 Classic Game Club played Thief 2 a few years back. I kept trying to tinker with it, but it never looked right, the way it did back then. I never thought it was the CRT, I thought it was just modern video drivers and such.

Most obvious to me IIRC, was all of the banding that was pretty much everywhere in that game on an LCD, disappeared on the CRT. I have played the game a few times since on an LCD or LED, and it was still perfectly playable, and still enjoyable, but had me itching to drag out the old Viewsonic again.

But the sheer size of that old thing stops me cold. It would take up nearly my entire desktop the way I’ve got my desktop setup now, and my mind boggles at the thought.

Wasn’t there talk of some kind of “slim” CRT way back in the olden days? Because if they could solve that problem, I’d certainly consider going back.