Consumer CRT Thread

This is something I have done on a Sony PVM20M4A that I am slowly trying to work all its issues out on.

Have to say though that the 240p test Suite is not ideal at all for doing convergence and purity adjustments with the current testing options it has.

Not sure rubber gloves are really needed for this, though I suppose better safe than sorry but I’ve not used any PPE at all working on any CRT thus far.

As long as you have steady hands even adjusting the convergence with your bare hands with the CRT on isn’t really that dangerous. The only risk is in touching the back of the actual tube or slipping your hand into the high power area.

My problem seems to be mainly trying to get information and finding replacement parts especially IC’s that have a tendency to start burning out after 20 odd years of use.

I have pinched nerves in my wrist and they tend to shake when trying to do fine work. So this personaly adds a level of apprehension. :sweat_smile: It also makes soldering a pain at times but I manage nevertheless.

If I am not mistaken there is special equipment that generates the signals/images needed to perform these tasks accurately.

I would definitely say use good quality rubber gloves then!

Just a quick note on adjusting these rings:

The purity ring set tends to be the one nearest the front of the CRT and if you have any weird colour blotches on your screen this can help remove them, but make sure you do this before any other adjustment if it is required as it will throw everything out of whack.

Also if there is any white epoxy on the rings free this up while the CRT is off with a fine craft knife and doesn’t hurt to use a marker of some sort so you can always return the rings to their original position.

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Good tips, thanks. On a side note a quick search yielded this test pattern generator but I’m sure there are others out there.

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I’ve been looking for a good and cheap Test Pattern Generator on and off for quite some time and have been tempted by the one you have linked to as it does seem decent.

You should check out the CRT monitor repair videos I posted about in the CRT repair thread. It’s an 8 hour class that will easily teach you enough to get started with basic repairs.


Did you guys catch this from GameSack. It’s not instructional lol. But Joe gets his consumer grade CRT modded for RGB input.

There has been some stuff going around about doing that for a couple of years I feel. Still seemed a bit too early for me to want to get into it, but am really curious to see how worth it it ends up being since the RGB part of the PVM/BVMs were only a part of their appeal. The other being that they are designed/built with better components that will last longer/are made to run 100k hours.

It’s also not a basic level mod, nor can I package up a tv and send it off to a modder to do it for me, so will be harder to get done as well. It is another of the things that I am happy that is out there as an option though.

Tried it on one of my CRTs.

Really feel like you should just use s-video or component, the video quality is more than good enough its downright fantastic. And if your CRT only has composite, a) composite on a CRT looks pretty damn good and b) not like there’s a shortage of tvs with s-video/component.

I know you’re bypassing all the processing using RGB but how much do you even notice that shit unless you’re pixel peeping.

Agree - just find one with component input. This is overkill. It won’t have the same affect as a real RGB pro monitor.

Unfortunately that is easier said than done most of the time. Those sets are unicorns or expensive for a lot of people. There are a ton of cheap sets out there that can be made better by those skilled enough to be able to do this (not me though :sweat_smile:)

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I’m always scared to mess with CRTs due to the voltage issues.

I’ve been playing through Metroid Prime (GC) on the Wii over composite, and it’s been more than fine.
My little Sharp 20" is a shadow mask, and seems to show much, much less interlace flicker than the Sony PVM or consumer trinitron.

I would take composite crt over most lcds given the choice.

Bonus Wind Waker hearts!


I really appreciate the photos in all the CRT threads and I’ve been thinking about picking up a CRT again since I haven’t owned one in over a decade.

I’m thinking primarily to use it with consoles released before Dreamcast/PS2/GameCube/Xbox, so primarily systems that output around 240 lines. It’ll probably also have to be good with composite video output, like via the PC Engine or Famicom (when I get one). But at the moment my Saturn, PlayStation 2 (for PS1 BC) and N64 are outputting S-Video to my 2006 Sony Bravia.

Does anyone have any good recommendations for small (14” or so?) CRTs which would be a great fit? Preferably models that saw release in Europe as well.

My last CRT was a Sony Trinitron KV-14LT1U, and before that I had a Phillips of similar size (I think @matt had the same one!). Forgot the model number though.

Is it also worth considering a PVM?

Really appreciate any help with this, I’m out of touch!

Since 480p isn’t important to you, my recommendation would be to not buy based on model number and, instead, buy based on condition. Generally, broadcast monitors are going to last longer, and be a bit sharper, but they’re also far more likely to be heavily used or even abused.

Find a CRT that still has low-ish hours, no burn in, decent brightness, good colors, with the inputs you want. Don’t worry about any other specs in my opinion.

To me, 240p/480i over S-Video on a standard CRT in decent condition will still be leagues better than a lossless signal to a fixed pixel display, even if we’re talking OLED. For SD, CRTs really are that good.

If you can get a broadcast monitor like a PVM, by all means do so, but it’s not a requirement for a fantastic picture. And you may even be turned off by the sharpness.

Above 500 lines of resolution is when scanlines start to get very distinct with noticeable separation on an aperture grille or shadow mask display. Personally, I find 600 to be a nice balance for 240p. My PVM 20l5 is 800 lines which is great for versatility (it takes 480p) but it can be a touch too sharp for lower res games.

It’s a shame we are so far from each other because I have two PVMs and two consumer 14" just sitting here unused.

Plus two 480p LCD which in my opinion are very close in quality to the above.

The 480p LCD I use day to day is as good if not better than my PVMs. Years ago I would have scoffed at the thought. I was amazed to discover it.

Though of course the LCDs require Component/VGA/DVI signals. So not ideal for you here.

Going to second not going for specific models. Just find what people are giving out for free or next to nothing, be picky about condition, and aim for late model stuff (mid-2000s) because they will have lower hours of use.

You can get picky about inputs (RGB in euroland would be nice eh), curved vs flat, SONY vs not SONY, etc etc etc but if you found a good looking mid-range Sanyo with only composite that isn’t too heavy to carry I think even then you’d be happy with the results. Composite usually looks good on a CRT.

Composite will still look good on a CRT, but you’ll get some artifacts due to how lossy it is. I think it still looks better than playing on a modern screen - heck, it’s how I play my NES and Famicom AV - but an S-Video capable CRT should probably be the minimum recommendation for someone shopping for a retro setup today.

The CRT itself would likely be higher quality too since they made composite-only sets as budget models right up until the HD era (at least in North America).

If you’re stuck with Composite, by all means go for it. But if you can be a bit more patient to look for S-Video or RGB, then the jump will be more than worth the extra effort.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

So I’ll aim for both a combination of a model that hasn’t been used for many hours (either based on what the owner claims or the age of the unit) and also models that support ‘high-end’ video inputs, since those are more likely to be higher-end CRTs too.

Yeah! I’m guessing they are too heavy for shipping as well? More than happy to cover any absurd shipping costs if that were possible!

I really wouldn’t know where to start to ship one safely.