Retro AV |OT| RGB, CRTs, Upscalers, and more


600 lines is gorgeous in my opinion. It’s my ideal amount and what I have with the 20M2U.

It is a perfect balance of looking a lot like a consumer set but being a little extra sharp and clear. It’s basically a solid middle ground and very well rounded. The scanlines are clearly visible but fade into the overall image and aren’t so “in-yo-face.” And there’s just enough softness to give dithering some element of cohesion, while still being able to see the raw pixel art if you look closely.

the 20L5 in comparison makes each individual pixel so darn separate and distinct that I feel like I might as well be playing on an upscaler. It’s way too clear and pin-sharp. And text ends up looking really funky when there’s no bleeding between rows of pixels. And, quite frankly, 480i is noisier on the 20L5 too because you can see between the rows so much more clearly.


I prefer either the sharp 750 lines or the ~350 lines of my JVCs. 600 seems like it’s stuck in the middle, neither authentically soft or razor sharp, and depending on my mood I will lean toward one direction or the other. I also appreciate shadow masks much more these days than the Trinitrons I have, even with the high-line sets, shadow masks seem to lend a warmness to the picture.

Color is another big thing that’s not mentioned as much as sharpness. I would take a 600 line set with perfect, punchy color than a washed-out 900-line BVM.


If you convert RGB to component you can adjust the chroma on most pvm/bvms. It’s honestly one of my biggest reasons I want tonswitch to component so I can make the colors more punchy.


i agree on shadow mask vs. aperture grill. I had a 750 line shadow mask Panasonic set and it had the best picture I’ve ever seen. It’s on another level compared to the PVM line. I’m still kicking myself for tossing it.


My JVC H1950CG is sharp as hell…I mean, I love it - but it’s definitely closer to an emulator display than a consumer CRT:

But then again, you have the zero input lag. And also the other things exclusive to a CRT such as phosphor glow/trails - playing a game like Galaga or the mine levels in DKC2 are beautiful on a CRT like this. And it’s not something that can be replicated as such on a modern display.


And it’s not something that can be replicated as such on a modern display.

If you haven’t seen already I think you’d be surprised to look at how good some of the best CRT shaders for retroarch are now. On my hd screen I emulate with CRT-Royale and it has a lot of effects that seem to try to emulate phosphor glow / trails


Oh yes, I’ve used them extensively with Retroarch - but then you have the inherent lag you avoid with a CRT.


Yea… this just too too sharp for me personally.its very similar to what I’m getting on the 20L5


Yeah, it’s definitely down to taste and preference. I have a Panasonic RGB CRT I use in my spare room from time to time though which gives an image like this:


It’d probably be best to show how it handles 240p to do a proper comparison.


alright then!

I haven’t got any others to hand right now though, sorry!


That’s the stuff. Looks great!


Can anyone recommend a Scart hub? I feel I’ve asked the question before, or intended to. I just can’t remember. Anyway, I feel it’s only a matter of time before I bust a pin swapping cables. So I’m due.


I own both the Hydra and G-scart and both are fantastic.


I love this far more than I should. You can see in the second pic especially the unique shadowmask pattern that the PVMs lack.

Also, I’m really dreading the day when my CRTs start dying. Alternatives are getting better every year, but nothing beats that glowy tube.


I don’t think the CRT shaders are there yet and I tried most of them. I know on my 4K set that the glow found in most shaders looks like a cheap Photoshop halo that ends abruptly (giving it the quality of simple transparent image overlay). And a lot of them rely on a flat uniform blur effect to mimic CRT softness which on a real CRT is a lot more complex and organic looking. Maybe some new 4K versions are a big improvement.

@Kawika You can punch up the colors as much as you want with RGB too. On a PVM/BVM, you actually have a lot more fine control saturation, hues, etc. than with Component.


In the service menu yes. I was talking about the Chroma dial where I could micro adjust for each game. I tend to turn it way up for some and way down for others. Chroma adjustment doesn’t work with RGB so i’d have to go into a menu instead of turning a dial. Also my PVM was professionally calibrated and I am always iffy about messing with the “correct” settings.


Thanks I’ll take a look at them


I agree if you spend enough time around a real CRT it’s easy to see there is still a big ways to go. I think the effects are probably much better looking in 4k but I get huge frame drops on any game I scale high enough to fit my 4k screen so I normally turn my screen resolution down to 1440p at least. Despite the room for improvement I still think I like it more than the OSSC look of just upscaled w/ scanlines but that looks good too don’t get me wrong.


Walking down a hallway on the campus where I work and I spot this… Of course, I cannot pass a CRT any more without scoping it out.

A 20 inch Toshiba monitor. What’s up with this RGB input? This is not analog, right? A google search shows its capable of 480p and had 500 TV lines. Is this thing worth trying to wrangle up?

Consumer CRT Thread