What will you game on when/if your CRT dies? Whats your backup plan?

Just curious as to what you guy’s backup plan will be when your favorite CRT stops working. Will you buy another,go the OSSC/XRGB route or emulate?

I went from having over 20 PVM’s and 10 BVM’s down to only one PVM 2030 (I prefer 600 TVL to 800). My 2030 went on the fritz and I had to repair it this weekend. There was a point during the repair where I thought I wouldnt be able to fix it and had to start the internal dialog about what I’m going to do,do I go full OLED/OSSC or start hunting again (ugh).

Finding one in the south at a reasonable price is impossible now (mostly my fault) and ebaying one is a gamble. I’m leaning towards OLED/OSSC since I really don’t play all that much anymore and the scanlines look AMAZING with perfect blacks. I also like the look of a regular ass Wega through component,it looks more like I remember, and those are still easy to find.

Still,every time I turn my PVM on I hold my breath a little, since its my last one. A year ago I wouldnt have felt this way since I had multiple backups but the inevitable will happen soon enough…

For 240p, 480i, and 480p I’m very happy with how the OSSC works and I’m confident future offerings from the community or companies will be extremely robust.

For DOS games on PC I broke down and bought a CRT because of how poorly everything I could try handled VGA mode 13h. I think if that PC CRT breaks in the next few years I’ll be fine to find another but long run I’m really not sure. I don’t expect PC monitors to get any better with this stuff (probably worse) and there doesn’t seem to be the same kind of community around this stuff for DOS games. I hope that the OSSC update to support mode 13h works fairly well.

Out of curiosity, what are your considerations for 13h that aren’t covered by scaling 5x across and 6x vertically for a proper 4:3 integer scaled 1600x1200?

I was chatting with @balb about this last week. With products like the Framemeister (for now) and the OSSC I’m not particularly worried. The OSSC or Framemeister hooked up to my OLED is a real treat. There are also solid consumer CRTs as an option.

As it stands there’s only so much I’m willing to shell out for a PVM, and it’s far less than what people are asking for these days. Once mine dies I don’t plan on replacing it.

70hz for one, a lot of pc monitors don’t do so well with it when they have to output at 60hz.

Main thing though is that over VGA the monitor has no idea what the actual resolution is and just guesses based on timing. DOS games mostly run at 640x400 (line doubled from 320x200) but most (all?) LCD monitors incorrectly detect that as 720 wide for some reason (I suspect a problem with a common lookup table they all use but it also might just look really similar to another more common text-focused 720 pixel wide VGA mode). So the problem isn’t in the scaling but the sampling, it taking 720 samples for 640 pixels on each line, making the whole thing look pretty awful on close inspection. It’s easiest to see this on checkerboard patterns or more realistically dither patterns. I don’t have photo of it on hand but the house in Hugo’s House of Horrors looked especially awful but looks great on a CRT.

If this was actually handled properly I wouldn’t have bothered with a CRT but every monitor and TV and adapter I could get my hands on including the OSSC sampled wrong and often had more severe issues with resampling framerate from 70hz to 60hz or displaying 640x400 in a 640x480 box at the wrong aspect ratio. Pretty much just gave up and bought a CRT. I even tried an older PCI video card that outputs DVI since that provides actual resolution info to the display but the fucker scaled everything to panel native res in the card itself.

Much to my wife’s chagrin, I’m stocking piling some CRTs for the inevitable apocalypse. There are still a lot of Trinitrons being given away in my area, but mostly 32" models (I’m trying to keep it “manageable” by looking for 20-24", maybe a 27" if it’s an FV310.) The problem is that I only have so much space and spousal good-will, plus these things aren’t being manufactured by anyone and I’m not sure what my ability to repair them will be in the future. It’s a short term plan at best.

Longer term, something like the Analogue NT/ Super NT provides a nice option, at least for NES/SNES/supported cores. I’m OK with going the OSSC route, although it’s not my first choice. I’ve also managed to get Retroarch working reasonably well and could live with that if I had to. On the PC side, my best options appear to be DOSBox Daum SVN (for shader support) or DOSBox from within Retroarch (which complicates MIDI playback). At the end of the day I’d rather just believe that my equipment will last forever. :worried:

1 Like

Weep horribly and drink? :stuck_out_tongue:

But yeah, long-term, I’d probably go the OSSC route (or its inevitable revisions) and continue to support products like the AVS/Analogue NT’s, etc.

Right now, I’ll grab another one for free. They’re plentiful here, and they all have Scart because Europe. In 10/20 years though? Hopefully I’ll be settled and have room to keep a replacement for each CRT I’m using. But that will take a lot of space.

the ossc and modern panels has me at a point where I’m very happy with the image and input delay. When my CRT’s go I won’t be heartbroken anymore.

I already have a multi-step plan in place:

  1. Close my window shades and blinds.
  2. Turn off all lights.
  3. Get into bed.
  4. Burrow entire body including my head under the covers.
  5. Assume the fetal position.
  6. Cry.
  7. Try playing on a flat panel display using a scaler.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 every few days until death.

As you can see, it’s a full-proof plan. Solid and sustainable.


No joke though, people here (including myself) are going to be kicking themselves in 10 years for not spending the cash on CRTs while they’re still available. I can’t imagine how slim the pickings are going to get. I’d be willing to drop cash on a few more multi-sync capable sets if I found them in good enough condition.

At this point though, I’m probably not spending money unless it can do multisync though.

50 years from now, I’ll be 81 years old. At that point I still plan on having a working authentic setup. Achieving that is going to take a lot of ingenuity though. At some point, I’m going to need to learn how to restore old sets or maybe even figure out how we can build new ones from scratch. Yes, that sounds crazy. But I’m stubborn and don’t want to scale my games or emulate.

If we are able to figure out how to preserve fully authentic setups for future generations… well… I’d feel like we contributed to the scene in a big way. That’s a big “ if “ at this point though.

1 Like

Woof, rip my heart out why don’t ya!?

My personal retro gaming experience is tied pretty closely to CRTs. It’s hard to imagine not having that option at all. However good the options are at that point, I just wouldn’t be as interested or invested in playing on flat panels.

If we are imagining the dark, soulless world in which all CRTs are gone, I would just fall back on emulation for the most part. Since taking away the CRT makes for a totally different experience for me, at that point I would have no qualms about losing original hardware if there’s a cheaper, easier option. Over the long term I’d go for an upscaling solution or FPGAs to fill the gaps that emulation leaves, if I felt the need.

I haven’t used a CRT in years since I picked up the xrgb mini. I miss the light gun games, but I’ll get over it.

I’ve only had consumer CRTs, so I’m not worried. There will be plenty others. I can see why you’d worry if you’ve invested $200+ on a PVM.

To be frank, while I love the OSSC and Framemeister for what they can do, the output isn’t quite what I want. The scanlines look like scanlines rather than a CRT simulation. I’m currently looking into developing a Retroarch core that will take input from the Datapath capture cards and apply shaders like CRT Royale to it. And that’s pretty much my own personal endgame. If I can get black frame insertion working, then I’ll have CRT-like motion clarity and a really nice CRT simulation and that’ll make me pretty happy.

I’ll grab a consumer CRT. If they dry up I’ll go FM/OSSC or whatever other options come up from now until then (potential future Analogue products for example).

@bodine1231 Do you post anywhere about what you’re fixing/doing? I recall your youtube video from GAF about adjusting focus. Maybe you have other videos up too, I guess I haven’t checked. I’m always interested in the “this broke and this is how I fixed it” type things, even moreso with respect to gaming and displays. Cheers!

This is me right here.

I really should ask to spend some time training with the one dude I know who can fix CRTs.

I keep my CRTs that stop working in hopes there’s a fix for them out there. Surprisingly most sets I’ve found have been tanks. I doubt I’ll ever have the patience to sit down and learn enough to repair a CRT and it’s myriad of parts, but I hold out hope at least.

No not really,just the one video about how to make adjustments inside the PVM. I made a thread about it here for reference. I can do some minor work but by no means can I do full repairs. I know a guy in Florida that can do stuff like that but I’m not sure it’s worth driving 10 hours one way to repair a PVM,I just don’t use it that much to justify the trip.

I’m happy with the OSSC/OLED combo, and maybe a Wega in case I want the OG experience.

Agree 100%. The absolute holy grail is a device like the OSSC that can also do Royale type shaders without any lag. I ADORE some of the CRT shaders in Retroarch,combine that with the original console and we don’t have to worry about CRTs anymore.