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CRT/LCD pros and cons
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Video Synthesis  
Author CRT/LCD pros and cons

nerdware

This is a long ramble that I've moved from another thread. I don't think it contributed enough there to justify being a reply, so I'm giving it a thread of its own. Even if it still fails to justify posting, at least it won't be off-topic. d'oh!

I'm curious about the pros, cons and general issues with CRT monitors. Even the monitors with small screens are deep. At least they have handles. The bigger models without handles look impossible to lift. So I'd like some clues. Why a CRT? What's the big deal? Why not use an LCD? The long ramble below will hopefully explain why I'm asking.

Sometimes I find the limitations of a device, and the artifacts they add, useful. However, for monitors, I prefer high quality. I've used a cheap upscaler that converts composite/s-video to DVI, and it worked fine on things like cameras, but produced very poor results with my LZX system. I still don't understand why.

I'm put off CRT monitors by the size and weight. I'm not fond of CRTs that whine or buzz, either. I've had some bad experiences with those, long ago. I'm not nostalgiac for them at all. I don't have a lot of space and I'm very sensitive to noise. I had to upgrade an LCD computer monitor recently because the 2yo monitor had begun buzzing. I'm guessing it was a cheap switching PSU, but my last CRT computer monitor devloped a terrible whine. I don't miss it at all. Well, ok. I did miss the flatness of the screen for a while. (A Zenith. It was flat, not thin. No, not thin at all. Deep and high quality. On a proper desk for a computer. Another world. Another lifetime.)

All the CRT monitors I see on ebay look filthy. Maybe its different where you are. I'm only looking at local stuff. I don't expect to find anything looking new, but if I was selling something, I'd at least give it a cleanup before photographing it. Mind you, I've seen worse cameras on ebay.

So I'm using a broadcast LCD monitor I found on ebay. It's clean, it's built like a tank, weighs 4kg, has a loud fan and is rack mounted. The cabinet I put it in is only 12" deep and holds a number of other devices, so the footprint is relatively small for all the gear stuffed in there. Oh yeah, I can just about squeeze a couple of cams onto the space in front of the monitor. See my vimeo vids for feedback examples produced using this arrangement.

Maybe a CRT monitor would give me better results, but I really don't have the space to try that. Not even a small monitor. I have a massively deep CRT scope that I hope to use for vector resynthesis someday - when I can make space for that. I actually got the scope years before getting into video. I actually had a use for a scope. This one was too cheap to refuse, so I got it. It's big, it's heavy, but it has a handle and is currently in storage.


Dirty_Bill

nerdware wrote:
This is a long ramble that I've moved from another thread. I don't think it contributed enough there to justify being a reply, so I'm giving it a thread of its own. Even if it still fails to justify posting, at least it won't be off-topic. d'oh!...


The topic is certainly worth revisiting, especially with lots of new interest in video synthesis on the forum.

We're really looking at 4 types of displays:

Consumer CRT
Broadcast CRT
Consumer/commercial LCD (maybe a few Plasmas)
Broadcast LCD

I won't list projectors because they'll mostly fall under the 'consumer LCD.'

Here's a thread with lots of info to start the discussion again:

[url=https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=51458&sid=ac5fc 9397ff3e10636f312f62129b252]
TV/Monitor choices[/url]

Note Dave Jone's comments about LCD scaler circuits flickering at certain frequencies - I see this all the time on my commercial LCD panels. It's not my aesthetic, but it could be artistically useful.

I love the way Sony Trinitron monitors saturate and I find the persistence of vision effect with CRTs quite pleasing and forgiving over LCDs.

But they are a HUGE PITA to house and move. I am currently looking for 4 frameless crts and 4 broadcast CRTS '20" range.

I would like to hear experiences with Broadcast Monitor LCDs (I did just see a panasonic broadcast LCD at the surplus store but it was Perhaps if the price drops...


nerdware

TV/Monitor choices

Thanks, that's a good thread. Well worth re-reading. However, I think Dave was talking about HD monitors with SD->HD conversion builtin. I'm not doing that at all.

I'm not even scaling to HD. I'm using a Vutrix 15" LCD with composite and SDI inputs. It only does SD/PAL, so HD isn't even possible. I'm converting to SDI for capture, so that also goes into the monitor. I've only used the composite input briefly, for testing the monitor before I got the SDI gear for conversion and capture. So the monitor converts nothing.


Dirty_Bill

The scaler chips in LCD flat panel displays process all the input signals, because they need to map them to their native display resolution. While they are not technically 'upscalers' they will stretch and squash and interpolate the incoming video to match the horizontal and vertical resolution of the panel.

Also, LCDs are progressive scan devices, so they will have to combine the individual fields of video together (since most Lcds can easily do very high refresh rates ~240Hz) this shouldn't be a display issue.

It does indicate there's a lot of pixel mashing going on whenever an NTSC or PAL signal hits an LCD, and that's probably where we see the different effects.

Can you post a link to the specific model or specs of the monitor you're using? I have the least experience with Broadcast LCD monitors, and it would be cool to look at specs...

I'm using these, more for the build in video wall controller and they were cheap: NEC v322 LCD But I tweak and tune on a Sony 9" broadcast monitor (PVM-9L2 I think)


nerdware

I don't have a model number. No manual. I can't even find another one like it on ebay now. I've seem several since I got mine, but they were twice the price.



nerdware

Meh. There's no comparison. I can buy LCD monitors. I can't buy CRT monitors. I can only find 1 CRT monitor on ebay that can be delivered - all the others are collection only - and that one has only a 9" screen. I can't collect as I have no transport.

So LCD wins simply by being available. It's not even a competition.


nerdware

I'm still not convinced that the flicker problem is anything more than an NTSC issue on US power. My LCD monitor is a PAL/SD only and running on UK power. I.e. 25 frames per second and a 50Hz power cycle. I don't see CRT saturation as an advantage as I can't record it.

So that leaves no advantages for CRT for me. YMMV, obviously, esp if you use NTSC in the US.

Thanks.


Dirty_Bill

nerdware wrote:
Meh. There's no comparison. I can buy LCD monitors. I can't buy CRT monitors. I can only find 1 CRT monitor on ebay that can be delivered - all the others are collection only - and that one has only a 9" screen. I can't collect as I have no transport.

So LCD wins simply by being available. It's not even a competition.


Then you would seem to have answered your own question from the OP SlayerBadger!


nerdware

Since then, I've found a few more monitors on ebay - and some of them can be delivered. These are only the 9" monitors, of course. I've also checked the manuals. These weigh only 8Kg. The one 20" that I checked weighs 30Kg. Collection only, of course. I'm not even sure I could lift that.

One small advantage of some 9" CRT monitors: NTSC/PAL support. Does that mean they're autosensing, that it depends on the region the monitor was sold in, or what?


nerdware

There's only one sure way to get answers, so I did it. I bought a Sony PVM-9042QM off ebay. It's only 250 TVL but that's all I can buy. It may not give me a fair comparison, but it'll give me something to compare.


evolve

nerdware wrote:
I don't see CRT saturation as an advantage as I can't record it.


Much of the recording with CRT is done by using a DSLR.


nerdware

Ahh, some more hardware I don't have - yet. lol Thanks.


ersatzplanet

Dirty_Bill wrote:

I won't list projectors because they'll mostly fall under the 'consumer LCD.'


While the current crop of consumer video projectors are more often LCD based, there are still a fair amount of CRT based video projectors out there. They are not cheap, but they are still scanning CRTs with no fixed resolutions.

A google scan for "art based video projectors" brings up quite a few listings.


nerdware



The monitor came today. As you can see, it's filthy but it works. So far, I'm not impressed. It doesn't do anything special compared to my LCD monitors. The best thing I can say about it is: it's cheap, so I guess that makes it good value.

Perhaps I'm missing something. meh


mk

The nice thing about CRTs is the buggers are easy to stack, which can make for a nice install. I put a bunch of them up today, and even the crap ones look ok in amongst the heard. In all other respects I like LCD monitors...




nerdware

I stack my LCD monitors easily enough - they're rack mountable. lol Incidently, I got the Duo new but at a massive discount because it was Grade B - one corner of the box was slightly damaged. Mr. Green I got the Vutrix at half the price I've seen that model usually go for on ebay.



This setup gives me 2 different views, before and after capture and let's me playback the recorded video. It also, as a bonus, let's me see the video in more than 1 aspect ratio. All 3 monitors have switchable aspect rations, of course. (The CRT has this, too.) The 15" also has a composite input, for another source like the V-4 preview/menu output.

Unlike the CRT, I can photograph the LCDs without catching them mid-frame.



Even in close-up. love (A filtered test signal from a Kramer VP501XL, also rackmounted.)


mk

I like those monitors!


nerdware



This saved me lol


nickciontea

its all about the black levels, white levels, saturation, and contrast.

but here is a nice run down. they both have advantages.

http://www.displaymate.com/crtvslcd.html


nerdware

Excellent! Thanks, Nick. razz


noisejockey

Those SmartView Duos are great! Happen to have a pair on their way to me now for a little micro-array project. Narrow viewing angle but even my 8.9" LCD I used for proofing and an external camera monitor has the same issue. Workable in an "art" context, though!


nerdware

The Duo monitors seem to have a very general viewing angle. I have no trouble at all with them mounted above my 15" monitor. The Vutrix is as fussy about the angle as you'd expect from an LCD, which is why I have it in the ideal position for me. BTW, the Duos also have a very dark black, unlike the Vutrix. Seriously black.

So while I'm very tempted by the Blackmagic 17" monitor, every time I think about it I remember how many video modules I could get for the same money. waah


noisejockey

nerdware wrote:
So while I'm very tempted by the Blackmagic 17" monitor, every time I think about it I remember how many video modules I could get for the same money. waah


Yeah, was on the same line of thought. Think a straight 17" monitor and a VESA rackmount adapter will allow buying the right screen without having to worry about rackability. Many such adapters/VESA-rackmount units exist, just gotta find which display one wants to use.


nerdware

The risk with cheaper monitors is that you may lose the quality of the image. I've also found that the PSU may fail in some other way, like making a buzzing noise. This is why the last computer monitor I bought was from a shop that specialises in broadcast video gear. Its a lot heavier and more expensive, but I don't want to use a monitor with a cheap and nasty PSU. I have much older and poorer quality monitors which are silent. I'll use them for the computers in my video rig.

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