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Contemporary Usage of VGA CRTs ...

Stone

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SomeGuy

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They forgot to mention that CRTs won't burn out your eyeballs like LCD screens. Yea, yea, folks have mentioned there are some out there that can be turned down quite a bit, but I have yet to find one. I have a problem with "vitreous floaters" - when using an LCD monitor they get in my way and sometimes make things hard to read. When I am using my good old CRT, they are hardly visible.

Also, WTF with all the newer LCD screens with ultra-reflective screens? Turn it off and it doubles as a mirror. I guess the ladies like that. Go back in time and pick up some Apple II monitor anti-glare panels?

"You'll also have to go in knowing the monitor may not last. As the phosphor inside a CRT ages, it will naturally lose its luminance, and that's assuming it doesn't suffer any other issues along the way."
LCD monitors last forever? I don't think so.

"Repairing a CRT can be tedious and dangerous,"
Compared to repairing an LCD monitor, which is mostly IMPOSSIBLE.

CRTs not as good for productivity applications? Suuure, every time I use a "modern" short screen monitor I start to get claustrophobic from the lack of vertical space.

Of course, the only way to experience DOOM the way it was intended is to use a CRT :)
 

jafir

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It seems that the computer world is always trying to push upon us tech with serious design defects, and they just expect us to ignore them in favor of some sort of perceived benefit. LCD contrast is miserable. I don't know how many times I'm looking at a spreadsheet, etc. and I cannot see where they have put the cursor or highlight because the white and the grey selection look the same. (and no, this isn't just because I'm getting old, I noticed this 15 years ago too).

I feel the same way about web applications and VOIP. I figured that crappy usability would make them die, but people have been pushing web apps for over 20 years, and they still usually suck. And VOIP sounds like crap and usually has bandwidth problems that even the best QOS won't solve.

Don't misunderstand, there are cases for everything. I wouldn't go back to a 27 or even a 36 inch CRT TV at home in my living room for watching movies. I love having a 70" screen that can hang from the wall. But if I could get back my HP a4033a CRT (sony trinitron) for computer use, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
 

Agent Orange

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My only knock on CRT's is that they take up too much real estate and are too heavy to tote around. Other than that, I okay with them.
 

mcs_5

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According to one of the linked articles:

"In the early days scaled images on an LCD screen looked absolutely awful, but modern scaling solutions look great. So it’s not much of an issue anymore."

Can I get an LCD monitor, that will provide a sharp image with an 800x600 or 1024x768 signal, suitable for CAD work? Or should I stay with my CRT (and get one for work as well)?
 

commodorejohn

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There's really no such thing as a good solution for upscaling, just bad solutions and less bad solutions. I think what they mean is "nobody runs at non-native resolution anymore, so we've stopped noticing that it's still awful."
 

maxtherabbit

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Nearest neighbor upscaling to integer values looks just fine, but no hardware ever uses it despite being the least computationally expensive...
 

Trixter

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Can I get an LCD monitor, that will provide a sharp image with an 800x600 or 1024x768 signal, suitable for CAD work?

I'm not sure this is the best example. It would be much cheaper and sharper to use a CAD solution that can actually drive an HD monitor at the panel's native resolution.

In 2020, we have the option of using OLED panels, which have the same speed and true blacks as CRTs (I own two and have verified this, compared against my Sony trinitron CRTs). Their downsides for our hobby are cost, having a fixed resolution, and no analog/VGA inputs. Cost will come down, but the inputs and fixed resolution will always be an issue for those trying to hook up to vintage hardware. There are many conversion boxes from VGA to HDMI, but most of the innovation for these was in the previous decade and many of them are discontinued or no longer developed.
 
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jafir

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Can I get an LCD monitor, that will provide a sharp image with an 800x600 or 1024x768

Sure, most early 15” LCD were 1024x768, but they are 15”. I’ve got a super cheap no-name one that I got for free years ago that I like to use for testing vintage computer and setting up modern servers because it’s small and I can put it just about anywhere without it getting in the way.

Something like a dell ultrasharp 150-something-fp should have decent picture, for an LCD, and have a native resolution of 1024x768.
 

Caluser2000

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My only knock on CRT's is that they take up too much real estate and are too heavy to tote around. Other than that, I okay with them.
Add power consumption to that list

My IBM P97 18.5" trinitron crt went tits up about month ago. I miss it as I have a few old systems that the Dell 19" trinitron crt wont sync down to. The lcd screens and tvs I have wont either. On the look out for a 17" crt that will.
 

cwathen

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jafir said:
It seems that the computer world is always trying to push upon us tech with serious design defects, and they just expect us to ignore them in favor of some sort of perceived benefit. LCD contrast is miserable. I don't know how many times I'm looking at a spreadsheet, etc. and I cannot see where they have put the cursor or highlight because the white and the grey selection look the same. (and no, this isn't just because I'm getting old, I noticed this 15 years ago too).
Part of the problem is the consumer being ready to place their trust in the wrong people. It's not so much that negative changes are forced on them, it's more that they force it on themselves. Back in 2005/6ish I was working in electrical retail. This was (in the UK at least) the point at which the sale of the new CRT TV sets had essentially stopped (still a few no name pink-cased 14" CRT sets with built in DVD players to go in kids' bedrooms around but not much more than that) and shops were now only selling flat panel sets. It was also the point at which almost all sets over 20" were sold as being 'HD Ready' (which actually meant little more than the TV contained a 1280x720 panel and an HDMI port - no 1080p, and no means actually built into the set to pick up any broadcast high definition either).

They were expensive - and terrible when displaying anything other than a specially prepared uncompressed HD demo box which the manufacturers reps used to dole out like sweets on their visits to stores.

Or rather the LCD sets were. Early fluorescent-backlit panels with appalling viewing angles (especially for cheap small sets which often used panels designed for computer monitors), terrible levels of motion blur and zero ability to scale properly to any standard-def resolution which still made up the bulk of broadcast TV at the time, nor to deal with noisy old SCART sources which were also still very common (and which were often set to composite even though most equipment supported S Video or RGB mode) without introducing terrible artefacting to the picture.

Personally, although I sold flat panel TVs there was no way I was parting with that much money to go backwards in picture quality so I still kept running my beautiful Panasonic TX32PB50 Quintrix CRT set at the time (in fact it survived as a guest room TV until 2016 and was only ditched because I moved house and didn't want to take it with me, a decision I now regret). I never personally owned a flat screen TV until 2013 when LCD finally started to mature enough that it could compete with the CRTs of 10-15 years before (that and HD content finally got common enough to want an HD screen).

There was a solution at the time though - plasma. It was only available in larger screen sizes and not from all manufacturers but it was a vastly better technology then LCD. It could display true blacks, did a much better job of scaling, the screens were much faster, the colours much more vivid.

But you trying selling one to a customer who wasn't technically minded. There was absolute hysteria surrounding the technology (and not in a good way). Various urban myths perpetuated about it; it apparently used so much electricity that you'd need to acquire a small nuclear power station to run it, apparently screen burn was an inevitability, apparently the screen couldn't be touched (actually it was more durable than an LCD screen) and my absolute favourite - 'you've got to get them re-gassed'.

Even when you put a large screen LCD next to a large screen plasma and demonstrated the visibly superior picture they just didn't care - they knew didn't want a plasma and you weren't changing their minds. We the sales staff they were not willing to trust. However they were perfectly happy to form opinions based on urban myths with no obvious source (which I would suggest largely came from a certain manufacturer who once made the best CRTs but ended up making mediocre at best LCDs due to a flawed decision to stop their own flat panel development and start a joint operation to make LCDs with a certain other prominent manufacturer).

Once we got to LED backlit LCDs and OLED the need for plasma diminished, but it was essentially dead in the water from the start as a mass technology because people wouldn't listen.
 
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mcs_5

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I'm not sure this is the best example. It would be much cheaper and sharper to use a CAD solution that can actually drive an HD monitor at the panel's native resolution.

Yes. But replacing software that works, and allows you to get the job done fast, with unfamiliar software that I don't want to or have the time to study is not a great option...
 

eeguru

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The scaling problem wrt CRTs vs LCD is just silly. CRTs have a native resolution in phosphor dpi. CRTs are still scaling - just the pitch of the dots provides a low pass filter over the whole thing. I would argue CRTs really have no native resolution because the gun can never be aligned to the dots and it's always scaling - vs an LCD that does have a native resolution and 1:1 pixel rendition.

And don't get me started on "gamers" that claim they play better with 10 ms of monitor propagation vs 15 ms!

LCDs are better in every way. When OLED dpi is increased to a point a sub-40" panel can be made with acceptable resolution, that will cause another wholesale swap-out on people's desktops.
 

jafir

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There was a solution at the time though - plasma. It was only available in larger screen sizes and not from all manufacturers but it was a vastly better technology then LCD. It could display true blacks, did a much better job of scaling, the screens were much faster, the colours much more vivid.

But you trying selling one to a customer who wasn't technically minded. There was absolute hysteria surrounding the technology (and not in a good way). Various urban myths perpetuated about it; it apparently used so much electricity that you'd need to acquire a small nuclear power station to run it, apparently screen burn was an inevitability, apparently the screen couldn't be touched (actually it was more durable than an LCD screen) and my absolute favourite - 'you've got to get them re-gassed'.

Things may have been a little different in the US. I remember when large, flat TVs came out, it seemed that plasma was all you could get. LCD seemed way more expensive, when it finally appeared. I had a number of friends that either had more money or more debt than I did that got plasma TVs, while I just kept using my tube for another year or two. I eventually got an LCD, mainly because 1080p had just become affordable, and because it was brighter than most plasma, and the room it needed to go in had too much sunlight. My LCD lasted much longer than any of those plasma units. Those things seemed to die left and right, normally with visual defects in the picture. I don’t know what exactly failed because TV repair shops didn’t want to touch them, at the time. Perhaps it was something in the screen, but perhaps it was just the tail end of the capacitor plague.
 

Agent Orange

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When you mention plasma displays this it what comes to mind:

Lunchbox.JPG

While working for a government agency way back when, we were issued the 286 Compaq plasma 'lunchbox'. After a few hours of staring at this thing you had to just get up and walk around. I would say that the people who designed it never had to spend much time using it. It was hardly portable and didn't workout in the field - heavy to deal with. Fortunately, I wound up with an AST 486 laptop that was still going strong when I retired in 2007.
 

maxtherabbit

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The scaling problem wrt CRTs vs LCD is just silly. CRTs have a native resolution in phosphor dpi. CRTs are still scaling - just the pitch of the dots provides a low pass filter over the whole thing. I would argue CRTs really have no native resolution because the gun can never be aligned to the dots and it's always scaling - vs an LCD that does have a native resolution and 1:1 pixel rendition.

And don't get me started on "gamers" that claim they play better with 10 ms of monitor propagation vs 15 ms!

LCDs are better in every way. When OLED dpi is increased to a point a sub-40" panel can be made with acceptable resolution, that will cause another wholesale swap-out on people's desktops.

1) CRT analog "scaling" looks good, most LCD electronics scale out a pile of dog vomit

2) 10 vs 15 ms is indeed silly, but when were talking about an additional 50+ms from some trashy digital displays it starts to get really noticeable

3) CRT absolutely curbstomps LCD with respect to motion clarity, which is my main reason for hating LCDs and insisting on plasma or OLED if I must use a flat screen
 
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