Author Topic: CRT Eulogy  (Read 412 times)

CRT Eulogy
« on: May 21, 2018, 11:23:15 am »
Returning from my game hunt this weekend, I went through my normal habit. Open up the game (Kirby's Adventure, NES), dust the board, clean the contacts, etc. Popped it into the NES, turned on my sound bar, and pushed power on my 29 inch almost 30 year old Zenith television, only to see a single horizontal scan line across a blank black screen. After years of re-soldering broken cold joints to get the video-in signal working, I knew right away this was going to be the death knell. The dreaded vertical-line deflector failure. I just don't think I've got the patience, energy, or skill to fix this one.

While this serves as a eulogy for a television that I have been playing NES games on for close to thirty years, it also got me thinking about classic gaming in general.

I now need a new way to play my 18 or so classic consoles. Picture quality isn't essential, it just needs to be a classic feel. The disgusting mess that results when I upscale composite to my UHD flat screen is exactly NOT what I'm looking for. So what do I do?

- Pick up one of the dozen CRTs at the thrift store down the street?
- Settle for upscaling with composite, and s-video and RGB where possible?
- Mod everything for RGB and find a Framemeister?
- Sell everything that can't output HDMI and replace them with clones? Retrons/Analogues/wait for the Polymega?

This experience has rocked my world and I'm not sure I even want to deal with original hardware. Another CRT is likely to fail, then I have to drag another 200lb tv out of my third floor apartment (no elevator/lift). I don't have confidence in upscaling, and moding kind of defeats the purpose for me. Clones seem like the most effective way, but I love the consoles. Maybe I'm still grieving and I should wait until I can think more clearly. All I know, is right now I don't have a satisfying way to play the stacks of games I have, and I'm losing it!

So without saying what "I should do", what would you do?

tripredacus

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 11:41:08 am »
For shame, you hadn't been picking up backup TVs this whole time!  :P

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 12:53:21 pm »
Pick up a free CRT at a garage sale

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2018, 01:53:33 pm »
For shame, you hadn't been picking up backup TVs this whole time!  :P

What have I been doing with my life!?

Pick up a free CRT at a garage sale

"Pick up" he says. One doesn't just "pick up" a CRT. Jk, jk, I just mentally pictured the four adults it's going to take to "pickup' the tv in my living room and take it to the recycling center. But this is great idea, especially with spring cleaning going on in the suburbs!

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2018, 01:56:49 pm »
I have three backup CRTs, although only one of them technically is a decent enough size to where I'd actually want to game on it. But yes, get CRT TVs when you can and stock up. If I had more space I'd do the same. I see people giving them away on a fairly regular basis and it kills me not being able to snag some of the larger, higher quality ones.

There probably wouldn't be a viable enough market to produce them, but it would be great if someone actually produced new CRT TVs.

scoobs22

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2018, 03:43:30 pm »
You truly have my deepest sympathy. I've only got one CRT and I'll be devastated whenever it buys the farm. I hope you find a solution that makes you happy sooner rather than later.

In the short term, maybe look at this little device on Amazon https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V2ULHBS/. I've bought one and used it a bit in my bedroom (no CRT in there), and it's serviceable with the original consoles, if not ideal. Right now I run an AV Famicom (composite) and a 3DO (S-video) through it. For the cost, it's a good temporary solution if nothing else.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 03:45:03 pm by scoobs22 »

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2018, 04:23:42 pm »
I would suggest getting a RetroUSB’s AVS. It seems to be the best long-term solution today (apart from the non affordable Analogue NT Mini) and it is more accurate than emulation. I would love Analogue to redesign a new NT though, with a plastic case and HDMI only, to reduce cost.

(EDIT: just realized you talked about your other consoles too. I have an OSSC and I am very happy with it, but it requires some consoles to be modded either for RGB or component)
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 04:27:16 pm by sylhardware »

scoobs22

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2018, 05:58:03 pm »
You truly have my deepest sympathy. I've only got one CRT and I'll be devastated whenever it buys the farm. I hope you find a solution that makes you happy sooner rather than later.

In the short term, maybe look at this little device on Amazon https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V2ULHBS/. I've bought one and used it a bit in my bedroom (no CRT in there), and it's serviceable with the original consoles, if not ideal. Right now I run an AV Famicom (composite) and a 3DO (S-video) through it. For the cost, it's a good temporary solution if nothing else.

Also meant to mention that you can always run your consoles through a cheap-o passive switchbox to send one of many composite or S-video signals to the converter at any given time.

aliensstudios

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2018, 06:18:51 pm »
Personally, I've got every system I own hooked up to my Framemeister and am quite happy with the results but it's taken me years and years to be able to piece together a setup without breaking the bank. I like having it for the ease of being able to hook up everything from composite video to HDMI through a single HDMI output. In your case, I'd try hunting down a new CRT. There are times I wish I still had my CRT but for me a one TV setup is more convenient.
I collect vidya games and vidya game accessories I tell you what.

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2018, 06:42:27 pm »
For shame, you hadn't been picking up backup TVs this whole time!  :P
Thats what I did got a couple of backups for free.
 

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2018, 06:03:33 am »
Though kinda rare to find these days. there were a few flat televisions that did both  composite and HDMI I used to own one. But I have no clue of where to find another one
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life

scoobs22

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2018, 08:19:33 am »
Though kinda rare to find these days. there were a few flat televisions that did both  composite and HDMI I used to own one. But I have no clue of where to find another one

This is true, but one should bear in mind that the HD CRTs do NOT work with old school light guns like the NES Zapper. Just a word of warning--it's still an excellent option for a lot of retro gamers.

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2018, 08:50:46 am »
Thanks everyone! This is a lot of great info.

I may have a CRT lined up. My grandmother (bless her soul) still has a CRT she's willing to part with (I have a small flat screen I don't use for trade lol).


In the short term, maybe look at this little device on Amazon https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V2ULHBS/.

I actually have the S-Video version I use for capture! While I agree, it is serviceable for S-video, especially for PSX, OG Xbox, and N64, the 8 and 16 bit consoles get stretched and look pretty bad; you can't choose the aspect ratio! I've heard the composite only version lets you choose the aspect ratio, which I would suggest is essential here. I might pick up the composite version just for this option.

tripredacus

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2018, 09:49:17 am »
I have three backup CRTs

I have extras, and monitors also, but I have a habit of putting them to use. So I have TVs in almost every room with something or other hooked up to it. Of course, two of the rooms in my house have limited use, so if some other were to have a problem then I would need to prioritize where to swap them from. The only instance where I cannot do that is the TV in my living room, which is one of those super heavy Trinitrons... but let's hope that lives a long life.

scoobs22

Re: CRT Eulogy
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2018, 01:29:11 pm »
I've heard the composite only version lets you choose the aspect ratio, which I would suggest is essential here. I might pick up the composite version just for this option.

Wow, I wish I'd known that... I only have one console using S-vid (Goldstar CDO), and I'm going to get rid of it soon because I could use the money. I may have to get the composite only version, too. Thanks for sharing that!