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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With all the hoopla around the new fixed pixel units - which is all we hear about these days and which of course is just what their manufacturers want, considering how expensive they are - it's easy to lose sight of tried and true triple-gun CRT technology, esp. CRT RPTV tech.

IMHO, it is still the best. It still has the best blacks, it does 1080i effortlessly, (and could do 1080p just as well), and the color range and depth when properly set up and calibrated has always been thrilling. And size? When fully calibrated, it allows for viewers to sit far closer than ANY 720p fixed pixel technology, delivering an essentially BIGGER picture to be watching, and losing yourself in. Isn't that really what it's all about?

Try to sit that close to any fixed pixel technology less than 1080p and much of the time you are staring individual pixels in the face, with massive screendoor effect. CRT is the only medium where its smoothness and yet incredibly high resolution contributes to exquisite detail, without the artificial crispness of most of today's fixed pixel technologies. Then there's rainbow effect, silkscreen effect, blotchiness, blocky movement on motion, the really challenging area of the lack of crisp blacks in all but the most expensive fixed pixel sets...NONE of which CRT tech has to bother dealing with.

Yet videophiles right and left are abandoning their CRT RPTVs in favor of the newer fixed pixel stuff. It's saddening. They have no idea what they are losing. CRT RPTVs can be kept looking better than new for 10-15 years when treated right. And produce better images, all that time, than much of the fixed pixel technology out there today, all of it MUCH more expensive than CRT. And to fix the new fixed pixel sets, after their warranties run out? You don't want to even think about that. Be prepared to just buy new again, because it's going to be atrociously expensive to repair fixed pixel technology. It's going to be so expensive you might as well just buy new all over again, just spring another couple of thousand.

CRT is the last readily affordable format to repair, that we will see.

At CES this year 3 years ago I saw NO CRT technology being promoted. Yet deals can still be found on used or refurb'd CRT RPTVs, UEC is a good source for refurb'd Hitachis. It is still some of the best technolgy out there, and these days the absolutely cheapest way to go as well, if you can find them at all. Used/refurb'd CRT RPTVs are the deal of the century right now, if you check on comparative prices, even factoring in calibrations.

Pioneer Elite owners seem to be the ones most willing to keep their sets alive, possibly because they paid so much for them back in the day. Other brands of set were cheaper and are even cheaper still now, causing their owners to more often than not just step into something new rather than keep their current sets alive. Yet ALL CRT sets can be made to look stunning, with the proper care and maintenance of professional optics cleaning and calibration. Even the cheapest brand has incredible potential, when treated properly.


I hope more people will see the light on this before it's availablility is finally taken away completely. They are no longer being produced new at all now. We should hold on to our CRT sets for dear life, because once they are gone, they are gone. I for one will not part with my present CRT RPTV, my Mit WS 73517. They will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands!

If you have a triple-gun CRT RPTV, PLEASE reconsider if you are about to kiss it off. It's still the best way to go, once cleaned and calibrated.

And cleaning and calibration is a whole lot cheaper than buying and paying taxes on a new fixed pixel set.


Mr Bob
 

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Re: Don 't Dump your CRT RPTV!

Hey Bob, you know my story but to share with others.

1.5 year old Mits WS-73615 $1600 + $325 ISF calibration (Steve Martin of Dallas) = Priceless HD goodness
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Re: Don 't Dump your CRT RPTV!

Hey Bob, you know my story but to share with others.

1.5 year old Mits WS-73615 $1600 + $325 ISF calibration (Steve Martin of Dallas) = Priceless HD goodness
Steve is very, very good. You got the right guy on the job.

Have you tried the shimming technique for overscan reduction? It gives you more area of your CRTs exposed to your screen, allowing for higher resolution once the focusing, geometry and convergence all get redone to super precision performance again. I used 1.5", but if I had it to do over, would make it 2". Allows me to sit 8' back now, where I used to need to sit 10' back.

Then there's the Craig Rounds ee tightening modification, which also improved my picture immensely...

And working with the PerfectColor, while cumbersome to the max, yeilds excellent results for the colorations -


Mr Bob
 

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Good post Bob, I agree.:T
My Sony 53" KP-53HS30 is going on 6 years old and still looks fantastic! Im not about to replace it any time soon. SD looks better on it than any other large display I have seen, HD looks way better than our LCD that we use in our bedroom and even our projector in the basement.

I spent about 4 hrs in the service menu adjusting all sorts of settings including the overscan and Blanking settings to get it looking the way it does but so well worth it. I have the overscan set to about 2% all the way around.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Good post Bob, I agree.:T
My Sony 53" KP-53HS30 is going on 6 years old and still looks fantastic! Im not about to replace it any time soon. SD looks better on it than any other large display I have seen, HD looks way better than our LCD that we use in our bedroom and even our projector in the basement.

I spent about 4 hrs in the service menu adjusting all sorts of settings including the overscan and Blanking settings to get it looking the way it does but so well worth it. I have the overscan set to about 2% all the way around.
2% ain't easy! Congratsl. You're already way ahead on its being a Sony, as those generally don't need any refocusing, OOB. Only brand I can say that about -

Have you cleaned the optics, including the deeper optics? All CRT RPTVs over 3 years old are already in dire need of it, yours even more so at 6 years. You'll see it as bleariness in dark areas, with a strong "glow" or haziness around bright objects against a dark background.

If you haven't, be VERY careful. Most CRT RPTV lenses are plastic, and the mirrors on HDreadys are front surface.

Sonys also are designed with strong red push, on the colorations. The grayscale is generally pretty good, but the red push alters everything as soon as color is involved. There are registers in the sm that you can use to realign that red push out and back to clean, linear color rendition, where the blues and greens keep up with the reds.


Mr Bob
 

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Have you cleaned the optics, including the deeper optics? All CRT RPTVs over 3 years old are already in dire need of it, yours even more so at 6 years. You'll see it as bleariness in dark areas, with a strong "glow" or haziness around bright objects against a dark background.
Yes, Ive been in the back about three times and have wiped clean the main three lenses using a lightly damp soft cloth and did as good a job as I could on the mirror.

Sonys also are designed with strong red push, on the colorations. The grayscale is generally pretty good, but the red push alters everything as soon as color is involved. There are registers in the sm that you can use to realign that red push out and back to clean, linear color rendition, where the blues and greens keep up with the reds.
Mr Bob
I adjusted one of the settings in the service menu (I dont remember what it was called) and the color looks great. I used my AVIA DVD to set up the settings properly from inside the service menu (I may not be a ISF technition but I think I did a farly good job) :) The contrast on this RPTV is amazing. I have even manually done my own convergence so all three colors are perfectly lined up. I personally dont like the Flash focus its not as good as doing it manually.
Its amazing how much of the HD image is cropped off by the vertical blank, I gained about an inch on the top and bottom of the 16x9 image by adjusting them each up and down. I measured it and I'm getting about a 48" diagonal 16x9 image does that seem right?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, Ive been in the back about three times and have wiped clean the main three lenses using a lightly damp soft cloth and did as good a job as I could on the mirror.


I adjusted one of the settings in the service menu (I dont remember what it was called) and the color looks great. I used my AVIA DVD to set up the settings properly from inside the service menu (I may not be a ISF technition but I think I did a farly good job) :) The contrast on this RPTV is amazing. I have even manually done my own convergence so all three colors are perfectly lined up. I personally dont like the Flash focus its not as good as doing it manually.
Its amazing how much of the HD image is cropped off by the vertical blank, I gained about an inch on the top and bottom of the 16x9 image by adjusting them each up and down. I measured it and I'm getting about a 48" diagonal 16x9 image does that seem right?
The way to tell if your aspect ratio is correct is to do the math, using the height and width. Is the width 16/9ths, or 1.7777777...?

You're right about the Flash Focus. It's only for getting you close, strictly for Joe Sixpack.

The setting you redid your color rendition with was probably AXIS, with 4 settings. One would be the proper setting. The other way Sony does it is via the R-YR, R-YB, G-YR and G-YB registers, and requires a lot more work.

I DK if the Sonys made that a global or a local setting. On the Mits's, it's all local, and with 4 different scanrates, including one for RGB, you have to work with each of them if you want them all to be right.

So you might still have some work to do on your HD, if all you have done so far on that is via AVIA. I of course use my Accupel for that, but the HD version of DVE is also excellent for all things calibratable.


Mr Bob
 

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I'm with you on this! When I decided to make a break into an HD display, very few CRT units were available. There were only a few RCA and Hitachi's that i could find. I settled for the 65" Hitachi and Havent been happier. I've been installing FiOS HD service for a few years now and get to see quite a few displays. Nothing in my opinion has yet to compete with CRT...

Now to get that Runco projector in my garage working ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'm with you on this! When I decided to make a break into an HD display, very few CRT units were available. There were only a few RCA and Hitachi's that i could find. I settled for the 65" Hitachi and Havent been happier. I've been installing FiOS HD service for a few years now and get to see quite a few displays. Nothing in my opinion has yet to compete with CRT...

Now to get that Runco projector in my garage working ;)

For those of you who don't know, Sam Runco was bought out recently by Planar, and is now centered in Beaverton, Oregon. Planar has been coached quite well by the Runco folks, and were very authoritative last time I needed advice in the field about one of their older projectors.

So keep the faith, your Runco pj will stay fixable and usable! Fly me in if you want it calibrated as well as repaired, and if you want both units optimized to the max of their abilities and potentials. There is another website out there where there are no less than 4 threads, some of them very long, about how to bring the best out of your Hitachi CRT RPTV -


Mr Bob
 

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There are some drawbacks to CRT though. Screen burn in, specially with video games and with black side bars for 4:3 viewing on a 16:9 screen. Then there is the size. Projection TVs are heavier, and bigger physically than LCD flat panels. Then there are convergence problems. DLP and LCD technology are also still evolving at a fairly fast pace, whereas CRT has pretty much evolved to it's full potential. Any improvements in CRT technology are very minimal. then there is the fact that the tubes will eventually need to be replaced and that the picture is gradually degenerating over time. LCD flat panels do suffer from lamp dimming but generally their lamps will last 60,000 hours or more. By the time it's lamp is dead you'll be on to a 4K OLED screen.
 

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...Then there are convergence problems.
Yes but if you know what your doing adjusting convergence is easy (less than 15 min every 6 months or so). LCD pannels can get knocked out of alignment and are much harder to fix.
then there is the fact that the tubes will eventually need to be replaced and that the picture is gradually degenerating over time. LCD flat panels do suffer from lamp dimming but generally their lamps will last 60,000 hours or more. By the time it's lamp is dead you'll be on to a 4K OLED screen.
CRT Tubes last far longer than any bulb will ever last, 15 years under normal use is very achievable. A bulb for a LCD or DLP projector last no more than 4,000hrs unless its a LED bulb.
My CRT RPTV is going on 6 years and is still in perfect condition and very bright.
 

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I was referring to a flat panel display (as written), not projectors, both of your counters are misdirected. Flat panel LCDs will last 30,000-60,000 hours or more. The phosphor on the CRT tubes wears out over time. The colours will dull and light output will diminish over time.

The most annoying thing I find about CRTs is that there is a very slight 60Hz flicker to the picture. You normally don't see it. If you view it with your peripheral vision you can see it (the peripheral rods in your eye detect motion better). Try watching a movie in the dark then go into another dark room and your eye will still be strobing. See Flicker Fusion Threshold.

Someone pointed out that LCD suffers from screen door effect. That is true at abnormal viewing distances but mostly on projectors and LCD flat panels tend to have a much tighter pixel structure. The same can be said about CRTs however. The dot-pitch matrix can be made out when sitting too close.

LCD Flat panels do not have as pure of a colour than CRTs do. They also used to have poor response times and exhibited ghosting. Dead pixels where also a concern. All of these areas have seen marked improvements in the past few years. Contrast ratio is rapidly improving also and is near CRT levels now.

Other factors that are in LCD flat panels favour are that they are not susceptible to magnetic interference like CRTs are. They are also brighter and and use a lot less energy.
 

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I was referring to a flat panel display (as written), not projectors, both of your counters are misdirected.
No counter intended, just pointing out what I know. I agree that all LCD flat displays have grown to look amazing I have one in our bedroom (a 29") and another on its way for the kids use in the basement (a 32") both are very good when used for DVDs and HD material but are lousy for SD from cable or sat. The fixed Native resolution of LCDs are still a big downfall. CRT handles it much better at least mine does.
 

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Yes I must admit that SD does look much better on a High Definition CRT than a LCD. I have a Samsung Slim Fit 30" HD CRT (1080i) and the non HD cable channels look pretty good still. Using the built in (poor) upconverter in the cable box actually makes it look worse. Zooming to get rid of he black bard makes it look terrible though. That's probably more the fault of the cable box though.
 

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Just turn the sharpness down on the LCD. The effect will be very similar.
 

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Many of the drawbacks of CRT have been cited. This debate is very akin to LP vs CD. There are various advantages and disadvantages. BUT, if you are viewing in a daylight room the brightness of LCD (without all the reflections of plasma) trumps RP CRT for vast majority of users. In a completely light-controlled room, the size/brightness of a digital projector plus screen trumps CRT again. If 480i upscaled SD TV is not looking really good your signal or your scaling is not up to snuff. While it is true that the soft focus effect of CRT helps with really bad content (think Barbara Walters interviews), if your SD signal is that bad you need a new provider.

Try a good SD DVD on an Oppo player driving a well-adjusted Sharp LCD 1080p, via HDMI. It will rock your world. And since when are cable SD signals anything people watch critically anyway? Southpark? Please. Realistically, you need either to be a serious gearhead or pay the RIGHT guy a few hundred every other year to keep your CRT baby humming. And then the install flexibility of an LCD. The lower power consumption. Etc.

JD, ISF trained
 
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Although the gap is closing, the color richiness of CRTs is still unmatchable.

Sadness to say, it's getting more & more difficult to get HD playback devices able to connect to CRTs in a simple way.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
My CRT RPTV is going on 6 years and is still in perfect condition and very bright.


Have your optics been cleaned to a professional grade level lately? That 30KV really does a number on your optics - every moment the set is on and charged up, those optics literally suck dust, soot, lint and anything else that's airborn right out of the air and onto themselves. It's known as static cling, and 30KV is its power source.

See the Nuts and Bolts section of my website for more info.

After 1 year they need regular optics cleaning to stay crystal clear. After 3 years have gone by without any cleaning, the need for cleaning starts to become desperate.

At your set's age if it they have never been cleaned, it's past desperate if you wish to have everything your set is capable of. The bleariness you are watching your material thru is like the difference between the murky underwater vs. crystal clear out of water scenes, in Finding Nemo.

But don't just do it willy-nilly. There are great hazards to be observed, and your optics are now pretty much irreplaceable, so be VERY careful! The lenses are plastic and very easily scratchable - which is permanent, meaning no completely dry method is safe other than brushing them lightly, which is completely inadequate after the first year - and your mirror is usually a first surface mirror, on HDready sets.


Mr Bob
 

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Have your optics been cleaned to a professional grade level lately? That 30KV really does a number on your optics - every moment the set is on and charged up, those optics literally suck dust, soot, lint and anything else that's airborn right out of the air and onto themselves. It's known as static cling, and 30KV is its power source.
If you mean wipe down the surface of each lens then yes I do it about once ever 6 months.
 

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If you mean wipe down the surface of each lens then yes I do it about once ever 6 months.
Awesome!

If you have been doing that all these years, the dirt will never have had a chance to cake up on the lenses, as I see on all units that have never been done and are years and years old.

:T

However, depending on what brand you have your deeper optics, those below your lenses, may need it by now. Pioneers and Pannys definitely, Mit never...


Mr Bob
 
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