Are there any *good* CRT monitors still being made?

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
The other day I had the unsettling experience of playing back some 720p video on my girlfriend's PC. The monitor she's using is an elderly 17" CRT. It has been in active service for about 7 years, and was a replacement under Warranty for one that was 3 or 4 years older than that. Nonetheless, the video quality left my Dell 2405FPW gasping in the dust: not just better but startlingly, overwhelmingly better.

I'm curious if anyone actually still makes high-quality CRT monitors and, if they do, what the price is.

It would have to be something that would allow a PC to play back 1080p video clips at native resolution. I doubt there will be any wide-screen CRT monitors, but a 21" or 22" screen displaying it letterboxed would probably be fine, so long as it can handle a resolution of at least 1920x1440. (2048x1576 would be a bonus! :))

N.B. I am perfectly capable of looking up monitor specifications for myself. So don't just refer me to pricerunner. :) What I'm hoping for are some specific recommendations for specific models, based on experience (or trusted reviews) of colour accuracy and (if possible) sharpness/geometry/convergence, etc. too. What do all the digital photographers, graphic designers and broadcast engineers use? :)

If there aren't any modern CRT screens that people feel able to recommend, are there any particularly exceptional past models that I ought to be looking out for second hand or refurbished?
 

ush flynn

Novice Member
i use an iiyama visionmaster pro514 which is a 22inch beast (30kg) and resolution runs up to 2048 like you wanted at 85hz and up to 150 or 175hz (cant remember) at 1600x1200 which i personally like for desktop and gaming
I do a lot of photo editing at home and by profession im a graphic designer and i only wish my work would buy me the same monitor, these 18inch LCDs at work are absolute poo compared.
The mac guys have nice Lacie 22inch monitors, the blue ones with the hoods, they are nice but im almost certain my iiyama leaves them for dust, text looks a lot clearer on mine.
The only thing i wish i could do was have it colour matched with my printer one day. Ive done it myself by eye pretty well and it hasnt caused my any problems, its nice to have control over colour temperature too. I love it to bits but it did set me back £450 at the time. Currently i do my browsing on a 32inch LCD through a media PC i built but i ever have work to do ill go into the other room to use that monitor. The graphics card on there isnt quite up to showing 720p let alone 1080 but one day i might change that. I have no doubts the iiyama will look amazing.
My only gripe and it isnt really something you can avoid, 2 horizontal hairlines which hold the screen up. Most of the time i dont notice it but every now and again ill spot them and think... oh.... wish they werent there :(

as far as i know sony did a 23inch widescreen CRT monitor, they had a few on ebay but seemed to be in pretty grotty condition so i gave them a miss... for the better i think
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
ush flynn said:
i use an iiyama visionmaster pro514
Thanks for the recommendation. I'm a little bit hesitant about that model, even though I like the Iiyama brand. The only press review of that monitor that I've seen wasn't very complimentary: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1838498,00.asp

The monitor is specified for a maximum resolution of 2,048 by 1,556 pixels... Unfortunately, its electronics are not up to the task of such high resolutions. In our tests... at the top resolution, screen geometry was clearly deficient: Circles looked squashed, even at the center of the screen. Screen-regulation tests revealed significant image size changes depending on the screen's contents, and tests with fine lines showed that the bandwidth was not sufficient for this high resolution.
...
When tested at 1280-by-1024, the image quality was excellent, with sufficient bandwidth, excellent screen regulation, and much improved geometry that could be tweaked to be even better by using the on-screen menu controls.
It may well be that reviewer had a dud one, or that he doesn't know what he's talking about, but you'd have thought Iiyama would have picked their review sample carefully.

I'll maybe check it out. :)
 

bigtim

Active Member
Thanks for the recommendation. I'm a little bit hesitant about that model, even though I like the Iiyama brand. The only press review of that monitor that I've seen wasn't very complimentary: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1838498,00.asp

It may well be that reviewer had a dud one, or that he doesn't know what he's talking about, but you'd have thought Iiyama would have picked their review sample carefully.

I'll maybe check it out. :)
I had the pleasure of picking up an old iiyama for a mate who'd bought it on e-bay. It filled my boot and near did my back in. My mate is a skinflint of the highest order rather than a AV purist and to him is was a pure resolution/£ equation.

But the point is: you can pick up good and large CRT monitors very cheap on the bay as everyone is "upgrading" to LCD. So go take a look before you try hunting down a new one that will lose all its value as soon as you buy it.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
But the point is: you can pick up good and large CRT monitors very cheap on the bay as everyone is "upgrading" to LCD. So go take a look before you try hunting down a new one that will lose all its value as soon as you buy it.
That's clearly good advice - but I still need to know which models to look out for. :)
 

tomson

Active Member
Sony Artisan monitors were very highly regarded - i've only ever used a 21" model, but they may do bigger sizes. Also, as mentioned above, Lacie Blues are great monitors - colour accuracy is superb (I know lots of studios that use them) but don't know about their video capabilities. There are always a few on ebay.
 

ush flynn

Novice Member
Thats odd to read that about the iiyama, he could have perhaps had a dud one, or used out of date drivers.. or none at all. Who knows But i can compare the Lacie monitors at work here to my own iiyama and id pick my own every time. I havent run test screens like he seems to have but iv never noticed convergence, moire or other geometry issues at all.
Before i bought it i read tons of reviews and all of them very very good!
 
W

Werner

Guest
I've got the vision master pro 513. also 22" but without the built in usb hub and can definately vouch for the picture clarity and colour purity. Also have a 37" lcd on my mce machine but really, a good crt is just miles ahead.

heavy as can be, and big as a large dog, but the picture is just puuuurfect on the iiyama.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Thats odd to read that about the iiyama, he could have perhaps had a dud one, or used out of date drivers.. or none at all. Who knows But i can compare the Lacie monitors at work here to my own iiyama and id pick my own every time. I havent run test screens like he seems to have but iv never noticed convergence, moire or other geometry issues at all.
Before i bought it i read tons of reviews and all of them very very good!
Do you run yours at 2048x1536, though? The gist of the review was that it performed very well at 1280x1024 and below, and not too badly at 1600x1200, but poorly at extreme resolutions.

What's the matter with the Lacie ones? (I ask, as there's a batch of five of them ending on eBay in about 8 hours within pickup-distance. :) )
 

ush flynn

Novice Member
i dont run it at max for the desktop no, i have done if any games support it but i feel that res is a bit to high. Maybe its my rubbish old fx5950 in the machine its on.
the Lacie monitors are fine... just prefer mine
 

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
I have a 21 inch Hitachi CM811ETPlus - although it came badges as an ImageVision 5185N.
Very nice monitor - I watch quite a lot of HDTV stuff on it.

It has a useful input switch so I can switch between my works laptop (in its docking bay) and my own home desktop PC.

Chris Muriel, Manchester
 

severnsource

Novice Member
A couple of years ago Ebuyer were offering Samsung 1100D 21" monitors at a really stupid price, so I couldn't not buy one. It will go upto 2048 x 1536 at 80Hz and has very good image quality overall. It is slightly soft at the highest resolution and refresh rate, but it's still likely to be better than HD broadcasts. The geometry and convergence are pretty good as well, although the image size does change slightly as it warms up.

Komplett seem to have 2 at the moment albeit at £279, a higher price than ebuyer! I suspect that they were obsolescent 2 years ago, and I doubt that high res CRT displays will be available for much longer, even if anyone is still making the tubes.

Although my Samsung has excellent image quality and is good for PC use, I wouldn't use it for watching TV. The picture is too small and the monitor is much too big.

You may also be judging LCD displays rather harshly. I've been very critical of flat panel displays for ages, but I think that some of them are now getting to the stage were they can compete with CRTs for image quality.

I've just bought 2 20 inch 1680 x 1050 LCD displays. One is a Goodmans TV (don't laugh) and the other is a Samsung monitor. When fed from a pixel mapped PC with carefully adjusted levels they give a more than adequate image quality for me. If the Goodmans TV is used with it's own tuner or any SD feed it gives an appalling picture quality which looks as bad as I used to expect LCDs to be, so many of the LCDs visual failings may well be due to very poor signal processing, rather than the display itself.

The undoubted advantages of LCD, perfect geometry and convergence and lack of visible flicker are no longer trumped by CRTs better handling of greyscales and black levels, as LCD displays are getting much closer to the CRTs abilities.

Bill
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
You may also be judging LCD displays rather harshly. I've been very critical of flat panel displays for ages, but I think that some of them are now getting to the stage were they can compete with CRTs for image quality.
LCD HDTVs have certainly come on a lot in the past year or so - they're finally beginning to rival plasma. But those screens cost thousands of pounds. I don't know if the same technology has yet filtered down to smaller panels intended for use primarily as PC monitors.

In my particular case I'm more than happy with my Dell 2405FPW for general Windows work, but the colour accuracy simply isn't good enough for video playback. Given half a chance it drastically oversaturates the colours; and even if you correct for that in software, the greyscale is all over the place - reds and green keep showing up in shadows. The black level is pretty dismal too. I'm simply wondering if there's a cheap way of getting a better picture on downloaded clips or photos. (I'm not proposing to watch entire movies this way!)
 

severnsource

Novice Member
In my particular case I'm more than happy with my Dell 2405FPW for general Windows work, but the colour accuracy simply isn't good enough for video playback. Given half a chance it drastically oversaturates the colours; and even if you correct for that in software, the greyscale is all over the place - reds and green keep showing up in shadows. The black level is pretty dismal too. I'm simply wondering if there's a cheap way of getting a better picture on downloaded clips or photos. (I'm not proposing to watch entire movies this way!)
That sounds much more like a graphics card / graphics driver / software problem to me. I've seen effects like that, but never due to LCD display failings. Have you tried swapping the GFs monitor with yours?
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
That sounds much more like a graphics card / graphics driver / software problem to me. I've seen effects like that, but never due to LCD display failings. Have you tried swapping the GFs monitor with yours?
Sadly, yes, I have. And it was much better.
 

Mr Grumpy

Novice Member
Another vote for a Iiyama here, though this time the slightly older Pro510 (also a 22" model).
Absolutely superb image, the degauss from hell (can be heard from outside!) and a good workout when you need to move it for any reason. It set me back over £700 (and that was with careful shopping around too) but I intend to run it until it eventually dies as it is probably only worth pence.
I wouldn't swap it for a flat panel by choice.
Mitsubishis are very nice monitors too and are internally pretty similar as I recall.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Dell 2405 is frankly useless with video (I've yet to see an LCD that's passable to be honest). Mine is calibrated using Spyder2pro and I still have to rely on my panasonic 42PHD8 plasma to give a truer representation of the video.

The iiyamma visionmaster crts are undoubtedly better than the dell (I had one). The best CRT monitor is the sony fw900 ( we use them for motion picture work as do most high end film and video facilities). They don't make them any more but they do crop up on ebay , just be careful you don't end up with one that's been fried.

You also find them rebadged as sgi and sun monitors although some of the older sgi ones can have proprietry vga connectors which can complicate matters.
 
The iiyamma visionmaster crts are undoubtedly better than the dell (I had one). The best CRT monitor is the sony fw900 ( we use them for motion picture work as do most high end film and video facilities). They don't make them any more but they do crop up on ebay , just be careful you don't end up with one that's been fried.
Seen a HP variant of the FW900 a few years back running 1080P WMVHD content, looked amazing.., heavy monitor though..
 

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