Basic CRT question


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Jul 20, 2005
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I have been using lcd projectors for a few years now, and have a vw10ht at the moment. But the home cinema bug has well and truly bitten so I keep looking to improve. So.... is it easy/a good idea to enter into the crt domain?

I understand that deal with difficult set up etc, but with crt's like the seleco 500 for around a grand, it just got me thinking...

Opinions please

Hi Ciaran,

I've owned a CRT pj for a short while now. I've never had an lcd or had chance to compare but I opted for a CRT on the good advice from people in this forum. I have not been dissapointed. The images are filmic smooth and you don't see pixels (there aren't any!) - as far as I'm concerned its just like being in a small cinema the picture is easily comparable if you keep your room nice and dark just like at the cinema. It would seem in the most part you will gain in terms of contrast level just from the fact you'll probably be getting far better blacks.

The Complexity Issue? This all depends - do you consider yourself fairly handy with a screwdriver - are you good with PCs and able to follow simple onscreen instructions, do you know how to set your video recorder? Are you prepared to invest your own time in learning a bit about these types of projectors and taking a real interest - it certainly helps? To be honest as long as you get yourself a good reliable machine - it aint all that hard to set up and become familiar with if you are of average intelligence and willing to invest a bit of time. The first time I completed my first setup I was simply blown away by the picture from my pc. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face :) I'm a bit of a perfectionist and not easily pleased - things have to be spot on for me to be happy but it seems most of us CRTers are like that.

Best thing to do is find a few people near you willing to show off their projectors (and I'm sure there are a few ;)) and go round and see for yourself.

Thats my advice hope it helps,

in short, yes, go CRT, i have had lcd , dlp, and crt, and yes, the crt do take a bit more effort but are WELL worth it, the contrast ratio is excellent TRUE blacks and the skin tones are far more real, its all together a far more cinematic experience :eek:

as far as i am concerned the difference is night and day.
cheers rob
I think most people would agree that the Sony VW10HT is fairly "old" digital projector technology (things have gotten a lot better since 2000), so you should notice a large difference in quality in going to a reasonably good CRT or simply a newer digital projector (IMHO of course).

I would suggest you try to arrange for a demo of CRT from another forum member in your area and go from there...

Thanks for the reply folks,
So..........are there any people on here with a CRT set in Ireland? Preferable close to Kildare?

I'm in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan (about 2hrs drive from Kildare). Welcome to visit anytime. BIG CRT fan.

PM me if you want phone number for a chat if that suits.


Thanks for the kind offer Peter, I've just been browsing around your home cinema site and it looks great.
Hopefully I will be able to come round to see your set up at some stage.
Once I see a properly set up CRT, I will make a decision about changing!


meep said:

I'm in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan (about 2hrs drive from Kildare). Welcome to visit anytime. BIG CRT fan.

PM me if you want phone number for a chat if that suits.


Hey Dudes and Dudettes,

Let me tell you a little story!!!

At the beginning of September 2005, my Sagem Axium 50" HDTV developed black patches on the inside of the screen. I contacted Comet, who after checking it for about a month decided to replace or refund my money. I took the refund.

A this point, I must stress if you do not wish to go loggerheads with the wife/partner, stop reading!!!

After I got my refund, I started to look around for another TV, but found that all the current models were either out of my price range, or were not worth paying around £2500. Now your thinking, this is a crt forum, so why is he telling us all this, just read on, you'll understand!!!

After two or three days of searching, I decided to buy the Samsung 50" DLP Rear Projection from Costco for just under £2000. As a last bid attempt to find something cheaper I did a search on e-bay for this tv and instead typed, projector instead of rear projection by mistake. It changed my view about Visuals for ever.

My search resulted in finding a Barco 801s Crt Projector. I knew what it was and after having seen people attempt installs like these, I was a little apprehensive, but the price of this projector was just too good to refuse. It had about 1500 hrs run time and was owned by a Barco engineer, who was emigrating to Australia. I emailed, we swapped tel no.s, and two days later I went to see this projector.

After first comprehnding the size of this sheer monsterous beast, I purchased it for £350, yes £350!!!.

I live in a modest semi in Bham, and the room I put it in is 15.4 x 11.4. I didnt realise the size of this thing in relation to the room. It almost dwarfed my single seater sofa, not to mention the thing weighs about 70 kgs. I soon realised that there was no way I could place it on the floor and would have to ceiling mount it, more about that later.

The first thing I did was connect my xbox to it via component, and got a green picture, **** **** **** !!!!! was my reaction, Ive been sold a duff, it doesnt work. However after a few hours on the net, I realised it doesnt accept component, which was no good at all, as I was connected to it either via DVI/HDMI or Component.

So I decided to go back to the net. A few more searches and a few more hours later, I came across the DVDO Iscan HD+, We all know what it is and what it does, and the fact that it costs about £1500. This threw my whole budget out of the window. However I persevered and managed to secure one from a company in Kent for £699.

I also purchased an Owl 6ft Screen for £360. Which failed to turn up on the installation date, and after an hour's conversation of me screaming, ranting and raving as to why it didnt turn up, the company I bought it from upgraded it to a 7ft screen and delivered it in three hours via a specialst delivery company.

Now back to mounting the pj on the ceiling,

I have a very good neighbour, who also happens to be a builder. I went to see him about my little problem, and after a couple a drinks, a promise of a homemade curry, and a screening of The Godfather, he mounted the projector onto my ceiling and reinforced the joists free of charge!!! Thanks Chris.

Let me just inform you that from the time I purchased this PJ to ceiling installation, about 10 days had passed and I had'nt been to work, or left my home, hence the very irate wife.

Anyway, after it was all up and ready to go, I started to fiddle about with the convergence and setup of the PJ. It was all up and ready and firing on all cylinders, when I decided that the picture in the corner was not focused properly, so I decided to take a ratchet to the scheimpflug, and guess what ? Yes, I totally broke the mechanism and rendered the blue tube inoperable. **** !!!

So after yet more searches, and a lot of hours later, I found a CRT installer, whom I must say is probably, the cleverest and not to mention the politest man I have ever met. At 6 hours notice he drove about 100 miles on a Sunday morning, having returned from Europe the night before, and only charged me £250 to fix it. Thanks J.

After about 14 days of mess, angush and excitement, I have managed to get my room ready for it's screening of The Godfather.

My total cost came to

£350 for Barco 801s Graphics
£699 for Iscan HD+
£360 for Owl 7ft Screen
£250 for Installation
£20 for The Godfather DVD Box Set from Fopp
£100 for miscellaneous eg Speaker wire, drinks etc etc.

A grand total of £1779, I have a cinema room which is not the best in the world, but certainly better than a Samsung 50" DLP (£2000-£2500). I get HDTV pictures upto 1080p, Scalers just rock!!!!. Two kids that think I am the best dad in the world, and a wife that doesn't talk to me anymore!!. Which is no bad thing really, after seeing the HD pictures, I don't know which brings a bigger smile to my face, the wife;s feeble attempts in bed or the cinema room, kinda appropriate because I have to sleep in it for a couple of days !!!!! LOL

Yours most dramatically

Harry M
My head is spinning with all the info on here... Something that keeps poping up is the scaler thing.
Now forgive me if this is a basic question, but if I understand correctly a crt pj has fixed resolution and needs a scaler to convert various signal to suit the pj? So, can you just buy a crt pj and connect dvd/games console/freeview box etc or will I also need a scaler.
I am buying a sony dvpns92 player and it has a wealth of output connections, so will this player suit crt?

I'm lost????
A dlp or an lcd projector is fixed pixel - and therefore MUST run at however many pixels it has. A crt projector does not have a fixed resolution. The picture is fromed by an electron beam scanning lines across each tube, so you want higher res, you just scan more lines. This means that almost every crt projector will accept straight forward video and show it at it's native resolution. When you plug a normal video signal into a dlp or lcd, it is forced to upscale it and the internal scalers will vary from unit to unit.

The picture you get running off the native video resolution will be lovely, but when you get to a big screen size, you start to notice the gaps inbetween the scan lines. Bring in the scaler... by linedoubling the image you create a fluid cinema like picture. Some crts have built in line doublers, some don't.

I picked up my iscan-pro for £100 which does a great job of line doubling - i'm happy to be 'non-hd-ready' for at least the time being!

To start with, I'd just plug in your console and see what you get - then you'll appreciate a scaler if you ever get one. I think I'd rather have a non-upscaled crt picture any day over some of the attempts of the internal scalers in LCD projectors and tellys. Eek!
Ah, thanks Boy Lek,

So the crt will display the signal from my dvd player as it should be see. And then only if the screen size is big enough, I would start to notice the gaps between the lines.
So, I would be better off with a decent crt and the best scaler I can get?

If I get a crt, it will be connected to a dvd player. I don't think it would be used with a console, maybe it will be used with a digi box a bit too. So without a scaler, what is the general concensus (sp) of image quality on a 7' diagonal screen?

Oh and what about tube size, whats best for home applications?

To confuse you even more.....

Many people (me included) run their CRT from a PC. In this case, the PC video card does the scaling, the PC plays DVDs, AVIs etc, includes a TV Tuner, media server (ripped DVDs, music etc.). With the correct card, you can also take in games console etc. to the PC. PC can deinterlace all signals before pushing to the video card for scaling and display.

The advantage of a set-up like this is that there is a single connection from your PC to the CRT, using software, there are almost infinite config. parameters to get picture perfect and best of all, PCs are modular and so individual components can be upgraded at will. similarly, software enhancements are made all the time so you don't get stuck with hardware that cannot be changed.

Downside is it needs a bit of tweaking to get right and it's not for everyone.

My CRT has 7" hand has served it's purpse well for about two years now. I'm itching to upgrade to a 9"for more punch but if I don't, I'm not going to be very upset!

There is A LOT to learn about this stuff at first. My head was spinning when I got into it first. pretty soon, though, I was doing my own CRT calibration and if you're any way technically inclined, you'll find it pretty straightforward.

Hi Cmar,

Do you need a scaler, yes and no. Technicaly as lex has said you don't *NEED* a scaler on a crt projector. If you plug a games console or DVD player in, then providing your inputing the correct signal for the input then you will get a picture out.

I recall the first night i got my Barco Data 800 home, i roughly calculated the distance/size thing and projected a DVD onto my wall. After an hour or so setup i have a rough picture, its was by no means perfect as the colours were slightly out, certain bits were blury etc but it was there and it was *HUGE* 12' wide or something silly. However the first thing i noticed was the scan lines...though i didn't know what they were called at that point. Basicaly if you put your nose 3" away from your TV you will see that the picture is made up of loads of different lines. Magnifying the screen from a 28" TV to a 12' screen and you can see this structure very clearly. Hell you can measure the gaps between them !

A doubler/trippler/quadrupler/scaler basicaly removes this line structure and returns a nice smooth picture. You can either buy a box that sits between the PJ and your source (dvd etc) and does this for you, more expensive ones come with bits built in, or you can use a PC to either output dvd, or with input cards, act like a scaler. You don't technicaly need one, but you'd be mad not to have one if your projector scans high enough to use one (The higher the PJ scans to, the better the scaler/doubler etc you can use).

For your rough info a video grade PJ will only handle standard material (with lines) a Data grade need to double as a minimum, a graphics will tripple/quad.

There is a lot of info to take in, and reading some of the primers arround will probably help.

Those two should be a *good* read - Though i'd argue on a couple of points, they should fill in a lot of background info and basics

If you are serious about getting into it, I'd get hold of a decent 7" like a barco 70x or a seleco >400 and have a play... These are as plug and play as crts get and you can find your feet, knowing that you can put scalers/pcs in the loop to make the picture better... I would not start your crt projector induction with a 9" projector!!! Just as I would not recommend you learn to drive on a ferrari!
I second Lex's oppinion. Plus with a 7" you'll get a scan line free image at lower resolution. I line double with my pc giving a perfect non-upscaled progressive image for dvd of 720x576p which is line free at around 6.5 to 7ft wide and shows exactly whats encoded on the disc - nothing more nothing less. This seemed like a really elegant sort of solution for me given my current programme material. I only watch dvd but until High Def becomes readily available a maximum res of 576 progressive lines is optimum for my Barco 500 and looks dandy! If HD turns out to be 720p then an 8" will be fine if it turns out to be 1080p well I'm sure thats 9" territory but theres no need to go there yet if your just starting out like you or me.

By the way DVD is stunning at this res on this size projector. :) I'll probably upgrade when High Def DVD becomes mainstream.

Phew.... My head is still spinning!!
It's not so simple as just getting one and plug n play. At this rate I think I'll be holding off until we build our house and have a dedicated games/HT room. Then I could set up a HTPC.
What I really like about the LCD pj is that I can just switch it on and sit and watch. The Crt just seems so much more complicated.
I dont know what to do at this stage.
For instance, can a crt be 'zoomed' in or out to suit screen size or do you have to work out distances and screen size. My lcd can just zoom to suit the screen size and room size, and it's very easy to foucs the lcd.

Too much information!!!!!!!!!!
Screen size and distance from crt are a fixed ratio. For one particular screen size you need the projector at a particular distance. You'd work out your room size, where you could place the projector, what throw distance to screen this would give and then refer to a the manual to see what screen size this throw will give If this is too big you'd move your projector closer to the screen position until you get the screen size and throw distance you want. So no there is no zoom. Setup is bound to be more dificult than you lcd but once you're done you're done and rarely have to tweak and you shouldn't need to move the projector again if you done things right!

Hope this helps,

Yeah hold off unless you're like us and enjoy messing about with it. If you're not prepared to play, I'd also budget for a pro install when you've got the room sorted as calibrating a crt properly is a fine art... it's easy to do it and get a half decent picture, but it takes a lot of time, patience and trial and error to learn how to do it to get the most out of the projector... it's a continuous learning curve.
Don't get me wrong, I would be prepared to put in the effort to set up the crt, but I think I'd be better off until I build the house. Currently my lcd pj is set in in my room, so I don't want to go through the whole thing for just that room. I'd rather wait until I have the dedicated room.

What opinions have you guys got for a crt? If spending around £1000, what are the best options? It will (eventually) be for just dvd's and maybe a console. I'm a sony freak so I'd like one, but what best for that price.

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