Does my dream CRT television even exist?

Lomppu

Novice Member
Hello!

I am looking for a crt tv for retro gaming. I have read an endless amount of vintage reviews and looked through countless hastily scanned pdf catalogues in multiple languages, and I feel like I know exactly what I want now. I'm just not sure if there is a television quite like my dreams.

I have three criteria that I want my dream crt tv to meet: 1. It needs to accept my game consoles' video outputs natively. 2. Its aspect ratio must be 4:3. 3. I would really like it to use aperture grille technology.

The first one is the most important. I will hook four game consoles up to this tv. One outputs composite video, the other one S-video, the third one will be analog YPbPr component video, and the last one will output RGB. Pretty soon after starting to look into this, I found that needing four different input interfaces narrows down my choises quite a bit.

The second criteria is driving me mad, because I seem to find all those inputs only in widescreen models. I was looking through a german review of Panasonic TX-32PD30D from 2003, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw it had a single SCART input for RGB, composite and S-video, and next to it three RCA connectors for component video! I'm attaching that beautiful picture in this post. I almost cried when I learned that they only made those treasures in widescreen.

The third one would be a nice-to-have, and I am willing to sacrifice aperture grille if there exists a shadow mask 4:3 television with all those inputs. Since RGB SCART is usually found only in european models, and analog YPbPr component video only in north american models, I looked into Loewe models, even though I believe they never used aperture grille. I read somewhere, that Loewe used a proprietary SCART connector on their old crt televisions, that carried analog YPbPr component video! Maybe there is a model with that and an RGB SCART also?

I'm sure there is much to this I still haven't uncovered. Maybe there are north american models that have compnent inputs for both YPbPr and RGB? Or something I can't even think of.

Anyway, thank you so much for reading, and thank you in advance for any answers!
 

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Dodgexander

Moderator
No idea really with TVs that old but I think it will definitely be a challenge to find a square screen with component connections, especially in Europe.
Component became more popular around the time TVs moved to widescreen. It came earlier to the American market since Scart was never a thing there.

With a scart connector you can just use a scart to composite cable, or vice versa if you need more composite ports.

Scart can support component and Svideo convert cables too. But you have to be careful because most TVs (especially older ones) will only accept Composite/Svideo signals via scart and not component, finding this out nowadays may be next to impossible.

Have you considered buying a second had AV receiver to switch your video? Would be easier that way.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
The second criteria is driving me mad, because I seem to find all those inputs only in widescreen models. I was looking through a german review of Panasonic TX-32PD30D from 2003, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw it had a single SCART input for RGB, composite and S-video, and next to it three RCA connectors for component video! I'm attaching that beautiful picture in this post. I almost cried when I learned that they only made those treasures in widescreen.
Your post reminded me that I've still got my 32PD30 under a sheet in the garage - it really was a stunning CRT ! As well as being fully kitted out at the time connections-wise, it also had a pseudo-HD 'Acuity' high resolution picture mode which changed the scanning rate to 75Hz and increased the number of horizontal pixels from 1024 to 2376 and the number of scanning lines from 625 to 833. It sounded great too - I think it might have had a built-in subwoofer.

A friend of mine used it for many, many years (after I upgraded to a plasma in 2011) before giving it back to me a few years ago. It weighs 59kg and is extremely heavy and awkward to lift - I just couldn't bear to take it down the tip at the time !

Do you know for sure you'll get all the connectivity and features you require in a 4:3 CRT ? By the time CRTs were coming to the end, all the high-end models most likely to fit your requirements would have been 16:9 widescreen sets, I would have thought.
 

Lomppu

Novice Member
No idea really with TVs that old but I think it will definitely be a challenge to find a square screen with component connections, especially in Europe.
Component became more popular around the time TVs moved to widescreen. It came earlier to the American market since Scart was never a thing there.

With a scart connector you can just use a scart to composite cable, or vice versa if you need more composite ports.

Scart can support component and Svideo convert cables too. But you have to be careful because most TVs (especially older ones) will only accept Composite/Svideo signals via scart and not component, finding this out nowadays may be next to impossible.

Have you considered buying a second had AV receiver to switch your video? Would be easier that way.
Thank you for your thoughts! Yes, I have thought of an AV receiver, I have my eye on two different models from Arcam and Rotel. Neither of them do any video processing or converting, though. I might need a dedicated converter, but then again I wouldn't really want to.

The consoles that are causing the biggest problem here are the ones I want to hook up with RGB and component, those would be the SNES and GameCube. If I would settle for either RGB or component, this would get just that much easier. I heard that the GameCube only outputs 480i through analogue RGB, so I would much prefer to use component for it. I guess the SNES would have to be the one I compromise for.

Thank you again!
 

Lomppu

Novice Member
Your post reminded me that I've still got my 32PD30 under a sheet in the garage - it really was a stunning CRT ! As well as being fully kitted out at the time connections-wise, it also had a pseudo-HD 'Acuity' high resolution picture mode which changed the scanning rate to 75Hz and increased the number of horizontal pixels from 1024 to 2376 and the number of scanning lines from 625 to 833. It sounded great too - I think it might have had a built-in subwoofer.

A friend of mine used it for many, many years (after I upgraded to a plasma in 2011) before giving it back to me a few years ago. It weighs 59kg and is extremely heavy and awkward to lift - I just couldn't bear to take it down the tip at the time !

Do you know for sure you'll get all the connectivity and features you require in a 4:3 CRT ? By the time CRTs were coming to the end, all the high-end models most likely to fit your requirements would have been 16:9 widescreen sets, I would have thought.
Wow, what a treasure! Thanks for sharing.

If you are interested, here is a link to the review I found!


Yes, your set does seem to have a dedicated subwoofer. Awesome!

I really hope they made 4:3 models with that kind of connectivity. In many brochures I found, I saw manufacturers hold the old aspect ratio to great value in their advertising. I like to think that your fine tv is a sign of there being a good chance for my dream tv to exist, because your model is from 2003, and at least other manufacturers kept making 4:3 sets for a couple of years after that.

Thanks once more!
 

next010

Distinguished Member
You could also consider RGB or VGA PC monitors, retro RGB has info guide on the topic.

 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
The consoles that are causing the biggest problem here are the ones I want to hook up with RGB and component, those would be the SNES and GameCube. If I would settle for either RGB or component, this would get just that much easier. I heard that the GameCube only outputs 480i through analogue RGB, so I would much prefer to use component for it. I guess the SNES would have to be the one I compromise for.
What GameCube component cable do you have? A cheap standard one isn’t going to cut it.
The official GC component cable outputs a component signal as it has a special chip in the cable, & costs a lot of money nowadays.

There are some new GC component cable where they’ve tried to emulate the chip from the official but they cost a lot more than the cheap cables. Cheap 3rd party component cables won’t give a component signal.
 

Lomppu

Novice Member
You could also consider RGB or VGA PC monitors, retro RGB has info guide on the topic.

Thanks, I will be sure to look into monitors. I imagine it will be difficult to find one with component video in though.
 

Lomppu

Novice Member
What GameCube component cable do you have? A cheap standard one isn’t going to cut it.
The official GC component cable outputs a component signal as it has a special chip in the cable, & costs a lot of money nowadays.

There are some new GC component cable where they’ve tried to emulate the chip from the official but they cost a lot more than the cheap cables. Cheap 3rd party component cables won’t give a component signal.
Thank you for your reply! I will be using an official component cable, it will not be a problem.
 

Lomppu

Novice Member
Hello, a little update. I am grateful for all of your thoughts.

I added a new criteria :D I must be out of my mind. I need my dream tv to output 480p signal. Honestly I should have thought of that earlier. Anyways, thinking about this has made me broaden my mind a little. For starters, any of the manufacturers who I know to have made aperture grille crt televisions didn't seem to make 4:3 480p models, not even their top of the line ones had 480p before widescreen came out.

I would only need 480p for the Cube, and maybe Wii if I wanted to. They would also be the only ones using analogue YPbPr component connectors. So I was thinking about two possible options to finding a dream television. The first is getting two separate sets, one european model with RGB scart and a different one from the US maybe, that has analog YPbPr component inputs. This is the worst option I think, because crt televisions are huge and unconvenient, and I wouldn't want to have more than one.
The second option would be to find a suitable model from the US, import it, and mod it myself to add rgb inputs. I would love this. If anyone knows of a 4:3 480p television with analog YPbPr component inputs, I would greatly appreciate help finding one.

As I was writing this, I did find proof of a set that checks every box!! The Panasonic TC-xxP100 Series has composite, s-video, analogue YPbPr component, and rgb! And it's 4:3 480p! I can't find anywhere if it is shadow mask or aperture grille, but I would not pass on one of these either way.

I feel much better, knowing my dream tv could be real, if only very rare.
 

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