Upgrading CRT to 9500LC - what else do I change?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by simon1967, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. simon1967

    simon1967
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    Hi all,
    this may be posted in the wrong forum but the catalyst for the 'potential' upgraditus is a good old CRT projector so here is my tale:

    I may be tempting fate here but I may have a Electrohome Marquee 9500LC arriving anyday now. It's been imported from the US and it seems to check out ok. Of course, I could be waiting for it to arrive this time next year but I am an optimist but that's not why I'm posting. If it all arrives and works ok, I may need an overhaul of my system so that's where you guys (n gals) come in.

    I last installed my equipment about 4 years ago and obviously time (and technology) has moved on quite a lot since then but with this new CRT arriving, I'd like some pointers on how to get the best out of it. I understand it does 1080 resolution but as far as I know, none of my sources are outputting this high so please enlighten me as to which direction I should go?

    PRESENT SET-UP
    Barco Cine 7 LT (just installed by James @ CRT Projectors as a replacement for a water damaged one Cine 7 - don't ask)
    Panasonic 42" W4 Plasma
    Denon AVC-A1SR amplifier
    Toshiba SD-900E DVD player
    Sky box (regular, plain vanilla flavour)
    and lots of other bits (Laserdisc, Divx player, Meridian CD player, PS2, XBox etc, etc).

    So, with all this equipment and with Sky (and everybody else) going on about HD, Blue ray and all these groovy high res formats, I thought it would be a good time to upgrade a few bits.

    1. SKY BOX
    I was going to get the sky+ and multiroom for the two kids but should I pay the £10 extra a month and get HD?

    2. HD - ANY GOOD?
    Is HD really all it's cracked up to be? I've seen some plasma's in Curry's etc but they all look a bit oversharpened to me. It may be that I'm not used to the sharpness but perhaps is it all a bit 'emperors new clothes'?

    3. PLASMA UPGRADE?
    That said, plasma's are so cheap now, I could replace my Panasonic 42 with a HD version and re-use this one in the playroom (another project). Or are the cheap plasma's not as good as my existing one - I have heard that nowadays, they are built to a price whereas the retail on my Panasonic was £5000 - £6000. Does this really make a difference or are the £1000 versions of today as well built as the £6000 sets of 5 years ago?

    4. DVD UPGRADE?
    The DVD player has also lasted me well and call me a snob, I like the weight and quality feel of it aswell as the image and audio quality. If I go to maximise the 1080 resolution of the 9500LC, what players should I be looking at? They should have show aswell as go.

    Now I don't feel I am wanting to change all of the equipment for changes sake but really looking to see what others are doing? Is everyone going gaga for HD or are you all running through HTPCs anyway? Or do I need a scaler to res up all my regular equipment?

    Oh and just as a side note, the reason (apart from the price) for changing to a Marquee 9500 is that I didn't feel that the Cine 7 was as bright as I wanted it. I knew that when I had it installed, I was pushing it for size - projecting onto an 8 FT wide screen (horizontal, not diagonal) but have lately wanted more brightness. I thought about digital (blasphemy) but couldn't get on with the rainbows and beside's, I wouldn't then have anything to tweak so that's why I took a gamble on this 9500 puppy.

    Lastly, how easy is it to set up the Marquee? It comes with a ACON camera and also comes with a couple of switching boxes. I fiddle with the Barco and also was quite familar with the Seleco 400 I had previously. I understand (possibly wrongly) that the ACON auto set-up is pretty good. Anybody used it?

    Any advice will be warmly received and prices for the bits would be useful aswell. Oh, and I don't mind buying used / ex-demo either so equipment that is end of line but still good kit, I'm happy to go for.

    Thanks again all

    simon
     
  2. Tim in Phoenix

    Tim in Phoenix
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    Hello

    Do consider HD satellite (used one for six years here stateside) and maybe a Toshiba HDDVD; if that plays basic DVDs to your liking then you just need a transcoder going into the 9500, Extron makes a good one. Maybe Andy will show you his Toshiba if you ask him. The 9500 will offer expanded dymanic range by virtue of larger tube faces, lenses with more glass elements, and the very desireable fluid coupling.
     
  3. Mad Mr H

    Mad Mr H
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    Many of us CRTers prefer to hear from like minded people, this might limit your responses but also allows for a more defined conversation, posting these questions here is fine......

    I don't have sky and never have had, For sports fans its a must, Now that Sky HD is here I do have it on my "For consideration list", others will be able to help more here. The one thing to think about is "Can I afford it?", and "Is the change worth it?"

    For your situation I think HD would be a good upgrade.

    HD DVD, or HD from hard drive recorded from USA Cable - thats what I have seen/used - on My Barco 1209s YES the picture is amazing and you are now giving the projector a picture quality that works well with the projector.

    Lets narrow this down a large amount and stick only with Panasonics for now......

    ALL 42" Plasmas are NOT 1080 resolution, NOR is the 50", The 1920x1080 is ONLY available in the 65" Panasonic plasma - thats about £7500.00.

    Lets stick with the 42" as that is what you currently have, they are available in 1024x768 (highest version) - Your current plasma may have the same resolution. Check your current specs - if the same DON'T change it, new Plasmas are brighter but suffer from more image retention. Panasonics were and are very well made (I prefer NEC but ONLY due to the additional connectivity offered as standard over the Panasonics)

    For the 9500LC I would go and buy a HD DVD player without question, In years gone by the high end players were expensive as technology was pushed to the max to get the best possible picture from the native resolution of the disc, NOW discs are 1080p themselves there is an instant upgrade in picture definition. I consider the 9500LC would be much better served with a HD DVD player.


    This starts to get down to a more person preference level.....

    With the above kit list of yours plus a few additions this is what I would do........

    The 9500LC would be connected to a HD DVD player and Sky HD, both items would be HD SDI modified and run via a Gefen HDSDI to DVI scaler, the Marquee will require a DVI input card - That is todays technology and I think the best for several years to come. 8 foot screen is what a number of use use with 9" PJs and I think an excellent match for these PJs and the average room size for your seating position.

    If you have an HTPC based system then that can go direct to the 9500LC, Check with other owners here for best settings with that PJ.

    ALL the rest of your equipment I would connect to the Plasma you have.

    The question of digital should always be considered in the upgrade list, Today I can honestly tell you that the Sim2 D80 at about £7,500.00 is what I consider to be the best digital under £10K. Is it better than my PJ - I have no idea !!! I have seen it and liked the picture, but NOT had one here (yet) to test, I think I will stick with CRT for many years to come, in fact I have just bought new tubes so That should show I think the future of CRT is safe.........

    Bright - oh yes, the 9500 is bright enough on an 8 foot screen - and I think just right......

    Mods for the 9500LC - YES there are plenty available from new input cards to reworked internal electronics, there will be an "Eisemann 9500LC" soon here on the forum, so watch out for reports on that one........

    If you have time and patience then self setup will save you loads of cash and allow you to spend it on other items.
    If you don't then a pro install is the option to take.

    The hardest part in my opinion is actually the physical mounting of the projector, by that I mean for the "average Joe" the installation of the actual projector will be difficult as this is NOT a daily item for most most people - even good DIYers.

    The actual alignment and convergence is the easy part, knowing the correct order and what to do takes practice but is critical to correct configuration, ALL that information is available.
     
  4. simon1967

    simon1967
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    Ah you see. You've already lost me with this tech speak. What is HD Satellite - is a a huge rotating disc in you back garden that needs a few PC's to run? While I hate paying £40 + per month for the privilege (and possibly more if I go for HD), I do like the convenience. Besides, I presume any other non-Sky sat system means that I am not going to pick up sky channels unless I pay for them (Premiership Plus etc).

    HD-DVD is a new area for me which I may have to investigate ....

    Yes, I'm thinking that aswell but this is dependent on the Plamsa being HD compatible as this is what is used the majority of the time.

    I really don't know what I am looking at but my guess is that it's not going to be compatible. I know it doesn't have a HDMI (is that right?) connection as I looked into that for HD-DVD players. Here's the spec from the user manual:

    Applicable signals
    Colour System
    NTSC, PAL, PAL60, SECAM, Modified NTSC

    Scanning format
    525i (480i), 625i (575i), 525p (480p), 625p (575p), 750p (720p), 1125/60i, 50i, 24p, 24SF (1080/60i, 50i, 24p, 24SF) ······ SMPTE 274M

    PC signals
    VGA display
    VGA
    SVGA, XGA, SXGA, UXGA (compressed)
    Horizontal scanning frequency 15.5 - 110 kHz
    Vertical scanning frequency 48 - 120 Hz

    If that's the case, I'll look into replacing the plasma. I think I've seen them for about £1000 for the latest 42" Panasonics? Ideally, I'd like to go for a 50" but I've cut the existing plasma screen into the wall so the amount of aggro to replace coupled with the additional cost for the extra inches on the 50" most probably isn't worth it.

    So this is where my limited knowledge is even less. So HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are the new rival High Definition formats right? So am I right in thinking that is the new 1080 resolution that everything is converging towards? Likewise, does that mean my existing DVD collection is now defunct or is there some kind of upscaling device built-in?

    You say that discs are NOW 1080 resolution but when did this start happening and how do I know? Is it written on the box like the Superbit collection or is it now standard on all releases? I am again reluctant to pay extra for the privilege for HD versions of DVD's - I rarely get the chance to watch my existing collection so don't fancy replacing my existing discs. I still even occasionally watch Laserdiscs and VHS! :eek:

    How will this work on Blu-ray and HD-DVD's - from what I can gather, it's another format war whereby different studios support either but not both of the formats. I presume that both won't be available on the same disc like DTS and Dolby Digital - at least not for the time being. I presume that is why the PS3 is such a 'must have' piece of kit?

    Oh you've gone and got all techy on me again. What is SDI and what is DVI - and how does this all relate to HDMI and the NASDAQ? In all seriousness though are these connections or what? Why do I need a scaler for the projector if the Marquee runs 1080 already? Why do I need a DVI card - to connect what? Does this replace the component leads that I am running to my existing Barco?

    Regarding the scaler, couldn't I just buy a scaler and run everything through this until the format wars sort themselves out? Again, I assume like everything 'native' 1080 is always going to better a scaled 1080?

    How good are scalers nowadays and is it a huge jump to the 1080 resolution? I am running at 720 on the Barco and if memory serves me correctly, it was a huge improvement on my old Seleco 400HT. Even though the Seleco could line double, the image became very soft. I preferred the visible lines, sharper and more contrasting image to the softer image of the line doubled image. Moving onto the Barco, the lines disappeared but retained the image sharpness along with better colour etc, etc. At the moment, there are no visible lines (from distance) so what do I get for a 1080 image on the Marquee? Apart from better everything :thumbsup: I guess what I'm asking is how big the jump is in picture quality - I guess that some will be down to the 9500LC and some will be down to the 1080 resolution?

    Not really confident with PC's as I'm a a dyed in the wool Mac addict so really wouldn't know what to do with those PC thingymybobwotsits.

    ALL the rest of your equipment I would connect to the Plasma you have.


    I think the tinkerer in me will always prefer the CRT route.

    Brightness is the main thing that I was going for due to my larger screen size and all the rest is going to be a bonus.

    New input cards (I presume), are mainly tweaks i.e. fine if you're into that sort of thing but I'm not that interested in fine tuning to get that last few % of image. I'm sure the 9500 will be an improvement over the Barco (for now at least). But, as my curiosity has been piqued, what is an Eisemann 9500 LC?

    As the Barco is already installed in a coffee table enclosure, I am intending to mount the 9500 in exactly the same place on the existing Unistruts. As it not a ceiling mount, this makes the install job, just slightly easier. I believe (perhaps wrongly) that the throw distance should be similar? I think that I will have a go at the set-up myself as the PJ comes with the camera which should give good base settings from which to work from.

    Oh and the good news is that I have a received a call from customs that the accessories package for the projector has arrived which means that the PJ should follow shortly. Some pics are attached on what I 'should' be getting so again any advice on what I should do with all of this stuff i.e. switchers will be gratefully received.

    Cheers all for the advice.

    simon
     

    Attached Files:

  5. simon1967

    simon1967
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    Here's some additional stuff about the projector and the switchers:

    "ELECTROHOME MARQUEE 9500LC Projector w/ ACON CAMERA, REMOTE CONTROL, OWNER'S MANUAL, CEILING MOUNT, and TWO EXTRON MARQUEE SIGNAL SWITCHERS with OWNER'S MANUAL. This one is in Absolutely PERFECT Operating Condition.

    DESCRIPTION:

    I purchased this Electrohome Marquee 9500LC Ultra 1080P CRT Projector from a customer whose wife no longer wanted it hanging from the ceiling in their small living room. It had been purchased with new tubes (not refurbs) from the preeminent Electrohome reseller in the United States, Hi Rez Projections in Massachusetts. Hi Rez modifies all of the Electrohome projectors it sells so that, in addition to perfect new tubes, they have all of the latest display and digital convergence electronic upgrades. They also add a cooling fan upgrade to eliminate unacceptable fan noise. Since then, this fantastic unit has had limited usage and shows almost no wear on the liquid coupled CRTs at all. I'd rate each of the tubes easily an 8 out of 10.

    The previous owner was a total video gear head, so this 9500LC has the hard-to-find ACON Camera option which effectively makes it equivalent to a 9501LC. The ACON camera allows the projector to completely CALIBRATE ITSELF by sending out a series of light pulses and then reading the reflections from your screen. Push a button, and unbelievable as it might seem, in moments it's done. It's as convenient as could be. The resulting image is 90 percent of what you or a professional calibrator might be able to achieve after hours of meticulous alignment.

    The outer case of the projector is in good cosmetic condition and perfect working order. The glass lenses faces are unscratched or cracked. The remote control, ACON Camera, ceiling mount, and Marquee Switchers work perfectly. The modular steel chassis has no dents or dings, long scratches or major defects. All display lights and indicators function flawlessly.

    Included with the 9500LC are TWO Electrohome Marquee Switchers made by Extron, the best in the business. They are filled with 7 extra cost input cards because the previous owner had so many signal sources. I can't imagine anyone needing more, but if you do, the switchers will take still many more input cards.

    One other thing I should mention: this unit was actually set up and calibrated by William Phelps during its lifetime, so you know it was well-loved. No expense has ever been spared maintaining this 9500LC."

    I would post pics but it doesn't let me at the moment so I'll be back later...

    cheers all


    simon
     
  6. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick
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    My goodness.

    Simon, there are too many questions for anyone to rationalise without giving a COMPLETE brain dump in one session, which is quite a tall order.

    Please read all the sticky threads in all the relavent forums here, and I would strongly recommend Curt Palms CRT primer:

    http://www.curtpalme.com/CRTPrimer.shtm

    You've got a lot to look forwards to with that fantastic PJ, but you ain't gonna learn everything overnight. Please do as much reading as you can, then come back and ask some specific questions.

    Cheers Nick
     
  7. simon1967

    simon1967
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    Yeah, I know - I always have been the impatient sort. Ask first, research later.

    Just had a look and am particularly interested in the switching devices - but plenty of bedtime reading there.

    Thanks and .... I'll be back (just as soon as I have customs clearance).

    Laters

    simon
     
  8. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick
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    Right, I'm going to have a go.

    Firstly, that is a fantastic projector, and it is absolutely crying out for HD. To look the other way would be a criminal offence of biblical proportions. (Well, OK, you get the idea)
    HD satellite for UK users is Sky HD now; or Telewest HD cable now; or NTL HD cable sometime next year. Since you're a Sky user, the obvious thing to do is simply upgrade you box (£300) and subscription (£10/m). There's a worthwhile handfull of HD channels, and lots of information in the Sky HD forum. Sky HD broadcasts in 1080i, and it looks underwhelming with poor kit, and very good with good kit. More on that later.
    HD video is arriving big time (at last) in the UK right now. Sky HD will probably make sense to you, and is ready to go. DVDs are being superceded (not replaced) by high def discs, but the choice is not so easy. The are two competing camps for exactly the same market: HD DVD and Blu-ray (BD). They do much the same thing: 1080 line digital video, and there is little to chose between them. When everything is working right, they both look fantastic. There is a format war between them right now and they are quite entrenched; there are a variety of possible outcomes, and no-one can tell you what will happen. There is much to read in the various high definition DVD players forums, but you will get bogged down very quickly. You should decide if you want to wait until there is some sort of resolution, but that may take a while, and you could be missing on a lot in the meantime. Many people have taken one side or another, and are very happy indeed. Watch out though; HD players are not universal players, some don't play CDs, and they often make mediocre DVD players. And the US machines don't play our PAL / 50Hz DVDs at all.
    A Panasonic PWD plasma will accept HD video, but it won't display it in high resolution. All plasmas seem to have come on in leaps and bounds recently, and come right down in price, so I'd happily recommend a 42 or 50" HD screen for general viewing. They are generally limited to 768 lines - the 1080 line sets (Pioneer, Pansonic, Hitachi) are pretty expensive. Now, consideration of a new plasma is rather independant of what you want to do with your new PJ, so I would sort that out first, then make your decisions on a plasma afterwards. There's an interfacing issue that I will come back to.

    576 lines and 1080 lines are the new video formats and they will co-exist for a long time. Most HD ready displays have 720 or 768 lines; they can look good, but they will never take full advantage of the new standards. HD DVD and BD can look particularly brilliant. Chosing which to go for is difficult, but remember that your disc collection may be more of an investment than the player.
    BD & HD DVD are completely new formats that not interchangeable with DVD (though the discs look the same). HD DVDs cannot be played on DVD or BD players, not BDs on DVD or HD DVD players. It's nothing to do with superbit - you are starting from scratch. Your DVD collection can still be played, but it won't look as good as real HD nomatter what anyone claims. It can look good with a big PJ & screen, but it will always be soft compared to the real thing.
    yes there's a format war, and film & TV studio support is critical, but most of the studios support both formats. The formats are quite exclusive, and there are no dual format HD discs or dual format players on the horizon. they may happen, but not any time soon, and in any case I wouldn't bet on it. The PS3 is just a video game that happens to play Blu-ray discs (BDs) very well. It was tipped to swing things in Blu-ray's favour, but it's still stalemate.
    Now, this is the big subject. To do justice to your PJ, and make the most of your variety of video sources, I would strongly recommend that you get a good scaler. Well I would say that, wouldn't I? maybe not in all cases, but certainly in yours, and most folks would agree. Although HD video is generally 1080 lines, the source may be progressive or interlaced, comes in different frame/fields rates, and you will probably want to display 1080p on the PJ. You will probably also want to make the most of all your SD sources, and have all your switching and calibration handles in one place. Although switchers and media centre PCs have their place, this is definitely scaler country, and you'll need a good one. Firstly, understand that there is no perfect scaler, but the DVDO VP50, Calibre Vantage, Crystalio 2 and the forthcoming Lumagen Radiance will fit the bill. The Gefen HD SDI to DVI scaler that MadMrH uses may give the best picture quality of the lot, but it depends on having your source modified to output the professional SDI signal. This is quite an expensive and risky mod for various reasons, and may preclude use of future HD sources that may not be modified at all - we cannot be sure yet. We cannot be certain that the Sky HD can be mnodded yet - it should be possible, but I'm not aware that it's been done yet. Watch this space. Unless you're serious about picture quality and know what you're doing, I would recommend a scaler with HDMI interfaces for now.
    I doubt that PCs will conveniently do what you want, and even less sure about Macs!
    Well, you're in the right place, then!
    Brightness, screen size, resolution and HD sources all move forwards together.
    Some sort of new input cards on your PC is strongly recommended because HD video may be HDCP encrypted in future, so that analogue RGBHV connections cannot be used. A digital video inputd card makes a lot of sense, and MrH is probably best placed to advise you. The CRT sectin of the sister forum avsforum.com is a very good source of info.
    Auto convergence sounds very nice, but it's only part of the job - you still have to get the physical and optical set-up right. There's lots of good references and advice around.
    ther's sopmethig to look forwards to, then. I had my eye on that particular PJ, too!
    I'm the HDTV, HD DVD, BD and video processors moderator, so I hope it's been of some help.

    Good luck and best regards, Nick
     
  9. Mad Mr H

    Mad Mr H
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    Thanks Nick.............I looked at that list last night, I was too "tired" following my bithday to answer it.........

    I think you should wait till the PJ arrives, DONT switch it on.....

    Open it up, check everything is in place, connected , no leaks, then switch on.......

    I always remove lens first check tubes.

    Check power selector then switch on - NOTE ON BARCOS you select the 110 / 230 voltage on the power board PRIOR to switch on.
     
  10. simon1967

    simon1967
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    Sky seems to be an easy no-brainer so that's on the list.

    The HD DVD thing is something I'll probably pass on for the time being. I still haven't connected my DVD-Audio player part on my Toshiba up yet and to be honest, I've never been tempted. When (or if) it becomes the standard, then I'll get on board as I have plenty of other things to sort first.

    I did venture over to the HD-DVD side for an hour or so and you are right, it seems a mess. If I changed it would be for a universal player that plays my existing DVD's and any newer format HD-DVD's and of course multiregion. This it seems is a way off as yet so I'll bide my time. Am I correct in assuming that until I make the HD-DVD jump, a good scaler wil do a pretty good job of scaling images into a high quality source material for the PJ?

    This is where I am slightly confused. The spec sheet on my plasma says it accepts 1080i/50Hz aswell as 1080p/24. Isn't this HD or is there some other magic stuff that makes a plasma HD-ready?

    Yes, it always a slightly scary process buying stuff off ebay but (touch wood), it seems like a good 'un. Just waiting for that second call from Heathrow airport now.

    This has been of an immense help and am always appreciative of people putting their time into responding to posts. I am trying to absorb as much of the latest tech advances in a very short space of time but it's very easy (as I'm sure you well know) to get wrong information as well as the right info - it's the deciphering and filtering that takes the time. That's why I ask a lot of questions.

    Thanks again for your patience

    simon
     
  11. simon1967

    simon1967
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    Thanks for the safety heads up. I'll let you know when it arrives.

    Cheers

    simon
     
  12. ChrisOH

    ChrisOH
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    The set accepts the two 1080 resolutions as inputs but as it only has say1024 x 768 pixels 60Hz (its native rate) as a resolution, it converts both to its own native rate.

    Ideally we want a display which can accept a variety of inputs and display them natively which is what appeals so much about CRT.

    We input 1080p and display 1080p. or 720p /60/72/75 or ......:smashin:
     

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