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Buying a TV for retro games. I have questions!


Gambit
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Hello. I'm going through a mid life crisis at the moment, but instead of buying a Ferrari I'm looking at getting a TV and N64. :lol:

 

I've never really thought about what kind of TV to get so I'm confused. Is CRT the best option? What price will I be looking to pay? I was originally just looking at any TV that has scart compatibility but apparently LCD TV's are shit for retro stuff. I'll mainly be playing SNES and N64 stuff on it.

 

Thanks for entertaining this newbies questions. Have a nice day and down with the Tories. :)

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Good afternoon, and a down with the Tories to you too.

 

If you are going pure SCART and just those consoles (or around that generation) then CRT would seem the right way to go. As long as you've space for one.

 

In which case the folks in this thread should be able to help with advice and cooing at all those sexy-sexy scanlines: 

 

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Are you just planning on using it just for the N64? Only the PAL N64 doesn’t output an RGB picture (although it can still be plugged into a CRT with RGB Scart and will work fine). S-Video is the best option for the N64. 
 

If you are on Facebook I’d take a look on the FB Marketplace. You can still get a decent 14” CRT with RGB at decent prices if you look around.

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Sony Trinitrons are the ones to look out for. Another piece of advice is to check eBay and sort results by distance. You might find someone nearby with one for a bargain price. Most people won’t post them so if you keep an eye out you can get a good deal. You can also try gumtree as well

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I’ve been watching Facebook marketplace for many months for a 21” Sony Trinitron to come up in my local area, no luck yet 

 

Might put up a wanted ad actually 

 

In the meantime I bought an RGB modded NTSC N64, RGB lead from retro gaming cables, an OSSC from here, an everdrive 64 before the war started and a new LG G1 65” OLED telly for the living room

 

Looks alright but a Trinitron is high on the priorities list

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It's my understanding that the more modern (as in built from around the late 90's) Sony Trinitron CRT's support NTSC? I'm pretty sure I've read that this is the case although can't be totally sure. 

 

If that IS the case, then that's the most vital of things to get. It just opens up a world of 60hz and you don't HAVE to have an RGB modded console. 

 

I'd try and get a 21" Sony Trinitron, then try and locate an ntsc N64 (hopefully from someone who is selling it second hand and has a UK PSU with it) connect it via S-video - or even dare I say composite video - and enjoy the machine in proper ntsc 60 hz. 

 

Then buy an Everdrive and dump the whole library on it and have an amazing N64 time! 
 

Edit: Also yes! Fuck the Tories! 

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2 hours ago, DeciderVT said:

1. What's your budget?

2. How big do you need the screen to be?

3. Are you prepared to maintain/repair a now-ageing CRT, if necessary?

 

1. Not massive. Around £70 to £100.

2. was looking at some around the 21 inch range.

3. I am proper wank at the technical side so nope.

 

Thanks for all the replies. Will have a look through eBay and Facebook. :)

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I would add that 1. Trinitron is not the be all and end all so don't rule out a decent quality shadow mask screen if you see one, and 2. 21" CRTs seem to have suffered the most from being skipped as they are pretty uncommon compared to the portables and for some reason 25" plus screens.

 

For me finding something with adjustable geometry without having to open it up is a big plus point.

 

 

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Good evening, down with the tories. 
 

Almost any relatively modern consumer crt will give you a nice rgb image. I myself rock a pye which is actually a Philips in all but name. The remote is rubbish though. Aside from trinitrons which I think are over valued, the Panasonic quintrix are worth looking out for but most major brands will be good, Toshiba, Phillips, hitachi etc. 

 

B&O mx series are also highly regarded. 

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A few years back I managed to get a 27" Trinitron from what I think was the late 90s for £40. Had to go and collect it. Unless prices have shot up you should easily be able to snag one for well within your budget.

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2 hours ago, Kevvy Metal said:

It's my understanding that the more modern (as in built from around the late 90's) Sony Trinitron CRT's support NTSC? I'm pretty sure I've read that this is the case although can't be totally sure. 

 

If that IS the case, then that's the most vital of things to get. It just opens up a world of 60hz and you don't HAVE to have an RGB modded console. 

 

I'd try and get a 21" Sony Trinitron, then try and locate an ntsc N64 (hopefully from someone who is selling it second hand and has a UK PSU with it) connect it via S-video - or even dare I say composite video - and enjoy the machine in proper ntsc 60 hz. 

 

Then buy an Everdrive and dump the whole library on it and have an amazing N64 time! 

 

I had both a 12" 4:3 Trinitron (1995) and a later 24" widescreen model (1999) and they both supported NTSC. They both had an ace picture too.

 

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I've used a 14" Toshiba that I picked up on here for all of my retro consoles since I started re-buying original hardware a couple of years back. It's small but it's what I did all of my gaming on from the Spectrum through to the Dreamcast so it feels right for retro gaming to me. 14" is just the most nostalgic way to play 80s and 90s consoles and computers, for me. 

 

The first TV that I used for gaming that was bigger than 14" was a 32" CRT widescreen that I bought to use with the Xbox 1 and Gamecube. 

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My only advice, and this will be unpopular so I apologize in advance, is not to get fixated on the rgb modded consoles and Trinitron (or even pvm) stuff. 

Over the past few years the hobby of retro gaming has moved away from discussing games to chasing some sort of perfect picture via owning the "ultimate" Sony CRT and never ending tinkering with expensive console hardware mods, all encouraged by YouTube FOMO merchants.

 

If you can get a Trinitron or pvm cheap then go for it, they are of course very good, but don't buy into the all or nothing idea that anything else is terrible. The important things you actually need here are 1) a CRT TV and 2) a SNES/N64.

Not "this particular CRT" and "a SNES/n64 with these mods and this cable".

 

I've played lots of retro games on an early 2000s 14 inch Sharp crt over composite in the past decade+ and they were all just fine.

 

You are correct that the average modern LCD TV will look bad via scart/composite and introduce a lot of lag. All modern screens aren't necessarily bad with old consoles if you have a good external scaler, but those aren't cheap.

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A surprising amount still crop up in local classifieds pages. I got my 28” Toshiba CRT for the princely sum of a charity donation via one. It’s a lovely telly. NTSC and RGB over a SCART cable where possible is all I care about really.

 

Although I am currently looking into ways of getting an A500 Mini to play nicely on it, which is a problem in the opposite direction.

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Yeah, I'd agree with the statement to not worry about Trinitrons / PVMs - almost any TV from the tail end of the 90s / early 2000s will give a good experience. If it's more modern it's more likely to support NTSC and it was a mature technology so the picture will be good. Don't blow huge amounts of cash on the top end stuff because unless you have a shockingly trained eye you won't see the benefit.

 

Also, down with the Tories

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I had an RGB modded US N64 and the extra expense was absolutely not worth it in my view vs. an svideo connection given the games always look like they have been smeared in lard anyway (this was prior to deblur mods which I have no experience of).

 

I will always advocate the use of something better vs. composite where it is easily available (for me, this would be at the point of having to solder in extra circuitry) as composite is, always has been, and always will be, shite. 

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9 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

Don't get too hung up on CRT or nothing, they are not the be all and end all. You can achieve great results on a modern display with an OSSC. 

 

I would have agreed normally, as shaders and filters are the best they've ever been right now, but I'm just after a month of F-Zero GX and Metroid Prime on a CRT and that motion resolution absolutely cannot be discounted. 3D games feel like they're twice their actual frame rate on a CRT, which must've been a big reason why we all never ended up with headaches playing stuff at 20FPS or under.

 

Metroid Prime looks absolutely fucking astonishing. It's genuinely the best thing I've seen since CP2077.

 

One of them B&Os just went up on Marktplaats yesterday (Dutch second-hand site) for €50. Tempted, despite owning 3 PVM/BVMs.

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I'd just grab a portable sized CRT for now and see how invested you actually become, CRT's will still be around for years to come. I ended up going the whole hog and getting professional monitors for my setup, but I've seen plenty of people chasing high end monitors only to sell them months later because it's not all they hoped it might be. 

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A good OSSC you are looking at the same price of a good CRT but obviously is beneficial if you are limited on space etc.

 

I have a little 15" Daewoo TV for my Scart connection consoles and to be honest I prefer it to using a convertor, convertor's are decent but there is a charm to having a set up much akin to what I might have had when I was younger and I do think they just look and perform slightly better on an original CRT (as they were designed for).

 

 

 

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Just now, phillv85 said:

I'd just grab a portable sized CRT for now and see how invested you actually become, CRT's will still be around for years to come. I ended up going the whole hog and getting professional monitors for my setup, but I've seen plenty of people chasing high end monitors only to sell them months later because it's not all they hoped it might be. 

 

This is probably the best advice, start small and portable and see if it is something you stick with. You have to consider if you do come to sell afterwards it's a little bit of a niche market really with only really a small portion of gamers that would take any CRT off your hands.

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Honestly, those B&O BEOVISION sets are going to spike in demand once more people realise just how great they perform. I'd place them way ahead of the later flat screen Trinitrons. They're the best you can get before you start heading into PVM territory.

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