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Rear Projection Units

Mr Bob's Avatar Mr Bob
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With all the hoopla around the new fixed pixel units - which is all we hear about these days and which of course is just what their manufacturers want, considering how expensive they are - it's easy to lose sight of tried and true triple-gun CRT technology.

IMHO, it is still the best. It still has the best blacks, it does 1080i effortlessly, (and could do 1080p just as well), and the color range and depth when properly set up and calibrated has always been thrilling. And size? When fully calibrated, it allows for viewers to sit far closer than most fixed pixel technology, delivering an essentially BIGGER picture to be watching, and losing yourself in. Isn't that really what it's all about?

Try to sit that close to fixed pixel technology and much of the time you are staring individual pixels in the face, with massive screendoor effect. CRT is the only medium where its smoothness and yet incredibly high resolution contributes to exquisite detail, without the artificial crispness of most of today's fixed pixel technologies.


Yet videophiles right and left are abandoning their CRT RPTVs in favor of the newer fixed pixel stuff. It's saddening. They have no idea what they are losing. CRT RPTVs can be kept looking better than new for 20 years or more when treated right. And produce better images, all that time, than most fixed pixel technology.

Both Pioneer and Hitachi have already discontinued CRT RPTV production. At CES this year I saw NO CRT technology being promoted. Yet it is still the best easily available technolgy out there, and these days the absolutely cheapest way to go as well. CRT RPTVs are the deal of the century right now, if you check on comparative prices, even factoring in calibrations.

Pioneer Elite owners seem to be the ones most willing to keep their sets alive, possibly because they paid so much for them back in the day. Other brands of set were cheaper and are even cheaper still now, causing their owners to more often than not just step into something new rather than keep their current sets alive. Yet ALL CRT sets can be made to look stunning, with the proper care and maintenance of professional optics cleaning and calibration. Even the cheapest brand has incredible potential, when treated properly.


I hope more people will see the light on this before it's taken away. More and more manufacturers will continue to discontinue CRT technology, its days are numbered. We should hold on for dear life, because once they are gone, they are gone. I for one will not part with my year 2000 65" Panasonic CRT RPTV. They will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands!

If you have a triple-gun CRT RPTV, PLEASE reconsider if you are about to kiss it off. It's still the best way to go, once calibrated.

And calibration is a whole lot cheaper than buying and paying taxes on a new fixed pixel set.


Added on 10-14-08 -

If you are concerned about older sets not being equipped with HDMI, that is no longer a concern. Excellent outboard equipment is available now for getting HDMI-only devices - like upconverting 480i->1080i/p DVDPs that output that upconversion ONLY via HDMI - to your component-only or RGB-only display for HD, built before the advent of DVI and HDMI. This equipment is what the owners of the big CRT ceiling projectors use, where their much bigger RGB-only pictures are a lot more revealing, so you can trust that it will present over the top 100% fidelity for our much smaller CRT RPTVs.

Go to my website, below, and follow the links at the bottom of the cover page, to find where to get the proper gear for equipping your display with HDMI.


Mr Bob

Dec. 19, 2010:

My apologies, my site is being worked on and the link has not been restored by the revampers. Might be awhile, so in the meantime, please contact me directly, by email or phone, for getting your older CRT set equipped for HDMI. No pm's please -


xxilikedirtxx's Avatar xxilikedirtxx
05:46 AM Liked: 10
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Could not agree more, I am tempted just to buy another one even before my set dies, just because they may not be available by then. By the way I have an RCA 52W20 that is still going strong after a year and a half of near constant use.
John Mason's Avatar John Mason
06:15 AM Liked: 16
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That's all why I'm still tweaking my year-2000 Philips 64PH9905, a 64" CRT RPTV. Might consider a fixed-pixel transition when large-screen FED or SED flat panels aren't too costly and aren't too 'digital' looking. Also, by then, suspect video processing such as the Realta HQV chips will see wider use. Maybe motion-compensated instead of just motion-adaptive deinterlacing will be available in consumer hardware.

Curious if you feel inverse telecine, reversing 2:3 pulldown for 1080i, with 1080p display at even frame multiples of movie 24 fps, has a significant advantage over CRT RPTVs if it eliminates judder normally visible with 1080/60i CRT display? -- John
fhidayat's Avatar fhidayat
06:24 AM Liked: 10
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Very wise advice indeed. One small issue, with component only input, most of the newer DVD players out there use HDMI. That might be the only reason to upgrade/replace my PE down the road.
hammerdwn's Avatar hammerdwn
06:29 AM Liked: 40
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I totally agree. I will be keeping my 1999 56" Panasonic forever. Mitsubishi has some great lines too.

Hammer
WilliamC's Avatar WilliamC
06:40 AM Liked: 10
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I agree 100%. Life is so much easier with CRT IMHO. Sadly, I have to get a new display and its going to have to be fixed pixel display. Oh, how i wish pioneer still made their elite line of CRT TV's. While some of us may not want to upgrade (IMO its a downgrade), we are forced. If we don't then we don't have HD anymore.
brg606's Avatar brg606
06:49 AM Liked: 12
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i saw a samsung crt rear projection at samsclub and it looked like chit compared to the dlps sets. just mho. glare screen sucks too.
Jose_L's Avatar Jose_L
06:55 AM Liked: 10
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What's the best 65" CRT rptv still available right now ?

Or are they all gone ?

Regards,
Jose
xxilikedirtxx's Avatar xxilikedirtxx
07:52 AM Liked: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brg606 View Post

i saw a samsung crt rear projection at samsclub and it looked like chit compared to the dlps sets. just mho. glare screen sucks too.

I work at Sams and yea it is not great but trust me when I say that it is most definitely not even Converged. I went and converged the one in my store just so it would have a fighting chance, it helped greatly.

P.S what glare screen the Samsung Crt set has no glare screen?
HDTVChallenged's Avatar HDTVChallenged
08:07 AM Liked: 131
post #10 of 12610
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bob View Post

Yet it is still the best easily available technolgy out there, and these days the absolutely cheapest way to go as well. CRT RPTVs are the deal of the century right now, if you check on comparative prices, even factoring in calibrations.

I think this is the "problem" for manufacturers ... zero or negative profit margin. CRTs are dead from the business standpoint.

With some 720p FP DLP projector prices falling below the original cost of my CRT RPTV the temptation is strong ...
mtrot's Avatar mtrot
08:09 AM Liked: 26
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I understand your points, and agree with them.

But CRT RPTVs have a lot of the "hassle factor" that most average joes don't want to fool with, or have to pay money to deal with. By that, I mean the issues of convergence, geometry, overscan.

I have a 55" Mits, and it has way too much overscan on any HD content, there is now some bending of text at times, and straight vertical lines are squiggly now.

I don't really have $500 to get a professional calibrator out here to work on it. And most of the general public won't do that at all.
Lee Bailey's Avatar Lee Bailey
08:13 AM Liked: 11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose_L View Post

What's the best 65" CRT rptv still available right now ?

Or are they all gone ?

Regards,
Jose

Hitachi is still making a 65", the 65F59. I just picked up the 57F59 last month, so far am loving it.
barth2k's Avatar barth2k
08:15 AM Liked: 90
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on the contrary, I hope somebody abandons a 9" gunned Mits in my general vicinity
mtrot's Avatar mtrot
08:29 AM Liked: 26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barth2k View Post

on the contrary, I hope somebody abandons a 9" gunned Mits in my general vicinity

Now, that's an idea!
Lee Bailey's Avatar Lee Bailey
08:44 AM Liked: 11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrot View Post

I understand your points, and agree with them.

But CRT RPTVs have a lot of the "hassle factor" that most average joes don't want to fool with, or have to pay money to deal with. By that, I mean the issues of convergence, geometry, overscan.

I have a 55" Mits, and it has way too much overscan on any HD content, there is now some bending of text at times, and straight vertical lines are squiggly now.

I don't really have $500 to get a professional calibrator out here to work on it. And most of the general public won't do that at all.

That $500.00 is the average cost of 2 lamps for the newer televisions, of which some have not lasted more than a month.

You're correct about the "hassle factor", which is one reason why RPTV manufacturers all have some sort of "instant focus" button.

You could correct most the of the problems you're seeing by simply getting a service manual. Your being on this forum shows you have enough interest to try it.
JohnnyG's Avatar JohnnyG
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Yup...I'll go and calibrate an SXRD, then an LCD, then a DLP, then a plasma, but when I get a CRT RP customer, I still end up far more satisfied with the final result. Everthing else is no more than 75% as good...and that's just not good enough for me.

My Toshiba 46" continues to impress me, and anybody who sees it...even those with "fancy" digital-based displays (which really bugs the heck out of them!).

Incidentally, Hitachi recently announced a new line of CRT-based RP sets, so they are still in the game. For now.
Joe_M's Avatar Joe_M
09:31 AM Liked: 10
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I still love my 51" Sony WS500. It probably needs some work (Convergence, cleaning, focus) but the picture looks great to me. I'm definitely in the "hold onto it until it dies camp".
DavidHir's Avatar DavidHir
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I have a Sony 57" CRT RPTV (KP-57WS520)..their last model. I purchased it in December of 2004. I've had it fully tweaked and ISF calibrated....and it looks fantastic.

I keep the mirror and CRTs clean (every 6-12 months) and will get an ISF tune-up at the end of each year. I an obsessive about getting convergence perfect and I enter the service menu every couple of months to keep things as perfect as possible.

I'm *hoping* when I do replace this display several years down the road, the digital displays will be much cheaper, bulbs will be gone (replaced by LED?), and they will look more analog and filmlike than today. I will say the Sony SXRD and the Samsung DLPs seem to be a step in the right direction. The biggest advantage these digital displays have in terms of performance seems to be sheer line resolution and full 1920 lines.....as I'm told most CRT RPTV display around 1200-1300 lines.
locomo's Avatar locomo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bob View Post


IMHO, it is still the best. It still has the best blacks, it does 1080i effortlessly, (and could do 1080p just as well)


Mr Bob

OK, I'll bite. Why don't they do 1080p ?
scottie137's Avatar scottie137
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I know I am a newbie, but isn't part of the attraction (at least it was for me) of newer non CRT sets size? I understand the PQ argument, but I think alot of consumers are also buying so they can fit a larger TV in a smaller space....
Mr Bob's Avatar Mr Bob
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Jesus, guys, it warms my heart to hear from all of you within hours of my post, which was in the weeee hours of the mornin', just hours ago! Look how many replies already!

It's now midmorning of the same day, just hours later!



Mr Bob
Mr Bob's Avatar Mr Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxilikedirtxx View Post

Could not agree more, I am tempted just to buy another one even before my set dies, just because they may not be available by then. By the way I have an RCA 52W20 that is still going strong after a year and a half of near constant use.


Get it calibrated!


Mr Bob
Mr Bob's Avatar Mr Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post


Curious if you feel inverse telecine, reversing 2:3 pulldown for 1080i, with 1080p display at even frame multiples of movie 24 fps, has a significant advantage over CRT RPTVs if it eliminates judder normally visible with 1080/60i CRT display? -- John


I'd have to see such a thing in action, to comment on it.

What do you think?


Mr Bob
Mr Bob's Avatar Mr Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhidayat View Post

Very wise advice indeed. One small issue, with component only input, most of the newer DVD players out there use HDMI. That might be the only reason to upgrade/replace my PE down the road.


There are still DVDPs out there which put out HD on component, tho I hope that is not a dying breed as well.

My cals have shown so far that any CRT based HDready will look better using component IPs than connecting up via DVI/HDMI.

If you can score a used LiteOn LVD 2001, it's fantastic, and has only component OP for HD. They were disco'd a few years ago, but I snagged 3 of them and sold 2, keeping one for myself. They were extremetly cheap, put out by LiteOn, which produces excellent computer drives, and had various firmware upgrades.

The Momitsu 880 did it all, I believe including DVI. The Samsung 841 had a hack which I can no longer find, that would allow it to also put out HD in component.

I believe the initial offering Toshiba HD DVD player can be config'd to OP HD on component, but have heard opposing sides to that statement, can't say for sure. But HD on DVD will probably leave component behind due to HDCP copyguard issues, which HDMI takes in stride.


Mr Bob
Mr Bob's Avatar Mr Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamC View Post

I agree 100%. Life is so much easier with CRT IMHO. Sadly, I have to get a new display and its going to have to be fixed pixel display. Oh, how i wish pioneer still made their elite line of CRT TV's. While some of us may not want to upgrade (IMO its a downgrade), we are forced. If we don't then we don't have HD anymore.


Several brands still make CRT HDreadys. Why does your new one have to be a fixed pixel display?


Mr Bob

PS - with all the CRT RPTVs that are currently being dumped, find a used Elite 730. Or 630 or 530.

They are magnificent, and have a superb 480->1080i upconversion circuit, that upconverts ALL 480 content to 1080i, even OTA SD 480i.

Which formerly required a Faroudja-grade scaler to do.
Mr Bob's Avatar Mr Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brg606 View Post

i saw a samsung crt rear projection at samsclub and it looked like chit compared to the dlps sets. just mho. glare screen sucks too.


Pretty much any CRT RPTV in a showroom will suck. None of them are calibrated, and most are under glaring bright lights, requiring that their contrast to be turned up way too high for linear b/w/color depiction.

Torch Mode is not necessary when viewing under typical home conditions.


Mr Bob
jones07's Avatar jones07
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I have a 56" 720P DLP and a Hitachi 65F710 CRT RPTV . The Hitachi looks better with both SD & HD once I used DVE on her. Happy CRT RPTV owner
Mr Bob's Avatar Mr Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

I think this is the "problem" for manufacturers ... zero or negative profit margin. CRTs are dead from the business standpoint.


Right. Get 'em while you still can.


Quote:
With some 720p FP DLP projector prices falling below the original cost of my CRT RPTV the temptation is strong ...


At the viewing distance I want to enjoy every night - which delivers the BIG, truly cinematic picture - I would see every pixel, at 720p.

You can find excellent condition triple gun ceiling pjs for a fraction of their original cost on ebay these days. I have one right now - a Barco 800, computer grade conference room ceiling pj - that I could not get more than $600 for, so I have kept it.


Mr Bob
Mr Bob's Avatar Mr Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrot View Post

I understand your points, and agree with them.

But CRT RPTVs have a lot of the "hassle factor" that most average joes don't want to fool with, or have to pay money to deal with. By that, I mean the issues of convergence, geometry, overscan.

I have a 55" Mits, and it has way too much overscan on any HD content, there is now some bending of text at times, and straight vertical lines are squiggly now.

I don't really have $500 to get a professional calibrator out here to work on it. And most of the general public won't do that at all.

Couldn't agree more. That's why I used the term videophile, rather than Joe Sixpack.

Can't say I could get your set looking better than new for under $500 - I could on one scanrate at least, but not both 480 and 1080 - but I COULD get her looking better than new, as long as there is no screenburn and you have not excessively subjected her to torch mode. Which Joe Sixpack MIGHT do, but a videophile would NEVER do.

Everything you talked about re. your pic is easily and quickly remedied in my basic cal package. Afterwards you would have no further problems for the next few years, at which time it would be ready for a cal redo anyway.

Which is much less expensive than a first cal.


Mr Bob
motoman's Avatar motoman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamC View Post

I agree 100%. Life is so much easier with CRT IMHO. Sadly, I have to get a new display and its going to have to be fixed pixel display. Oh, how i wish pioneer still made their elite line of CRT TV's. While some of us may not want to upgrade (IMO its a downgrade), we are forced. If we don't then we don't have HD anymore.

Keep an eye out on local papers and E-bay for some pretty good crt buys. I'll be selling my Pioneer Elite 630HD (58") once my move happens as I won't have room for it in the new place. There are bargins out there to be had and some (like mine) are still under extended warranties. Add in a calibration and cleaning and you would still have a pretty good deal if you want crt.

Just a thought....

Jim
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