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-   -   The Unofficial Sony GDM-FW900 thread (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/64-direct-view-single-tube-crt-displays/1061724-unofficial-sony-gdm-fw900-thread.html)

rs232guy 08-30-2008 10:24 AM

The Sony GDM-FW900 is a discontinued 24" Trinitron CRT monitor. It is one of the few widescreen 16:10 CRT's ever produced. According to Sony, its 'golden' resolution is 1920x1200. The FW900 can be used as a gaming monitor or an HDTV (with the right accessories), as well as its intended use as a computer monitor.

Feel free to use this thread to discuss tweaks, calibration, problems and fixes, etc. for this model. I will attempt to edit this post periodically with general information that may be helpful to others.

Sony GDM-FW900

Resources:
  • Owners Manual
  • Service Manual
  • Hardforum thread
    This very long thread contains a lot of useful information about the FW900.
    HINT: If you want to search for a specific topic (e.g. convergence), try googling 'fw900 convergence site:hardforum.com'.
  • WinDAS
    Advanced users can get into the service menu with this Digital Alignment Software. It requires opening the case, obtaining a custom TTL interface cable, and a PC with an RS-232 port.

Q&A:
  • Where can I buy one?
    Try craigslist or ebay. Due to its weight, picking one up locally is usually preferable to shipping.
  • What video inputs does the FW900 have?
    It has both a standard female VGA port, and an RGBHV port with 5 BNC's. There is a manual input switch on the front panel.
  • Will it display HDTV resolutions?
    Yes. I can confirm that will will resolve 1080p60, 1080i60, 720p60, and 480p60 from an Oppo 980H DVD player and a Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC cable box.
  • I have digital video sources. Can I use them with the FW900?
    Yes, but you will need an outboard video DAC. I am successfully using an HDFury. (The FW900's horizontal position adjustment is sufficient to make up for the HDFury's 'left shift' problem.)
  • How much does this thing weigh?
    About 100 lbs.
  • Judder on film sources bothers me. Will this monitor do 1080p72 or 1080p75?
    According to the manual, the FW900 will easily resolve these resolutions. (I don't have a source that will produce either, so I can't confirm this personally.)

LL

DarkZero24 08-31-2008 03:14 PM

Ah, what a great monitor the FW900 looks to be. Unfortunately, I am stuck with its inferior cousin, the W900. It still looks great at 1920x1200 on my PC, but the Xbox 360 doesn't seem to like it at 1080p, so I have to resort to 1360x768. No idea why it doesn't work.

rs232guy 08-31-2008 03:53 PM

Have you tried hooking up the Xbox via HDMI through an HDFury?

I don't know the Xbox that well, but the analog output resolution may be limited. If the Xbox will do 1080p via HDMI, then chances are the HDFury will work for you. (It works for me at 1080p from a DVD player and a video scaler.)

DarkZero24 08-31-2008 07:44 PM

Heh, sadly my model doesn't have HDMI.

jhirsche 09-08-2008 10:12 AM

Love my GDM-FW900... it is the second HD-cabable display I owned (and still use and enjoy after my Toshiba Satellite 5205-S119 1600x1200 native resolution laptop LCD display)

Also the proud owner of both a KD-34XBR960 and a KD-30XS955!

Didn;t know about the HDfury... thanks for that tip!

Rickeo 09-12-2008 08:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkZero24 View Post

Heh, sadly my model doesn't have HDMI.

I think what he means is, hook up your Xbox via HDMI to the HDFury, then out to the monitor.

DarkZero24 09-12-2008 01:40 PM

And I meant to say that my 360 doesn't have HDMI. It's a launch model.

Mathesar 09-12-2008 04:16 PM

Great monitor, mine is still going strong. I used to run my Xbox360 to the FW900's VGA input and it looked great. What I did was bought a BNC cable for my PC so i could just toggle back and forth between inputs.

Chris OH 09-29-2008 03:23 AM

Thanks very much for posting this it is very helpful to me as a late comer to this monitor.

I love CRT and having lost my Barco projector set up I got one of these Sonys here in the UK for £100 and am using it as my main TV for both Digital TV, DVD and HDDVD from a PC.

One of the great things about them is the ability to tweak which I'm looking forward to doing using some of the resources in this thread.

I can confirm 1080p at 75Hz using an 8800GT.

Thanks Again

Chris

nougiw 10-05-2008 07:01 PM

Guys I need help, I found your forum just on time. It's been a week or so, I've been looking to buy one. First of all I'd like you to tell me if there is also a GDM-GFW900 model? I've read on a forum that it does and it has a 16:9 ratio instead of FW900's 16:10, true? And now it's the difficult part: Where can I find either of the two models to buy? At what cost aprox? And finally (stupid question I think, but let me give it a try) is there any case to find a brand new one? Again THANK YOU very much for starting this thread!!!

tonyptony 10-06-2008 02:32 PM

rs232guy, thanks so much for starting this thread. I have one of these behemoths, purchased for a song when my place of employment was dispositioning old lab gear (it's the SGI version of the FW900). It wasn't until recently that I found out about the "too bright" syndrome on Sony monitors (funny considering I've been using them for so many years).

I read through the links you provided for the WinDAS utility, which I intend to try. But I'm wondering if I should go straight to a repair first. As of about 6 months ago (during a calibration around that time) I found that even at a setting of zero I could not get the Black Point down to an acceptable level. At the zero setting my BP value is around 7 cd/m^2. Do you think I should just use the G2 adjustment via WinDAS, or is this too far gone for a simple table adjustment?

Mathesar 10-06-2008 08:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyptony View Post

rs232guy, thanks so much for starting this thread. I have one of these behemoths, purchased for a song when my place of employment was dispositioning old lab gear (it's the SGI version of the FW900). It wasn't until recently that I found out about the "too bright" syndrome on Sony monitors (funny considering I've been using them for so many years).

I read through the links you provided for the WinDAS utility, which I intend to try. But I'm wondering if I should go straight to a repair first. As of about 6 months ago (during a calibration around that time) I found that even at a setting of zero I could not get the Black Point down to an acceptable level. At the zero setting my BP value is around 7 cd/m^2. Do you think I should just use the G2 adjustment via WinDAS, or is this too far gone for a simple table adjustment?


Even if the monitor is showing a bright screen with the brightness at 0 you can still fix it by lowering the G2 value in Windas, I fixed a Sony G400 monitor that was still showing a very bright grey at 0 brightness in fact it was starting to show retrace lines, After lowering the G2 level it looked like new again ,retrace lines were gone, and the black level was very dark with the Brightness set at 50.

Heres some before and after pics: Link

Chris OH 10-07-2008 03:02 AM

Hi

I wonder if anyone can help me to shortcut my set up please?

My set is the GDM FW900 made in 2003 so one of the last made (?). I bought it second hand (I doubt any are likely to turn up new) and other than a slight ding on the bezzel its pretty much mint I'm connecting with an 8800GT with a BNC cable. I have the driver installed and am using the sRGB settings. I'm using it as a TV and HDTV and the picture is fabulous but, could there be more?

I run a 1920 x 1200 resolution at 75Hz (I'm in the UK so most of my material is PAL)

I have Displaymate and am willing to go inside the set if need be so Windas is an option if I can find a cable.

What I'm looking for is advice on the order to approach things. Do I need to check focus first then try to converge the set with Windas for instance?

Perhaps this has been covered before but if it has its proving to be a little elusive.

Regards

Chris

tonyptony 10-07-2008 10:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathesar View Post

Even if the monitor is showing a bright screen with the brightness at 0 you can still fix it by lowering the G2 value in Windas, I fixed a Sony G400 monitor that was still showing a very bright grey at 0 brightness in fact it was starting to show retrace lines, After lowering the G2 level it looked like new again ,retrace lines were gone, and the black level was very dark with the Brightness set at 50.

Heres some before and after pics: Link

Awesome. Thanks for that. I did join Icrontic the other day and did read through the posts. Your pics give me hope that I can fix this baby up nice. Everything else about it is perfect - focus, convergence, etc. I didn't want to risk going the resistor route; I'm not sure which one it even would be in the FW900. I'm an electrical engineer and have the service manual, but that doesn't mean I know anything about how a CRT works!

Just waiting for the ECS cable at this point. I notice from the service manual that unlike the P1110, on the FW900 the whole back shell has to be removed to get to the D board where the connector is located (I'm going from memory here). That sounds like a pain. If the cable I get is long enough I may cut an access hole in the shell and feed the cable through to leave it permanently connected. I ordered this one

http://techref.massmind.org/techref/io/serial/rlc2.htm

Chris OH 10-08-2008 10:49 AM

Hi

I thought all was well but have noticed a green area has just appeared on my monitor at the bottom left hand side when displaying a white field (I was using Displaymate). I have tried the degauss button which temporarlily removes it but it reappears almost as soon as the set has settled down afterwards. The set has not been disturbed nor is there anything magnetic anywhere near it.

Is this a first step towards the bin or do I need to get stuck in to fix it?

Regards

Chris

nettronic 10-09-2008 12:42 PM

There are setting in the OSD to fix that issue. The icon that fixs it looks like a screen with an arrow pointing to a corner. (I forget the name off hand sorry)




I picked up 2 of these units off of Ebay about 2 months ago. One died in 3 weeks.. (still waiting on a replacement :@) the other is FREAKING AWESOME>

I made the mistake of running dual monitor with it and my LCD as the second monitor. Makes my LCD look like bantha poo doo. Cant even stand to look at it anymore. I remember how long I resisted going LCD. Now I remember why. 10 yr old tech still kicks its undersized butt

$$$burner 10-09-2008 06:23 PM

Nougiw, there is no "GDM-GFW900", just the GDM-FW900. Finding a new FW900 is highly unlikely, considering they stopped being manufactured in 2003 (or possibly 2004).

Since the FW900 is a 16:10 monitor (with a properly sized display area), 16:9 content will be slightly letterboxed.


Tonyptony, the first thing you should do to try fixing a brightness problem is to use the Image Restoration function in the Color submenu under the Easy or sRGB tabs. Apparently it does adjust the G2 voltage.

Chris OH 10-10-2008 07:56 AM

Thanks for the tip nettronic. The setting is called "Landing" and it was stuffed.

It really is a superb picture. I boought it when I found out I'd have to live without my previous monitor, a Barco 1209s ;-)

tonyptony 10-10-2008 01:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by $$$burner View Post

Nougiw, there is no "GDM-GFW900", just the GDM-FW900. Finding a new FW900 is highly unlikely, considering they stopped being manufactured in 2003 (or possibly 2004).

Since the FW900 is a 16:10 monitor (with a properly sized display area), 16:9 content will be slightly letterboxed.


Tonyptony, the first thing you should do to try fixing a brightness problem is to use the Image Restoration function in the Color submenu under the Easy or sRGB tabs. Apparently it does adjust the G2 voltage.

Son of a gun - it worked! Now that's a neat trick. Let me recalibrate and see what happens.

THANKS!

tonyptony 10-10-2008 01:54 PM

$$$burner, you are a savior! My beast recal'ed fine and now looks the way it did when I first got it. Are you some sort of genius?

$$$burner 10-10-2008 03:50 PM

I'm glad to see it worked out for you. Simple solutions are very satisfying!

As for being a genius, I certainly am, having reprogrammed your monitor remotely to add an Image Restoration function I invented. Just don't go reading the manual or searching the internet or speaking to anyone who owns an FW900, lest you tarnish the belief in your saviour.

tonyptony 10-10-2008 05:28 PM

Well, to tell you the truth I did RTFM, but I took the description of it "restoring colors" too literally. The thought that it would do something like what it did never occurred to me.

$$$burner 10-11-2008 05:45 AM

Heh, I meant to deprecate only myself. Sony certainly could've done a better job explaining the scope of the Image Restoration function.

abi.allan 10-21-2008 02:09 PM

hi..

why your monitor is not working???

just find out weather any router lining probs or any technical probs that happen s


also check the confi settings clearly again...

KOF 10-22-2008 06:52 AM

Does anyone have this problem I'm experiencing? My FW900 clicks and screen goes blank for a while (same as when changing the resolution) when there are heavy flashes on the screen.

It's not sporadic, but application dependent. Whenever I play Resistance in 720P, the screen goes blank whenever my character picks up a health pill and the screen goes bright a bit. Whenever I play Bioshock in 720P, whenever my character gets near fire, the screen goes blank as well. The symptom's much worse in 1080i and 1080p, but I experience no such problems in 480P. Keep in mind, this problem only occurs with 16:9 resolutions. I do not experience such problems in large 4:3 or 16:10 resolutions.

At first I thought it was my transcoder's fault, but I plugged my PS3 directly to VGA cable and it's exactly the same as well. I kinda want to purchase HDFury but it looks like it's useless unless this problem gets rectified first. I now have to buy all my games for Xbox360 and I don't even have the 360 yet. =p

col1 11-06-2008 02:29 PM

Just bought a fw900 recently, have tried to connect to it out of my pc with a nvidia 5600 card to rgb cable, monitor comes on, it says input is working but no picture, is there some adjustments to be made in the graphic card settings for it to work?

andy2000 11-06-2008 04:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by $$$burner View Post

Tonyptony, the first thing you should do to try fixing a brightness problem is to use the Image Restoration function in the Color submenu under the Easy or sRGB tabs. Apparently it does adjust the G2 voltage.

That trick works on most newer Sony monitors, and makes a huge difference. When I was at college, I would often see a workstation with a sony monitor that was almost unusable. A few button pushes, and 10 seconds later, it looked like new again. Unfortunately, their older 21" models can't adjust the G2, and even older models lack color restore entirely.

Jibbajaba 11-16-2008 03:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KOF View Post

Does anyone have this problem I'm experiencing? My FW900 clicks and screen goes blank for a while (same as when changing the resolution) when there are heavy flashes on the screen.

It's not sporadic, but application dependent. Whenever I play Resistance in 720P, the screen goes blank whenever my character picks up a health pill and the screen goes bright a bit. Whenever I play Bioshock in 720P, whenever my character gets near fire, the screen goes blank as well. The symptom's much worse in 1080i and 1080p, but I experience no such problems in 480P. Keep in mind, this problem only occurs with 16:9 resolutions. I do not experience such problems in large 4:3 or 16:10 resolutions.

At first I thought it was my transcoder's fault, but I plugged my PS3 directly to VGA cable and it's exactly the same as well. I kinda want to purchase HDFury but it looks like it's useless unless this problem gets rectified first. I now have to buy all my games for Xbox360 and I don't even have the 360 yet. =p

That should be because when the flash occurs, the maximum average brightness of the screen is exceeded. This is fixable with WinDAS. Look for a parameter called "ABL_Shutdown", and raise the value. Alternatively, turn down the contrast on the monitor. If you have your contrast turned up too high, it will raise the brightness of the whites on the screen which is what causes the shutdown. It also shortens the life of your monitor.

Chris

sumrtym 11-20-2008 10:26 AM

Got a problem where the text goes blurry after mine comes on for awhile (not every time, but often enough). It will stay that way from 10 minutes to an hour and the POP and clear up. Someone said it's a capacitor going out (Dell's also had this issue) and that it needs replaced and different things tuned as well since it could throw them off.

Anyone know any details on this problem? Shipping it to the west coast and paying $400 for the repair is really not an option, and with the service manual and some greater details, I thought I might find a TV place to do the repair locally.

jhirsche 11-20-2008 10:48 AM

My monitor (GDM-FW900) exhibits this same problem as well. The problem seems to occur when the monitor has been shut-off, or in standby long enought for it to cool down completely (especially in a cold room... say less than 60F.) Upon turning it back on cold, the screen will slowly loose focus, make a loud POP (like a static shock) - which returns it to focus. It will do this several times for up to an hour, until the monitor is warm, and then correct itself with no syptoms returning until the next shutdown.

My fix has been to leave the monitor on all the time, showing the screensaver. Also seems to happen more often in the winter (dry weather / static buildup?)

Bump for an answer....

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumrtym View Post

Got a problem where the text goes blurry after mine comes on for awhile (not every time, but often enough). It will stay that way from 10 minutes to an hour and the POP and clear up. Someone said it's a capacitor going out (Dell's also had this issue) and that it needs replaced and different things tuned as well since it could throw them off.

Anyone know any details on this problem? Shipping it to the west coast and paying $400 for the repair is really not an option, and with the service manual and some greater details, I thought I might find a TV place to do the repair locally.



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