Sony XBR800 and HTPC's? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-27-2013, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a large CRT monitor for my garage. 36" or larger.
Something so heavy that nobody will want to steal it. smile.gif
It will be connected to an HTPC for TV, movies & music & web surfing.

I'm finding a lot of XBR800 models in my local Craigslist. But some googling shows that there might be problems with connecting the "DVI - HDTV" input to my computer?
All I want/need is 1024x768.
Is this going to be possible?
Or would I get a better picture if I used a VGA to Component transcoder?

I'm not looking to use the s-video. I want razor sharp text. & clear video.

"The boom is dead, long live the bass"
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-28-2013, 11:50 AM
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You might check out recent posts on this 960 thread, I've seen mention of HTPC:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/408146/the-official-kd-34xbr960-thread/7740#post_22891005

There's probably an XBR800 thread somewhere on AVS too and once you're in the thread there's a search function at the bottom of the page.

Yeah the thieves are more likely to steal your AV accessories since these CRT TVs are nearly worthless now. wink.gif

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-28-2013, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

You might check out recent posts on this 960 thread, I've seen mention of HTPC:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/408146/the-official-kd-34xbr960-thread/7740#post_22891005

There's probably an XBR800 thread somewhere on AVS too and once you're in the thread there's a search function at the bottom of the page.

Yeah the thieves are more likely to steal your AV accessories since these CRT TVs are nearly worthless now. wink.gif

Thanks, yes I have done tons of searching. After more than 6000 posts, I've learned about that cool search tool also. biggrin.gif

Still have not found any concrete info on whether 800x600 or 1024x768 is possible without and if so, if there are any weird artifacts when displaying these resolutions.

I'm interested in the 40XBR800 4:3 TV specifically.

The 960 is a super-fine pitch, widescreen model, so it could be capable of resolutions higher than the XBR800's.

"The boom is dead, long live the bass"
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-29-2013, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CZ Eddie View Post

All I want/need is 1024x768.
Is this going to be possible?.
Don't know about the XBR800 (and 4:3 tubes), but when I connect a PC to 3xXBR910 sets (SFP tube, DVI input) the Nvidia video card treats the DVI interface just like HDMI, and defaults to 1080i resolution. Forcing the resolution to 720p looks okay. But I was under the impression that all input was (internally) converted to 1080i (i.e. they are not "multisync monitors").

Be aware that you are considering using a TV (albeit a good one) as a computer display. CRT TVs and video monitors are not computer monitors, and will overscan the image.
A CRT computer monitor will underscan the image.
Maybe a professional/studio video monitor can minimize the overscan, but these CRT HDTV are not capable of significantly eliminating overscan. Even after tweaking in the service menu, there's still maybe 10% overscan on each axis on my 910. For example, the Windows7 task bar is about 1 pixel below the bottom of the visible screen. A similar adjustment on a 30HS510 was beyond the set's capabilities; as the image was reduced, the bottom of the screen would start to skew left (i.e. the electronics were at its limits of properly controlling the raster).

The Nvidia driver detects that a TV is connected, and offers an overscan reduction feature, This is essentially a downscaling operation. It's okay for video content, but noticeable when displaying small text.

Bottom line: they're great for video, but they're not a substitute for a computer monitor unless you're using an HTPC user interface.

Regards
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-29-2013, 01:40 PM
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The 40" xbr800 appears to support 720p (scaled to 1080i by the tv) and 1080i but i'm not sure how it would scale to the 4:3 res.

You would need a dvi to hdmi cable or a dvi analog to component (if that exists) and then you would have to have a decent entry level or better nvidia or ati card from recent times to scale the resolution properly and remove overscan.

It might get as sharp as an average 720p panel but it all depends on whether it accepts a 1080i 4:3 signal.

Some good info here: http://reviews.cnet.com/direct-view-tvs-crt/sony-wega-kv-40xbr800/4505-6481_7-9453304.html

Good Luck
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-29-2013, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone.
I got my answer from someone who had a 36" XBR800.

http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=369215#369215

You can feed it 800x600 or 1024x768, but the TV will "squish" it down to widescreen. You cannot get those resolutions to display in 4:3 format. frown.gif

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post #7 of 13 Old 01-30-2013, 11:41 AM
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It might still be interesting to find out what it does with a 4:3 1080i signal though. If you were paying 50$ it wouldn't be a bad experiment but i'm guessing people want a little more for them. I'm currently using a 16:9 51" Hitachi crt rear projection as a monitor with good results (after focusing), small text is readable and details are on the level of a 720p screen without the pixel spaces (screen door). I got very lucky and picked mine up for free but a decent 16:9 42-46" from 2000-2006 is relatively easy to find around my area for -$100. Toshiba, Sony, and Hitachi are big names in my area and they all made decent rear pro's (from what i've read) in the 42-46" size.

They weigh less than direct view crt's, are thinner and viewing angles on them are very much improved since the 90's. I believe rear propjections usually have more adjustments available to deal with thing like convergence as well (though it probably goes out more often).

Some downsides include the lenses that will need to be cleaned for the best picture and rare coolant contamination that seems especially prevalent within certian brands like philips (presents as a yellow/brown haze).

Make sure they have dvi or hdmi inputs as they are less common on smaller models.

Good luck with whatever you choose smile.gif
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-31-2013, 07:06 PM
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I agree with most of blue_z's comments above. I haven't used a PC with my 34XBR800 in quite awhile, but it was rather a PITA, and I wouldn't generally recommend it. (In fact, I wouldn't generally recommend CRTs these days, except for unusual or special applications, even though I still use mine for watching Blu-rays and upscaled DVDs. It took quite a bit of work for me to get the picture on my 34XBR800 to a point where I found it "satisfactory" though... and I'm still tinkering with it to this day.)

 

The Sony HDTV CRTs aren't designed to handle standard computer resolutions. They are really only designed to handle standard SDTV and HDTV video signals. The only way they will accept (S)VGA computer resolutions is if the video card can output them as an ATSC compliant "720p" (45 kHz) or "1080i" (33.75 kHz) signal that the TV can recognize. 800x600p might be feasible with some video cards, but it would have to be sent as 45 kHz 720p, and the TV would convert it to 1080i for display (as it does with all 720p signals). I don't think 1024x768p (progressive) would be possible, because that resolution exceeds the HDTV scanrates the TV is designed to handle. Interlaced versions of 1024x768i and 1280x1024i might be possible with the right vidcard/software, but they would have to be sent as "1080i", and your other computer software/games may not support or play as well with the interlaced versions of the resolutions, since they aren't standard computer display modes. (FYI, 1280x960i might be a better choice than 1280x1024i because it's a true 4:3 ratio, but it's also "non-standard" for most PC apps.)

 

Also, the 40XBR800 and 36XBR800 (which are both 4:3 ratio screens) will normally display 720p and 1080i HDTV signals as a 16:9 ratio image on the screen. That 16:9 ratio is achieved by vertically compressing the video raster. The only way to "undo" that vertical compression on the HD signals is via the geometry controls in the service mode, which are also a major PITA, if you don't know your way around those controls and the SM. (You can easily end up "bricking" your TV in the SM, if you don't know what you're doin in there as well.)


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post #9 of 13 Old 02-02-2013, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_z View Post

Be aware that you are considering using a TV (albeit a good one) as a computer display. CRT TVs and video monitors are not computer monitors, and will overscan the image.
A CRT computer monitor will underscan the image.
 
 

^ Very good point. Not only do CRT TVs overscan, but the image will be nowhere near as sharp and easy to read as a typical LCD computer monitor.

 

Quote:
Maybe a professional/studio video monitor can minimize the overscan, but these CRT HDTV are not capable of significantly eliminating overscan. Even after tweaking in the service menu, there's still maybe 10% overscan on each axis on my 910.

 

I've gotten close to 0% on the sides on my 34XBR800, but it took quite a bit of tinkering to get there, and there's bad overshoot on the left side. And I've never figured out how to get all 1080 lines of the raster's height to display (without sacrificing some resolution in the image, which is an unacceptable solution imo).

 

If anyone's figure out a way to accomplish that without using the MID digital geometry controls to scale the image down (which invariably sacrifices resolution), maybe they could post something about it in the Sony service code thread. I sort of doubt that it's possible though.


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post #10 of 13 Old 02-11-2013, 11:12 AM
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Fine text is readable at around 1000p resolution (overscan reduction) on a rear projection, that said it took some work to get there and it is still only as sharp as your average 720p plasma in the center of the screen. Limited static contrast is the enemy as well as the rounded phosphors, fine text suffers due to the fact they are fine black lines on a big white page, thereby turning black text to gray text. So while crt's can get very detailed in ideal situations they can also be reduced to a very low resolution in the wrong application. So clear detailed video yes, razor sharp text no.
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-11-2013, 03:37 PM
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There are a few things you can probably do to improve the situation a little, like using gray or white text on a black background, and tweaking the TV's focus/convergence so it's better. The former won't help much with most web content, but you can switch AVS Forum to a dark gray skin with white text in your user prefs.

 

I would not recommend using a CRT TV as your primary text editor though, unless you enjoy eye fatigue. My first computer monitor was a regular 480i CRT TV. And I have no desire to go back to that. smile.gif


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post #12 of 13 Old 02-11-2013, 03:46 PM
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"Super Fine Pitch" TV like the 34XBR960 might also be a little better than "Hi-scan" models like the 40XBR800 or my 34XBR800, but still far from ideal imho.


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post #13 of 13 Old 02-11-2013, 10:11 PM
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Lowering the contrast/white level on CRTs (ie the "Picture" control on Sonys) can also help make text and other fine details more "readable", by reducing blooming.


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