How are RCA F38310 owners doing? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 1202 Old 05-31-2004, 08:51 AM
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I have had my f38310 for about three years now. Never any problems! OTA local channel HDTV picture quality is awesome.

The one problem I have is hooking this set up to a HTPC. I have used a KDS VGA to component conveter on an AVI 9800 Pro graphics card to try to "clone" the display to the RCA. I have tried endless configurations using Powerstrip, but to no avail. Some say you should use a VGA to Component dongle and not use a transcoder. Has anyone been able to successfully hook this set up to an HTPC? Your help would be greatly appreciated!
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post #92 of 1202 Old 05-31-2004, 08:55 AM
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UncD2000,
I know you like to see the "whole picture" but does the Zenith 318's zoom help get rid of the edge compression?
thanks
lo
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post #93 of 1202 Old 05-31-2004, 10:51 AM
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OK, my F38310 has started to act up after a little over a year of service. It will not power up via the remote or the power button. You have to unplug/plug it in order to power it on. Before this, it also would lock up occasionally when changing between OTA HD channels. Before I call the Circuit City service people, I was wondering if anyone could refresh me on what I should tell them. Thanks in advance.

Brian
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post #94 of 1202 Old 05-31-2004, 11:04 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Ratman
I believe the caps are C14113/14115 ... and if the diodes are bad CR14107/14117

The chassis # for the F38310 is DTV306

Ask them to check Thomson's service bulletins for the proper capacitor values. Do not replace with the 'same' type of caps or the problem will reoccur!
(I dont' remember off hand.. I'll snoop around and see if I can find the recommended upgrade values).

Thanks, Ratman! I appreciate the info and will tell the service org when they reopen tomorrow.

Mauro
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post #95 of 1202 Old 05-31-2004, 11:14 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by hothandiman
I have had my f38310 for about three years now. Never any problems! OTA local channel HDTV picture quality is awesome.

The one problem I have is hooking this set up to a HTPC. I have used a KDS VGA to component conveter on an AVI 9800 Pro graphics card to try to "clone" the display to the RCA. I have tried endless configurations using Powerstrip, but to no avail. Some say you should use a VGA to Component dongle and not use a transcoder. Has anyone been able to successfully hook this set up to an HTPC? Your help would be greatly appreciated!

I have an ATI Radeon 9700 PRO in my PC and use an ATI HD congle to connect to the RCA F38310. At 480p the Windows desktop is very good, but at 1080i it is really bad. However, HD video can be appreciated very well at 1920 X 1080i. I use this resolution to watch WMV demo files as well as the 2 WMV dvd's that I have of Coral Reef and Terminator II. I also have a MyHD tuner card in the PC and use it through its own dongle to watch transport streams, regular dvd's, D-VHS tapes, MPEG streams, etc. In case you are not familiar with the MyHD card, it can be configured to deliver either RGB or YPbPr directly to an HD monitor. Good luck to you!

Mauro
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post #96 of 1202 Old 05-31-2004, 05:00 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by MF70
I have an ATI Radeon 9700 PRO in my PC and use an ATI HD congle to connect to the RCA F38310. At 480p the Windows desktop is very good, but at 1080i it is really bad. However, HD video can be appreciated very well at 1920 X 1080i. I use this resolution to watch WMV demo files as well as the 2 WMV dvd's that I have of Coral Reef and Terminator II. I also have a MyHD tuner card in the PC and use it through its own dongle to watch transport streams, regular dvd's, D-VHS tapes, MPEG streams, etc. In case you are not familiar with the MyHD card, it can be configured to deliver either RGB or YPbPr directly to an HD monitor. Good luck to you!

Thanks for the reply! MF70 I am assuming you are using Powerstrip? If so what settings? I just ordered "the purple dongle" from ATI. I understand that it comes with software to make it work. I wonder if this is its own custom resolution software?

Thnaks Again
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post #97 of 1202 Old 05-31-2004, 10:01 PM
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elspankdog,
I wonder how many times I've asked (to no one in particular)
Did you ever have the "cap fix"?
It's usually the number one question.
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post #98 of 1202 Old 06-01-2004, 08:24 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by locomo
UncD2000,
I know you like to see the "whole picture" but does the Zenith 318's zoom help get rid of the edge compression?
thanks
lo

I haven't tried this, but zooming in a bit at the horizontal edges should move the compressed area offscreen in the same way that increasing overscan via the (05) Width parameter in the service menu does. FWIW, it's possible that the function of parameter (05) is defective (non-linear), and that it is responsible for the edge compression (rather than the horizontal stretch of the "full" and "fill" modes).

Someone posted an RCA service bulletin at Home Theater Spot a while back that instructed techs to set overscan at 5% at each edge on the component input. This amount, or even more, is probably pretty typical of most displays as delivered to the consumer. At such settings, the stretch modes on the F38310 probably deliver a total image, including the part that is offscreen, with prettty decent geometry. The edge compression seems to be introduced when the width parameter is decreased to reduce overscan. Instead of a linear compression of width, the center of the image is left alone, and the new material coming in from overscan is squeezed into the outer 4-6 inches on each side (sort of an inverse of a "panorama" stretch mode. Since most F38310s were apparently delivered with less than average overscan, the edge compression became a major complaint issue.

When my F38310 was delivered 3 years ago, edge compression was very noticeable in "full" and "fill" modes, but I could not detect any at all in 16:9 mode. With my overscan now reduced to the minimum, I noticed this morning on the HDNet test pattern that I have some measurable edge compression. Then I ran the Avia disc at 1080i on the DVB318, and the edge compression at the right was about the same as HDNet (minimal but measurable), but at the left there was somewhat more (borderline annoying).

I'm not discerning enough visually to offer an opinion on the merits of the DVB318, but some respected professionals on this and other forums are pretty impressed with it. "Michael TLV" on Home Theater Spot, however, recommended that the component output be used, since he found "white crush" and some other problems on the DVI output. I would add a recommendation not to engage "autostart" in the setup menu (it skips past FBI warnings, mandatory previews, and the opening menu) because it repeatedly locked up my player with the Avia disc, and when this happens you have to unplug the unit for a short period to get it operating again.

The most dramatic improvement I've made recently with the F38310 was decreasing my viewing distance from the SMPTE-recommended 60" (1.57 X diagonal - 30 degree width of view) to the THX-recommended 50" (1.33 X diagonal - 36 degree width).

UncD2000
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post #99 of 1202 Old 06-01-2004, 08:37 AM
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Here's a link to a Viewing Distance Calculator
http://www.myhometheater.homestead.c...alculator.html

Note: the SMPTE recommendation corresponds to the normal human optical cone of vision's optimal radius of about 15 degrees. The extra image width that THX recommends is thus about 3 degrees beyond this on each side, but it results in a "more immersive experience" which is quite satisfying (at least until the novelty wears off).

UncD2000
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post #100 of 1202 Old 06-01-2004, 09:37 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by hothandiman
Thanks for the reply! MF70 I am assuming you are using Powerstrip? If so what settings? I just ordered "the purple dongle" from ATI. I understand that it comes with software to make it work. I wonder if this is its own custom resolution software?

Thnaks Again

Hi again! I don't use Powerstrip because it is not needed with the ATI HD dongle. However, only 2 resolutions are available: 480p and 1080i. Since these are compatible with the F38210, I never bothered with Poswerstrip. The dongle I got from ATI did not come with any software because it is supported by the driver. The dongle is recognized by the driver and it is automatically activated. Perhaps the dongle for your Radeon 9800 includes additional software but I do not know that. Again, good luck to you and let me know how it works out for you.

Mauro
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post #101 of 1202 Old 06-01-2004, 01:23 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by locomo
elspankdog,
I wonder how many times I've asked (to no one in particular)
Did you ever have the "cap fix"?
It's usually the number one question.

No, I've never had any work done on the set. To be honest, I don't use the set that much anymore since I moved it to the bedroom. It has been a while since I read about all the F38310 problems, and I just wanted to be able to help the repair guy as much as I could. Thanks for the input.
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post #102 of 1202 Old 06-01-2004, 02:16 PM
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post #103 of 1202 Old 06-01-2004, 08:32 PM
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Quote:

Thanks tp, but alas I tried those settings. I am guessing the reason it did not work for me is that we were using different brands of transcoders. That could be the reason, right? I do not know if anyone has calculated the mathematical possibilities of ps settings, but boy, I know I approached something close to that number!



I was only able to get 640 x 480 "stable" on my screen. Other attempts either did not work, or resulted in a scrolling desk top, or just the "dell" desk top--no icons or anything. I ordered the purple dongle from ATI; I understand that that you get 640 x 480 and 1920 x 1080i (only) with this device. If that works, I'll be happy. Lower res for the icons, and 1080i for video/graphics. I must admit when I approached this project, I never really thought that the monitor would be much of an issue. In doing my homework here, it seems like it is almost a rite of passage to figure this out!

Anyway, thanks for the help to everyone. This is an awesome site!
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post #104 of 1202 Old 06-02-2004, 09:33 AM
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UncD2000

I checked out what you previously stated about component video locking into full on my own unit. When watching a SD signal thru antenna A, the menu says 4:3. When watching a HD signal thru antenna A, the menu says 16:9 and looks great with no compression. When inputing a 480i signal thru the component video inputs, the menu says 4:3 and one can use the stretch modes as usual. When inputing a 480p signal thru the component video inputs, the menu does not say anything as to the mode you are in. I am guessing this is what you are referring to as locked into the full position. I would have thought that the menu would have at least told you what mode you are in.

If this be the case as you have referred to, what is the possiblity to someone in this forum creating a hack to the firmware that would allow the component video input to work just like the antenna inputs, putting a 480p signal or greater into the 16:9 mode? There have been other people creating hacks on the various DVD players out there, so maybe it could be done on the F38310. I believe that I have read in other forums about a company adding adding a video out to the F38310. I know that this might cause other issues, but it is just a thought.
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post #105 of 1202 Old 06-02-2004, 10:41 AM
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Well... IMO, this is finally a plausible theory in regard to "barrel roll"!

Based on Unc2000's earlier post and radicon's observation, I just performed all of the 'tests' on mine and can confirm that that's exactly what heppens!

When watching a DVD set to progressive, no format info.
Switched to interlaced, it displayed 4:3 nomal
Hit the "FF" button, it shows 4:3 Fill or Full.
Back to progressive.... no info.

I can rest easy now! Thanks guys, good work!

radicon:
No hacks for the F38310 that I am aware. As for the video output mod, check www.169time.com for info (it is a llitlle expensive IMO).

Ah!!! One more thought!!!!

If anyone following these posts with an F38310 and an upscaling DVD players... (that works over component)

Could you output a 1080i signal via component cables and see if the "INFO" menus show 16:9, nothing... or whatever?
Also... try the same with an STB set to output 480p...

I'm curious...
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post #106 of 1202 Old 06-07-2004, 06:11 PM
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My F38310 went to the shop for the second time since I first got in on floor display. The first time was the DM module, the second time a burnt electronics smell came from the inside. Something in the power supply, don't know exactly what they replaced (I didn't get any summary on what was fixed).
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post #107 of 1202 Old 06-07-2004, 09:05 PM
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UncD2000

Do you have any other observations using the Zenith DVB318 DVD player on the F38310? How does the PQ compare to your other DVd players? Did you have to turn down the contrast and tint as others have stated on their HDTV's?
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post #108 of 1202 Old 06-07-2004, 09:15 PM
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Does anyone here on this thread know of anyone that has the tools and knowlege on working with embedded firmware? I have talked with the person that did my ISF calibration. He knows of several people that do this, but they do not have this HDTV. Also, they would not be cheap.

Another approach would be to get in touch with someone at Thompson that is actually familiar with this HDTV and see if our firmware hack idea stated above is even remotely possible. Anyone with an idea or suggestion?
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post #109 of 1202 Old 06-07-2004, 10:24 PM
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The DVB318 does run a bit bright. Probably 2 clicks on black level(brightness) below my Sony SAT-HD300. (These 2 units are connected to component via the switcher in a Yamaha receiver). Usually, when I engage the component input, there is no indication of the mode in the display, but occasionally it will display "4:3 Full". All input signals have been 1080i. I believe it's in Full mode all the time, so I can't account for this anomaly in the display. I'll try inputting 480P tomorrow, and see if anything is displayed.

The DVB318 looks impressive with good quality DVDs upconverted to 1080i, but a recent set from the public library (Homicide, Life on the Street - Season 1 & 2) looked awful, so I gave it a try on my 5-yr-old Toshiba SD-3109 (a 480i model connected to S-video). Looked better and also enabled "4:3 Normal" for OAR viewing. HLOTS didn't fare well with the mandatory Full mode via component.

I agree that we could really use some input from someone at Thomson. With my overscan at the minimum on all inputs, I can detect some edge compression on everything, but it varies from barely noticeable in 16:9 mode to pretty obvious from the NTSC tuner. The D* SD channels fall about halfway between these extremes. Another anomaly that we need help with is the 50% vertical overstretch in Fill mode (which oddly doesn't occur with the DirecTV tuner).

UncD2000
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post #110 of 1202 Old 06-07-2004, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ratman

If anyone following these posts with an F38310 and an upscaling DVD players... (that works over component)
Could you output a 1080i signal via component cables and see if the "INFO" menus show 16:9, nothing... or whatever?

I have the Momitsu outputing 1080i. Info shows nothing.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ratman

Also... try the same with an STB set to output 480p...

I'm curious...

I set the HDTivo to 480p. Info shows nothing.

I'm not sure what this proves though. All formats except 480i are locked and the aspect ratio cannot be changed. We knew that. How does this explain the barrel roll??? (Which I see with both 480i and 480p, but not 1080i)
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post #111 of 1202 Old 06-08-2004, 07:03 AM
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I was hoping that a device outputting a native 16:9 would be detected as such and perhaps cause the component inputs to 'react' differently. (to reinforce the reason why 1080i doesn't exhibit the barrel roll effect).

I was hoping that the component inputs would work similarly to the tuner when detecting a 16:9 format (showing 16:9 in the info banner).

Thanks for your efforts!
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post #112 of 1202 Old 06-14-2004, 10:05 AM
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I finally got into the service menu and reduced the overscan as much as possible. I have not detected any barrel roll effect from either my DVD player at 1080i or my HD Tivo at 1080i. Both look real good. However, the changes that I made in the service menu on the component input seem to have changed the S-Video input where I have my laptop/music server connected. I thought all the inputs were adjusted independently.
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post #113 of 1202 Old 06-14-2004, 02:00 PM
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That's the way I understand it to work... and what I've observed with my endevours.

Have you tried moving to the other S-Video input and see if there's a difference?

Have the mods you made affected other inputs (antenna, analog/digital, satellite)?
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post #114 of 1202 Old 06-15-2004, 10:22 AM
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I've posted my thoughts on this topic on another thread, but I'll reitterate and expand with a few more observations:

1) I'm fairly sure that the reason the info screen says it is 16x9 or 4x3 from the ATSC tuner and Satellite tuners is because this information is provided in the header information piggybacked on the signal (question: does the info bar say what format the video is in for NSTC?). I don't think there are seperate 16x9 viewing modes for Sat/ATSC/component. Because component video is analog, it doesn't have this header information, and so the info screen doesn't tell you. I asked a TV station engineer, and he agreed he thinks the format information is coming from the recveiver.

2) There may be a difference in video over the component because of the way the set "translates" the video to broadband RGB. Basically, the set has to convert the ATSC/DirecTV/component video to seperate signals for each of the three electron guns. Perhaps the translation algorithm isn't as good for component video as for ATSC/DirecTV HD. I don't think that this is the real problem, though. I think, that you do see barrel roll on all HD -- just not as much. I think the real problem lies next:

3) Under "geometry alignment" in the service manual, it says "the geometry alignments on this chasis are very critical and must be performed using chippercheck. Even though some of the geometry alignments are available through the front panel service menu, adjustment is not recommended. Alignment in one modewill interact and affect the displays of other modes."

I believe they are referring to the deflection modes, which are 1080i, 480p, and 540p. (note, I think the service manual has a typo here, where it lists the modes 4, 14, and 15 as having 1080, 483, and 483 vertical lines each. I believe that the first and second modes are correct, being 1080i and 480p respectively, while the third mode with the same frequencies as the first should really be 540 vertical lines.

Basically, you set the geometry in mode 4, but use mode 15 for watching s-video (or mode 14 for watching DVD), which leads to different results.

When I had my set ISF calibrated, he optimized the settings for 1080i, then went to each of the other modes and tweaked it to make them more acceptible.

I wonder if this isn't the problem -- if you minimize barrel roll via geometry alignments for 1080i, then they may be exacerbated for 480p -- which is what most DVD players use. If you minimize barrel roll for 480p, then HD would probably be bad.

It would be interesting for someone who has minimized barrel roll for 1080i but has the problem with 480p, to then try upconverting the output to 1080i and seeing if it goes away.


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post #115 of 1202 Old 06-15-2004, 01:13 PM
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Since I have had my F38310 ISF calibrated and tweaked with ChipperCheck in April, the barrel roll effect has been neglible. DVD viewing at 480p does not drive me nuts like it use to. If I recall correctly, the instructions for ChipperCheck specifically states that you must make the geometry corrections first for the component video inputs then the other inputs.

What I need to do now is purchase the Zenith DVB318 upconverting DVD player and see how it looks at 1080i on my tweaked F38310.

I will try to get in contact with the person who did my ISF calibration and see if he has time to comment on this thread.

DrJoe and Ratman. THANKS to both of you for all of your obvservations and assistance on the F38310 on this and the various other forums.

Rodney
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post #116 of 1202 Old 06-15-2004, 02:33 PM
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I am in Plano and I would be interested in your ISF guy's info Radicon. Did you see an appreciable increase in PQ after he was finished?
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post #117 of 1202 Old 06-15-2004, 02:56 PM
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If nothing else you should talk to "Cheezmo", Steve Martin (not the actor) who is based out of Plano. I talked to him when I was living in Austin; I ended up getting a calibration by Siegfried Riedel out of Bjorn's in San Antonio. Steve has a very good rep.

Steve Martin's ISF Page: http://www.smartcalibration.com/
Siegfried Riedel's ISF Page: http://www.isfcalibration.com/


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post #118 of 1202 Old 06-15-2004, 02:57 PM
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Cool. Thanks DrJoe
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post #119 of 1202 Old 06-15-2004, 03:03 PM
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post #120 of 1202 Old 06-15-2004, 03:16 PM
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The PQ is much better, mainly the geometry. With ChipperCheck, Topp was able to reduce the 'barrel roll' effect to a manageable level. As I have stated before, no one ever mentioned this except for me. It drove me nuts trying to watch a DVD through a fish eye lense (so to speak). HDTV over OTA was great. I just could not figure out why there was so much difference. Having the unit calibrated made all the difference.

As well as geometry, the grayscale was off on all inputs. Topp was able to get the grayscale to almost a perfect flat 6500k line at all IRE from 10 IRE to 100IRE. As far as I am concerned, the PQ on my unit is looking the best it ever has. Now to get that Zenith DVB318 DVD player!!
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Reply Direct View (single tube) CRT Displays

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