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CRT owners and converts: Should I swap my Sharp LCD for a Sony CRT?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Here's the skinny: For two years I've been gaming on a 32" Sharp LCD (LC-32D43U). It's a nice set and puts out a decent picture but I have to kill my blacks to get decent shadow detail. This week I came home for Thanksgiving and sat down to watch some TV on my parents 10 year old RCA bubble tube and was fairly shocked when a Modern Warfare 2 commercial came on. The motion looked way smoother than anything I've seen ever seen on my LCD and the black levels were fantastic.

So I jumped on craigslist and long story short I have the opportunity to swap my LCD for a 30" HD Sony CRT (KV-HS420) about an hour south of me. My question is: is it worth it? It's supposedly in very good condition, however I don't know if it's been running in torch mode or not (something I'll ask about before making the swap). It also weighs 140lbs...

So to the CRT fans, converts, and non-believers I pose the question: Do I stick with what I have and deal with the fact that the black levels are sub-par and the motion doesn't look nearly as smooth or I do take a Saturday and a tank of gas to trade it for a TV that weighs four times as much and is two inches smaller to get a superior picture?
post #2 of 12
Some people might think it's a wacky idea, but I think it's worth considering. I'm pretty sure the Sony model you mentioned does not have the super fine pitch tube, so you would be giving up some resolution and focus. There are some convergence, geometry, and purity issues, though they are generally not as bad on a 30" as they are on a 34". You will be giving up a slim, light TV for a fat, heavy one with questionable resale value.
But... You will be getting much better contrast, depth, dimensionality, pop, motion, and flesh tones.
The rankings page in my signature has a newer Sharp LED LCD (700un) and the best Sony CRT direct view ever made (34XBR960) in it. The Sony beats it in overall image quality, though it does have some serious shortcomings.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Correct that there is no Super Fine Pitch on this model. That means a resolution of 853x1080. Even still I would think on a 30" set viewed from 5-7 feet away that difference in resolution is going to make little difference.

Let's say I do pick this up and there's some geometry, convergence, and overscan issues. How hard would it be to fix them in the service menu?
post #4 of 12
You can improve geometry and overscan in the service menu, and on many Sony models you can improve side to side convergence as well. The errors can not be totally eliminated, but they can be reduced.
How easy it will be depends on your experience and skill in the service menu. You'll need a test DVD. I use a plastic or fabric tape measure (like what a tailor would use to make clothing measurements) to measure the spacing between the grid lines. I've had some customers who have attempted it and made their sets worse, so proceed with caution if you decide to go through with it.
Some adjustments in the service menu are scan rate dependent: if you do the adjustment while inputting an HD scan rate (1080i, for example) you will have to re do it while inputting 480i.
post #5 of 12
Asking in the CRT forum if you should switch to a CRT. What do think our answer is going to be?
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRT Dude View Post

Asking in the CRT forum if you should switch to a CRT. What do think our answer is going to be?

I'm asking in a lot of places, this is just one.
post #7 of 12
I would buy the Sony and sell the Sharp. How much is the Sony going for? CRT tv's are going cheap. I see 30" CRT HDTV's going for $100 - $200 all of the time because people are dumping them. If your going to trade ask for $50 with the Sony. The Sony might be a better set, but LCD's are in way more demand.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

I would buy the Sony and sell the Sharp. How much is the Sony going for? CRT tv's are going cheap. I see 30" CRT HDTV's going for $100 - $200 all of the time because people are dumping them. If your going to trade ask for $50 with the Sony. The Sony might be a better set, but LCD's are in way more demand.

She's selling the Sony for $200. I've already offered my LCD up for trade, I'm past the point that I could ask for $50 as well.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PvtChurch View Post

She's selling the Sony for $200. I've already offered my LCD up for trade, I'm past the point that I could ask for $50 as well.

You might want to consider looking for a 34 or 30 XBR with super fine pitch tube if you have the room and strength to move the beast. They are frequently available for $200 to $300 if you look around and can be patient. I gave away my 34XBR910 and the stand just because of the difficulty of moving it. I loved the picture quality and almost infinite adjustability, but wanted a bigger picture and lower weight (I moved to a 3rd floor apartment)... I like my plasma, but loved the HD tube...
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help guys. I've decided to stick with the LCD though. Long story short when I got home I decided to recalibrate my TV. Rectified a few mistakes made last time I did it and both the black levels and shadow detail are much improved. Still not on a CRT level but for convenience sake I'm going to just enjoy what I have for now and wait for the stars to align for an upgrade.
post #11 of 12
Glad you were able to re-callibrate your Sharp and are more happy with it.

But feel regret at the same time. While unable to comment on the Sony model you were looking to swap I do have the KD34XBR960. Re-callibrated the geometry and video settings (some based on consensus of opinion) and it's the best picture I ever saw. Yes, the larger flat screens are impressive due to size but as Chad said the Sony CRT picture has "much better contrast, depth, dimensionality, pop, motion, and flesh tones". And the problems inherent with geometry and overscan are minimal if properly set.

If you do decide to go for a Sony and a good KD34XBR960 is not available do look into one with the super-fine pitch tube.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Dubin View Post

Glad you were able to re-callibrate your Sharp and are more happy with it.

But feel regret at the same time. While unable to comment on the Sony model you were looking to swap I do have the KD34XBR960. Re-callibrated the geometry and video settings (some based on consensus of opinion) and it's the best picture I ever saw. Yes, the larger flat screens are impressive due to size but as Chad said the Sony CRT picture has "much better contrast, depth, dimensionality, pop, motion, and flesh tones". And the problems inherent with geometry and overscan are minimal if properly set.

If you do decide to go for a Sony and a good KD34XBR960 is not available do look into one with the super-fine pitch tube.

O absolutely. To tell you the truth if the set in question had been a SFP I wouldn't have even hesitated. I may keep my eye out regardless even though I've decided to stick with what I have for awhile. Should an XBR960 pop up nearby for a reasonable price I think I'd feel compelled to pick it up, pending upgrade or not.
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