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CRT upgrade, XBR970

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
hey guys!
i currently own a sony trinitron kv27fs120 and im looking to upgrade to a better sony crt
ive got a few options the top 2 being the KV-36HS420 and the KD-34XBR970, im leaning torwards the 970.

I use my crt for some tv viewing, and some console playing (snes, n64, and gamecube), hopefully getting a ps3 soon! and from what ive come across the sony xbr line 960 and 970 in particular are great for HD and non HD gaming due to picture quality and refresh rate!

i also plan on setting my cablebox to HD with the new set, gonna be a sweet change!
i think both the 970 and the hs420 can accept any hd signal be it 720p or 1080p even 480p and scale it to 1080i?

Does that mean i shouldnt have any problems playing a ps3 720p native game even though the tv is 1080i native?
i hear the ps3 has some issues with certain tv's and certain resolutions (1080i crt's), unlike the xbox 360 that has its own internal scaler.

Lastly anything i should know about these 2 tv sets for my needs?

post #2 of 24
Get the 970 since they have relatively the same picture quality but the 970 is 16:9. In terms of quality of construction, they're pretty much the same, being built in Mexico. The 970 is not a 960 but better than most. It's a bit smaller and more light than the HS420.
Like said, they both have same tube quality and chassis (DA4) with HDMI instead of DVI. It goes down to choice of 4:3 or 16:9.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
do you think that for my needs ill be better off going 4:3?
Ive had my mind set on a 16:9 set for a while, dont think 4:3 has any advantages over 16:9

EDIT: ive actually found a 960 for a decent price by expanding my search area might jump on that even though its selling for 2 times as much as the 970
post #4 of 24
The tube is supposed to be much better quality on the 960 but I have not had the chance to compare really.
I can say from experience that 4:3 is better than 16:9 but it all depends on what kind of media you will be watching.
Do remember that a 34 inch 16:9 has the same watching area as a 32".
You would need a 38" 16:9 to have the same visible area as a 4:3 36".
For a larger screen take the 36". For a smaller screen but better quality and for having no bars on most 16:9 content, get the 960 for sure.

I use a 4:3 Monitor but it's a 36" viewable. Being a monitor, I can adjust screen size (vertical size,etc) directly on remote so 16:9 and 4:3 have no meaning if you don't care about stretching some info. Of course, for a movie I bring the bars back but I still have over 33" of viewable screen size.
If you watch more 4:3 content, the 36" is much better, as I figured with my 36" Monitor.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
ive decided on the 960, the guy actually has 2 sets for sale itd be awesome to be able to buy both!
Good thing cause the 970 that i thought was for sale ended up being a kv-27fs120 falsely advertised as a xbr960, and i currently own the 27fs120 :/

Ill have the option of picking from 2 960's from the same seller any not too difficult way of telling which of the 2 is better?
the seller also happens to be an experienced tech who opened up the sets to make sure everything is in working order.
post #6 of 24
If it's a tech, both should be okay but if you're not going to buy both do make him play a DVD with a cross pattern for convergence and precision on both (THX, etc.) and compare to see which one has the most precision in the edges and more perfect geometry.
You can also use the self-check menu to check if the TV ever had any problems. While the TV is closed, you press on the remote : Display, 5 , Vol Down and then Power. Any 1 in that menu is a fault that the TV ever had. It should all be 0. If not, do ask if the tech repaired it for that problem. Of course, the tech could have cleared the menu before selling it, but like said, he should have repaired both of them.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Good advice, ill have to take a look at the self check menu on both!

Could you give me a brief explanation of what geometry pertains to in a crt set, and how to tell what to look for as in bad/good geometry when comparing the 2.

I plan on taking the drive up to check out and purchase one of the 2 sets tommorow.
This will be my first time dealing with high quality CRT's even though ive been using my 27fs120 tv set and my 17" CPD-G220R pc monitor for as long as i can remember!
Ive gone through 3 diff towers since 2001 with this monitor :P, 1 HP tower that was purchased bundled with the monitor(the monitor was actually a shelf display model that we got discounted), and 2 custom built pc's one built in mid 2005 and the latest on nov 2010, this monitor has never let me down!!!

I just dont have the need to upgrade, and for gaming i like having the option to set my resolution at whatever i want! which is the main reason why i dont get a new monitor, but now hopefully this xbr960 will act as a secondary monitor.
Playing Battlefield 3 on my pc with the 960 through HDMI is gonna be awesome!!
S-video on my currrent set (27fs120) hooked up to my previous tower through an nvidia 6800gt looked awesome even in SD while playing unreal 2003/2004!! This 960 is gonna blow me away >_<<br />
Any tips on what to look for while im there comparing the 2 960 sets will be greatly appreciated!!
post #8 of 24
When I was talking about a pattern, this is what I meant. Use a DVD with a convergence pattern.

Of course, your TV won't be as horrible as in that picture...
1:What you're looking for is to see if all the lines are straight, no bending of the line when in the corners, as much as possible.
2:Also, in the above photo, you can see that the convergence is way off. In most CRT's, the convergence in the 4 corners could be a bit off. What you're looking for is to compare the two with two DVD's with the same picture at the same time and see which of the two has better convergence in the edges and overall picture.
3:Also, you can also put a pic with small text and compare both (both being at the same settings for pic in the menu (sharpness, contrast,etc.)
The focus could be better on one or the other, making text much easier to read. A text that is
Both should be pretty similar but do look at these 3 things. Focus(precision) and convergence are pretty important for a great looking pic. Geometry (pin cushion, etc) can be tweaked in the service menu but for focus and convergence, the TV has to be opened and that requires to know what you're doing and even then, requires hours of fine tuning.
Good luck.
post #9 of 24
^Read my previous post first.
Here's a site that has good convergence pattern pics for you. Just put the photo of the fine convergence pattern jpeg on a cd or dvd and use that

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
thx for all your help i picked up the tv earlier today, have it set up into my non HD cable box, looks like crap lol but im assuming its cause of the non HD signal
i had the hdtuner search for channels didnt find anything.
guess ill have to wait till tommorow to try HD, gonna have to sawp my optimum box for an HD one. gonna need an hdmi cable also

Any steps i should take as a new owner before i start using my tv normally? im not too familiar with HD CRT's other then my CRT pc monitor :P
post #11 of 24
It's like any other TV you know. It should be okay to use it however you see fit right away.
Like all HD CRT'S, the XBR960 is not multisync, so it's MADE for HD, watching lower res on it is even worse than old TV'S, but in HD it really shines.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
ahh confusing!
i thought with all the de interlacing/upscaling stuff SD content would looked improved over my old 27fs120

I can best describe the the issue as a layer of white noise blended along with the picture regardless of what channel im on
is that normal?
its def noticeable and def moving around like white noise, looks like horizontal lines of white noise that move.
It makes real small text hard to read.

Im picking up an HD cable box tommorow, hopefully that resolves any IQ issues. Im also gonna try playing my gamecube through composite tonight see if i still get the white noise issue, dont think it should.
Wish i had component for my gamecube a good amount of GC games are progressive compatible, too bad its rare as ****.
post #13 of 24
You actually plugged the TV in RF? Don't worry, new TV'S are ALL horrible or barely watchable in RF and SD. S-Video or composite is the bare requirement.... Component in 1080i or 720p is recommended, as is HDMI.
The FS120 is an amazing SD TV you know...,
Remember that upscaling is what gives you the most picture quality loss... scalars and video cards are the biggest loss of quality in digital TV'S.
The TV will mostly shine in 720p and 1080i.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
I see, will check out HD over HDMI today and report back!

There seems to be something funny going on. i dont know if its my eyes playing with me but the issue i described seemed to have gone away last night, and today when i woke up i turned on the tv to see if i still had the issue and i did.
I tried to remember what i did last night and recreate what i did cause the issue seemed to go away with some messing around with the tv.
Today the problem went away much quicker.
I figured out what i had done, i pressed the index button that brings out a list of your channels, only CH 3 showed up over and over cause of my cable box being set to work on CH3. I then pressed guide and got a PiP kind of effect with 2 split screens, the left half was the channel i was on the right was white noise.
ive noticed that normally when i turn the tv on its on C3 and thats the channel my cable works with. When i press the guide and get the 2 screens the left is on c3 with my cablebox running and the right side is on channel 3(just plain 3, not C3) with white noise.
To fix the issue, in the guide section i select the right screen and it brings up the white noise on regular channel 3, i then bring back the guide menu and go back to the left side with cable C3 and the quality seems to improve and i dont get that white noise blend running with the image.

Wierd, another thing ive noticed when changing channels after about a second or 2 the screen give a slight shake almost unoticeable.
Is that normal?
post #15 of 24
Noise is normal when using only cheap RF cables.... Your cable could be badly shielded or if you are using a quick plug connector, the ground is badly conencting to the RF jack. As for the shake, that's probably the cable box that generates it since the TV itself stays at channel 3.
Please use s-video or composite for a cable box! Or component and HDMI if available...
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
ok ive kinda confirmed that pressing the guide button on the remote and switching to the other screen 3, not C3 and then switching back improves the image by removing that white noise that moves around horizontally

Also will the 960 automatically detect the HD cable box upon switching them and select the right resolution?
Im going to be running the HDbox with component cables untill i can get a spare HDMI cable.

EDIT: This guy seems to have a very similar issue.
"For the last few days I've been having this problem with my 2-week old TV:

after long periods of inactivity (e.g. several hours of non use or over night) when i turn on the TV no digital TV channels (both 480i digital and HD channels) will come in. I get "no signal." All analog channels come in but are "fuzzy." If I use Twin View and tune an analog channel on the left side and the same analog channel on the right side (i.e., right side using the analog tuner) the picture is normal on the right side and fuzzy on the left. If I turn off the TV and then turn it back on again, then all the digital channels come in normal, same with analog channels via the digital tuner. Also, if instead I did not turn of the TV and turn it back on again, but instead just left it running and after like 12-15 minutes come back to it and change channels a few times, the digital channels start to come in. This happens everytime the Tv has been off for a few hours or more.

Is my set defective or is there some fix for this?"


EDIT EDIT: Whats the color axis setting about. I know it affects red's but whats the deal? Is it just preference?
post #17 of 24
Just to make things clear. Are you connected in component or in RF? The stated quote is for the digital ATSC tuner of the TV.
You said you have a cable box, so the quote does not apply to you.
You change channels with the cable box, not the TV...
As for component and HDMI, do remember that image quality is the same for both. You should keep your HDMi jack for a blu-ray, PS3, etc.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yea the quote does not apply.

Ive got the HDbox setup thru component, looks pretty damn sweet
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
hey guys ive noticed that some of the time the picture overlaps the screen which leaves me with missing content.
Is there a simple way of fixing this or am i stuck :P

I tried the different display options like zoom, Hzoom, full, etc.
Normal is there but i cant select it, i used to be able to when i had the non hd box, since the upgrade i cant.
post #20 of 24
I don't understand what you mean by overlaps, but the HD box itself should have a zoom function. Should always be at normal and no zoom.

If it's always happening, it's possible to correct with the service menu, but I recommend not touching that unless it's really bothering you.
post #21 of 24
Usually the picture does overlap the screen

I think what you may be talking about is overscan. On CRT TVs, part of the beam goes over the side of the screen to prevent coarse edges and geometry distortions from appearing. FOr 16:9 content on a 16:9 television the overscan needs to ideally be no more than 2.5%, but often these Sonys were sent from the factory with two or three times more than that. I reduced the overscan from 5.5% to around 2.5% by going into the service menu. It is a fairly easy fix for the slightly technically inclined, but it is possible to wreck the TV by doing the wrong thing in the service menu.

post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
yea overscan is what im refering to!
its not really a huge deal when wathcing tv, though sometimes it is very noticeable.

The thing is when hooking up the xbr960 to my pc via the hdmi on the crt to mini hdmi on my video card with an hdmi to mini hdmi cable that came with my videocard(evga 460gtx 1gb) i get bad overscan on 1080i and 720p.

What i do now to remedy this issue is in the nvidia driver menu under the display section theres a scaling tool for overscan issues.
2 sliders come up vert. and horiz. with a blue nvidia background and a logo, i end up adjusting the sliders and i end up with a resolution of 1622x925 (something like that) which is fine, but it makes it hard to load games at that rez without manually tinkering with each individual game.
I couldnt even get Battlefield 2 to load, id click on the shortcut and get a black screen and back to the desktop.
Id also like for the tv to be able to display my pc at its native res of either 1080i or 720p depending on application rather then having to scale it smaller to fit =/

Would adjusting overscan in the service menu remedy my problem?
Like i said when watching tv its mostly alright, i manage. Its when trying to use the tv as a pc monitor for pc gaming and watching movies when the overscan becomes a big issue.
Id rather not have to scale it at all, and would love to be able to switch from 1080i to 720p in games when i need a bit more performance or in cases when running in progressive@720 would be overall better than interlaced@1080.
Also for browing the web and for text ive read that progressive mode is alot better then interlaced. You get a clearer, sharper, more still image, even though when i had it downscaled (due to overscan at 1080) running interlaced wasnt too terrible, clearedge vm on high helped stabilize and sharpen up text considerably.

Ive also done some looking around but havent got a clear answer on wether the xbr960 can deal with pc monitor use fine without damaging it short or long term. Some peoeple were saying that CRT's can get burn in issues or something >_<. Hoping that the 960 is such a beast that it can do anything it wants :P

Also what would be the best way to go about hooking up the 960 to a pc for use as a monitor in clone mode, extended, or as the primary display.
Using the HDMI on the tv to the mini-HDMI on my vid card ive been able to pretty easily get a picture going on the tv and even found a decent way to deal with overscan pretty quickly. Also since its HDMI i can switch the audio to output either from my pc speakers or from the tv's (couple clicks in the sound mixer on the taskbar).

I also noticed that when downscaling the picture on the tv cause of the overscan, it looses its HDCP compatibility. Havent fully figured it out but i think when in native 1080i mode without any scaling its HDCP compatible.
post #23 of 24

its not really a huge deal when wathcing tv, though sometimes it is very noticeable.

My opinion is if it is noticeable at all then there is probably too much.


i end up adjusting the sliders and i end up with a resolution of 1622x925

The suggests fairly extreme overscan.


Would adjusting overscan in the service menu remedy my problem?

It could at least help. The reason overscan exists is to hide the geometric distortions and coarse edges that exist at the edge of the beam. If you want 100% viewable like on a computer monitor then you'll need to accept some inperfection. In my case, I would have had to have substantially underscanned the image to have shown 100% because of deflection issues. Your TV might have been better put together. Ideally, 0.1% overscan is preferable to 1% underscan because with long term use it might have a "ring" worn into the phosphers around the edges of where the beam has been.

There are alot of geometric controls in the service menu. It is like adjusting the knobs in an old time CRT computer monitor. Make sure you write down any setting before changing it so you'll know what the factory settings of your TV were.

Reducing overscan may make geometric distortions more visible and require adjusting geometry controls to correct for them.


Ive also done some looking around but havent got a clear answer on wether the xbr960 can deal with pc monitor use fine without damaging it short or long term. Some peoeple were saying that CRT's can get burn in issues or something >_<. Hoping that the 960 is such a beast that it can do anything it wants :P

CRTs' phosphers degrade with time so with more hours use the lower end of the gamma curve will become unresponsive and it'll lose shadow detail, although you can correct for this to some extent from external analogue and PC outputs with the right equipment or software.
If you double the number of hours you're using the CRT by using it as a computer monitor too then it won't last as long, especially with the bright white backgrounds favoured by computers. Pattern burn in from short-term use isn't very likely unless you leave a picture static for an hour or two. Setting a blank screen saver to come on after a minute idle should help. CRTs don't burn in as easily as plasmas but unlike plasmas the burned in artefacts can be highly persistant.


Whats the color axis setting about. I know it affects red's but whats the deal? Is it just preference?

Each input type / picture setting combination can have a different AXIS setting in the service menu. The AXIS setting, references four settings, RYR, RYB, GYR and GYB, that control how red and green are expressed. By default, there is a severe "red push" that reddens the picture horribly. In the service menu you can turn this off, as described in the service menu thread linked to above.
Try the following settings:
RYR: 14
RYB: 15
GYR: 6
GYB: 4
post #24 of 24
Something that slipped my mind is that if I am reading the relevant post in the service codes correctly the 960 has the ability to adjust the placing of the picture within the electron beam meaning you can underscan the image without underscanning the beam.


But there may be a hit on image quality. Always write down original settings before changing them.
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