With all the hoopla around the new fixed pixel units - which is all we hear about these days and which of course is just what their manufacturers want, considering how expensive they are - it's easy to lose sight of tried and true triple-gun CRT technology.
IMHO, it is still the best. It still has the best blacks, it does 1080i effortlessly, (and could do 1080p just as well), and the color range and depth when properly set up and calibrated has always been thrilling. And size? When fully calibrated, it allows for viewers to sit far closer than most fixed pixel technology, delivering an essentially BIGGER picture to be watching, and losing yourself in. Isn't that really what it's all about?
Try to sit that close to fixed pixel technology and much of the time you are staring individual pixels in the face, with massive screendoor effect. CRT is the only medium where its smoothness and yet incredibly high resolution contributes to exquisite detail, without the artificial crispness of most of today's fixed pixel technologies.
Yet videophiles right and left are abandoning their CRT RPTVs in favor of the newer fixed pixel stuff. It's saddening. They have no idea what they are losing. CRT RPTVs can be kept looking better than new for 20 years or more when treated right. And produce better images, all that time, than most fixed pixel technology.
Both Pioneer and Hitachi have already discontinued CRT RPTV production. At CES this year I saw NO CRT technology being promoted. Yet it is still the best easily available technolgy out there, and these days the absolutely cheapest way to go as well. CRT RPTVs are the deal of the century right now, if you check on comparative prices, even factoring in calibrations.
Pioneer Elite owners seem to be the ones most willing to keep their sets alive, possibly because they paid so much for them back in the day. Other brands of set were cheaper and are even cheaper still now, causing their owners to more often than not just step into something new rather than keep their current sets alive. Yet ALL CRT sets can be made to look stunning, with the proper care and maintenance of professional optics cleaning and calibration. Even the cheapest brand has incredible potential, when treated properly.
I hope more people will see the light on this before it's taken away. More and more manufacturers will continue to discontinue CRT technology, its days are numbered. We should hold on for dear life, because once they are gone, they are gone. I for one will not part with my year 2000 65" Panasonic CRT RPTV. They will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands!
If you have a triple-gun CRT RPTV, PLEASE reconsider if you are about to kiss it off. It's still the best way to go, once calibrated.
And calibration is a whole lot cheaper than buying and paying taxes on a new fixed pixel set.
Added on 10-14-08 -
If you are concerned about older sets not being equipped with HDMI, that is no longer a concern. Excellent outboard equipment is available now for getting HDMI-only devices - like upconverting 480i->1080i/p DVDPs that output that upconversion ONLY via HDMI - to your component-only or RGB-only display for HD, built before the advent of DVI and HDMI. This equipment is what the owners of the big CRT ceiling projectors use, where their much bigger RGB-only pictures are a lot more revealing, so you can trust that it will present over the top 100% fidelity for our much smaller CRT RPTVs.
Go to my website, below, and follow the links at the bottom of the cover page, to find where to get the proper gear for equipping your display with HDMI.
Dec. 19, 2010:
My apologies, my site is being worked on and the link has not been restored by the revampers. Might be awhile, so in the meantime, please contact me directly, by email or phone, for getting your older CRT set equipped for HDMI. No pm's please -
Edited by Mr Bob - 10/7/12 at 4:51am