4:3 display in year 2019 (and beyond) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 21 Old 12-27-2018, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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4:3 display in year 2019 (and beyond)

I have couple of retro-gaming projects that haven't progressed in a while, in a hope that a discussion gives me ideas and motivation I start a general thread of one area they have in common, display. Retro gaming (in general) doesn't know about 16:9, 2,35:1 or similar, it's about 4:3, a display format that is hard to find in decent form these days. So I want to discuss about what is possible and available. (And I do live in EU so that affects the selection little.) The need varies depending on usage but biggest problem is in my opinion size. My projects are for arcade cabinet and (two) Amiga(s) but should discussion arise it shouldn't be restricted to them.



1) LCD monitor.
There are LCD monitors that are 4:3 but largest that I know of (and also have) is only 20" which is kind of small today. And they aren't new anymore.


2) CRT TV
You can find a decent size TV but it's big and bulky, takes lots of space from table or cabinet and requires sturdy structure. In general they tend to have problems in connecting modern equipment which may make using them harder. (For Amiga it wouldn't be (in EU at least), monitor cable has a scart connector that can be fitted directly to a TV.) Age doesn't add desirability either.


3) Rear projection TV
Be it CRT or DLP, in this usage scenario pretty much same as CRT except larger. (And rare, at least where I live.)


4) CRT projector
With enough money and space I would forget a cabinet and build a room where you played with arcade controls using CRT projector but in real world this is sadly obsolete choice.



5) 4:3 LCD/DLP projector
Easy and cheap(ish) way to get decent size picture. Unfortunately requires space and most likely light control which increases impracticality. Models aimed for commercial use so no idea if input lag is suitable for gaming.


6) DIY rear projection display with LCD/DLP projector
I hope that someone more technically capable could say if this is just fantasy or relatively easily doable. I've tinkered with a thought of arcade cabinet with rear projection screen and mirror behind it reflecting image from a projector at the bottom of cabinet. There are projectors that can do 30-40" image from relatively short distance and it would be a simple structure where projector would be easy to replace in case of failure but I'm afraid that it's not as simple as I think.


7) 16:9 TV/monitor masked as a 4:3 display
Easiest solution and source material very widely available. And some (most?) devices can show 4:3 correctly with no or minimal tuning. Only problem is that it takes the space even if sides are masked. That limits the use in arcade cabinet. There solution could be turning display vertically, there is room that way. Resolution will be little odd, 1080*810, don't know if it will create problems if cabinet is based on PC though.


8) Your idea.


What are your thoughts, what is best way to get 4:3 display nowadays?
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post #2 of 21 Old 12-29-2018, 12:53 PM
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What retro gaming? PC? Consoles? RGB, VGA?

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post #3 of 21 Old 12-30-2018, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I, like so many others, dream of building a MAME cabinet. I'm not so far in planning process that I would have decided screen size, at the moment I think that about 30" would be good size. That would require a CRT TV, some sort of projection system or a 50" LCD TV installed vertically and masked. My cabinet would/will be PC based so TV would be a less than optimal choice because of weight and connections. I have no idea how easy it would be to do a rear projection system for cabinet size, I guess it's harder than it looks and I also fear that light output of such screen requires light control of the room that machine will be. Therefore 16:9 LCD panel in vertical position and masking is my number one choice at the moment, am afraid that custom resolution it requires will be a problem.


I remembered one choice for a bigger than 20" screen that I've rejected already. Using existing 20" LCD monitor with a Fresnel lens. I rejected it because with my very quick and limited testing it seemed that you have to look such system from just the right place for it to look right which isn't a suitable solution. It would be great if someone could verify if I was right or wrong.


(I would like to have a 4:3 screen for all retro gaming and I would have if I had the space, for now I have to settle in playing old console games with a 16:9 screen and black bars but that doesn't prevent others about talking about doing it right if they have the means.)





Example of a home made arcade cabinet, I've got big plans but it would be great if I could achieve at lest something like that:
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-01-2019, 04:56 PM
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A Vewlix style cabinet is a modern sit down style cabinet with a LCD as it's monitor. The benefit is that you can find ways to mount the LCD with a rotating mount that will also allow you to rotate the display for top down style shoot em ups.

There are quite a few plans online that you can use as a template if you're looking to DIY. I'll try posting a few pictures of the one I built years back.
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-03-2019, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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One thing I forgot to mention was arcade monitors. CRT arcade monitors are diminishing resource but there seem to be couple of 29" models still available. Rarity starts to show in price though.



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Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post
The benefit is that you can find ways to mount the LCD with a rotating mount that will also allow you to rotate the display for top down style shoot em ups.

I was thinking that if you mount 16:9 screen vertically and mask it to be 4:3 screen it should be quite easy to make the mask movable for games with vertical screen. (Although I think that bottom of the screen may be behind controls when the normally visible part is at about right height.)
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-02-2019, 01:10 AM
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nice one
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-06-2019, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm little baffled that no one else seem to ponder with same questions that I do. Well, I think that in future a modular system that Samsung has introduced may be a solution if prices drop enough and modules are of right size. In advertising speak it can be configured to any size or aspect ratio but panels in demo picture are quite large.
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-06-2019, 12:59 PM
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For retro content it's hard to beat an authentic CRT display. I have a 32" CRT TV in a cabinet and I really should pick up a few extra 32" sets from the local classifieds while I still can so I can have something to swap in if/when the current TV fails. If I had to give up the CRT though I'd go with a rotated LCD.
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-06-2019, 01:03 PM
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4:3 displays are still available in the integrator/industrial channels. It has just been eliminated from the consumer market. If you want to get a 4:3 LCD with HDMI inputs, it is possible, but the prices are not competitive with the CE market.

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post #10 of 21 Old 03-06-2019, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hati View Post
I'm little baffled that no one else seem to ponder with same questions that I do.
Well you did post in the ghost town that is the ancient CRT thread.

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post #11 of 21 Old 03-08-2019, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 41532 View Post
If you want to get a 4:3 LCD with HDMI inputs, it is possible, but the prices are not competitive with the CE market.

I would guess that they are rather small too. Unless you make a special order for million of them from China. I remember seeing a thread somewhere where someone tried to find enough people for a custom order of a bigger screen but that didn't go well.



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Well you did post in the ghost town that is the ancient CRT thread.

I wondered where to post the topic since it seems little offtopic in every area, I chose this because it's in some sense close to topic, most 4:3 screens that need replacing are CRT. (And perhaps topic doesn't fall so fast to oblivion here.)
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-08-2019, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hati View Post
I wondered where to post the topic since it seems little offtopic in every area, I chose this because it's in some sense close to topic, most 4:3 screens that need replacing are CRT. (And perhaps topic doesn't fall so fast to oblivion here.)
Indeed, but not much of an audience here anymore. Maybe a modern display or arcade/game thread. Or multiple.

I have an original Donkey Kong game so wish me luck. Still working but one side of the screen started cutting off, I think it's the graphic display board though. When I tried to adjust the pot to shift or widen it back (a long time ago so I forgot exactly what, I think horizontal position) the display would go nuts with a bunch of weird characters. I was able to shrink the image size down enough to display the missing column(s) but I miss the full size. Otherwise the image is still great.

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post #13 of 21 Old 03-08-2019, 12:12 PM
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15-19 inch diagonal seems to be the most common. I have trouble quickly finding one that is 29 inch for use in an arcade cab... :\

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post #14 of 21 Old 03-08-2019, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I have trouble quickly finding one that is 29 inch for use in an arcade cab... :\
I don't remember if this was only one with stock left or not.
https://shop.xgaming.com/collections...arcade-monitor


From page:
"Price has increased as worldwide stock nearly depleted."
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-09-2019, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hati View Post
I don't remember if this was only one with stock left or not.
https://shop.xgaming.com/collections...arcade-monitor


From page:
"Price has increased as worldwide stock nearly depleted."
Reminds me of the 'monitors' placed on top of the machines at some arcades so the crowd could watch the play. Now is that too large of a CRT to be that close to when playing?

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post #16 of 21 Old 03-12-2019, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Now is that too large of a CRT to be that close to when playing?

As with most screen sizes, that is probably a somewhat personal opinion. When I remember my old 34" Nokia TV it seems quite big for a close range gaming but when I remember of testing Sega Rally (or some similar) that had quite a big screen that 29" doesn't seem big at all.


Does anyone know how big screen Sega Rally had, quick googling didn't tell. Or which arcade cabinet had biggest screen and what technique it used. Were all screens direct CRT or was there a projection screen on some big screen machine?
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-13-2019, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hati View Post
As with most screen sizes, that is probably a somewhat personal opinion. When I remember my old 34" Nokia TV it seems quite big for a close range gaming but when I remember of testing Sega Rally (or some similar) that had quite a big screen that 29" doesn't seem big at all.
Indeed from the theater perspective but I should have clarified that I was referring to CRT-induced damage to one's eyesight. I know when I was using my Trinitron 19" monitor with my PC I would get 'eye' headaches if I sat too close for very long.

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post #18 of 21 Old 03-16-2019, 02:04 PM
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Recently I read alot about CRTs, and how they are still some kind of reference..


So I set up my Sony KV-14LT1E, a small consumer CRT and compared it to my plasma tv, and I want to share my observations with you guys..


Light output of the CRT is insane.. Insane dynamic contrast.. Black level is great, when there is no content on the screen.. With content the black level lightens up and it is as bad as my old S10 Plasma tv..



Gamma: I had to use the 2.5 gamma on the panasonic and increase the brightness (black level) a bit to get it almost 1:1 to the crt.. then I messured the gamma on the Panasonic.. It is a 2.3 gamma..


When setting the contrast on both sets to the same level, which was not really possible because of the ABL limiting the plasma, you just see that both work with RGB phosphors.. Because they just look sooooo similar.. Like little and big brother..
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2013 Panasonic TX-P42STW60 PDP
2013 Panasonic TX-P42X60E PDP

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post #19 of 21 Old 03-17-2019, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post
Indeed from the theater perspective but I should have clarified that I was referring to CRT-induced damage to one's eyesight. I know when I was using my Trinitron 19" monitor with my PC I would get 'eye' headaches if I sat too close for very long.

That is actually a good point. I didn't have any problems with my 21" Nokia but it had low resolution and 100Hz, I don't think that arcade monitors have very high refresh rate. An LCD screen should be more eye friendly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hati View Post
I have couple of retro-gaming projects that haven't progressed in a while, in a hope that a discussion gives me ideas and motivation I start a general thread of one area they have in common, display. Retro gaming (in general) doesn't know about 16:9, 2,35:1 or similar, it's about 4:3, a display format that is hard to find in decent form these days. So I want to discuss about what is possible and available. (And I do live in EU so that affects the selection little.) The need varies depending on usage but biggest problem is in my opinion size. My projects are for arcade cabinet and (two) Amiga(s) but should discussion arise it shouldn't be restricted to them.



1) LCD monitor.
There are LCD monitors that are 4:3 but largest that I know of (and also have) is only 20" which is kind of small today. And they aren't new anymore.


2) CRT TV
You can find a decent size TV but it's big and bulky, takes lots of space from table or cabinet and requires sturdy structure. In general they tend to have problems in connecting modern equipment which may make using them harder. (For Amiga it wouldn't be (in EU at least), monitor cable has a scart connector that can be fitted directly to a TV.) Age doesn't add desirability either.


3) Rear projection TV
Be it CRT or DLP, in this usage scenario pretty much same as CRT except larger. (And rare, at least where I live.)


4) CRT projector
With enough money and space I would forget a cabinet and build a room where you played with arcade controls using CRT projector but in real world this is sadly obsolete choice.



5) 4:3 LCD/DLP projector
Easy and cheap(ish) way to get decent size picture. Unfortunately requires space and most likely light control which increases impracticality. Models aimed for commercial use so no idea if input lag is suitable for gaming.


6) DIY rear projection display with LCD/DLP projector
I hope that someone more technically capable could say if this is just fantasy or relatively easily doable. I've tinkered with a thought of arcade cabinet with rear projection screen and mirror behind it reflecting image from a projector at the bottom of cabinet. There are projectors that can do 30-40" image from relatively short distance and it would be a simple structure where projector would be easy to replace in case of failure but I'm afraid that it's not as simple as I think.


7) 16:9 TV/monitor masked as a 4:3 display
Easiest solution and source material very widely available. And some (most?) devices can show 4:3 correctly with no or minimal tuning. Only problem is that it takes the space even if sides are masked. That limits the use in arcade cabinet. There solution could be turning display vertically, there is room that way. Resolution will be little odd, 1080*810, don't know if it will create problems if cabinet is based on PC though.


8) Your idea.


What are your thoughts, what is best way to get 4:3 display nowadays?
A decent vga monitor.


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post #21 of 21 Old 03-18-2019, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hati View Post
That is actually a good point. I didn't have any problems with my 21" Nokia but it had low resolution and 100Hz, I don't think that arcade monitors have very high refresh rate. An LCD screen should be more eye friendly.
Ah the scanning, but I was thinking more the beam intensity/radiation; I'm assuming it goes up with screen size (?) and maybe resolution (?).

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