Why CRTs are great for modern video games

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/18/why-crts-are-great-for-modern.html


Nah I like the desk space I get with a 21" LCD monitor compared to an equivalent CRT monitor.


I just wish someone would make an inexpensive flat panel monitor that would take RGBI/CGA inputs. It would be nice to be able to declutter the vintage PC room.


I hooked up a Roku to a CRT and although it’s great for watching pre-HD television, there’s another downside: menu screens are meant to be read in HD. I can barely make out text on the screen from Netflix etc. sometimes completely unreadable. That might be a drawback on games with a lot of text.


Sorry but I’m not pining for the CRTs. I don’t know what sort of games he’s playing but if they look good on a 1280x1024 screen they’re probably quite retro which is a limited use case.

But if this guy loves CRTs so much he’s free to take them off our hands. I hope he’s got a lot of room.


I suppose space/weight concerns aside, that could work.
Actually interesting to see what modern tech could do with a brand new CRT tube.

My main memory though of CRT monitors on PCs was endless issues with refresh rates. Getting it working on the OS was only a fraction of the problem, it often had to be set within every game.

The default seemed to be 60hz and, for me, anything less than 80-85 hz on a PC CRT gave noticeable flickering and induced frequent headaches…

That made me abandon CRTs the second i could afford to do so, and have never looked back…


Maybe the time has come for SEDs?


A good chunk of that argument is wrong/doesn’t make any sense.

When I went from gaming on a large CRT to a flat screen, it was a huge improvement. Lower resolution images might look better on a CRT, but that’s about it.


The day I found an LCD monitor on the sidewalk was the day I gave up CRT monitors.

I had a 19" CRT monitor, barely fit on my desk. I didn’t hesitate to give it away when I found the LCD monitor. Much lighter, much smaller, for my needs perfectly fine. And I can keep a few found LCD monitors around in case one fails, while even smaller CRT monitors take up space.

And nowadays, LCD monitors seem cheaper, even big ones, compared to pricing of those 19" CRT monitors. Though by now probably anyone who really wants a CRT monitor likely can scrounge one, assuming they haven’t already been tossed.

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Great, now I have to buy the White Album again.


True. But relocating an office full of CAD workstations with 21" EIZOs was a good workout.


Its not a particularly new thing. And the benefits are highly situational, for the most part no one is arguing CRTs are more pleasant for modern games. So its not really like Vinyl.

Its basically for some specific sorts of competitive twitch gaming, where people want to minimize various kinds of lag, especially input lag, as much as possible. The major example you seem to see around is the various version of counterstrike.

Basic idea is to run the game at very low settings, and below native resolutions to get very high frame rates, more frames than the screen can make use of to scoot input lag down and overcome various kinds of graphic weird. Basically make everything faster. You see other people’s actions faster, and your actions are sent faster.

CRTs both have lower lag to begin with than common flat panels. And deal with the whole lower res and super high refresh rate better than flat panels. CRTs didn’t really have fixed refresh rates or resolutions, so long as it was under the max they would just display it without up or down scaling or other tricks. And you wouldn’t run into incompatibility problems. So late higher res, higher refresh CRTs look better when doing this, and purported eliminate lag batter, than modern screens.

Personal I can’t see how there’s too much benefit to it unless you’re playing in a LAN situation like a tournament. Internet connection is probably gonna introduced more lag to the game as a whole than your personal screen will.


LCD technologies all use a technique known as ‘sample and hold’

I need a unit to sample and hold
But not the lonely one
A new design, new design


Came for this, was not disappoint. I hope Neil Young will remember.


I had a 21” flat tube viewsonic CRT back in the mid/late 90s until the mid 2000s. It was glorious, people envied my setup. Ain’t no way I’m going back to that though!


I honestly really like Trans. It would be awesome if he’d actually break one of these out at a show sometime after all these years, gimmicks and all. I’d enjoy the surprise from the crowd even more than I’d enjoy correcting some dumbass that it’s a vocoder we’re hearing, not autotune.


My low back says, never again will I move another giant CRT.


Some other fringe benefits of CRT TV’s as gaming displays:

The diagonal pixel arrangement. Video artifacts and jaggies are less evident.

Sega games render correctly on them, too! Its limited color palette saw devs coming up with flickering between 2 of the supported 512 colors, which with the phosphor coating illuminating between frames ended up as a new color.

Oblig simpsons gag:


CRTs are hot radioactive garbage. No thanks.


Is there a place cataloguing abandoned branches like this from technology’s family tree? Seems like it would be a rich resource for authors and artists creating alternate realities.

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