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CRT Revival?


NEET.dreams
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I remember about 10 years ago I started to notice vinyl records were making a comeback. More and more stores selling those record/cd players that looked like old time radios, more and more new artists releasing albums on vinyl. I said to a friend of mine that with everything going digital records were going to make a comeback for physical collectors. He called me crazy. Now I go into my local walmart, target etc they all have vinyl record sections. 

My question is this. Do you guys think we'll ever see a similar revival for CRT TVs? 
I find a CRT TV to be a far more necessary component to the experience of playing retro video games than vinyl records are to the experience of listening to music.

What do you guys think? I would love to see brand new CRT TVs in stores. They could make them HDMI compatible. It would be great. 

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CRT revivals will definitely happen - I've been claiming this for a while, and I want to stand by it until disproven. 😛 Existing ones are gonna break sooner or later, and there is no current productions of new ones.

I think making CRTs without mass production will cause them to be extremely expensive however, but I'm also expecting to see top notch quality and compatibility, similar to PVMs or MS9 monitors. Just like modern vinyl records are much higher quality than the ones you'd normally see in consumer stores in the 80s.

Alternatively someone will invent a cheaper alternative to CRTs with the same advantages and ability to stream analog signals.

Edited by Sumez
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33 minutes ago, LeatherRebel5150 said:

I doubt it unfortunately. My guess is some modern regulatory standards would make it next to impossible to be able to manufacture them. They had a fair amount of toxic stuff in them

It's kind of funny that instead of making something resilient and repairable with a few questionable components we opt to make disposable electronics that just end up in the trash after a few years.  Not sure what the right choice is but I question what we are doing now.

More directly related, I would gladly take a new CRT at a premium if it were a quality product (PVM/BVM quality).  I wonder how they would compete with todays 4k HDR OLED panels. 

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3 minutes ago, zeppelin03 said:

  Not sure what the right choice is but I question what we are doing now.

I'm sure you know what the right choice is. 🙂 

The practice of intentionally giving every non-degradable consumer product a much shorter lifespan than it needs is downright detestable.

6 minutes ago, zeppelin03 said:

More directly related, I would gladly take a new CRT at a premium if it were a quality product (PVM/BVM quality).  I wonder how they would compete with todays 4k HDR OLED panels. 

Yeah, there's a bit of a common misconception that CRTs are "low quality". While there are obviously a lot of things modern HD (and especially UHD/4K) TVs can do that they can't, I think the crystal clear image and ability to display images like they are generated by the source, rather than having to digitally process them is an underrated quality.

Of course, in practice this quality has very little application outside of "retro games".

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Don't they still make and sell them in China?

My local Dick's Sporting Goods opened in 2006 and still had CRT's set up around the perimeter ceiling and above the registers around the entire store up until last year, probably 12-15 of them. I was going to go and take pictures last year and then I went in there and they were in the middle of remodeling the entire store!

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I wish they would. I think mine was one of the last ones (a 2008 RCA), so I hope it holds up. I can't see them coming back since they would have to be widescreen and HD/4K and they would still weigh a ton. I had a 32" Sony years ago that was over 200 pounds and took 3 guys from Best Buy to load it up. I can carry a 32" LCD with one hand, so I can't really see them coming back.

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49 minutes ago, jonebone said:

I also doubt it.  I have a CRT in the gameroom for retro consoles, but the casual gamer is fine with a emulation device on an HDMI TV.  Not enough demand for companies to put significant effort into making or marketing them.

It's a niche market for sure but you can't tell me there's high enough demand for companies to start manufacturing brand new Sega Saturn controllers in 2019 but there isn't enough to bring back CRTs. 

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Member · Posted
1 hour ago, trj22487 said:

Don't they still make and sell them in China?

You know, I thought they did and I remembered seeing them on Aliexpress the last time I ordered from them, which was a couple of years ago.  However, after searching for an example to post, I couldn't find one.

I don't see there being a "revival" because gaming doesn't have as much of a wide appeal as records and modern HD TVs with scaling (and lag!) is good enough for the masses.  Plus, they are HEAVY.  I'd love for there to be a "revival" and I do think there might be a bump up in interest, but nothing close enough to warrant production of new CRTs.  Certainly no exceptionally high-end ones that people would want for their retro-gaming setups.

My only, very small hope, was that if there are still Chinese facilities pumping out CRTs then maybe, maaaaybe some executive who has an element of nostalgia and is aware of the retro-gaming market might try to partner with one of those existing companies, try to improve the quality of their goods and rebrand them for new units. I honestly don't see that happening but it's the only thing that's close enough to a plausible scenario.  CRTs were amazing devices. I'm much more impressed with them than LCD/LED monitors, when it comes to the engineering. However, they are completely different than modern digital displays and once the factories that manufacture these all shut down, it will be extremely expensive to re-engineer both the CRTs and the production facilities.  Keep in mind, when a TV company comes up with a radically knew form of hardware, it will often take them 2-3 years to recoup the costs of building billion-dollar production facilities.  CRTs might be cheaper than that, but it could still be in the neighborhood of a $100-200m, which is a LOT of money to have to recoup for a "boutique" piece of equipment.

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11 minutes ago, Sign Collector Guy said:

Not going to happen. There is plenty still left available in the aftermarket. I pick and choose the free ones I want from local marketplace all the time. 

Plus there's a lively CRT repair scene that can keep the current stock alive for years to come. 

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I had a CRT in the game room big ole 32” Sony trinitron got it for free off craigslist. Eventually got rid of it and moved my 55” over there when I got a 65” as my main TV. Have an AVS and for the other systems I don’t really miss it. Just having the physical games and playing them is enough for me, doesn’t matter how I’m viewing them. Plus the 55” is a heck of a lot easier to move when needed lol

edit maybe it was 27” - RIP big betty (a little before and after)

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3456F3CB-AD2B-48DA-8FDF-A67C660D6B8B.jpeg

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I agree there wouldn't be demand for them...like at all.  Modern TV technologies has gotten so cheap it's silly.  I haven't had many durability problems either with modern TV's, in fact I've upgraded several flat screens out of desire vs need and give the old ones to family members and they are still running strong.  For CRTs, I have a 32" Trinitron that is too big for me to move, a 19" flat screen CRT, and a Sharp NES TV - they all collect dust if I were to be honest lol.

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Member · Posted

Realistically, what I think we might see is improvements in latency where user input will eventually be low enough that all communication from controllers, to the output and translation to the TV will be low enough that it will happen in under one frame. I have no clue when that will happen, but it will virtually eliminate lag.

Further development that might take place that will come along with it is that filters will improve.  I mean, I love the shape of a bubble-CRT and I feel it's part of the experience, but in 15-20 years when we can have adapters that will take composite/component out and lag-free apply a filter to your 16k display, they can fake really nice scan lines and bloom effects. At that point, those of us still maintaining CRTs will do it for pure-authentic replication and I'm positive that will be quite niche.

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Events Team · Posted

As much as I like CRT TV and playing vintage video games on them, I seriously doubt any comeback of the technology on the market. The comparison with vinyl is interesting because it strikes both the analog vs digital debate, but the difference is that analog musical recording has always been clearly superior to their digital commercial counterpart while there are pros and cons between the visual of CRT vs any digital visual technology.

The true visual analog to vinyl for musical recording would be something like 35mm film strip, not CRT signal unfortunately.

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2 hours ago, NEET.dreams said:

It's a niche market for sure but you can't tell me there's high enough demand for companies to start manufacturing brand new Sega Saturn controllers in 2019 but there isn't enough to bring back CRTs. 

The difference is that the Saturn knockoff controller costs fifty cents to make and ship from a factory in China. A CRT would be considerably more expensive, with a much much lower profit margin.

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I love my CRT but it's archaic tech and not coming back.  There is a a very niche demand for retro gaming but that won't bring back production.

Modern flat screens and retro systems such as the AVS will continue to improve for gaming. That is the more realistic hope than bringing back CRTs.

 

 

 

 

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Since the last CRT lines shut down a few years ago and the materials/methods used to produce them tend toward big time toxicity, I have doubts that outside of a nuclear war that reset everything we'd ever seen production lines for them start up again.  However, given the popularity of older systems and other hardware that is more compatible with that technology versus current, I don't think its outside of the realm of possibility for someone to product something of a hybrid--modern panel technology married to something that has the equivalent refresh rates, color saturation, etc., of the older technology.

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Some of ya'll have no imagination. I'm still holding out hope. Just watch, a few years from now when Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez announce Grindhouse 2, only available on VHS, people are gonna be running out to Barnes and Nobel to pick up a Guardians of the Galaxy 5 branded CRT with built in VCR for Christmas.

Mark my words. 

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