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New CRT - light trails


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Been searching around the net without any luck, and I figured this would be a good place to ask granted we're all into dark games.

 

I just bought a new NEC MultiSync FP2141SB (20" viewable CRT) off of Ebay. It was advertised as "New: A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging ..." etc etc, and it certainly seems new in every way (the packaging, the accessories, the cabinet, and the screen are all in pristine condition--with no scratches, smudges, or wear of any sort, and it just has "that smell"). The date "2004" is on the back of the monitor, so I'm assuming that's when it was manufactured. Here is the actual listing: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190450312085

 

Overall, the monitor is great. I have no intention of going into detail, but--just to give you an idea--when I first viewed The Dark Mod's homepage on it, I thought you guys completely overhauled your website ... then I just realized the colors were actually displaying correctly for once, and I wasn't experiencing that washed-out LCD look (by the way, your website is beautiful). Likewise, after loading up some FPS games, I really feel like this is the first time I've "properly" played a PC game since ~2004.

 

The "problem" I'm experiencing is that brightly colored objects display light trails (phosphor trails?) when moving across a dark background. For instance, this is very apparent with the moon or various lamps in the first level of Thief 2, or if I move the mouse cursor across a completely black background, etc. This is very annoying, and I do not recall this effect back in my old CRT days (though, I should note that the last time I had a CRT prior to this was about 6 or 7 years ago, and I probably wasn't nearly as scrutinizing. I doubt I expected much from that cheap thing).

 

If this is normal, then I'll just force myself to get accustomed to it. If not, I'd really like to resolve it.

 

Some things to note:

- My graphics card (8800GTS512) only has DVI outputs. Thus, I am using a DVI-to-VGA adapter, and I'm not sure if this could be the issue. I do not have a graphics card with VGA outputs to test against.

- I've heard CRT display problems can be attributed to cheap VGA cables, and although I doubt NEC would ship this monitor with a cheap cable, I substituted it with several others I had laying around without any noticeable difference.

- I've noticed that increasing the refresh rate from 100Hz to 150Hz reduces the light trails a little bit, but not enough for me to be unconcerned.

 

I really hope this isn't a result of it sitting around in a warehouse for ~5 years or so, or--worse--that it actually is used (but I really doubt this granted the condition it's in).

 

PS: Does anyone know of any good color calibration guides? Likewise, is it normal to hear an occasional but faint, "individual" static sounds emanate from the back of the monitor?

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I will do a little searching on my break but... (off the top of my head)...

 

The phosphor chemistry will affect this behavior so you may need to lower your overall brightness (if you are past the point of being able to return this monitor and do comparison shopping against others...)

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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what's the refresh rate? well, don't know if it's called refresh rate, not the same as the setting for refresh rate.

 

for games you want as low as possible (2 ms is supposed to be the best). Mine is 5 ms, which isn't great but good enough, with my 5850 it runs pretty good.

 

static sounds? hard to tell. mine deffinately makes some noise that almost sounds like the noise from my gpu when the fan cranks up. I notice most when scrolling down web pages. But I've had it for 2 years now...

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I recommend 72hz or above - its low enough so the gfx card isnt tasked to much and high enough so you wont see any flicker - This is what use to run my old IIyama 19" pro at..

 

Manual for said monitor - http://www.deviceman...TXpNMk9Uaz.html

 

My thinking is there might be a setting for refresh rate of the phosphor, its been so long since I had a CRT I cant remember anymore....lol

Edited by Bikerdude
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pasted from newegg asus monitor

 

 

----------

 

The MS246H delivers sharp, lifelike images with ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio that dynamically adjusts the display's contrast ratio according to the image content, up to an astonishing 50,000:1. 2ms (GTG) quick response time help eliminate ghosting and tracers for more fluid video playback. Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) support and HDMI port bring you into a spectacular world of colors.

 

--------

i think i get a little ghosting in some games, but it's liveable.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I used to notice things like this when I played Thief in the dark on a CRT too. I think it is pretty normal. For example, if you're in a dark room (in real life) and you shine a flashlight at a CRT, that particular area will continue to glow when you turn the light off. It is usually not that noticable, and I would rather have that than the constant backlight of an LCD any day.

 

I recently went to my mom's house, hooked up my eee pc to an old CRT and played some Thief. I too forgot how great the picture on those things are. The darks are well... dark! The picture looks the same from all angles! Perhaps my forced-switch to an LCD is the reason I don't enjoy games quite as much any more. (Mine died and I canot afford a new one right now.)

 

I saw a CRT monitor at a garage sale for $1 the other day... If only it was bigger! (only 15 inch)

Edited by lost_soul

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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The only reliable thing I've see with regard to 3rd party calibration is "Adobe Gamma". It seems that ViewSonic are the only CRT makers that bother to put detailed Phosphor Persistence specs on their page. But after reviewing the topic, lowering the brightness is the only thing I could think of.

 

(It would be cool if you could increase the blanking period to double the ratio of the draw period then crank the refresh way up... but I don't think the DDC spec allows for ratios.)

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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I like my lcd, can't beat 22' widescreen (24 is too much lol)

 

But my 19" crt was awesome. But HEAVY and it ate up my whole desk. No I can sit back from the monitor and also use my desk.

 

I actually found one with a matte screen (gloss ones are too reflective) and it has good contrast, but unfortunately it's overbright to get the contrast. Long hours in front of it can deffinately burn the eyes.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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The "problem" I'm experiencing is that brightly colored objects display light trails (phosphor trails?) when moving across a dark background. For instance, this is very apparent with the moon or various lamps in the first level of Thief 2, or if I move the mouse cursor across a completely black background, etc.

 

Likewise, is it normal to hear an occasional but faint, "individual" static sounds emanate from the back of the monitor?

 

Your assumption is correct, the phosphor coating has a rate at which fades to its non-excited state, this used to be a key selling point for high quality gaming CRTs, along with refresh rate it was extremely important and the likes of Viewsonic made loads of cash off quick displays that didn't trail. They however had the downside of usually degrading a lot faster, don't remember ever reading about why but I'd throw a guess at the coating being pre-aged. As for what you can do about it? No clue but it might fall off after a few weeks/months of use if it's as said "new". There's a bit about it over at wikipedia too :)

 

As for static, during normal operation I've had a few crts that would make a noise randomly, but not very often... maybe once a day, the usual crinkle at on/off.

 

Why did Canon have to ditch plans for SED :(:(

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Overall, the monitor is great. I have no intention of going into detail, but--just to give you an idea--when I first viewed The Dark Mod's homepage on it, I thought you guys completely overhauled your website ... then I just realized the colors were actually displaying correctly for once, and I wasn't experiencing that washed-out LCD look (by the way, your website is beautiful). Likewise, after loading up some FPS games, I really feel like this is the first time I've "properly" played a PC game since ~2004.

 

"that washed-out LCD look" is misleading and should not be applied to all LCDs. You probably had the settings extremely wrong all the years or just had a bad LCD. I have had four LCDs and all had brilliant, sharp, good colour desktops and programs, web pages etc. with good blacks. One (Xerox) had very poor blacks in a game like Thief in dark areas it was awful. Two others were OK but not great. My latest LED backlit one is fine and better than my CRT imo. You only need go into a TV or computer shop to see that most LCDs are very good at showing desktop programs.

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I must admit the screens on the EEE PCs are quite good too. I think these are LED back-lit. They have very good darks. Pretty incredible considering how completely terrible the screens on $1500 laptops were in 1997.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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- My graphics card (8800GTS512) only has DVI outputs. Thus, I am using a DVI-to-VGA adapter, and I'm not sure if this could be the issue. I do not have a graphics card with VGA outputs to test against.

The connector doesn't make the difference here. Analog signals may get a little squished when there's a bad connector or a bad cable involved. But from my experience it's useless to buy the even better cable with gold connectors etc. -- the signal quality on today's graphics cards just isn't the same. Only few people still use CRTs, so guess where the cheap parts go...

 

Why did Canon have to ditch plans for SED :(:(

It's not completely dead. Maybe the tech sees a comeback in the consumer segment once OLED fails.

(dreaming...)

:rolleyes:

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I didn't read the whole thread, so sorry if this has been said already... :)

 

There is a difference between refreshrate and response time. The refresh rate is how many images per second are shown and it only affects the perception of flicker. The response time is what might cause things like trails, but on CRTs it is close to 0 (way lower than the 2ms of LC gaming displays). Even if it should get worse over time, it should always remain a lot lower than that of LCD. (I actually never heard about CRTs inducing phosphor trails)

 

The problem is most likely the analog signal that comes from your gfx card. The analog output of those cards is only tested company internally, but you nearly never get to see the results, so you basically buy the cat in the bag. I did some analog tests of gfx cards myself with an oscilloscope and I must say, it is really scary how many top notch cards offer crappy analog signals. So it might just be that your card performs poorly at the analog connectors, which is rather likely, seeing that it has a double DVI connector. It's a bit irretating to me that raising the refresh rate helped a little, but it might just be that you gfx card offers a better signal at that setting. So, I'd try a lot of different settings (especially lower resolution) to see if the visuals improve. A better cable and adapter can also help, as it might reduce reflections inside the connection, but I'd rather say it's the gfx card that's responsible for the crappy signal.

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I suppose I should have stressed that the trails only occur in situations with highly contrasting objects; it is in no way similar to an LCD's ghosting (thank god).

 

In any case, I did a bit more reading (this time on "phosphor trails"), and it's apparently a normality for CRTs (but perhaps with the exception of the aforementioned "trail-less", but shortlived gaming CRTs they use to make). I plan to look for an old and cheap (but PCI-E compatible) graphics card with analog outputs in the mean time (another reason for this is that I can't get Thief to display properly on these newer nvidia GPUs; the colors are off, and it is far too dark).

 

I'd still like a guide on color calibration, though. I figured there would be more CRT users here than most other places, but perhaps I should try on ttlg too.

 

And yes, another reason I went with a CRT was for the response time: I also like a fair share of those mindless first person shooters, and you can't beat a CRT when it comes to that smoothness (yes, I've tried those 2ms black-to-black gaming LCDs too)

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And yes, another reason I went with a CRT was for the response time: I also like a fair share of those mindless first person shooters, and you can't beat a CRT when it comes to that smoothness (yes, I've tried those 2ms black-to-black gaming LCDs too)

 

It's not just you :) CRT sales are actually increasing in North America for the last two consecutive quarters, I think partly due to people getting tired of waiting for good flat panels to arrive on the market, even the best colour proofing LCD panels are not really that great and when it comes to performance, generally problematic for film and animation as well as the lack of role-customization.

 

Anyway, as for dsub output, the cheaper AMD cards are generally 1 DVI, 1 dsub, 1 HDMI. Not tried T1/2, but they're quite energy efficient and on newer motherboards not problematic.

 

... As I learned, PCIE2.1 cards from both nv and amd do not love older PCIE1.1 boards, even with fixed bioses :/

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