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Going Back to CRT For Retro Gaming Goodness

Going Back to CRT For Retro Gaming Goodness

On May 20, 2014, Posted by , In Editorial, By , With 1 Comment

My modern television setup is clogged with modern hardware. It isn’t as easy to have have the old Sega and Nintendo consoles hooked up. And since now, in my lifetime, things in the past are considered retro, there’s been a big comeback. When browsing instagram I see pick-ups of VHS movies – that’s not really something I’d go back for. The look is nostalgic, but not good enough for me. These people will watch the VHS tapes on old CRT televisions. I don’t get that. But, CRT televisions are good for old-school gaming. CRTs have scan lines. This makes the older games look good because these games were designed with scanlines in mind. Here’s a little write-up about scanlines.

I was able to quickly find the best of the best – from Craig’s List. While I’d want the more obscure Sony PVMs, they cost a couple hundo and are hard to find. So, for consumer-grade hardware, I found a Sony Trinitron KV-24FV300. I could have used something a bit smaller, but definitely would not go bigger. This guy weighs around 80 pounds and I had to walk up a flight of stairs. Once I got it home it was time for a mean scrub. After 12 years, I don’t think at one point did the cheeto handler bother wiping the remote. I took that apart and threw it in the dish washer. The TV had smears on the screen. The power button, which is supposed to be silver, was black. But I got it cleaned.

Powering it on was another story. The picture was all warped. I thought it was done for. Searching online, I find out how to get into the service menu of the unit and mess with the picture. Now, there may still be an issue with the picture – but it’s not too noticeable. The right side is still slightly warped and I may have a professional look at it eventually, but it is fine for now. The colors are fantastic. CRTs are known for their blacks. But looking at 2D, hand-drawn pixelated art, is even better. There’s a reason things looked the way they did back then, and when playing a Capybara game or any other modern pixel art-style game, it’s more of a parody. I haven’t seen a modern game try to imitate the scanline look, except for Locomalito’s games.

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So, it feels good to have my dedicated retro gaming center. It just makes sense to have this separate from the modern stuff. And who knows, maybe my kids will want to try something out.

  • Adam Roger Kearley

    I wanted to do this at one point. I even bought a good TV, but I didn’t have the environment necessary for the proper setup and after moving the TV like 3 times without ever turning it on, I ended up selling it. I found this article by accident when looking for small retro CRT TVs online. I need one for a channel I’m thinking of starting. But when I say retro, I mean closer to ancient.

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