NEC XM29 Plus – The Holy Grail of Monitors

NEC XM29 Plus – The Holy Grail of Monitors

On October 21, 2014, Posted by , In Editorial, With 11 Comments

I first got into the obsessive way to play retro games earlier this year. This required having a professional CRT monitor that would have RGB inputs. Once I learned more about these specific monitors, I decided to hunt for them. I knew I wouldn’t find what I wanted immediatley, that being the NEC XM29 Plus – which I learned about from Phonedork. Once I located a PVM in Houston, I told local YouTuber, Rob Ivy, who then advised a junk store nearby had a couple. Indeed, they had a PVM 20M2MDU. This was my first foray into RGB goodness. Though, to play anything that requires VGA, I needed a VGA monitor. So, again, Rob helped me acquire a Gateway Destination 31″. It was a bit big, and took up room alongside my PVM. Then a miracle happened.

Rob got information that a seller in Houston had four NEC XM29 Pluses. Conicidentally, a friend of mine, Imran Kidwai, was driving up from Houston that weekend, and was willing to grab the monitors for us. And now, it is in my possession. It is in perfect condition too; no wear, beautiful picture. Absolutely no imperfections.


What makes this monitor so special? One main complaint I had with the PVM is the size. 20″ is just a bit small and my Destination monitor just a bit too big. The XM29 retains the same depth of the PVM, but also a bigger picture. A huge deal to me is the multisync capabilities. Being able to hook up my Dreamcast via VGA means I only need this monitor for retro consoles. It also has built in stereo speakers that work well – it includes external connections, but the speakers are good enough that I can wait on that.


Luckily my current RGB cables worked, so I didn’t need to order new ones. Genesis is on RGB, SNES is on S-Video (SCART cables ordered) and my Dreamcast and PC is hooked up via VGA, using a KVM switch. I’m set! It took some tinkering of the geometry to get the picture I want – and it’s still not perfect. The Sony PVMs do have a bit more options there. I’ll do a video soon explaining how to tweak the picture. I couldn’t find any videos, so I might as well do it.


I know Rob had waited years for this, and I just found out about it back in May. It’s such an amazing conicidence it worked out for me, but I bet he is even more ecstatic.


Dat pixel goodness.

  • Drake (aka Ya Dad)

    I’ve been doing a lot of research on the best picture quality you can get from old-school consoles, which led me to the Sony PVMs and the NEC XM29. After reading up on both of them, I’m sold on the XM29. Right now I have 2 CRTS: a 32″ Sony Wega (widescreen HD CRT that can take s-video, component and even HDMI, and output 1080i, but no lightgun support), and an Insignia IS-TV040919. I prefer playing on the latter because even though it’s a SD CRT, it has no input lag, plus it still offers s-video.

    • Yeah, and I think that’s best for PS2/GCN/Wii/Xbox. the 480i of some, 480p of others and xbox doing 1080i sometimes.

  • S21urcle

    Hello Adam,

    You wouldn’t believe how long I have been searching for a xm29. Since you were able to get all 4, what would you say about parting with one? I know that shipping will be horrendous but if you are willing to make a deal with me please contact me

    • I actually didn’t get all 4, but the seller had 4. Myself and a friend got one.

      • S21urcle

        You wouldn’t happen to still have their contact info would you?

      • S21urcle

        Please get in touch with me!
        Stop ignoring my crys for help!

        • Sorry man, but I don’t have access to any NEC XM29s or the person that my friend bought them from.

    • Jim

      Hi — there’s an NEC Multisync XM2950 on craigslist in Brooklyn:

      Note it is not the Plus but pretty close.

      • That is a good price! Hope it finds a good home.

    • S21urcle

      Hey Adam I happen to be in San Antonio for a bit, do you still have the seller’s contact information? Still want to get a hold of one of these bad boys.

  • Leo

    You know it’s funny, in October of 2014, I had located a seller in Houston that had 4 of these and was just trying to get *one*. I was in the middle of setting up pickup with the seller when he texted me back suddenly and said all of them had been sold even though we already had an agreement. Now I guess I know what happened to them…

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