GDM-FW900 CRT (needs repaired)

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SamuelL421

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Can someone explain to me why anyone would want this in 2021? $600 for a broken CRT?
People are buying them on ebay for 2-3k in poor, but working condition. FW900 were the apex of CRT designs, it matched or beat the best LCD screens for about a decade. In 2021 you can buy better screens for much cheaper but these still have a retro-appeal. Also they're scarce so it's a sort of collectors item too.
 

staknhalo

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HDR (proper, like oled or to a lesser degree led ones with actual good and multiple dimming zones - and eventually microLED) along with DLSS and Fidelity FX SR really should finally put the nail in the coffin for CRT IMO (aside from just keeping it authentically retro - which is a legit reason)

The deep blacks and native sharp look @ various resolutions were something CRT still beat LED at for a long time

Edit: oh and CRT has the degauss toy/feature/time killer - fun times for everyone and you know it. Guess they still have that.
 

jbltecnicspro

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Can someone explain to me why anyone would want this in 2021? $600 for a broken CRT?
If you knew how to fix electronics and knew exactly what was wrong with it then maybe...

But I don't know anymore. I wrote a damn full calibration guide for the unit, that's how hardcore I was with these things. Great image, nothing can touch it after all these years. That being said, lots of displays come close enough to not warrant it worth the trouble. My opinion at least.

Most of its shortcomings nowadays are due to its age. Example, it doesn't display the full Rec 709 (SRGB) color gamut. It's limited to SMPTE-C. Not necessarily its fault because SMPTE-C was the standard when it was being made. But imagine this: Good contrast, good colors, perfect motion clarity at any refresh. And enough brightness to boot. Yes, LCD's get brighter but not when using their "looks like CRT" motion clarity mode.

I think that if display manufacturers made a laser-projector display, one that scans out the image like that one portable Sony (what a coincidence), then we'd have something close to CRT again. We'll see.

Long story short - I wouldn't buy one.
 

Ikasu

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Doubt DLSS or Fidelity FX SR would have any impact on CRT's dying out. What will kill it off is new display type. AMOLED has the potential to do so, but the next gen displays will be the final nail in the coffin.

It is a heavily desired monitor for the fact that CRT's were just flat out better in terms of color accuracy and contrast compared to LCD's. Trinitron CRT's literally just slapped almost everything. Used in professional industry for color grading as well. We were literally force fed lcd as a tech in order to get size/weight down. But even a decade after LCD's were the norm, good crt's still shat on them pretty hard, especially in gaming/responsiveness. Not saying CRT's didn't have any downsides, they of course did. But there was a reason why they were a few grand brand new, and even now, refurbished grade A fw900's go for over a grand. They are just gorgeous in person, albeit at being a anchor and able to break your back =P.

Always wanted to get one, but ended up getting some Nec 20wmgx2's instead. But now CRT's seem to be for retro use, collectors, and the rare few who still want to experience the glory that was professional grade CRT's.
 

jbltecnicspro

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Doubt DLSS or Fidelity FX SR would have any impact on CRT's dying out. What will kill it off is new display type. AMOLED has the potential to do so, but the next gen displays will be the final nail in the coffin.

It is a heavily desired monitor for the fact that CRT's were just flat out better in terms of color accuracy and contrast compared to LCD's. Trinitron CRT's literally just slapped almost everything. Used in professional industry for color grading as well. We were literally force fed lcd as a tech in order to get size/weight down. But even a decade after LCD's were the norm, good crt's still shat on them pretty hard, especially in gaming/responsiveness. Not saying CRT's didn't have any downsides, they of course did. But there was a reason why they were a few grand brand new, and even now, refurbished grade A fw900's go for over a grand. They are just gorgeous in person, albeit at being a anchor and able to break your back =P.

Always wanted to get one, but ended up getting some Nec 20wmgx2's instead. But now CRT's seem to be for retro use, collectors, and the rare few who still want to experience the glory that was professional grade CRT's.
They are indeed beautiful. I had one a long time ago that was color calibrated and it spanked every display I had. Except for one of Sony's 21-inchers. I wish I still had mine but oh well. Life. Nothing compares even now. I'm hopeful, though, that OLED with 60hz strobe will come and do well enough to make me not miss my CRT's.
 

Ikasu

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They are indeed beautiful. I had one a long time ago that was color calibrated and it spanked every display I had. Except for one of Sony's 21-inchers. I wish I still had mine but oh well. Life. Nothing compares even now. I'm hopeful, though, that OLED with 60hz strobe will come and do well enough to make me not miss my CRT's.
I feel yeh. I saw one in person and was just in love with the picture. Made me wanted to get one so bad, but the nearly 100 lb factor and immensity of size pushed me away. Just wish we had some AMOLED gaming displays as the norm. Tech has matured, still not the best for a always on display though. But hoping microled and competing displays solve the problem, and we can truly get some gorgeous looking displays that offer the benefit of both.

I remember waiting for sony's FED (Field Emission-Display technology). Was suppose to be a LCD competitor. Better energy efficiency, benefits of CRT in terms of color, contrast, response, with the size of a flat panel. Sony even demoed one running Gran turismo 5 at 240FPS. It was a super high refresh rate tech, they ended up using four ps3's and some ingenuity to push the display at that framerate...lol. But alas, was expensive to produce, never caught on, partners started backing out of development, and it finally got the axe =*(.
 

SamuelL421

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They are indeed beautiful. I had one a long time ago that was color calibrated and it spanked every display I had. Except for one of Sony's 21-inchers. I wish I still had mine but oh well. Life. Nothing compares even now. I'm hopeful, though, that OLED with 60hz strobe will come and do well enough to make me not miss my CRT's.

I had a few decent 17, 19, and 20" that I kept in good, calibrated condition until about 10 years ago. Ended up giving them away / recycling them when I no longer had space after a move. Really wish I had held onto one or two of them now. About 50% nostalgia and 50% they were just that good. I have yet to find another display that produces as perfect a picture as one of the old trinitrons I had.
 

equinox654

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I have a sony gdm-f520 that stopped powering on probably 8 years ago in a closet. I really need to dig it out and fix it.

Sure it never had the pixel perfect text clarity of an lcd, but the only display that I have ever seen that may surpass it in games is my CX48 OLED. I feel like the image quality is better on the oled with 75% of the motion clarity.
I remember playing games at something like 165hz at a resolution a little over 1024x768. The colors were just insane. I was awed by the taskbar overlaying the default blue windows 7 wallpaper.
 
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A non-working GDM-FW900 in that rough shape sold for $600? Seriously?

BRB, got a faulty FW900 of my own I might as well sell. Had a lovely picture when it worked, but then it crapped out years ago, escalated from going fullbright on the electron guns now and then during cold startup (enough to kick on protection mode sometimes) and fixing itself once warmed up to just setting off a neon spark gap bulb and immediately kicking on protection mode. Thus, electronics might still be good, and the casing's near mint (hell of a lot better than that one on eBay, anyway).

When it worked, I never would've dreamed of going to LCD; it was just that much better, especially once you got everything dialed in with WinDAS. But then I got an Eizo FG2421 to replace it, at which point I realized LCDs didn't completely suck compared to the ol' FW900 any more. Not a complete upgrade by a long shot, but good enough for the space savings.

The main reason I haven't thought of selling it, though, is that it's almost 100 lbs. of CRT that there's no way in hell I could sensibly ship. I'd need, like, one of those wood-and-foam Calzone freight cases used at my warehouse that cost literal hundreds of dollars each, which doesn't sound so bad when you realize they have to hold thousands of dollars worth of hardware and make sure it survives all sorts of manhandling across the country.

So for someone to buy an FW900 in NJ, working or not, local pickup only given the above, means it's the right market, or someone's not only crazy enough to pay $600 for a dead unit, but make a road trip several states away just to buy it. People do it for used cars sometimes, but generally not CRTs.

I'd expect this kind of ridiculousness more from a 20" PVM or BVM that can sync down to 15 KHz for retro consoles and older computers that put out TV-spec video signals, like the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST. (Doubly so in that you need a display that supports PAL resolutions and 50 Hz to get the most out of those computers, since they were popular in Europe, but flopped in the US, and Japan had the X68000 and FM Towns instead.) People around here want $700 for the 20" models now, up from $300 just a few years ago - it's really gotten out of hand, and I already thought $300 was too much when I could've bought an OSSC for roughly half that.

I think that if display manufacturers made a laser-projector display, one that scans out the image like that one portable Sony (what a coincidence), then we'd have something close to CRT again. We'll see.
So basically a Mitsubishi LaserVue rear-projection DLP, then? Those things were short-lived on the market, heinously expensive, and apparently weren't all that reliable to begin with, just like our beloved FD Trinitrons.

I remember wanting one back in the day regardless, but nobody's going to buy a 1080p120 HDTV in 2021, not with 4K 2160p120 OLED sets with HDMI 2.1 and G-SYNC already on the market, burn-in be damned.
 

SamuelL421

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...

The main reason I haven't thought of selling it, though, is that it's almost 100 lbs. of CRT that there's no way in hell I could sensibly ship. I'd need, like, one of those wood-and-foam Calzone freight cases used at my warehouse that cost literal hundreds of dollars each, which doesn't sound so bad when you realize they have to hold thousands of dollars worth of hardware and make sure it survives all sorts of manhandling across the country.

...

You don't live in MD or PA by chance? :wacky:
(only half joking...)
 
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ShuttleLuv

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Doubt DLSS or Fidelity FX SR would have any impact on CRT's dying out. What will kill it off is new display type. AMOLED has the potential to do so, but the next gen displays will be the final nail in the coffin.

It is a heavily desired monitor for the fact that CRT's were just flat out better in terms of color accuracy and contrast compared to LCD's. Trinitron CRT's literally just slapped almost everything. Used in professional industry for color grading as well. We were literally force fed lcd as a tech in order to get size/weight down. But even a decade after LCD's were the norm, good crt's still shat on them pretty hard, especially in gaming/responsiveness. Not saying CRT's didn't have any downsides, they of course did. But there was a reason why they were a few grand brand new, and even now, refurbished grade A fw900's go for over a grand. They are just gorgeous in person, albeit at being a anchor and able to break your back =P.

Always wanted to get one, but ended up getting some Nec 20wmgx2's instead. But now CRT's seem to be for retro use, collectors, and the rare few who still want to experience the glory that was professional grade CRT's.

Colors and clarity but dem aperture grille lines....
 

jbltecnicspro

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So basically a Mitsubishi LaserVue rear-projection DLP, then? Those things were short-lived on the market, heinously expensive, and apparently weren't all that reliable to begin with, just like our beloved FD Trinitrons.

I remember wanting one back in the day regardless, but nobody's going to buy a 1080p120 HDTV in 2021, not with 4K 2160p120 OLED sets with HDMI 2.1 and G-SYNC already on the market, burn-in be damned.

No, I mean something like this:

https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-MP-CL1-user-reviews.htm

It's an actual RGB laser image source - not a laser-light DLP. It actually has lasers scan out the image. Resolution is 1920x720, and it wasn't very bright. But since the image is emissive, I would expect it had good contrast and since the image was scanned out, motion clarity was probably good too. It was only $350 when it was on the market. Kicking myself for not getting one just for experiment's sake. Oh well.
 
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CRTs…. I miss them. The FW-900 is the ultimate one. However, if you are into retro gaming, a CRT is a must. I have a 36inch WEGA CRT for my retro systems. I also have a Trinitron 17 Inch monitor for my Windows 98 rigs. The response time, feel, and image is just better on them. Even my CX48 OLED can’t compare. A lot of the graphics and tech we have in flat panels was to make up for their short comings compared to CRTs.

That said, I won’t pay $3500 for a FW-900 or variant when the same money bets me a 77 inch OLED.

 

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Ikasu

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Man, that thing is a beauty. Video/images also just don't do it justice considering the image gets distorted being captured by a camera. It is absolutely stunning in person. Shit...I want to get one now...lol.
 

twonunpackmule

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CRTs…. I miss them. The FW-900 is the ultimate one. However, if you are into retro gaming, a CRT is a must. I have a 36inch WEGA CRT for my retro systems. I also have a Trinitron 17 Inch monitor for my Windows 98 rigs. The response time, feel, and image is just better on them. Even my CX48 OLED can’t compare. A lot of the graphics and tech we have in flat panels was to make up for their short comings compared to CRTs.

That said, I won’t pay $3500 for a FW-900 or variant when the same money bets me a 77 inch OLED.

That's smart. I was an FW-900 owner for close to a decade. It was my main monitor in College and up till 2012 or so. I had the pleasure of playing Half Life 2 on that monitor at release. Good times. But, as an previous owner, you have the right mindset. It's dumb paying $3500 for tech with a due date. Especially something with almost 20 years of wear. I regret getting rid of mine but I also didn't know what I knew now about them. I probably could have rejuvenated the tube or recapped the board. But, I was 26 at the time and was running out of space. Either way, I got to experience that monitor in its prime. I wouldn't trade that monitor for a CX, but I wouldn't trade a CX for the monitor either.
 
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No, I mean something like this:

https://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-MP-CL1-user-reviews.htm

It's an actual RGB laser image source - not a laser-light DLP. It actually has lasers scan out the image. Resolution is 1920x720, and it wasn't very bright. But since the image is emissive, I would expect it had good contrast and since the image was scanned out, motion clarity was probably good too. It was only $350 when it was on the market. Kicking myself for not getting one just for experiment's sake. Oh well.
Oh, an actual laser projector? I thought they were much bigger, and a hell of a lot more expensive in general! Too bad the MP-CL1 went completely under my radar.

Man, that thing is a beauty. Video/images also just don't do it justice considering the image gets distorted being captured by a camera. It is absolutely stunning in person. Shit...I want to get one now...lol.
CRTs have to be appreciated in person, that much is for certain.

For instance, the Vectrex. Sure, there's all sorts of photos and videos on the Internet, but you can't truly appreciate the crisp vector lines surrounded by faint phosphor glow until you actually see one in person - not that I ever saw one until attending Vintage Computer Festival Southeast, because they're rare things that met an untimely demise due to the Great Crash of 1983.
 

Krazy925

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Oh, an actual laser projector? I thought they were much bigger, and a hell of a lot more expensive in general! Too bad the MP-CL1 went completely under my radar.


CRTs have to be appreciated in person, that much is for certain.

For instance, the Vectrex. Sure, there's all sorts of photos and videos on the Internet, but you can't truly appreciate the crisp vector lines surrounded by faint phosphor glow until you actually see one in person - not that I ever saw one until attending Vintage Computer Festival Southeast, because they're rare things that met an untimely demise due to the Great Crash of 1983.
Vectrex, My buddy down the street actually had one of those we used to use the overlays and play it in the 1990s. Such an awesome system for travel trips because the parents could watch TV and our video game system had one built-in. I'm not even sure how he ended up with one.

Things were crazy expensive and still are. Now I kinda want one. Shit.
 

Burticus

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For instance, the Vectrex. Sure, there's all sorts of photos and videos on the Internet, but you can't truly appreciate the crisp vector lines surrounded by faint phosphor glow until you actually see one in person - not that I ever saw one until attending Vintage Computer Festival Southeast, because they're rare things that met an untimely demise due to the Great Crash of 1983.

Vectrex!. I have not even thought of that in forever. I used to play one all the time they had on display at Sears (the mall and Sears were big hangouts for me in the low 80's SoCal summers, they had AC!). They were stingy about changing the games around so mostly you got the default asteroids clone game that was built in. But sometimes an employee would be nice enough to put in Star Castle or Armor Attack. Rarely though, the toy section of that Sears was neglected 99% of the time.

As far as this massive CRT monitor goes... outside of lightgun games I don't see much purpose anymore. True they had awesome PQ for the longest time, but modern flat panels are pretty awesome.
 

jbltecnicspro

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As far as this massive CRT monitor goes... outside of lightgun games I don't see much purpose anymore. True they had awesome PQ for the longest time, but modern flat panels are pretty awesome.

Actually, to my eye, most LCD's still fall short. They just do. No, I'm not being nostalgic. I've had a CRT monitor right up until 2019 and used them alongside my LCD's. The LCD's were nicer for text/programming. CRT's were better for everything else.
 

DrezKill

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CRTs…. I miss them. The FW-900 is the ultimate one. However, if you are into retro gaming, a CRT is a must. I have a 36inch WEGA CRT for my retro systems. I also have a Trinitron 17 Inch monitor for my Windows 98 rigs. The response time, feel, and image is just better on them. Even my CX48 OLED can’t compare. A lot of the graphics and tech we have in flat panels was to make up for their short comings compared to CRTs.

That said, I won’t pay $3500 for a FW-900 or variant when the same money bets me a 77 inch OLED.


https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/...ted-on-a-crt-a-game-changer-for-image-quality
 

leone

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In my experience, LCD has always been an utter disaster for retro-gaming. After embracing the tech early then finding myself disappointed with the compromises, I was fortunate enough to grab a few NOS PVMs and some smaller 17" CRTs back when the things were about worthless, as it was tough to stomach using old computers and consoles otherwise. My only regret now is that I didn't buy some of the larger tube sizes while I had the chance! :p

I've been playing Amiga games lately from an A1200 with an Indivision MK3 (awesome scandoubler) connected to a 17" Eizo T566 (Diamondtron tube), and the image quality is absolutely stunning. That said, I've had the same system connected to my 55" OLED, and the picture quality is also stunning, certainly a worthy contender if you can deal with the size difference. (Well, I suppose there could be some lag in that scenario, but I'm not certain.) Also, one caveat that's not typically mentioned, quite a few (perhaps most) CRTs were poor quality, I recall returning a fuqton of those too back in the day. IMO Trinitron/Diamondtron tubes found in more expensive monitors (Sony/Eizo/Iiyama/maybe NEC) were the holy grail.

As mentioned above, for general desktop use (anything text heavy) LCD was an improvement. I still use an 27" g-sync IPS for modern PC gaming, which isn't too terrible once you go through the hassle of calibration and color-correcting the palette mess for gaming, and ensuring good lighting, but I look forward to going OLED on that front too, maybe later this year.
 

Andrew_Carr

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I gave mine away to someone when I stayed at their house because it was such a pain to move. Got it for really cheap because LCDs were the new thing and everyone was getting rid of theirs and I wanted a good gaming monitor that wouldn't break the bank. Probably the best monitor I ever had in terms of display quality and I kinda wish I had kept it. Can't believe they're selling for so much now, wish I still knew the people still so I could ask for it back, lol.
 
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Pardon my ignorance, but won't OLED monitors mop the floor of this thing?
OLEDs would still have native resolutions (meaning non-native resolutions usually look like complete garbage) and be far more susceptible to burn-in than a good CRT.

MicroLED should at least make the latter point a non-issue, though going forward, I doubt we'll see another display tech that will have the resolution flexibility or near-zero input lag of a CRT.

The most we can hope for is for DPI to increase to such a ludicrous point that the pixels aren't really distinguishable from the human eye, at which point that, combined with enough static contrast, a CRT shader that mimics the subtle phosphor glow and either shadow mask dot patterns or aperture grille stripes would look far more convincing.
 

CruisD64

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OLEDs would still have native resolutions (meaning non-native resolutions usually look like complete garbage) and be far more susceptible to burn-in than a good CRT.

MicroLED should at least make the latter point a non-issue, though going forward, I doubt we'll see another display tech that will have the resolution flexibility or near-zero input lag of a CRT.

The most we can hope for is for DPI to increase to such a ludicrous point that the pixels aren't really distinguishable from the human eye, at which point that, combined with enough static contrast, a CRT shader that mimics the subtle phosphor glow and either shadow mask dot patterns or aperture grille stripes would look far more convincing.
Good to know, thanks! :) Now I want one.
 
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