Princeton Graphics 21" CRT is an excellent piece of analog kit!

carce2428

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A friend of mine and I have been testing his unit and determined with it's 270mhz of bandwidth we were able to get it up to 2560x1600@60hz progessive. The units are extremely well made and actually look good for a monitor cerca 1999-2000. It's a shadow mask but that's trivial to me. I went and looked for some old reviews and the unit did quite well against the heavyeights of the industry back then. Here's a clip from a PC Mag interview. I kid you not this unit kicks the pants off of anything I currently have in my office. That said, I just purchased three units from a wholesaler out of California. They are shipping all three on a pallet for me. :)

I currently have a Sunix adaptor I purchased from Germany about six months ago and will test it to see if I can make the most out of these monitors. If not I'll be happy to get some advice on getting a better adapter. If these units arrive safely and perform like the unit my buddy has I can't see ever needing to purchase another crt ever again. I will have a grand total of nine 19" to 21" top of the line trinitrons and shadow masks. That should do me well into the next decade.......
 

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undertaker2k8

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A friend of mine and I have been testing his unit and determined with it's 270mhz of bandwidth we were able to get it up to 2560x1600@60hz progessive. The units are extremely well made and actually look good for a monitor cerca 1999-2000. It's a shadow mask but that's trivial to me. I went and looked for some old reviews and the unit did quite well against the heavyeights of the industry back then. Here's a clip from a PC Mag interview. I kid you not this unit kicks the pants off of anything I currently have in my office. That said, I just purchased three units from a wholesaler out of California. They are shipping all three on a pallet for me. :)

I currently have a Sunix adaptor I purchased from Germany about six months ago and will test it to see if I can make the most out of these monitors. If not I'll be happy to get some advice on getting a better adapter. If these units arrive safely and perform like the unit my buddy has I can't see ever needing to purchase another crt ever again. I will have a grand total of nine 19" to 21" top of the line trinitrons and shadow masks. That should do me well into the next decade.......
Congrats and welcome back to the 80/90s?
 

carce2428

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Congrats and welcome back to the 80/90s?
Hey, I left analog behind way back in 2007 when I dropped my IBM P260 crt for a shiny new Dell 30" inch to play Crysis on. Guess what? After the new shiney wore off I knew I messed up big time. I left pc gaming after that because I couldn't stand playing games on it. I'm in love with pc gaming again after going back to analog and who knows....maybe in 2033 they'll finally have a display technology to make me switch. :)
 

undertaker2k8

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Hey, I left analog behind way back in 2007 when I dropped my IBM P260 crt for a shiny new Dell 30" inch to play Crysis on. Guess what? After the new shiney wore off I knew I messed up big time. I left pc gaming after that because I couldn't stand playing games on it. I'm in love with pc gaming again after going back to analog and who knows....maybe in 2033 they'll finally have a display technology to make me switch. :)
It's called OLED and already here..GL.
 

carce2428

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OLED has it's merit and it's a step in the right direction, but it's still a sample and hold display. I can feel the difference between the two technologies. I can see the difference when i turn quickly with my mouse. It's just not there yet.....
 

Segfault

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I was an IT manager when CRT started disappearing, we had guy on payroll for photo work and he demanded CRT, the only way to get true colors is properly calibrated CRT he said.
 

carce2428

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I still have a working ViewSonic PT813 that I use with my oldest retro computer, but what I really miss is my 21" Trinitron. I wish that Sony had continued to develop the tech.
If it's in good shape that PT813 is nothing to sneeze at. It's still a good crt in it's own right!
 

griff30

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A friend of mine and I have been testing his unit and determined with it's 270mhz of bandwidth we were able to get it up to 2560x1600@60hz progessive. The units are extremely well made and actually look good for a monitor cerca 1999-2000. It's a shadow mask but that's trivial to me. I went and looked for some old reviews and the unit did quite well against the heavyeights of the industry back then. Here's a clip from a PC Mag interview. I kid you not this unit kicks the pants off of anything I currently have in my office. That said, I just purchased three units from a wholesaler out of California. They are shipping all three on a pallet for me. :)

I currently have a Sunix adaptor I purchased from Germany about six months ago and will test it to see if I can make the most out of these monitors. If not I'll be happy to get some advice on getting a better adapter. If these units arrive safely and perform like the unit my buddy has I can't see ever needing to purchase another crt ever again. I will have a grand total of nine 19" to 21" top of the line trinitrons and shadow masks. That should do me well into the next decade.......
I had the Princeton Graphics EO2010. Expensive but best monitor anyone had back then.
It's in a landfill now.
 

TheHig

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I still have a working ViewSonic PT813 that I use with my oldest retro computer, but what I really miss is my 21" Trinitron. I wish that Sony had continued to develop the tech.
My 21in Trinitron died around 2014 and it was amazing. My buddy had the 22in(?) Diamond Max back in the day and I swear I had to be 40 lbs. Lugging all that an full towers to lans took up your entire backseat. Good times.
 

jbltecnicspro

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Hey, I left analog behind way back in 2007 when I dropped my IBM P260 crt for a shiny new Dell 30" inch to play Crysis on. Guess what? After the new shiney wore off I knew I messed up big time. I left pc gaming after that because I couldn't stand playing games on it. I'm in love with pc gaming again after going back to analog and who knows....maybe in 2033 they'll finally have a display technology to make me switch. :)

I'm currently playing on a Viewsonic XG-2431. Using QFT and the strobe tuning utility, I'm enjoying crosstalk-free 85hz gaming like my old Trinitrons. At 85hz, the motion clarity is pretty much spot on to what a CRT can do. Still doesn't have the contrast ratio of ye old CRT though (it's an IPS screen) but the motion clarity is so good that I don't miss CRT at all when playing with this. Not saying you should ditch your tubes (if I still had mine I'd have no reason to get the Viewsonic XG), but just know that there are alternatives. Other than this screen not having OLED's infinite contrast, the motion clarity smokes it.
 

carce2428

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I'm currently playing on a Viewsonic XG-2431. Using QFT and the strobe tuning utility, I'm enjoying crosstalk-free 85hz gaming like my old Trinitrons. At 85hz, the motion clarity is pretty much spot on to what a CRT can do. Still doesn't have the contrast ratio of ye old CRT though (it's an IPS screen) but the motion clarity is so good that I don't miss CRT at all when playing with this. Not saying you should ditch your tubes (if I still had mine I'd have no reason to get the Viewsonic XG), but just know that there are alternatives. Other than this screen not having OLED's infinite contrast, the motion clarity smokes it.
I've been watching the main thread on this and happy to see the progress being made there. It is good to know that there are alternatives to crt. If I ever have the desire to move to a larger screen size, wide or ultrawide apsect ratio then I will definately check it out. Right now though I'm content with remaining with "ye ole crt" :)
 

equinox654

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I have a Sony GDM-F520 in a closet that would not power on last time I tried it. Hope it just needs a recap.

I went pretty hard back in the day the day on it 1024x768@160hz.
Could clear out servers with it. At that time I had one of the first 120hz lcds. There was no comparison. The Sony crt owned it.

That being said. I have a lg cx48 and the guys not wrong, oled is a pretty good substitute. There are caveats though. You have to disable gsync and turn on the oled equivalent of back light strobing. Which inserts a blank frame in between each frame. It will lower the brightness, but with oleds response times it can clear the frame so much faster than a lcd that it gives crt motion clalirty.
 

Enhanced Interrogator

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That being said. I have a lg cx48 and the guys not wrong, oled is a pretty good substitute. There are caveats though. You have to disable gsync and turn on the oled equivalent of back light strobing. Which inserts a blank frame in between each frame. It will lower the brightness, but with oleds response times it can clear the frame so much faster than a lcd that it gives crt motion clalirty.

According to Rtings though, BFI adds a frame of lag on LG panels. Which is unfortunate.

at 120hz it goes from 4ms to 12ms (with BFI), 60hz goes from 8ms to 22ms, IIRC
 

equinox654

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Oh wow I never noticed the extra latency. I don’t use that mode often, since I have gotten older I mainly play space sims and rpgs.

Looks pretty glorious though even at half brightness to see that kinda of motion clarity and sharpness on such a large panel.
 

kindasmart

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I bought a Princeton Graphics Systems EGA (640x350) 12" color monitor back in 1987. The text clarity was astonishing. I recall PGS monitors as being "higher end" or at least better quality than other vendors. The monitor and video card were more expensive than the rest of the PC: Case, PSU, 5.25" floppy + I/O card, keyboard, MOBO, i8088, RAM chips (256kbit x 18 + 64kbit x 18 = 640k). Good times.
 

Chief Blur Buster

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A friend of mine and I have been testing his unit and determined with it's 270mhz of bandwidth we were able to get it up to 2560x1600@60hz progessive.
I saw one in person years ago -- when they were new! Princeton monitors had the really high end feel, so while a less common brand than Sony and others...

I felt certain Princeton models ranked right up there with the golden tubes of the era. They deserve to be in the same sentence as coveted Nokia 445 pro's and excellent-specimen FW900's, or the golden Mitsubishi 2070SB's and Sony GDM-F520's, etc. Heck, I want a Princeton more than I want a Sony PVM if I had to choose only between one of the two. A gem of a little known brand, I almost totally forgotten about Princeton until this thread!

According to Rtings though, BFI adds a frame of lag on LG panels. Which is unfortunate.

at 120hz it goes from 4ms to 12ms (with BFI), 60hz goes from 8ms to 22ms, IIRC
The reason why BFI on OLED adds lag is because it has to buffer the slow-scanning refresh cycle for fast-scanout, it seems. Essentially an internal scan-conversion behavior, as the scanout velocity isn't always 1:1 between signal scanout velocity and OLED panel backplane scanout velocity when BFI is enabled. Any slow-scan signal needs to be buffered by a flat panel scaler/TCON whenever a panel is fast-scanout-only. Also, there are reasons why a full refresh cycle is buffered first before panel scanout, such as peak-lumen processing (for APL power balancing or HDR balancing / tonemapping, etc.) as the whole picture dynamically needs to dim if there's too many white pixels and not enough power to power them all at max nits. So processing is needed, full refresh cycle framebuffering first, etc.

I suspect some of the lag is undoable via a clever trick called Quick Frame Transport, which is now easier to experiment with a newer versions of ToastyX called "Vertical Total Calculator" setting which makes DIY QFT hacking much easier. Most FreeSync-compatible panels have undocumented accidental support for QFT signals.

(Technical Explanation: This is due to the remarkable similarity between 60Hz QFT signal and a perfectly 60fps-capped zero-jitter FreeSync signal -- the huge VBI size is exactly the same -- so both signals look exactly the same to a scaler/TCON in VBI, HBI, sync, porches, pixel clock -- creating an accidental compatibility with QFT. We all know how emulator users love 60fps-capped high-Hz VRR to lower emulator lag -- VRR is actually defacto QFT, and QFT is essentially a fixed-Hz hardware-Hz-capped VRR-like signal, since VRR sets refresh rate via variable VBI -- aka dynamically resized Vertical Totals! -- so we commandeer a DIY QFT for low Hz by piggybacking on a panel's expanded tolerance capabilities caused by its existing VRR support). Now that being said, VRR+strobing is not supported, but the framebuffering logic is usually recycled between the VRR and non-VRR modes, so QFT will often benefit strobed modes even on flat panels that don't support VRR+strobing. (QFT is still fixed-Hz, and the strobing will usually automatically tolerate a QFT-delivered frame since the monitor processing loop is simply waiting for the last scanline to arrive from the signal befoer beginning processing, and it doesn't care if the refresh cycle arrives quicker, as long as within the pixel clock capabilities of the scaler/TCON. So you simply use the maximum pixel clock of maximum rez maximum Hz, except apply it to a lower Hz, for faster refresh cycle transport.)

So, creating your DIY QFT via the brand new ToastyX "Vertical Total Calculator" in CRU should hopefully reduce OLED BFI lag, by delivering frames faster from GPU's front framebuffer to the OLED's monitor-side framebuffer.

Basically a 60Hz signal with a 1/120sec scanout on the video cable. The simplest possible QFT (2x) is achieved via doubling the vertical total of a 60Hz signal (via large Vertical Back Porch), to get the same Pixel Clock as 120Hz signal. So VT1125 1080p becomes VT2250 for half max Hz. And VT2250 4K becomes VT4500 at half max Hz. But instead, let Vertical Total Calculator (ToastyX CRU) handle that, you derive the 120Hz mode, then switch to Vertical Total Calculator, type in 60Hz in refresh rate, and now you've got your QFT 60Hz mode for your OLED BFI.

If all goes well, this reduces lag by (1/60sec - 1/120sec) = hopefully 8.3ms lag reduction for LG OLED BFI, assuming the monitor processing is written in a best-practices way (e.g. "wait until last scanline is buffered" logic loop for buffering incoming refresh cycles)

Low-Hz VESA EDIDs (GTF, CVT, CVT-R) are surprisingly laggy on high-Hz buffered digital flat panel monitors sometimes! Automatic refresh cycle buffering is quite annoying (e.g. for OLED BFI processing) but QFT helps deliver the refresh cycle from GPU buffer to monitor's framebuffer faster, allowing the OLED BFI processing to begin sooner.

OLED has it's merit and it's a step in the right direction, but it's still a sample and hold display. I can feel the difference between the two technologies. I can see the difference when i turn quickly with my mouse. It's just not there yet.....
Blurless sample-and-hold requires 1000fps 1000Hz to match 1ms MPRT without impulsing, and 4000fps 4000Hz to match 0.25ms MPRT without impulsing.

We're still a long away from matching CRT motion clarity with sample-and-hold, but it's actually possible with sufficient brute Hz and brute framerate.

Bonus, it also allows technically permits software-based CRT beam simulation, for doing retro ~60Hz via kilohertz-refresh-rate display (software-based rolling bar impulsing). Then you'd only need generic brute Hz to enable CRT simulation, rather than custom hardware-implemented display-specific behaviors like BFI implementations or low-persistence modes.

Before retina refresh rates enabling blurless sample-and-hold, the solution is hardware-based BFI and hardware-based backplane modifications to allow rolling-scan strobe. Now, this is what we need to see happen to more OLED displays.

Adding OLED BFI helps majorly, but a lot of OLED BFI logic are limited to refresh-cycle granularity, rather than subrefresh granularity. So while OLED has the most fantastic color, they can't reduce motion blur as well as a well-tuned crosstalkless strobed LCD quite just yet.
 
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Comixbooks

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I give you credit not wanted to wreck your eyes on a LCD display many people have been maimed from overly bright poor refresh rates from poor LCDs. I can't wait to Jump on OLED maybe get rid of my dual LCD setup and just have one monitor.
 

carce2428

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I bought a Princeton Graphics Systems EGA (640x350) 12" color monitor back in 1987. The text clarity was astonishing. I recall PGS monitors as being "higher end" or at least better quality than other vendors. The monitor and video card were more expensive than the rest of the PC: Case, PSU, 5.25" floppy + I/O card, keyboard, MOBO, i8088, RAM chips (256kbit x 18 + 64kbit x 18 = 640k). Good times.
Nice!. I'm still waiting on my units to arrive but in the meantime I've been testing out a Hitachi Rasterops CM751U 19" crt. This unit has the lowest dot pitch I've ever seen on a monitor. .22mm H and .14mm V. This is the only crt I've ever been able to comfortably use for text work for long periods of time. Text on this unit is damn near LCD like in sharpness. I normally don't buy into marketing speak, but the "Hitachi Precision Focus" is juat that! It delivers what it says and I love it! I have to force myself to shut it off after gaming and not use it for surfing the net as I want to conserve the tube for gaming and videos only.
 

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carce2428

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"I saw one in person years ago -- when they were new! Princeton monitors had the really high end feel, so while a less common brand than Sony and others...

I felt certain Princeton models ranked right up there with the golden tubes of the era. They deserve to be in the same sentence as coveted Nokia 445 pro's and excellent-specimen FW900's, or the golden Mitsubishi 2070SB's and Sony GDM-F520's, etc. Heck, I want a Princeton more than I want a Sony PVM if I had to choose only between one of the two. A gem of a little known brand, I almost totally forgotten about Princeton until this thread!"

My units are still on the way but looking forward to getting them on my desk. I think these units might be the "holy grail" for my personal use cases. My buddy's unit is actually just a slight step down from the units I have on the way so these may actually perform even better than his. I intend to keep this thread updated as things move along......
 

XoR_

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Hey, I left analog behind way back in 2007 when I dropped my IBM P260 crt for a shiny new Dell 30" inch to play Crysis on. Guess what? After the new shiney wore off I knew I messed up big time. I left pc gaming after that because I couldn't stand playing games on it. I'm in love with pc gaming again after going back to analog and who knows....maybe in 2033 they'll finally have a display technology to make me switch. :)
Similar story but I didn't so much leave PC gaming as I played PC games mostly on plasma TV using X360 gamepad just like I was playing on consoles.
Like real console with 60fps and not this fake console experience SONY and MS served us with barely hitting 30fps.
Still using plasma TV, just better model and use it exclusively with PS5. 60fps games downscaled to 1920x1080 look amazing on these old Pannys.

Otherwise for PC I have SONY GDM-FW900 😎

That said LCDs came a long way and it is possible to get great gaming experience. Not perfect but CRTs aren't perfect either. Heck, even OLED are not perfect apparently. Maybe some day... imho sooner than 2033.
 
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