Sony GDM-FW900 CRT Monitor Brand NEW in BOX

carce2428

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ellover009

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Are these monitors really comparable to our new flat screen monitors?
That's a rough one. I had one, I loved it, things get old and eventually succumb to time.

I would say currently it's advantage is still motion.
Modern monitors made improvements in size, resolution, geometry.

There's still something special about the FW900, I don't even know if this brand new one would be amazing thou. Was it stored properly? how bad did it decay from sitting around? I mean it was probably not stored in a temperature and humidity controlled room, some components decay over time like glues holding things together, are the capacitors fine unused for this long?

Unless they peddled back on it, at least I remember most video cards got rid of RAMDAC (digital to analog converter), some of the current users have resorted to using other means to display from a modern video card.
 

ellover009

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If your main goal is <1ms black to black on a 24 inch monitor at 1080p, yes. Otherwise, no, not in my opinion.
This puppy does 2304x1440 @ somewhere between 80-85 at that resolution. You can get crazy refresh by lowering resolution.
 

kamikazi

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This puppy does 2304x1440 @ somewhere between 80-85 at that resolution. You can get crazy refresh by lowering resolution.
Do games scale to that or do you have to run them at 1080p? If you could actually get 2560x1440p, I could see more appeal.
 

ellover009

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Do games scale to that or do you have to run them at 1080p? If you could actually get 2560x1440p, I could see more appeal.
No. This monitor has a 16:10 aspect ratio. I heard of people being able to push a little above 2304x1440, but at the expense of refresh rate due to the RAMDAC limitations. I'd hit up the FW900 thread on the monitor thread. You give up an insignificant amount of width to get a tiny bit of height.

Games don't scale, so what ends up happening is that the monitor has a limited memory for certain resolutions and refresh rate, and as you use more things some of the other ones get written over. At 1080P what happens is you have the space of 1080P taking up in that 2304x1440. With the controls you can leave it centered, move it around, or you can force stretch it to take up more space.
 

DooLocsta

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So it was advertised and sold as BNIB but it is missing the top shipping styrofoam. Uh minus 5K minimum
 

SH1

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You got it for $10K? Last new one went for like $35K or such. So a bargain I guess? :)

If it's really new though, that would be pretty special at this point.

Such a gorgeous screen to this day.
 

SH1

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No. This monitor has a 16:10 aspect ratio. I heard of people being able to push a little above 2304x1440, but at the expense of refresh rate due to the RAMDAC limitations. I'd hit up the FW900 thread on the monitor thread. You give up an insignificant amount of width to get a tiny bit of height.

Games don't scale, so what ends up happening is that the monitor has a limited memory for certain resolutions and refresh rate, and as you use more things some of the other ones get written over. At 1080P what happens is you have the space of 1080P taking up in that 2304x1440. With the controls you can leave it centered, move it around, or you can force stretch it to take up more space.
I use 1600 by 1024 at 100Hz and 1880 by 1200 at 85 Hz. These conform with the FW900's true aspect ratio. You can do higher and lower resolutions and Hz of course. (At 100 Hz, for example, 1800 by 1152 was the highest resolution I got, but I don't like to drive devices at their limits. And I did notice a little softening at the edges with that resolution.)

In any case, CRTs have softer glowy pixels (or the equivalent). You don't need to crank up the resolution to get a beautiful picture. It's not like LCD and needing to get the "retina" effect or such. And motion looks clear at all resolutions is my understanding. (And experience to date.)
 

ellover009

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I use 1600 by 1024 at 100Hz and 1880 by 1200 at 85 Hz. These conform with the FW900's true aspect ratio. You can do higher and lower resolutions and Hz of course. (At 100 Hz, for example, 1800 by 1152 was the highest resolution I got, but I don't like to drive devices at their limits. And I did notice a little softening at the edges with that resolution.)

In any case, CRTs have softer glowy pixels (or the equivalent). You don't need to crank up the resolution to get a beautiful picture. It's not like LCD and needing to get the "retina" effect or such. And motion looks clear at all resolutions is my understanding. (And experience to date.)
Yep. One thing that is good and bad was that, yes it will run and make lower quality content look good and was less discriminate about the resolution dialed in. Funny thing is I was messing around dark souls 3 the other day, changed resolution to either 800 or 600 and in my ips it turned into a stamp in the middle of the screen, games normally force resolution change and make things look blurry.

The bad thing is that for things like photo editing it has such a pleasant rendition that it masked some softness in some images.

Yeah this thing was a monster when it came to resolution flexibility. You could fit a lot of things. Pretty sure that there is a button in the settings where you could make things fit screen (stretch to fit), you could use the controls and move the image left, right, up, down, stretch height and width.

Are you still running yours? What are you doing these days to overcome the omission of ramdac in modern video cards?
 
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Run mine at 1920x1600 96hz and modern screens still don't match in making the picture and motion feel like real life. Games like EFT (which I don't particularly like lol) look so dam real on it.
 

schoolslave

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I recently purchased a smaller/non-special NIB Sony CRT.
Even compared to my LG OLED@120Hz it's insane what we had to give up in terms of motion clarity, contrast, and picture quality when CRTs were phased out.
 

jbltecnicspro

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Are these monitors really comparable to our new flat screen monitors?
In some respects better, in some respects worse, ergonomics not withstanding. First, let's get it out of the way - It's a 92 lb fucking monitor that's like 18 inches deep. Big motherfucker. Big enough that if you don't lift it properly it could be dropped. You don't have to be a powerlifter by any stretch of the imagination, but you DO have to think about how you're going to carry it.

Okay ergonomics out the way:

Here are the ways they're better than modern displays:
+ No input lag
+ Very high motion clarity. Not the best, in terms of what CRT can offer, but head and shoulders over OLED, LCD, etc. Even monitors with BFI don't compare because they have their own set of drawbacks. Cross-talk for LCD's (where you can see partial frames in-between strobes), dimness for OLED (LG's CX is the closest thing to CRT in terms of motion clarity, but is much dimmer than CRT when BFI is enabled)
+ No native resolution. Every resolution looks great to a point. Lower resolutions display scanlines, but in my opinion it looks far better than the blurry interpolation used in the scaling in fixed-pixel displays
+ High contrast. Calibrated to 2.2 gamma, the FW-900 should be able to do a native 5000:1 full on/off contrast. You can extend this to 10,000:1 and beyond with gamma tweaks
+ Close to SRGB color gamut. Most games just look great with this display. Even if the colors fall short of sRGB, in my opinion undersaturated looks better than blown-out oversaturation.

Here are the ways they're worse than modern displays:
- SMPTE-C color gamut. I think this is Rec 601. Basically, it falls a little short of Rec 709 (sRGB) color gamut. So you're not seeing the FULL colors of most content. I think this is a little over-blown though, as you'll see it's not that far off.
Just understand though, that it cannot display HDR content. Either in brightness or color gamut (DCI-P3). So with those formats, your SOL.
- Not very bright. Calibrated properly you can really only max out at 105 nits. Light-controlled rooms are essential to getting the most out of this display
- Analog inputs only. Wasn't really a problem until the Pascal generation of Nvidia cards. Now you have to find an adapter to make it work with modern graphics cards.
- CRT monitor and all its flaws. CRT's don't have perfect geometry, convergence, moiree. Etc. Now - the electronics of the FW-900 do a great job of minimizing these issues but they're still intrinsic to CRT. In my opinion, once you get sucked into your content though, you'll forget it's even there. And yeah - text is a little soft if you're used to fixed-pixel displays.

But if you're playing games on the screen there still really is no comparison to it. Closest thing that I have to it is the Viewsonic XG-2431. It has a 60hz strobing mode and it's fantastic. Motion clarity is almost as good as CRT. Good enough that I don't miss my FW-900. But still, the edge goes to the FW-900.

Is it a $10,000 edge? For me - hell no. But if I had money to burn and didn't know what to do with? Sure, I could see myself getting one again. :D

Also keep in mind that these monitors are 20 years old now. Are the caps still good? Are the components still working? There are a few IC's that run the show that I'm sure that you cannot find these days. So with that alone, I would probably steer clear. I'd hate to dump $10,000 into something only to have it fail and then I cannot find a part to replace it with. Just my opinion though.
 

SH1

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On/off contrast or dynamic range is even much higher than that I think. Some publication working with Display Mate had measured the F520 at 15:000 to 1 for example. That along with the blacks giving CRT the depth of picture as long as ambient light is lowered. The ability to reach down and do that dark scene detailing and such.

$10K -- I do think that has to be ok as throwaway money, because of the age. That said, I can see why actual NOS would drive such prices. In terms of helping verifying that, you could check if the screen protector is still in place. (Or the remains of it.) I'll decline to publish here what that looked like. (If my memory still serves in any case.)
 

jbltecnicspro

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On/off contrast or dynamic range is even much higher than that I think. Some publication working with Display Mate had measured the F520 at 15:000 to 1 for example. That along with the blacks giving CRT the depth of picture as long as ambient light is lowered. The ability to reach down and do that dark scene detailing and such.

$10K -- I do think that has to be ok as throwaway money, because of the age. That said, I can see why actual NOS would drive such prices. In terms of helping verifying that, you could check if the screen protector is still in place. (Or the remains of it.) I'll decline to publish here what that looked like. (If my memory still serves in any case.)
I measured my FW-900 at 10,000:1 but that’s because my meter wouldn’t read below 0.01 nits. Peak white was 100 nits so yeah these things can deliver a very punchy image. They lack ansi contrast (which I forgot to mention) but it’s not a big a deal as most people make it out to be.

Bar none this display is still superb.
 

jbltecnicspro

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I'll bet that people who love this monitor and still use it also have a fondness for Pioneer Kuro plasma TVs. Just a hunch...
Never seen one but from reading a sound and vision review of the Kuro it looked like a hell of a TV.

Edit: if someone gave me a good condition one now I’d take it and use it. I’ll bet in normal light-controlled viewing you wouldn’t see much of a difference between it and an OLED.
 
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kamikazi

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Never seen one but from reading a sound and vision review of the Kuro it looked like a hell of a TV.

Edit: if someone gave me a good condition one now I’d take it and use it. I’ll bet in normal light-controlled viewing you wouldn’t see much of a difference between it and an OLED.
I brought it up because it's another obsolete monitor technology that was very good at the time and a lot of people still swear by them, like the monitor in this thread.
 

jbltecnicspro

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I brought it up because it's another obsolete monitor technology that was very good at the time and a lot of people still swear by them, like the monitor in this thread.
Yep. But in this case the Kuro is out-classed by LG’s OLED. Completely. FW-900 still has some aces up it’s sleeve.
 

jbltecnicspro

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Yeah...OLED's moving away from BFI is depressing.
We’re talking TV though. LG still offers BFI, as does Sony. With this, their motion clarity is on par with plasma and even better at 120hz. Monitors… different story.
 

kamikazi

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We’re talking TV though. LG still offers BFI, as does Sony. With this, their motion clarity is on par with plasma and even better at 120hz. Monitors… different story.
I'm still rocking the Sony Bravia Z series from 2009. 1080P IPS panel at 240 Hz with a 10 bit panel and HDMI 1.3. Someday, I'll upgrade to 4K. Sony KDL-46Z5100 Specs at Crutchfield
 

legcramp

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My back hurts just thinking about this thing.
My back hurt when I was carrying this thing upstairs 15 years ago. Sold mine 10 years ago when it started to die and someone wanted to buy it for $400 on craigslist. Still not a monitor I've seen today that looks better or have the latency this thing had.
 

kamikazi

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My back hurt when I was carrying this thing upstairs 15 years ago. Sold mine 10 years ago when it started to die and someone wanted to buy it for $400 on craigslist. Still not a monitor I've seen today that looks better or have the latency this thing had.
Prior to the TV I have now, I had a Sony Wega CRT flat screen 32 inch. That thing weighed a metric ton and all of the weight was right on the front because the glass had to be super thick to take the curve out of it. It was easiest to carry it with another person by putting the glass side down. If you carried it upright, it was very awkward because it wanted to turn over. It had a lot of inertia. When I was in college, a friend of mine bought the 35 inch version and he and a friend put it in the trunk of his car at the store. He was actually taking it home to his house. They wanted to bring it in so that it wasn't sitting out in the dorm parking lot overnight to get stolen. However, after a few minutes trying to pry it out of the trunk, they decided that if anyone could steal it, they earned it.
 
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