If you’re not following the more informal tech discussions that are taking place in the present, you may have missed a recent discussion about the advantages of CRT screens or cathode tube screens. We’re talking about the original tube which has since been replaced in a major way by flat-panel technology in various forms.
It’s true that there’s a whole generation of people who’ve probably never even seen a CRT in the real world! What is the reason people in tech circles speaking about this outdated technology now? What do CRT monitors use for? Isn’t modern display tech superior?
It is possible you’re right that these questions could be more complex than you imagine. Are there any compelling reasons to consider CRTs in 2022?
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They Look Good at Any Resolution
One of the major disadvantages of flat panel displays is the fact that they use a “native” resolution. That is they have an unchanging physical grid of picture elements. Therefore, a full HD panel is 1920 by 1080 pixels. If you upload an image that has less resolution to an image, it will need to be scaled in order that multiple physical pixels to function as one virtual pixel.
In the beginning, pictures that were scaled for an LCD display were terrible But modern scaling methods look amazing. It’s not really an issue now.
However, images displayed on a CRT appear good regardless of resolution. This is due to the fact that there aren’t any physical pixels with this type of display. Images are drawn to the interior of the screen by using electron beams, therefore there is no need for scaling. The pixels are drawn to the size they are required to be. Therefore, even low-resolution images appear smooth and beautiful on CRT.
In the past, this was a method to boost performance in 3D games and apps. Just lower the resolution to enjoy an experience that is smoother. Since the introduction of LCD technology, you basically required output to be at native resolution and that also meant cutting corners in other areas, such as lighting and texture.
Using a CRT to run top-of-the-line 3D applications lets you reduce the resolution, but keep the eye candy, and enjoy excellent performance. There is virtually no visual impact as compared to doing the same process using an LCD.
LCD flat panels utilize the display technology that is known as “sample and hold”, in which the current frame remains on the screen in a completely static manner until the next frame is completed. CRTs (and plasma screens) utilize a pulsed technique. A frame of the image is projected on the screen and then it begins to fade away to black when the phosphors have lost energy.
Although the sample and hold technique may sound better the perception is a blurred image when in motion because of the way we perceive motion. Sample and Hold isn’t the sole reason for unintentional blurring of LCDs caused by motion but it’s an important one.
Modern LCDs either employ a kind of “motion smoothing”, which can cause the notorious “soap opera effect” or they place black frames on top of regular ones that cause the brightness to decrease. CRTs are able to show crisp motion, with no loss of brightness and therefore appear more appealing when you playback videos.
Incredible Black Levels
Because of the method LCDs function, it’s nearly impossible to display black images. An LCD panel is comprised of the LCD itself, which has a range of changing colors as well as a backlight. If you don’t have a backlight on, they will not be able to see the image. This is due to the fact that LCDs don’t emit any kind of light.
The issue is that when the pixel is turned off and displays black, it isn’t able to stop all light that comes through it. Therefore, the most option is to get an equivocal grey tone. Contemporary LCD displays are better at adjusting for this, thanks to many LEDs that evenly light the screen and local backlight dimming. However, real blacks aren’t feasible.
CRTs however are able to display blacks nearly flawlessly because of the way it draws the image onto their back. Contemporary technologies like OLED can do the same however it is far too costly for the majority of consumers. Plasma was also excellent for this, but it is now mostly gone. In 2019, the most effective black levels can be located in CRTs.
Some Retro Content Was Designed For CRTs
If you are a fan of old-fashioned content, including older video games that were released before HD consoles as well as the standard aspect ratio 4:3 videos, then it could be best to stream these on CRT.
This material on the modern flat-panel is bad, by any standard but it’s far from the model that its authors used as a basis. Therefore, what you see doesn’t necessarily meet their exact specifications.
Certain video games made use of CRT’s quirks to create effects like transparent or flowing water. These effects aren’t functional or look good on modern flat screens. This is the reason CRTs are in high demand and highly sought-after by retro gamers.
Why You DON’T Want a CRT In 2022
Although there are a lot of ways that CRTs are superior to even the most modern flat panels, there are also many negatives! In the end, there’s an important reason why people have changed to newer technology for display.
It’s important to keep in mind that flat panels at the time of the transition were less effective than the displays of the present, but people believed the advantages of LCDs were in the end a better bargain.
CRT screens are large they are heavy, power-hungry, and not ideal for working and viewing widescreen movies. Although their resolution limitations aren’t a problem for video games, any serious job becomes a struggle because of poor resolution text and a lack of real estate on desktops.
Despite their massive dimension, actual screen dimensions are tiny in comparison with flat panelpanelsre’s no CRT that is comparable to the 55″ or larger giants we currently have. Despite the superior images and the motion benefits, CRTs offer over the top current flat panel, only a tiny minority of people are willing to endure the many disadvantages that are associated with CRTs.