Alternative to Sony CRT Trinitron Monitor?

I want to record my video output from a CRT with a DSLR through an Intensity Shuttle. So I went to eBay looking for a used Trinitron and they’re pricey (like $250 and up). I guess these monitors are pretty en vogue. But there’s got to be an alternative to Sony, right? I’ve tried recording my Magnavox CRT with a DSLR and it looks like garbage. It’s totally pixelated and awful. Likewise my Atomos Ninja capturing direct looks completely washed out (because it uses mov encryption).

So anyway, does anyone recommend an alternative CRT to Sony?

I know this doesn’t help you per se, but I found a 42” trinitron just sitting on the street a few weeks back with a note saying “I work” on it. I think the amount of people that know how valuable they are is pretty small…You might find one at a yard sale or thrift store for basically nothing. Just keep your eyes open and you might come across one like I did. I believe in you finding one. Good luck.


Craigslist can be a really good source for CRTs (depending on your location).

It can also take a while to get the hang of recording off a CRT — making sure frame rates are correct, alignment is good, relatively soft focus to mitigate moiré, etc.


That might have been my problem. The soft focus is a great idea. I don’t understand the frame rate though. So I match the frame rate of the DSLR to the LZX frame rate? How do you determine your frame rate?

Most analog televisions signals are either NTSC - used in North America, most of South America and Japan or PAL - used in Europe and most of the rest of the world.

(There’s also SECAM which is used in France and maybe some other places? But I don’t think about it and that’s worked out fine for me so far)

NTSC is 29.97 frames per second, and PAL is 25. It gets a little more complicated with interlacing, but generally setting your camera to one of these frame rates is the way to go.

Sometimes, because your camera doesn’t know when your TV frame starts/ends, you’ll end up recording the blanking interval between the frames too, which will show up as a dark bar slowly moving across the screen. If your camera has independent frame rate and shutter speed controls, you can try lowering the shutter speed slightly. The standard for video & film cameras is to have a shutter speed of exactly twice the frame rate - so for NTSC that would be 1/60th of a second (rounded). Lowering the shutter speed to 1/50th of a second may help reduce the banding.

This video from the good folks at LZX goes into some more video synth specific detail:


This makes sense. Thank you so much.

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