Small CRT displays worth the trouble?

Hi, I’m currently deciding on whether to pursue a small CRT monitor for my primary system display. I have limited space, so the biggest I could likely go would be one of the small 9" Sony PVM monitors. Are CRT displays of this size worth the expensive (around $100) and bulk over a small lcd display (19" or so)?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide!!

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I found one of the small ones for around 50… maybe try to find a better deal? Also, if you were asking if the size of the screen isn’t enough, I would say that I definitely use my bigger CRT more. Not a deal breaker, though.

I am not very technical with my knowledge of displays but based off of sheer preference, the CRT’s do look more in place with the image. I think it also depends on your work flow and if you go thru any software or anything after your visuals rig.

There are a lot of variables at play here, including especially personal preference, but I think a CRT generally looks a lot better than an LCD. And allows you to record the screen and get that classic analog look that you will never get from an LCD.

Maybe think of the CRT phosphor array like film grain, just a little bit of added noise that helps make the image look less plastic, more warm and organic.

That being said, 9" is maybe too small? A 14" PVM isn’t going to be much, if any, deeper (which I personally find to be the biggest issue, space-wise, with CRTs), but will provide much more viewing area.

But, if cost is an issue, I’d suggest just looking for a non-professional CRT, at least at first. You used to be able to get PVMs for next to nothing, but the retro gaming scene has ruined all of that. But, depending on where you are, you may still be able to find consumer CRTs for next to nothing (I bought a flat-screen 14" Trinitron off Craigslist for $10). They won’t have all the same controls, but Sony consumer-grade Trinitrons are still pretty darn good. And indeed, depending on your style, an even more junky TV (because Trinitrons themselves have a specific look) may be better still.

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Thanks for the input, it is much appreciated. I was considering the Sony PVM units as they seem to have less bulky cases, more squared off and better suited to my space. The biggest issue is that I have a limited space and own TOO MUCH STUFF. Depth and particularly height are a huge issue as I’ve got to fit it under my desk shelf which is approx. 16"…I’ve checked the consumer Sony 13" and they’re too bulky at over 16" in height for the casing. From what I’m hearing a CRT does sound preferable, it’s just much trickier to find one that’ll fit my space. I’ll continue hunting…thanks!

Yeah, the PVMs are indeed generally less bulky. And nice too that you can stack stuff on top of them when necessary.

For reference, my PVM-14N5U is approx. 13.25" tall, 16" deep, and 13.5" wide.

Checked my consumer Trinitron and it is actually a 13" screen — but about the same height and depth as the 14" PVM, just a little wider because of the speakers (which I guess is why I’ve always thought of it as 14" too, despite the screen being visibly smaller).

Good luck with the hunt!

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Thanks again! I see these around, I wonder if they’d be worth $100 CRT

Make sure whatever you buy has either component or composite in - if it’s just got a regular aerial connection then I think you will need an extra box (rf encoder???) - the tv you linked to doesn’t specify and there’s no picture of the inputs - I’d steer clear if I were you

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I’d say go for it! Those little 9" PVMs are great! If you look hard enough, you can still find them for VERY reasonable prices. I picked (another) one up back in February for $20. Even if you’re not going to use it as your primary display, they’re excellent for feedback and re-scanning, especially in a gig-type environment.

Thanks for the replies, just this week I found a 13” Sony wega for a reasonable price…should be here tomorrow.

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Bah, wish I could find anything ~14" as a PVM these days. Been hunting for years, but Seattle area “retrogamers” snatch things up and price exploitatively on Craigslist.

Anyone have ideas? No broadcast connections locally (cold emails have gone nowhere :stuck_out_tongue: ) and I’ve bugged my Scarecrow/video art friends already to no avail.

The little 9" Sony PVMs are really nice! It’s crazy how much prices jumped cause wasn’t like that 5yrs ago!


I got some 10" jvc ones that are not bad for a decent price last year

they’re not quite sony’s and composite only inputs - but better than consumer grade…

tbh for rescanning I prefer lcds (especially with iPhone camera)

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Craigslist or Offerup hunting?

they were off ebay (UK)


Thanks, seems I’ll just have to keep scouring eBay closeby for the occasional still shit “deal” over the next year or so.

Obviously there are PVMs BVMs, small Trinitrons that aren’t professional, medical equipment monitors, is there anything else outside of the box I should consider beyond er, patience?