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What is the reason old video games look better on CRT TVs than computers? I noticed in 8-bit games and PS1 side-scrolling games with per-rendered images, like Abe's Oddysee & Exodus, etc, they looked nice on TV but on computer those artworks didn't appear smooth as they did on TV.
 

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Resolution stretching? different aspect ratios? PPI?
 

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In general, pixels aren't perfect squares or rectangles on CRTs. LCD pixels are usually rectangular in shape. On CRTs the boundaries between pixels is blurry, meaning that the pixels don't have a definite edge. The electrons hit the phosphorous material of the CRT for a period of time determined by the frequencies of the electron gun, but they don't all hit the exact same spot, so the pixels are strongest at the center and blurrier towards the edge. So a CRT would display any resolution with this effect still intact.

A higher resolution LCD displaying an older lower resolution graphic produces no distinct "fading" at the edge of the pixels and will show what would have previously been a single pixel dot with blurry edges as a rectangle or square with sharp sides. LCDs are meant to run at native resolution. Running at lower resolutions than native will always produce some of this effect. For example, running an old 640x480 game on a 1080p screen produces rectangles that are 3x2.25 (however the LCD interpolates that I don't know), which would appear very different than the original dot that would have shown on a CRT. Instead of the dots that were originally intended by the old game or software, everything becomes rectangles. So all the "defects" of the original resolution and image pop a lot more. The data displayed is the same, but the original artwork and everything made for a CRT looks bad on an LCD. There are filters in emulators that fix this and blur the boundaries of emulated pixels.

You really see a screen full of color showing 640x480 pixels worth of data on a CRT, but you didn't see that data as discrete colors. The data your eye receives is far more than just 640x480. You see an insane number of photons coming from a pixels area on the screen, and not all of those photons were quite representative of the pixel color from which them came, there is extra data for your eye resulting from the edge of the pixels. You got more total color data on a CRT as the colors blended together than just 640x480 provided. On an LCD you see them as discrete chunks when they originally weren't meant to be seen that way so you only get 640x480 worth of data. This is how I interpret it anyhow; one is smooth from pixel to pixel and the other abrupt.

LCDs aren't bad at native resolution, but they are terrible at everything else. CRTs were great at any resolution supported. Nothing was "sharp edged" on a CRT, but it didn't matter as you still saw what you needed to interpret the data you wanted correctly.
 

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Blur is something else entirely, but could be what the OP is posting about. On a CRT the pixel is illuminated only briefly while the phosphorus screen is being hit with electrons. The electron gun typically only could shoot electrons at one spot on the screen at a time, usually starting at the top left of the screen and working it's way across before moving down to the next line of pixels. So the electron gun only hit's one pixel on a 640x480 CRT screen for 1/307200 of a frame time. There are 307199/307200 of a frame time worth of time for the pixel to decay to nothing before being shot at again (refreshed, hence "refresh rate"). The phosphor material may or may not have had time to decay to nothing before being shot at again depending on the refresh rate of the monitor. On an LCD, the LCD switches from fully displaying one color to fully attempting to display another with no gap of inactivity between. But the physical liquid crystal can't change instantly but slowly ramps from one color to the other. Going from black to white to black is generally the slowest transition and used to be the response rate listed on all LCDs. They change that to grey to black to grey, or grey to white to grey, because it marketed much better and was more representative of most transitions (more useful in determining how much the screen would actually blur to the eye for most transition cases). LCD's blur for this reason but don't flicker, CRTs flicker but don't blur. LCDs can attempt to solve the problem by pulsing the backlight to provide a period of nothing at the boundary of the color change in the pixels. The effectiveness depends on the speed of the strobing and the ability of the pixel to change color. Very frequently there is still some blur with strobing as the pixel transitions slower than the strobing. CRTs will forever flicker as that is inherent with their design. Believe it or not, CRTs were much worse for the eyes than LCDs are today even though they produced a better image in motion for most people. CRTs will forever be a better technology for displaying lower resolutions than an array of liquid crystals, because they don't have a "native" resolution.

To edit, it is a damn shame that CRTs aren't still manufactured and improved on as LCDs aren't a perfect replacement for them in every use case and simply never will be (super fast transition times of OLED may help, but they will always display things not at a native resolution like crud).

Back in the day, we didn't turn settings down to get higher frame rates, we just dropped the resolution down a bit. It was the simplest and easiest thing to do. I'd never consider running an LCD monitor outside of its native resolution.
 

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old games were made with small resolutions in mind. What you see on modern LCDs is a dramatic upscaling. It was never meant to work like that in the first place. CRTs don't have native resolutions, thus, any content can look good on them,not just native res.

CRT in general produces higher quality image than LCD (there are some quirks of course but on average, CRT>LCD) and does motion flawlessly, something that LCD is incapable of.

It all boils down to the point that LCD is a really weak display technology, definitively the worst of all (CRT, Plasma, OLED, QLED, SED, FED -> yeah, I included the experimental just for fun), and should've died off ages ago. Sadly, manufacturers are too busy milking people that just can't get enough of LCD, and people are still buying them, so...

we even have upcoming 2000$ LCD monitors packed with technology like FALD that attempts to hide how incapable LCD really is, for a ridiculous pricetag. Damn LG for not making small form OLEDs to sweep all the LCD trash out of monitor market once and for all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your valuable and informative posts.

Is OLED and QLED similar to LCD? Which is the best 1080p monitor for 60Hz or 75Hz? Size should not be more than 24 inches diagonally.
 

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CRT had scan lines which games graphics were designed to use for filling out detail.

 

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OLED and QLED (QLED doesn't really exist yet, regardless of what Samsung marketing says), are just evolutionary improvements to the LCD tech and don't solve the inherent flaws of the LCD monitors. OLEDs will help with transition times and produce self lit pixels thus providing better contrasts and blacks than other traditional LCD techs. QLED promises much of the same if the technology ever comes to fruition. OLEDs suffer from burn in still to one degree or another. AT 1080p 60Hz or 75 Hz you can have your pick of a large list of monitors that are very similar in performance. Check review sites for recommendations (pcmonitors.info, tftcentral.co.uk, etc.).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chargeit View Post

CRT had scan lines which games graphics were designed to use for filling out detail.

Not all CRTs had scan lines. Arcade cabinets sometimes did intentionally and the games were designed for the cabinet. The last CRT I had did not have scan lines. I mean, technically they all have scan lines as that is how the technology works, but there wasn't always a dark gap between rows of scan lines/pixels.

Digging up some more info, scan lines were standard on 240p displays (TVs that really did something like 320x240). I have seen plenty of PC CRTs at this resolution with scan lines, but by the time I really got into computers in my early teens, those things were already old and 640x480 screens were standard without the strongly apparent scanlines of older CRTs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldfriction View Post

OLED and QLED (QLED doesn't really exist yet, regardless of what Samsung marketing says), are just evolutionary improvements to the LCD tech and don't solve the inherent flaws of the LCD monitors. OLEDs will help with transition times and produce self lit pixels thus providing better contrasts and blacks than other traditional LCD techs. QLED promises much of the same if the technology ever comes to fruition. OLEDs suffer from burn in still to one degree or another. AT 1080p 60Hz or 75 Hz you can have your pick of a large list of monitors that are very similar in performance. Check review sites for recommendations (pcmonitors.info, tftcentral.co.uk, etc.).
I live in India, it usually happens that what is widely available in US, UK is sometimes hard to find in India. What would you suggest I look at snapdeal.com and amazon.in?

Thanks
 

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I like the CFG70 except for it's purplish overshoot. It appears to be very expensive in India though, but it should be just above your budget in american dollars ($280). It's far higher than that on amazon.in though. I'd look for a 144hz 1080p screen if I were you. The ViewSonic XG2401 is considered the best of the bunch by many people, but does not appear to be on amazon.in.

Here are some others you could consider, but I haven't done any research into them really: https://www.amazon.in/LG-Electronics-Widescreen-Brightness-DisplayPort/dp/B013GHG1P6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505257535&sr=8-1&keywords=24GM77

https://www.amazon.in/AOC-G2460PQU-Monitor-DVI-Dual-DisplayPort/dp/B00HY7PAUC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505257580&sr=8-1&keywords=G2460PQU

https://www.amazon.in/Asus-VG248QE-Monitor-response-Refresh/dp/B00B2HH7G0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505257625&sr=8-1&keywords=VG248QE
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't think I'll be getting a graphics card which will churn out 144fps, will these 144Hz monitors be fine for 60fps?
 

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Yes, and even at 60 fps doubled to 120hz the input latency is better than at 60 hz. You can run plenty of games at higher than 60hz on even a weak graphics card. Older games and indie games in particular.
 
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