Retro Gaming vs Modern Televisions
Did you honestly think I was done...?
As an update; I got hold of the service manual for the £10 domestic Sony Trinitron and corrected some of the alignment and offset issues as best I could and, pleased with the results, posted about it on good old Facebook. Like you do. Fellow nerdist Mark Nias responded asking if I was still looking for a BVM? (Sony Broadcast Monitor, basically the pinnacle of 20 year old CRT technology). I said yep, and he let me know about this lot of Quantel gear he had bought and there was a 20" BVM that I could have if I was prepared to drive down south and pick it up. Well, I just had to... So I did.
On arrival we found there to be a lot more of interest included, and I actually ended up bringing back a 13" PVM (Professional Video Monitor, the model down from the BVMs, often used in medical applications and wotnot), a 20" PVM and a 20" BVM. That's all I could manage as there were even more! But I snagged what I wanted, using the theory that even if only one of them worked, the trip would have been worth it.
What was awesome, is that all three monitors worked. It also made something really apparent, the BVM is a beast in every respect. It's massive. You really don't appreciate that a 20" monitor can be this big. These things were designed to be used in television broadcast situations, so had to be super robust and run for tens of thousands of hours without being switched off. The level of overengineering on the thing I don't think I've ever seen before. It's size and weight have actually meant that I can't use it in my application. It weighs 43KG... FORTY THREE! I can pick up my domestic 21" with one hand, this bugger is a two person job. My stand simply can't take it!
The shame of that is the picture, it's easily the best picture of the three. Made possible in the most part by it being fully manual. There's a pull out drawer in the bottom with trimmers for just about all the settings. If you have an idea what you're doing, it's not that hard to get a staggeringly sharp picture out of it. I can hand on heart say, I've never seen a CRT better. The PVMs come really close to be fair, but it just edges them.
The PVMs aren't quite as easy to set up, but are a little more user friendly once they are. The picture is damn close to the BVM, and the 20" being about half the weight and a lot smaller makes it the one that's going to end up on the retro rig. The 13" we haven't decided what we're going to do with that yet. Cleggy essentially has that and the BVM for the time being as I've nowhere to put it. Though I might have ideas for future usage... We shall see!
All the following pics are trying to photograph a CRT, which is nigh on impossible to do. But they still should give an idea of the picture even though they look way better in person. All the pics click to enlarge, which I highly recommend to get all that scanline goodness!
BVM setup madness!
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