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Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

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Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby Jason38 » 18 Sep 2019, 16:48

Check out this video by Digital Foundry which has over 300 000 views sharing their opinion on how they think CRT is better then any LED at the moment. Kind of cool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8BVTHxc4LM
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Re: Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby rasmas » 19 Sep 2019, 04:51

I'm using a 1280x1024 at 60Hz CRT (maybe i could put it at 85Hz but i would have to lower resolution to 1024x768), it has blurry text (that seem to improve with use or i get used to it?) and i think colours are not ok (a bit dark?), and it is better than LDCs i've tried.
Why? not sure, but i guess it is motion blur (i guess because everything else seems "not better").
If OLED have a bit more of blur than CRTs, that makes them ""worse"" (although maybe is the best to mix LCDs-CRTs).

If only i could find a better CRT that i have now, with sharper text and higher resolution so games-programs fit well on the screen... (actually cannot find CRTs at all -at least nothing i can see and touch just online sales-).

Also, the main problem i see with CRTs is, how do you connect them from VGA to HDMI-DisplayPort? Does it add lag? What is the best method? What is the best quality-price method?
I'm looking for info for these questions but there are a lot of threads on Internet, and it is hard (for me) to find a "common" answer.

If i am able to find a CRT i'll get it (well, if i can figure out if it is better than mine, that is not easy either xD ), as i think i'll be more confortable with it than with LCDs (maybe OLEDs change that? -but they have to lower their price-).

Thanks for sharing the video ;) .
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Re: Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby Sparky » 21 Sep 2019, 04:47

There's a reason I still have a CRT on my desk. I have an LCD too, but still.

19 inches, running at 1280x1024 85hz. I think it's about 16 years old.
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Re: Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby JordanV » 22 Sep 2019, 00:32

Interesting topic although it is annoying that the video blanket states that games look better than LCD since there are so many metrics to image quality and wide variations in product performance in both families. It's particularly disappointing from a normally fact-driven site like Eurogamer/Digital Foundry. Both men in the video say that their interest in CRTs is a recent fetish which should be a red flag to anyone looking for solid opinions.

Apparently this will be one in a series of videos but I would like to see them backup the claim that CRT motion clarity noticeably beats a strobing LCD. Even the vaunted FW900 had mediocre phosphor decay rates and at its maximum near QHD resolution, topped out at only 80Hz or so. The video points out that the monitor does higher than 1440p but it does not actually resolve any higher - it is just a supported input and caps out at 60Hz there which I and many others have always hated in CRTs. The video talks about LCDs having 400 lines of motion resolution which, apart from not using the superior MPRT metric, is not true. The guy in the video adamant about CRT motion blur quality as being better than high refresh strobing LCD likely has not done the Blurbusters tests like the scrolling map to compare or else he would not have made the statement that strafing back and forth in a game is so much better on CRT. I've done both the Blurbusters tests and strafed in game to compare motion clarity and there is no advantage to CRT as far as I can see. But that is my subjective observation which isn't (yet) backed by pursuit camera data which is why I would never put out an article or video categorically stating the superiority of one over the other.

There are a lot of opinions in the video presented as fact but precious little in the way of actual measurements to support them. As someone who chose to switch from CRT in games relatively recently (2013) on account of the poor motion clarity of LCDs, I will say that LCDs are now superior for me overall. Apart from the obvious cons of CRTs like the much more obnoxious whine at high refresh and space requirements etc; from a picture quality standpoint CRT loses big in resolution, size, brightness, and even contrast. Gamers who prefer playing in dim settings and hate aliasing will find CRTs technology to have much to recommend. Personally, I will take as much refresh and brightness as I can get and absolutely love the per-pixel clarity and perfect geometry LCDs afford. The right answer is subjective. What is not subjective is the video discussion of CRTs allegedly superior black levels and contrast. CRTs might have been technically capable of very high contrast but turn on a light or play during the daytime and a good LCD wins handily over a good CRT. Even at night, LCD blacks (let alone OLED) win hands down in actual use with typical brightness settings. That said, I do appreciate the unique set of advantages that CRTs give but certainly not enough to categorically say they are better than LCD. There are times when I prefer to watch something on my Trinitron versus my larger IPS LCD TV but it isn't often. And so many of these comparisons use the FW900 as a representative of CRTs whereas very few of the CRTs ever produced were in FW900 league quality wise and especially not in terms of screen real estate whereas 24" and larger high refresh strobing LCDs are far more common, available, and relatively similar in quality.

The general approach of Blurbusters favoring nuanced and objective analyses to provide users with data that can be used to help buyers make an informed choice is far better than that clickbait. It irks me that this video series will likely spread disinformation to a huge number of people of whom many will go on to make a bad decision to buy what is destined to be a large heavy paperweight. Apologies to anyone who finds this post ranty.
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Re: Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby rasmas » 23 Sep 2019, 09:52

It is interesteing to read opinions (if they are well explained like yours).
But i think it all depends (all my subjetive opinion of course):
It depends on what monitor you have and the quality of its strobing (i tried 2 LG and didn't like it); also it depends on your hardware as to have good strobing you must have good and stable (capped?) fps. To achieve that you need a powerful PC and keep it updated (and pray to not get affected by this). In my opinion if you plan on keeping your PC for several years (i don't mind playing on low settings) strobing is hard to mantain (unless you find a friend that changes his hardware often and gift it to his friends -i have read about them but never met one :D :P -).
If you don't mind, can you share your monitor and PC specs? ;)

Also on static images on LCDs i see them better but not sure why, i cannot get used to them, they hurt my eyes more than the CRT (something i've been thinking is that maybe i should have adjusted brightness, but not sure). One "reaction" i have on LCDs is that i completelly unfocus my eyes on them. I do it on CRTs too but i can "refocus" easily. And since i started to use LCDs, i've been having eye strain and sometimes motion sickness, not 100% sure if because of LCDs, but...

And, the most weird thing about CRTs, is that since my LCD broke i've been using one and seems my eyes have improved (maybe a feeling but i went to check my eyes and my diopters are lower than last time i checked -on a different place but it was a big difference to be an error?-).

Anyway, it is subjetive but i hope OLED are better or i can find a good CRT (and a good converter to HDMI-Displayport), because not sure if i want to get used to LCDs again :D .
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Re: Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby Jason38 » 23 Sep 2019, 17:55

I agree that the video didn't really present many facts with their comparison between LED vs CRT. I really think it depends on the person. I am easily strained by LED screens so I love to see CRT get some love. I think LED screens are way better for reading text. I can easily see why people love CRT as I was playing Mario 64 on my Sony Wega and PS2 on my Sony and it was so amazing. I tried hooking my Sega Genesis up to it though and then I put my FPGA Sega on my Plasma and it destroyed the CRT in terms of color and quality. My LED even looks better with the FPGA systems then hooking the original system up to my CRT. I switch between all my screens depending on what I am doing. To my eyes Plasma is probably still the screen that generates the least amount of strain for me. I love that CRT's are so dim it feels so great to my eyes. LED even at zero brightness usually feels like it's burning a hole in my eyes.
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Re: Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby RealNC » 24 Sep 2019, 12:08

I'm with DF here. High resolution CRT monitors look great. (Note: CRT TVs look atrocious, not the same thing at all. Not even remotely.)

LCDs excel at some things (geometry and sharpness) but if you factor in all pros and cons, CRTs excel overall. Better colors, better blacks, better motion clarity, no backlight bleed, no clouding, no color shift, no contrast shift, no glow, no dead pixels, not tied to a single "native" resolution.

Also, the softness in the image of a CRT monitor that runs at a low resolution should not be confused with the blur you get in LCDs in non-native resolutions. It has nothing to do with it. The softness of a CRT does not hide any detail. In fact I'd say it makes the image look more natural and less "synthetic." You run a 480p game on an LCD, it's gonna look blurry with the colors ruined. You use integer scaling, you get "unnaturally" sharp looking pixels. Do the same on a CRT monitor, and you get your pixels, but they look softer but NOT blurry and still perfect colors.

Motion blur reduction on LCDs isn't that great either. If I run 60Hz strobing on my LCD, I feel like I'm about to have a seizure. 60Hz on a CRT has a much softer, less aggressive flicker that's much easier on the eyes. As you already know if you have an LCD that can strobe at 60Hz, 60FPS games on it look extremely fluid and extremely clear, but the flicker is intolerable. On a CRT at 60Hz you get all the benefits, except the flicker is fine. Oh, and zero crosstalk. It's jut not a thing on CRT.

As I mentioned in another post, the first LCD monitor I was actually OK with compared to a CRT took 17 years to appear but cost many times as much as a CRT.
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Re: Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 24 Sep 2019, 16:31

While not perfect -- I still like the coverage of the CRT benefits that Digital Foundry gave -- there's the LinusTechTips approach, there's the TFTCentral approach, there's the DigitalFoundry approach, and there's the BlurBusters approach. We're covering different flavours of audiences, and the average Blur Busters audience tends to be either more educated (e.g. our research articles) or big fans of our latency topics (e.g. esports).

Few LCDs can match/beat the benefits of a CRT in certain departments (motion blur), and it's extremely hard to get similar benefits on an LCD -- you need to raise Hz to compensate for the more harsh squarewave strobing of an LCD, but you also need to raise GPU horsepower to match the higher Hz -- and few monitors produce near-zero strobe crosstalk like a CRT can, without getting degraded colors or other artifacts such as inversion artifacts.

I'll spill something here; without naming which manufacturer it is yet. I've got one of those new 240Hz IPS panel (1ms league) sitting on my desk now...
You want strobing motion blur reduction feature with low strobe crosstalk, while keeping IPS color? The 240Hz IPS monitors have also shown great promise as superior strobed displays (at ~120-144Hz), when matched with a proper backlight. You do want to lower Hz to get good strobe quality, ~120Hz or 144Hz - but that brings it down to imperceptible strobe crosstalk at 144Hz (except for a tiny bit at top/bottom) on one yet-unannounced 240Hz 1ms IPS panel -- even web browser scrolling had no distracting trailing text ghost, smooth scrolling this thread up and down with CRT-identical motion clarity, reading while scrolling, with no double-text ghosting behind. 144Hz strobing with less strobe crosstalk than an average strobed TN! I am writing this post on the 240Hz 1ms IPS monitor. It isn't quite low-strobecrosstalk as LightBoost, but it actually beats TN crosstalk of an average strobed TN.. You still need good microstutter control (framerate=Hz). I would bet that these 240Hz 1ms IPS panels are perfect for 3D glasses users -- probably hackable to re-enable 3D glasses operation. But for improved color quality during strobed operation, the new 240Hz 1ms IPS panels are one of the better compromises I've ever seen if your priority is better LCD motion blur reduction over other aspects (e.g. input lag). All the lovely blurlessness of a Sony FW900 CRT and the near-zero-crosstalk of LightBoost, but without the LightBoost color degradation. At least when running at ~25% persistence (75% reduction of motion blur), which still keeps it a very quite usable >100 nits (ish) at ~1.5ms persistence (1/4th of 1/144sec = 6.9ms/4) while preserving the same contrast ratio and color gamut of IPS, without introduction of new artifacts (crosstalk, inversion artifacts). Yep, none of those inversion-artifact patterns common with low-crosstalk TN strobing (scanlines, grids, or chessboard textures in solid colors). I'll be writing more once the embargo lifts. Assuming there's no showstoppers, it is now going to become my #1 recommendation for the remainder of 2019 for fans of strobe-based motion blur reduction. Keep tuned. Cheers!
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Re: Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby Jason38 » 24 Sep 2019, 17:00

This monitor sounds amazing. Can't wait!
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Re: Digital Foundry - CRT better then 4K OLED

Postby RealNC » 25 Sep 2019, 04:39

It doesn't do 60Hz strobing. At 240Hz, strobing isn't needed (for me, maybe for others, but for me, nope.) It's lower Hz where I need it. For me, it's 60-85Hz where I need it the most, but which sucks the most due to flicker.

Also, these new IPS panels don't solve much. They still have glow, they still have shimmer from the backlight, they still have BLB, they still have clouding, they still can't display black. And, as you said, they still have crosstalk. "A little bit at top and bottom" and not good enough. There should be ZERO crosstalk. None. Anything else is unacceptable because it looks like a defect when you watch it.

There's still some way to go for displays to restore the strong points of CRT image quality.
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