CRT shopping for HDMI-only and Retro Console gaming


We I tested one of those 1 ms gray-to-gray monitors with a flash game I’m in the top 100 in on a CRT monitor, but not so on my iMac monitor, Whammy. That’s a game you need a quick monitor to get elite scores.

Not fast enough. I assume Fighting Games can be HELPED, buy it’s not quite like CRT SF games.

According to , the quickest non-CRT monitor has 1 ms Gray-to-Gray time now and ends up at 9 ms delay. I assume that means there’s 8 ms of “draw time” on the fastest monitor.

So if an HDMI capture card has a native maximum delay of 1ms, and can output whatever resolution the input was, then a VGA Adapter should only have a total of 1-2 ms delay.

Also I never shipped for a computer monitor,. I got a couple monitor shopping questions, which I link to :

Response Time is not Input latency
Response Time is not Input latency
Response Time is not Input latency
Response Time is not Input latency
Response Time is not Input latency

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Out of interest, what do you think the input lag on a CRT is, if the quickest non-crt monitor is 9ms?

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Input lag is measured either as an average across the screen or at the center of the screen. The input lag on a CRT monitor that is 60hz vertical refresh rate is actually a little over 8ms. That is the fastest possible input lag measurement for a 60hz signal going to any monitor. So 9ms input lag is actually only 1ms slower than a CRT. Not 9ms slower.

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Both interesting points gentlemen

Stop responding to this guy. He makes these huge threads asking basically nothing and then abandons the thread without even acknowledging the comments.

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Based on what I know, the CRT uses an analog rainbow “color curve” ( meaning continuous) which had however many points of definition in the curve. The more points, the more true to reality, storing voltages ranging from white to black, and 2 of these 3: red and cyan. Green and magenta. Or blue and yellow. And the third color axis is implied.

Also there are issues of line timing. First, on modern displays, it takes 8 ms to draw, but shows the whole drawing for the rest of the half frame. If you watch WWE do ultra slo-mo the screens on the upper deck alternate between on and off. And some slo mo cameras are high frame rate cameras.

It’s true a CRT draws the top half early and the bottom half late. Since the “big bucks and a spin” square on the top, you’ll get it a few milliseconds before the others. That’s why computerized versions of Whammy is hypersensitive to top portion appearing earlier.

It also depends on controller read rate. When there is only one input like the stop button, and it’s a one but controller, (it’s either pressed down or it’s not). Just because the screen is printed 60 times a second, doesn’t mean the computer is restricted to reading the controller only 60 times a second. Light guns read a screen (60 x number of pixels per screen) times per second. I know the more buttons used. The slower the controller read rate is. And I heard from speed runners that there are subframe input reads which effect your game.

Finally there are different typical reaction times. When you react to potentially ANYTHING, like a video game the first time through, your reaction time takes more milliseconds that if you’re “looking for something”.

Human reaction time is around 150-200 ms for something you’re anticipating, like a square lighting up, but reacting to something way more random Is a lot longer.

All I know is I can get Larson-like scores on a CRT TV and not on anything else I tried.

Is Whammy TOO HIGH of a standard? I know Whammy is 100 percent pure reaction using my strategy, and in fighting games, you can do some things proactively to tip the odds in your favor.

I guess a comparison is SF2 on a Genesis/SNES vs on a version which most people use non CRT TVs, like the SF30 collection. I guess that would be the fairest back to back test.

Test them both on their native mode, then cross up intended displays. Then we’ll find out the answer to this question:

Is SF30 actually quicker on a flat screen, warts and all, than converting it to CRT, because and milliseconds gained by draw time would be lost in conversion time, (and then some)?

I heard going between resolutions makes conversions laggy. If that’s the worst culprit. Then I need to find a resolution and frame rate mode that is compatible with HD console gaming, and find such a mode on a varisble CRT VGA monitor.

Finally is decoding the original HDMI signal into a VGA signal with the frame rate and a compatible resolution, (with come letterboxing) the best way to make a lag free console CRT monitor? Would any CRT VGA also work with consoles from the Wii U and before.

I’m willing to sacrifice light gun quickness for a high quality gaming monitor that is low ping enough for everything EXCEPT light gun games (maximum 1ms) that doesn’t take an American, Australian, or Soccer Football team to move up stairs.

I’m sorry if my terms are wrong, and I’m a newbie on such things, but enough games dropped in performance when I got my PS3DTV where I’m looking for something.

My computer history is an Apple IIe, and Atari 800 XL, then nothing until we got iMacs exclusively. So I never bought a computer monitor specifically. I don’t know what questions to ask about CRT VGA monitors, or what I’m looking for.

The main concern is possible resolution and frame rate settings. If a CRT is considered lag free on a CRT, then adding 1ms with the Hauppauge USB capture device should be good enough for everything except light gun games.

The smallest device I could find with a great non-light gun lag, that converts NTSC RF antenna signals into Composite video is a Sony Video8 tape player.

Also all the TV signal converters at Best Buy take digital ATSC signals and convert them to analog signals. But are silent on natively analog signals, like on the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Colecovision, etc.

Why exactly do you think the Hauppauge USB capture device only adds 1ms? (answers in 100 words or less please).

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  1. I heard the other 2 big culprits of delay are resolution change, and progressive/interlace mode change.
    The Rocket keeps the video in original resolution. I guess I can record a video, and check to see if 240p and 480i input have the same outputs.

  2. I called Hauppauge tech support and they said the quickest pass through path is at most 1ms, meaning no live light gun games directly ( and maybe Sega Scope games) but everything else is fine, like a VCR. They advertise “lag free passthrough”. I’m just giving more room for error.

Now it’s only 1 ms or less on the passthrough route, meaning the HDMI out. The USB route may not be so lucky.

Do they make USB TI VGA adapters? If resolution is unchanged, will a CRT have 1ms maximum ping?

It is not what you think it is
USB to VGA is a low end Graphics “card” that connects via USB
They exist simply to add a second display to a desktop computer with only one video out or a laptop no video out ports. You can either extend or mirror an existing display.
The Resolution depends on the device, and isn’t mean to be a converter for devices like the Hauppauge.

They are designed for Presentations and not for Gaming. They are good enough for class room and business use but that’s it. Some tourneys do use theses, but they go to a bigger display such as a projector for the audience to see, and is not used by the competitors to play on.

Whats with this PING kick you are on? Ping is a return signal used for networking.
There no PING measurement for CRTs. Think of Ping like a sonar ping, its a return signal.

Unless you are doing your capture internally on a PC (or console that supports capture like the PS4) you do not want to use the PC as your view screen for video capture/streaming, you would want to split the signal, have one going to your low latency display and the other to your capture.

Because nothing on Earth can go faster.

Biggest sort of delay is caused by image post processing. A Process great for movies, bad for gaming.
Hence why PC Mode/Game Mode on some displays bypass most of this.

Scaling (what you call resolution change) is so that the video fits the screen format.
All Flat panel screens have a fix resolution and all images have to be scaled to fit, if the aspect ratio do not match either the image is stretched or black bars are added to the top, bottom and even sides of the screen. Top and Bottom is called Letterboxing (used to fit a wide image in a narrower screen), Pillarboxing which is bars on the left and right, and all around is called Postage Stamping or Windowboxing.

You mean deinterlacing, as modern flat panel displays only display a progressive image.

Well I was thinking this…

I assume my Hauppauge accurately passes the analog video of composite, S-video, and Component, with low enough delay. I was going for the HDMI output on the Rocket, which is the “express lane” ( the local capture record lane is separate,. It goes through mpeg encoders and is further processed, like a DVD-R recorder does. )

If I convert the video from the HDMI out, and I get at most 1ms, all I need is an HDMI processor which handles pictures right.

I know VGA monitors are “variable resolution”. Does that mean the VGA monitor has computerized equipment to pick the right resolution for the mode, of ar least accept such commands.

If it’s sitch A, then any HDMI to VGA converter that doesn’t touch the resolution, frame rate, or progressive vs interlace mode, should work, (with audio being separated out to headphones/ speakers) with a VGA CRT that knows the right mode to put it in.

Since 16 x 9 CRT VGAs are hard to come by, I would prefer that the monitor letterboxs the 16 x 9 to fit a 4x3 screen. Do not cut off sides, do not squish vertically. Plus a 4x3 can handle 4x3 modes better. I assume you use the monitor contorols.

If it’s sitch 2, then I need to research HDMI to VGA converters more than the monitors themselves.

I heard the best you can do on a 4x3 CRT is 720p if the main goal is low delay. 720 is acceptable, especially on a 16 inch 4x3 monitor.

There are some universal. VGA standards and some that are company specific. Assuming that a) the rocket’s low ping lane is real, and b) the screen processor is within the monitor, what VGA modes should I look for for “everything from the 2600 to the 360”?

If a is true and it depends more in the converter ymthan the monitor, I should look for a converter that does not touch resolution, frame rate, or I/p mode.

I’m just seeing if a low ping, hi def monitor would be good, if whether to just accept lag in Xbox One, PS4, and Switch and beyond.

The best low lag monitors register at 9 ms and only for HD optimized equipment, or so I heard.

I never shipped for a computer monitor until now. And I know computer monitors are higher definition at 16 inch size than 16 inch TVs, which usually only have composite.

No one helps you unless you buy “theirs” and I am totally blind at the “only” place to find a CRT monitor today, eBay.

I know there’s takebacks, but reverse shipping will cost LOTS of money.

And I tested a low ping Monitor, and even THAT wasn’t low ping enough. As evidenced by being unable to get a Larson-like score on Whammy, where I could on a known CRT TV.

I don’t what to ask about, except native resolutions, because resolution change and p/i changes are the biggest contributors to delay other than display technology.

It does not have to be light gun perfect. I just don’t want a both classic CRT and a higher def VGA CRT if one can do the job for both if possible, plus I don’t want to throw out someone’s back lifting a 19 inch CRT TV up stairs.

Long story short does anyone know how to hook up an Xbox One or PS4 or switch to a CRT?

second main question will it get the desired effect of zero lag time for the purposes of every Gene except light gun games and possibly a Sega scope games?

Will it work at a low ping way with Dreamcast all the way back to Atari?

I heard that only 4 by 3 monitors are common and cheap enough in CRT VGA. Do they
A )letterbox the screen and put bars on the top and bottom,
B) distort the screen so that people of average build look like basketball players?
Or C) chop off the sides of the screen not giving you the whole picture.

By the way of those three, letterboxing is the one I want.

Finally is it only possible to use it as a second monitor or could it be used directly with an HDMI port directly?

I looked on Google and found nothing about this. I see CRT gaming sites but none for modern gaming.

Is it possible to do zero ping HDMI to VGA CRT gaming directly, or do I have to wait for recyclers to make gaming sized CRT HDTVs, or Is HDMI, by design or necessity, a laggy input naturally?

First I need to address your understanding (or lack thereof) of LAG
I think even @noodalls will tell you that you can’t detect a 1ms difference.
For the record, and we cover this even a CRT screen has about 9ms of latency.
So for whats out there, there are Flat Panel HDMI displays that has reached that 9 - 10ms of delay.
Anything under that 16.67 ms or 1 frame is acceptable. Yes controllers can “add” to this, but that isn’t part of the debate here.

ALSO I will say this again, as I repeat this numerous times, STOP USING THE WORD PING. Ping is only use for Networking, ping is not a term used in latency it is a purely a Networking term.

Here is a quote from Wikipedia link

At no time does a monitor PINGS anything unless its a Internet enabled “Smart” display, and that is only referring to it’s network/Internet applications. NOTHING TO DO WITH DISPLAYING VIDEO!!!


There a few options

  1. You either need a late 2000s/2005 era CRT like some of the later CRT Sony Trinitrons that takes HDMI and can display up to 1080i. Thats 1080i as in interlace not progressive. These are now Rare and hard to find.

  2. There a number of very expensive image downscalers that do a professional job of downscaling a HD HDMI image down to a 480 interlaced image.

  3. There also the cheap as hell and look awful HDMI to composite video adapters that make everything 12 times worse than it has any right to be.

  4. HDMI to VGA adapter, it break out your HDMI signal to VGA HD15 and a 3.5mm stereo audio jack. Resolution? I guess you have to turn that down in your console. I never bother to see if a PS4 or Xbox one can be set down to 480 with a 4:3 aspect ratio.

  5. Scale everything up to HDMI. I will cover it more below.

Depends how much money you want to throw away on this. High end Pro gear works better, but it also has stricter tolerances for what is allowed for the signal.

Stop using the word PING, it does not mean what you think it does.
And old consoles from the Dreamcast all the way back to the Magnavox Odyssey are designed to work with the Tvs from the era they are from, they are going to work with old CRTs.
If anything the Atari 2600, Intevision, Coleco and so on would benefit from modding to disable the RF and instead using Composite Video.

if you want the choice, you going have to fork over some serious cash.

Get a splitter.

There is, but its very, very obscure, very expensive as we are going into Broadcast/commercial quality equipment.


  1. Stop using the wrong term, THERE NO PING.
  2. The signal delay is not going to be any faster converting the signal from HDMI to VGA.
    It might be even longer by a few nanoseconds. Keep in mind nanoseconds are smaller than milliseconds.

Not happening, I would get into the details why this is not happening but it would be its own decision thread and be way off topic for even tech talk. The very short story is there no more CRT production plants in North America or Europe. Few exist in the poorer parts of Asia, and most of that is refurbs. There are very few people left that knows how to make CRT tubes and most of them are in their retirement years and are not interested in teaching anyone. And its too expensive to produce for a super niche market. You are better off trying to salvage a cheaper btu working 2000s era TV.

Realistically you are looking at the following options.

  1. Have a dual/ split setup with your older Retro consoles on a CRT and your more modern devices going to HDMI flat screens.

  2. Have everything go to HDMI, utilizing devices such as the Retro Trink 2X, the Rad 2X and the OSSC for upscaling. This would be your easiest option and takes the least amount of space.

  3. For you Retro consoles, give up on the original hardware and look into FPGA hardware.
    A promising system that for what it is fairly cheap and covers alot of old arcade, console and computer systems is the MiSTer Project, which uses a subsidized DE 10 Nano Board as the base, and expanding the board’s abilities with a number of add on Boards. There even an Add-on board that gives analog video out. The one downside of the video out is the video signal generated is the exact analog video the original console putsout, so vertical arcade screens will appear sideways, and quirks and timing issues would still be there.

Some external links for you

The Grandfather site to all Scaling and resolution references

Another Video scaler site, upto date and is a good reference site

Detailed discussions about how to go about what you want to do with people who are actual Electrical engineers and video game enthusiasts.

The Best Youtube Channle for setting up consoles both Retro and Modern
My Life in Gaming -

The Best online source for modding information

The guy who runs Retro RGB, we call him Bob or RGB Bob also has a youtube channel

This is more of a Store Front but they do have a Blog as well as their own forums discussing using retro consoles with modern displays

And because I named dropped it earlier, the best Youtube channel on the MiSTer

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I guess I could post a “same version” rule on my twitch contest stream, meaning if the game of selected is the Genesis version, we and they can’t play the Super NES version.

What that post has to do with anything in this thread at all?

I’m planning to do “Jukebox and Jackpots” on my twitch channel, once I get enough bandwidth. You pay a penny a raffle ticket to pick the game played ( the jukebox part) and chat currency (earned by watching and chatting and ix independent of pennies paid) puts in a free raffle where you can win up to 60% of that game’s jukebox portion. (The jackpots portion)

So the rules are I will not circumvent a normally HDMI only game by trying to get it on CRT. But the Wii U, and PS3 has Component 480i mode, and 360 has both VGA and component 480i mode, so I’m allowed to use those, and so is my opponent.

By the rule is head to head online must use real hardware and an official version (download or disc) but systems no longer supported are back-to-back classics, you can load a copy to erase within 24 hours, and can be emulator, or real hardware and either everdrive or official cart.

Is the main differences between a CRT and a “low ping flat” is that a CRT draws line by line, and a (TI? TA?) Low ping monitor just flashes it all at once. That means there’s an equilibrium, where everything above it is faster on CRT, and everything below it is faster on these Low Ping monitors? (It might be the past line)

(Low Ping is a way to relate the concept of a delay to network game players. That any sluggishness that’s on a network can happen offline with a screen alone.)

Oh by the way, U might have put it on a newer version of Whammy, where they may have INTENTIONALLY added delay.

If I can the Game Show Network version from 2002-ish, I’ll use THAT test.

There may be hope for low ping monitors on everything except light gun games. I’ll post when I find it.

I am only commenting here as you are posting alot of Wrong information.
I Don’t need someone reading your posts and walking away misinformed.

Careful with this, that sounds alot like gambling. And Some states will not pay kindly to it and hold you accountable even if you never step foot in their state.

Again that is NETWORKING not Video.

WRONG. Two very different causes with two very different results. Slowness isn’t the problem, it is a symptom. PING has nothing to do with lag at all, PING a NETWORK UTILITY PROGRAM.

They don’t exist.

The main concern about jukebox and jackpots is that to win a prize there has to be a no-pay entry way to win and should give no advantage to people who “pay for entries.”

The way I do it is to separate rewards into two different categories. The purchasable points are for things you vote on in games like which game we played and so forth. Basically bits paid get you the right to name the game to be played or the conditions to play it under.

However the person who has the opportunity to play that game for some money has nothing to do with who purchased the tickets.

We’re going to use the features of the chat currency, except will intentionally take out benefits for paying pennies. Strictly length of watching show and validity of appropriate comments to the conversation will determine if you get chat currency. Limit one unit for every 5 minutes and an additional unit for comment that was made that contributed to the conversation as determined by a mod on my Twitch account. So for every hour you watch you could get 12 points for watching an hour and another 12 points for making 12 comments within an hour.

and by the way the game will be known before you put your chat credits in the pot. you know what the game is and all the conditions before we ask people to put their chat currency in to try to play win the game.

so in theory you can watch a long time pay nothing earn credits find game that’s favorable to you and put down your chat currency. Since none of the chat currency is earned by paying anything, that’s how someone who pays nothing can be able to win a prize on my show.

I believe it’s legal in any jurisdiction if a the contest has a free method of entry and b) there is no advantage to the paid entry. The only thing that might be questionable is the watch-to-earn chat currency feature.

By the way a long time viewer can legally have a naturally occurring advantage over a first-time viewer turned contestant. which has been proven true, because Michael Larson was allowed to keep his winnings by studying publicly aired episodes of Press Your Luck to find his magic pattern. unless controversial example is studying the types of clues frequently given on Jeopardy and the puns used that are hints to the answer.

And how do you tell a true Classic Concentration viewer is? They know what looks like a eye-poker with a knob handle is an awl, as it’s frequently used in their rebuses.

Today, I still don’t exactly know what its non-criminal purpose is.

And from a certain point of view there is a certain round-trip quality to monitor lag. The time that you see the stimulus which requires the action to the time 9f your reaction, to the time of processing into the computer and the time it displays the appropriate response is, in one sense of the word, ping. If you require some sort of round-trip aspect, I showed how that works.

I use the term monitor ping because people know what network ping is, and monitor ping is just a term to get it to relate the people who play networked online games.

There are many ways to say the same thing. I don’t complain that other people use input delay or monitor lag or some other term. The point of language is to convey ideas to other people.

Notice I’m not the one imposing certain things like DarkSakul likes to impose the ban on the word “ping” in relation to monitors, as well as making the notion that commercials in games are automatically consumer-unfriendly.

I try to use other terms besides ping to accommodate the Verbopolice, plus using synonyms shows that there are multiple names to such things.

I say he’s right to some degree, but whether intentional or not, he takes the literal opposite extreme about new ideas, and dies on that hill when you point out how he takes the opposite extreme.

If it’s a rhetorical device, then I welcome the challenge. Makes for an interesting chat room.

by the way are more than half the chat topics, someone proposes something really weird, someone els3 strikes it down and the OP cowers into a hole instead of defend it? If iit is, you guys only want to be shaken up by what’s truly newsworthy.

These are responces to responces. I’ll start another item about what I was originally going to post before I saw the reactions.