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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > crt's in today's world

crt's in today's world
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Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Oct 2, 2012, 02:20 PM
i know we had this discussion 10 years ago but i would like to know if anyone still prefers the old crt's with their macs. either a monitor hooked up to a tower or an old imac or emac. if so why? i know a few people haven't upgraded because it hasn't busted yet but that's not really what i'm interested in. i'm talking actually preferring them.
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Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 1999
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Dec 12, 2012, 01:06 PM
I remember back in 1997 in college I was using my dad's old Powerbook 180. After a few months, the LCD was getting on my nerves (viewing angle made such a huge difference on those screens back then, and the model I had was from just before the days of color Powerbook LCDs) so I started hooking it up to a CRT. It was much better, and a year or so later I upgraded to an iMac when they first came out. Had it for 6 years, and then finally gave up on CRTs for a G5 iMac. Needless to say, an LCD from 2004 was much better than one from 1993 (no viewing angle problems), so I haven't looked back.

I suppose the advantages CRTs have are that adjusting the brightness and contrast are done using the hardware rather than software, you can change the screen dimensions, and that different display resolutions don't look funny since the monitor is analog.
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Dec 12, 2012, 02:41 PM
I wanted bigger monitors than CRTs could manage. But I did prefer the resolution independence, and that text didn't blur while scrolling or moving a window.
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
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Dec 12, 2012, 03:03 PM
I've had a handful of really top-notch monitors over the years, and, at the time, they were beautiful to work with. One aspect of CRTs I don't miss, though, is how tired my eyes were after a day of staring at a 21" tube. It wasn't the brightness, though. The way my doctor explained it to me was, because of the way any screen (crt or lcd) is made, there are essentially two surfaces your eyes try to focus on. The outer top layer, and the lower layer that the image is actually displayed on. Your eyes are constantly bouncing their focus between those two surfaces.

With LCDs, the distance between those layers is pretty small, so the work your eyes do is pretty negligible. Add a non-glare screen (like on my beloved 23" Cinema HD display) and the effective work drops to nil. On a tube, though, the distance between the outer surface of the glass and the actual image plane is relatively huge, and your eyes work themselves to death, constantly searching for the focal surface. Also, you have to add-in the flicker a tube produces even at the highest refresh rates. At the end of a long day doing graphics on a big tube, your eyes are fried.

I also don't miss how much space a big tube took up on my desktop.
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