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Projectors LCD vs CRT (1 Viewer)

Carl Hood

Jan 15, 2002
I am led to understand all LCD projectors have internal line-doubling, but CRT projectors don't. So, aside from some obvious colour/contrast advantages of a CRT unit, which is really going to look better - a DVD player hooked up to the s-video input of an LCD projector, or the same hooked up to the s-video input of a CRT projector?
For instance, will scan lines and flicker be obvious on a CRT projector because it doesn't have line-doubling? Does an LDC projector have truly superior vertical resolution?
Or is my thinking screwed ..... ?
Finally, can a CRT projector be "squished" for 16x9 mode?

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Nov 1, 1998
CRT projectors may or may not have line doubling depending on whether they are progressive scan.
LCD projectors can use the LCD unit itself as the doubler, since the color assigned to a pixel stays until changed to become something else. But this usage is no different from straight "weave" with the associated motion artifacts.
For the same number of scan lines/rows of pixels, the vertical resolution is the same.
All CRT devices theoretically can be squeezed for 16:9, in practice it depends on how much range is in the controls and how well other things like convergence or geometry stay correct.
Video hints:


May 21, 2002
If you are seriously considering a purchase at a certain price point, I can offer proper advice.

As an example: Sony 10ht is considered to be a decent LCD projector. I don't know the actual price but I think it is around $4000.

A good deal in a CRT today would be a Zenith 7" CRT (I can get the actual model number if you are serious); which is a discontinued model and is being sold for $4000 (original list $10,000). To this, you will need to add a scaler (like a focus enhancement unit, refurbed for $1000).

This would be the closest match I can discuss.

Assuming that the screen is less than 80" wide, 1.3 gain:

There is no question that the 7" CRT would have a superior picture as compared to the LCD.

I am not familiar with the progressive scan CRTs that the previous poster has suggested. Actually, I do not know of any. In about the $12 to $15,000 range, Sony D50 comes to mind (with an internal scaler).

There may be exceptions but generally, CRTs are used with External Scalers. LCDs do have internal scalers - usually because they need a scaler to convert the resolution of the incoming signal to the resolution of the LCD panel.

CRTs are heavy and difficult to set up but they offer the best picture. They offer better blacks and contrast which leads to a good depth or 3D effect.

LCDs are easy to set up and use. If you are not looking for the absolutely the perfect picture, LCD may be an acceptable choice. Other options are the DLP and LCOS (hitachi 5500).

Good luck.

Dean McManis

Jun 30, 1997

There are three classes of CRT projectors.

Video grade (15.75Hz H), which are older, and can only display NTSC video.

Data Grade (32hz), which can handle line doubled and 1080i HDTV input.

Graphics Grade (48Hz+), which can handle 720p HDTV and 1024 X 768+ computer inputs.

Some Data Grade and better projectors have built-in scalers, but the quality is generally not as good as the cheapest external scaler today, or progressive scan DVD players, or home theater PCs.

So you WILL want an external scaler or HTPC if you get a CRT FPTV.

The other issues with CRT FPTVs is that the take some technical aptitude and research to calibrate and configure for the optimal picture. Also if you crank the brightness or contrast too high you can get CRT burn-in, but you can avoid this if you are careful.

And lastly, the parts and maintenance on CRT FPTVs can be VERY expensive, so try to get a warranty if possible if you buy one.

Still a well setup CRT FPTV with a decent scaler can look really great.

Other problems with digital projectors is the hidden cost of replacement bulbs. Newer projectors have less expensive bulbs, but some models can cost $1 and hour to operate.

DLP projectors with single chips and 1X color wheels can exhibit rainbow patterns evident (and distracting) to some people, so make sure that you watch LOTS of demo material prior to buying.

Otherwise DLP FPTVs have better contrast and better image fill (less screen-door effect) than LCD FPTVs.

Only the newer digital FPTVs have decent internal scalers, and older ones are the same lower quality as those few found in CRT FPTVs. So an external scaler or HTPC will help with the picture quality visibly here too.

So make sure to demo VHS and DSS material as well as the nice looking DVD, and HDTV material that dealers like to show. That way you can determine the quality of the internal scaler, and whether it's worth it to buy an external scaler/HTPC.

Projector size, heat and fan noise are also purchase choice considerations.


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