CRT:Finding Local CRTs

From ConsoleMods Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Introduction

People who post to community sales pages are becoming more aware of the renewed interest in CRT televisions and monitors. Often, listings use terms like "vintage" and "retro" to describe their listing, which both draws the eyes of video game players and funnels the listing into a specific searchable or curated product category. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to find CRTs for low prices, and I wanted to share some tips to help buyers find more reasonably priced televisions and monitors.

Sites with local CRTs

Community sales and classifieds websites change in popularity over time and across regions. Currently, the following are websites and forums that typically host CRT listings .

North America

  • Reddit's r/crtgaming monthly CRT Listings posts
  • Nextdoor
  • Electronics recycling centers, though some do not allow for scavenging

Some sales sites, like Mercari and eBay, host more shipped products than local. Additionally, chain thrift stores have generally stopped accepting CRTs, though locally-owned thrift stores may continue to accept them.

Search Terms

CRT televisions and monitors were referred to with different names in differing regions. Additionally, some listings nowadays just refer to their CRT listings as "old". Try searching for each of the following:

  • CRT TV
  • CRT Television
  • CRT Monitor
  • CRT Computer Monitor
  • Old TV
  • Old Television
  • Old Monitor
  • Old Computer Monitor
  • Tube TV
  • Tube Television
  • Tube Monitor
  • Tube Computer Monitor
  • Box TV
  • Box Television
  • Box Monitor
  • Box Computer Monitor
  • Direct View TV
  • Direct View Television
  • Direct View Monitor
  • Direct View Computer Monitor
  • Standard Definition TV
  • Standard Definition Television
  • Color TV
  • Color Television
  • Color Monitor
  • Color Computer Monitor
  • Vintage TV
  • Vintage Television
  • Vintage Monitor
  • Vintage Computer Monitor
  • Retro TV
  • Retro Television
  • Retro Monitor
  • Retro Computer Monitor
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Flat Screen Television
  • Flat Screen Monitor
  • Flat Screen Computer Monitor
  • VGA Monitor
  • VGA Computer Monitor
  • Trinitron
  • Video monitor
  • PVM
  • Professional video monitor
  • Professional monitor
  • BVM
  • Broadcast video monitor
  • Broadcast monitor

Other search terms could be related to the specific model number of television or monitor you are looking for. For example, "Sony TV", "Sony KV" or "JVC". The more generic your search terms, the less likely the lister will have knowledge (or interest!) in their CRT, hopefully driving down the price.

Some sites, such as Facebook Marketplace, will use algorithms to determine if a listing is a CRT, regardless of whether it is listed as so, and suggest it to you. After a few searches, you should be catching most listings.

Industry

Businesses have largely transitioned from CRTs to more modern technology, and decommissioned equipment has made its way into the hands of collectors over the past fifteen years. Although most companies have likely recycled or sold their stock by now, it's worth an email or occasional auction search on the following industries.

  • Hospitals, medical suppliers, or medical surplus
  • Audio/video services, including photography, videography, and production for events like conferences
  • Locally-owned computer repair shops
  • School district or university surplus

Price

Price will vary between models, production year, wear and tear, compatibility, and other factors. Generally, the cost of a television or monitor increases with its maximum supported video signal. For example, sets with only RF and composite will usually be cheaper than sets with S-Video, Component, or VGA. SCART and RGB BNC monitors rarely come up, and will often be listed for hundreds of dollars.

Other factors for CRT price include aspect ratio and size; 16:9 sets will likely be more expensive than 4:3 sets, and larger consumer TV CRTs will often be listed for cheap or free, due to the owner's desire to remove it from their property.

On-Site Testing

It's always preferable to have photos or videos of the television before driving to pick it up. I would also recommend bringing a small console to test the set when you get there. Two consoles of note would be the Wii and PSP 3000. Both the Wii and PSP 3000 are inexpensive consoles that can natively output 240p, 480i, and 480p, as well as 4:3 and 16:9 video signals over component; however, the PSP 3000 has the benefit of being battery-powered, which saves on cables and plugs necessary to test.

Always bring a buddy when buying things online. This is to ensure your safety when meeting strangers, but it is doubly true for CRTs which can weigh up to 200 pounds!

Clean-up

Chances are, the CRT you just picked up is gross. First, wipe down the plastics with sanitizing wipes, quickly followed up with a paper towel and isopropyl alcohol to remove the sanitizing residue. Next, use a soft abrasive, such as a credit card or magic eraser to remove tough residue left by stickers or spilled drinks. You may find success using compressed air in the chassis, but there is limited ways for dust to escape on some sets. Do not open a CRT unless you are trained and equipped to discharge it, or else you may die or be seriously electrocuted.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to Reddit users Scoobyl, PedalPDX, and DangerousCousin for their feedback.