Buying a high end CRT monitor with DVI
April 14, 2005 2:57 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find a decent 21" CRT with a DVI input, and am having little success.

The green gun on my IBM P260 is giving up the ghost, and it's time for a new monitor. My first thought was to make the jump to LCD and pick up one of those new 8ms response time 19" LCDs everybody is raving about. So I purchased a Hyundai L90D+ from They shipped me one with a bright red stuck pixel in the center. Shipped it back for replacement, got another one with a red stuck pixel slightly further from the center. Sent it back for refund, only to find out they were just going to restock it which pretty much explains my bad luck thus far. I did try using the second one for a few days, but the fixed resolution and color inaccuracy were just as problematic for me as the distracting red pixel.

Lesson learned: I am not cut out for LCDs.

My current monitor has some features I like, namely that it is 21", can display 1600x1200 at 85Hz, has a native DVI input (also a second 15-pin D-sub input, but I don't need dual inputs), and is a flatscreen aperture-grille.

What I'm looking for is another monitor with those same features, but unfortunately the P260 stopped being sold about five years back, and there don't appear to be any available except refurbs from highly questionable vendors. For the life of me, I cannot find another CRT at all - let alone with those specifications - that has a DVI input. There is noticeable image improvement when I use the DVI input, so I can only assume that with LCDs rapidly replacing all CRTs that CRT manufacturers have simply stopped trying. Hours spent with Pricegrabber and Google have yielded nothing, so does anyone here know of anything that meets my requirements?
posted by Ryvar to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I've had 2 P260s off eBay (Sold first one with my then computer; using second one now). No problems at all. Just scrutinize the feedback.
posted by Gyan at 3:39 AM on April 14, 2005

Found a possible offering on eBay by the same dealer that I got from, the second time.
posted by Gyan at 4:05 AM on April 14, 2005

I've had some serious issues crop up using eBay, but in this case I think I might go ahead with it, if only because the seller is within punching distance.

Thanks for the advice, Gyan, although if anybody knows of a CRT with DVI input that's still being manufactured, I'd really like to hear about it - I'd prefer something new if at all possible, and I'm definitely willing to pay up to $800.
posted by Ryvar at 4:24 AM on April 14, 2005

The IBM P260 is the only CRT I've ever seen with a DVI input. Note that it it is a DVI-A port - it does not use the digital information. The improved image quality you're seeing is probably due to either a better cable, which can make a huge difference, or that the DVI connector has a better connection than an HD15 D-sub connector, which it does. It could also be because the DVI port on your video card has better analog circuitry, which is quite possible. What I'm trying to say is, you may be pleasantly surprised with a CRT without DVI if you ensure that you use a high-quality cable. I normally shy away from "premium" cables like Monster or Belkin, but they probably will make a marked difference in this application. Some monitors also have the option of using BNC connectors, and an HD15 to BNC connector may be the best option. Monitors with them are typically very high-end.
posted by zsazsa at 6:04 AM on April 14, 2005

A DVI cable carries two separate signals, digital and analog, and the analog is electrically identical to the signal on a VGA cable. Any DVI CRT you find will use only the analog signal, so it won't be any different from the VGA. Any improvement you did notice was just a quirk of your old monitor's design.

I'd suggest forgetting about the DVI requirement, which would give you the freedom to find a really good new monitor.
posted by cillit bang at 7:28 AM on April 14, 2005

Awesome, thanks to both of you. I suspected something like this might be the case - because it just wasn't making any sense that few other monitors had a DVI input. I really wanted something new rather than off eBay, and this is a huge weight off my shoulders.
posted by Ryvar at 7:55 AM on April 14, 2005

Yes, if you can use a monitor with BNC connectors, and can get your hands on a QUALITY BNC based cable, go for that.

If you're tight, building an extremely high-quality BNC cable is very simple. Get a bunch of cable TV coax (not RG-6 satellite coax, since it has a steel sheild you can't solder, instead of copper) and solder / crimp away. :-D
posted by shepd at 9:18 PM on April 14, 2005

May I suggest one more thing? If you can live with the small thin black wires, a Trinitron CRT is going to look AWESOME at that size.

If you can't, spend all the cash you can on one that isn't trinitron, because you'll need to. :)

If you need an excellent brand name, Viewsonic is the way to go. But be prepared to pony up $1k+ for what you want, and the shipping will be insane (a GOOD trinitron monitor will weigh around 100 lbs for something 21").

I only use CRTs myself, I can't stand LCDs.
posted by shepd at 9:22 PM on April 14, 2005

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