Despite being an older product and much harder to obtain now, CRT displays are said to still produce some of the best image quality around. These are the words of Digital Foundry, who have taken the task of hooking up an Xbox Series X to a 2003 Sony GDM-FW900, claiming that the results are "stunning".
While this is clearly a setup only a die hard enthusiast would arrange, seeing it running in action is a sight to behold. The TV in question is said to hold a "resolution of up to 2560x1600 at 60Hz", with it also being possible to maintain a high refresh rate. Simply connected via an HDMI to VGA cable, the Xbox Series X is put through the ringer to demonstrate its capabilities.
In our tests here, the FW900 proved stunning in running Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 games - even downscaled to 1080p. That's the first key advantage of CRT technology: the concept of native resolution isn't really relevant to this technology. Yes, there are resolution limits set by the aperture grill or shadow mask, but input resolution is always resolved with no scaling.
The analysis claims the CRT monitor delivers an "astonishing contrast and a crystal-clear image", rivalling the best of the best in terms of OLED displays. Unfortunately, due to the price and size of the monitors, it makes the process a "niche endeavour". The only reason the image works so well on the Sony GDM-FW900 is due to it being a widescreen display, which unfortunately many other CRTs are not.
While many of us don't have the time, money or energy to pick up a CRT and calibrate it, it doesn't make this analysis any less interesting. While we can't claim to know the full ins and outs behind the technology, the 18-minute long deep dive is a fantastic watch and a great insight as to what an Xbox Series X would look like on your childhood TV display.
Well worth a watch!
Would you love to modify a classic CTR setup for your next-gen system? Drop us a comment and let us know.