After scrutinising all the CRT monitors and collating the results you canâ€™t help but marvel at the technology and physics that lie behind each unit. Itâ€™s easy to forget that invisible electron beams are sweeping across the inner face of the tube hitting tiny phosphor dots that in turn produce visible photon energy that registers on our retinas as a complete picture. Even more remarkable is the fact that the basic workings of a CRT have largely remained unchanged over the last century.
That said, the 19in models we have on test here are much more highly tuned than the CRTs of yesteryear, and all of them are quite capable of producing an good image. Furthermore, the prices of these monitors have continued to drop, (driven down by the recent fall in LCD prices) to a point that was occupied by 17in CRTs roughly two years ago.
However, the key question here, is which units performed the best?
For the top prize of Editorâ€™s Choice the final decision was quite easy. By simply taking price and image quality into account the Philips Brilliance 109P40 won hands down.
Philips Brilliance 109P40
It had the best power regulation in the test, which gave it a rock steady picture, as well as excellent vertical and horizontal colour convergence. Geometrically it was as good as the others that performed well in this area, while the superb colour scales and sharply defined text, all add up to a very competent display. Now take into account the Â£191.48 price tag, (only about Â£60 more than the cheapest CRT on test), a set of BNC connectors, an intuitive OSD and a clever auto-calibrate function, and youâ€™re left with a CRT that quite literally canâ€™t be beaten.
When it comes to awarding a recommended accolade, things start to get a little heated. The two top contenders would have to be the Iiyama Vision Master Pro 454 and the Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 930SB, because their overall image quality was better than the other units on test. Both could render colour scales very smoothly, and images looked equally vibrant and sharp. These similar results are due to the SuperBright Diamondtron aperture grille tube that both monitors utilise, which also makes each monitor capable of enhancing the brightness and contrast for a range of multimedia applications, such as photo-editing and movie viewing.
Just to make dishing out the award even harder, both CRTs had their fair share of small niggles. Where the Mitsubishi had a very stiff base, the Iiyamaâ€™s was very light. Geometrically the Iiyama had the edge over the Mitsubishi, and where there were some ever so slight signs of background interference in the Iiyama, the Mitsubishi had none. We also canâ€™t forget to mention the Iiyamas more awkward OSD.
Iiyama Vision Master Pro 454
That said, and remembering that these monitors are multimedia oriented, the award goes to the Iiyama Vision Master Pro 454 because it has more features that tie in with the multimedia focus. You get a pair of speakers, and a self-powered USB hub for a start. Secondly, a pair of D-SUB ports allows you to hook up the monitor to two PCs simultaneously in contrast to the Mitsubishiâ€™s captive D-SUB cable. Of course, you pay a little more for this, but we think itâ€™s money well spent.