Whats the Best CRT Screen for Retro Gaming? This One’s a No Brainer


So after recently referbishing my old Commodore Amiga 500 and relising that the image produced on my LCD TV from the Amigas output was not particulary clear. I decided to investigate why. I’ve always remembered the Amiga to have a very clear tv image. But the last time I used an amiga was many years before LCD tvs were even available. There are ways to improve the look of older machines on newer TVs with the likes of scan doubles etc. But after days of reading blogs and forums and looking at youtube videos, I concluded that the cheapest and most authentic way of using my amiga would be to resort to a CRT or Cathode Ray Tube monitor.

The monitor that was very popular when sold as new and still the most popular in the retro computer communty is the Philips CM8833-ii.

So whats the best all round CRT Screen for Retro Gaming, vintage consoles and computers? Without a doubt the best and most versatile CRT Screen/Monitor is the Philips CM8833-ii. A crystal clear image from an analogue RGB or composite input with built in speakers. It has a Horizontal scan rate of 15.625 KHz and a vertical scan rate of 47-62.5 Hz with a pixel resolution of 640 x 256. Continue reading to discover why;

The CM 8833/11 is a versatile multipurpose 14-inch colour monitor that offers excellent colour graphics performance for a wide range of home and personal computers, including Atari ST and Commodore Amiga.

This model has built-in stereo loudspeakers, and can be used as a video monitor with a VCR, camcorder or TV tuner. The CM 8833/11 can also be used as a CGA colour monitor with IBM PC compatible computers.

  • Resolution 640 dots (horizontal) x 285 lines (vertical)
  • Versatile colour monitor for IBM PC compatibles and computers with analog video output
  • TTL-digital and RGB-analog computer input signals
  • CVBS input for video signals
  • Stereo sound with earphone socket
  • Dark glass screen
  • High-resolution video monitor, also suitable for use with VCR, camcorder, TV tuner or laptop computer
  • Text switch for optimum text display

What Kind of Picture Quality Does a Philips CM8833-ii Have?

You will see a massive improvement in picture quality from using a CRT TV with RF or Composite video to using this monitores RGB input.

Commodore 64 Image on a Philips CM8833-ii
Atari ST Image on a Philips CM8833-ii

Is the Philips 8833 mk2 much better than the mk1?

Where to find rgb cable for Phillips CM8833-II

Technical Specifications
CRT 14 inch/36 cm, 90°
Tube type Slotted dark glass, 46% light transmission
CRT pitch 0.42 mm
Cabinet colour Input signals: Beige
RGB-analog 9-pin D-shell connector
RGBI-TTL 9-pin D-shell connector
Fast blanking Pin 6 of 9-pin D-shell connector
CVBS Cinch connector with automatic VCR switch
Audio (stereo) channels No. of colours: Cinch connectors for left and right
RGB-analog All
RGBI-TTL 16
CVBS All
Bandwidth at -3 dB > 6.5 MHz
Horizontal resolution 640 dots
Vertical resolution 285 lines
Line frequency 15.6 kHz
Frame frequency 50/60 Hz
No. of characters 12000

What Connections and Controls does the Philips CM8833-ii have on the Back?

The rear of the case contains:

  • 3 Pin Power Inlet
  • Horizantal Size Control for Ajusting the width of the image
  • Vertical Size
  • Vertical Shift
  • Analogue/TTL Switch
  • RGB Input (9 pin D-type)
  • Composite Video
  • Audio in
Philips CM8833-ii Rear Connections and Controls

What Computers will the Philips CM8833-ii work with?

There are many vintage computers compatable with this monitor. Basically any computer with a composite or RGB output.

Some of the compatable systems

  • Commodore 64
  • Commodore 128
  • Commodore 16
  • ZX Spectrum 128
  • Commodore Amiga 500
  • Commodore Amiga 500 Plus
  • Commodore Amiga 600
  • Commodore Amiga 1200
  • Commodore Amiga 1000
  • Commodore Amiga 1500
  • Commodore Amiga 2000
  • Commodore Amiga 3000
  • Commodore Amiga 4000
  • Atari 520STF
  • Atari 520 STFM
  • Atari 520 STE
  • Atari 1040 STFM
  • Atari 1040 STE

What Consoles with the Philips CM8833-ii work with?

Nearly all old games consoles with an RGB or Composite output will work with this monitor.

  • Sega Master System
  • Sega Genesis
  • Sega Megadrive
  • Sega Saturn
  • Sega Dreamcast
  • Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Nintendo Famicom
  • Nintendo 64
  • Nintendo Gamecube
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Atari 2600

Where can I Buy one?

The best place to get one in good condition is still Ebay, https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Philips+CM8833&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=Philips+CM8833-ii

Theres one here: Click Me

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?ff3=4&pub=5575603603&toolid=10001&campid=5338709729&customid=&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fitm%2FAmiga-Philips-CM8833-II-Monitor%2F303603994939%3Fhash%3Ditem46b035513b%3Ag%3AvxQAAOSw0oFe8h20

Theres another one here: ClickMe

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?ff3=4&pub=5575603603&toolid=10001&campid=5338718795&customid=mbax&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fitm%2FPhillips-Monitor-CM8833-fur-Commodore-Atari-etc%2F193494427504%3Fhash%3Ditem2d0d2aa770%3Ag%3A8QsAAOSwIc9e1qB9

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