For SCART TVs, I look for these brands:
- Phillips (most large ones)
- Loewe (all)
- Blaupunkt (all)
- Telefunken (all)
- Grundig (all)
And so forth. Most relatively recent models of these Euro TVs will have Phillips screens in them which are fantastic quality. They have a 'bonded yoke' (i.e. you can't adjust the purity and convergence rings as this is all done perfectly in the factory, no need to adjust).
Some cheaper brands I also consider are:
- Akai (some)
- Teac (some)
- Panasonic (some)
I just love Loewe 100mhz 'Blackline' TVs for MAME as they have a great picture. However, I have noticed that they have a tendency to develop 'dot-crawl', especially with red colours. I have a Loewe 100mhz 59cm TV mounted in my main vertical cab, but it suffers dot-crawl.
I am about to make a four-player cab using a working Loewe 100mhz 72cm TV. It works well, but exhibits some of this dot-crawl behaviour. However, I still love the tube. So, what I am going to do is pull the TV apart and take it's fantastic phillips tube w/ bonded yoke out, and use that to make an arcade monitor!
To do this, I measure the impedance (horizontal and vertical) of the yoke using a simple multimeter, and then order a arcade monitor chassis to suit from my mate Joey at JOMAC (in Perth, Western Australia). I then fit the chassis to the tube and viola, I have a fantastic arcade monitor! This will suit my plans perfectly as I am going to fit it into an old cab that already has a working arcade power supply and JAMMA setup, just no monitor at the moment.
The arcade monitor chassis will cost about $250, but I must compare this to the cost of getting the TV repair guy to look at my Loewe (about $150). Hmmmm, suddenly the arcade chassis idea is a lot more attractive! The arcade monitor will be a lot easier to fit into a cab as well.
In terms of hassle, using the tube to make an arcade monitor is generally simpler. No worries about getting a TV chassis mounted into a cab (they aren't designed for this!). No stuffing around with service modes. Greater flexibility about setting screen geometry and adjusting colours. Arcade monitors are easier and cheaper to get serviced (if necessary) as well, and I can do a lot of repair work myself. If I can't do it myself, I can just take the chassis and post it to my service guy if necessary.
By comparison, the local Loewe service guy always give me wierd, suspicious looks when I tell him what I am using my Loewe for. He insists on me giving him the complete TV, which is a problem if you have de-cased it to put in a cab. I can't post a complete TV, so I have to deliver it to him on the other side of town. The problems are more difficult for him to diagnose and fix, and he charges too much!
The best part about making arcade monitors from ex-TV tubes is that TV tubes are better quality (A-grade) than those typically used for standard arcade monitors (B-grade), and I don't have to worry about SCART. Any good quality TV will do, even if it doesn't work!