In the 1960s, Sony developed a new type of cathode-ray tube and
branded it as “Trinitron.” Its off-kilter technology allowed for a
bright, crisp and colorful picture that was deemed superior to the
one emitted by other contemporary tubes.
The Trinitron gifted Sony with long-lasting success throughout
the 1980s and 1990s, and is frequently regarded as one of the best
tubes available to home consumers.
Unsurprisingly, Trinitron TVs have been becoming increasingly
rare over the last decade, but people are still selling theirs or
giving them away every now and then.
So I bought one a few years back.
It was a KV-29X5D (the “29” stands for 29 inches); charming and
huge. It gave off a bold and mysterious presence, was lauded by
visitors, and turned even boring beat-em-up titles into an
arcade-like experience that bordered on the
spiritual. Unfortunately, carrying it around with the help of
some lousy people led to a few
complications such as a slightly tinted picture and quirky image
geometry that couldn’t be fixed by degaussing the tube or playing
around in the service menu.
So I took it to the local electronics store. Back then, they
still employed an electrical engineer who would know how to fix
damaged tubes. Sadly, he refused to do anything about it,
declaring my TV set as “good enough” instead and escaping to
retirement shortly afterwards.
Though I still loved that TV, I figured it was too broken to be
enjoyed properly and started to look for a smaller one that would
replace it. Not least because its weight clocked in at
about 45 kilograms!
Digging through classifieds on the internet, I chose to pick up a
KV-M2100D (the “21” stands for 21 inches) from a working-class
town just 50 kilometers away.
The deal took place without any surprises, leaving aside the fact
that the seller decided to wear a military coat with tiny German
flags sewed onto it. And while the TV had been stuffed into his
basement for the past couple of years, he did not bother to clean
it up in the slightest. Furthermore, he couldn’t tell me if it
actually worked. So this guy was pretty useless, but since I got
the TV for free, I decided to take it home anyway.
Back at my place, the first thing I noticed was in what kind of
disgusting condition the remote had actually been, sticking to
your skin immediately and being completely covered in grease and
crumbs! It’s beyond me how people manage to be so utterly
unashamed of themselves that they can’t even bother to simply
clean up a small biohazard before
unleashing it on others.
Whatever. That TV worked semi-fine. The picture quality was crisp
and colors looked alright, but the image jittered around on the
screen, and there were sporadic picture dropouts. I guess a broken
flyback transformer is fault here, but then again I don’t know
anything about electrical engineering. Should have studied
Now at this point, I was left two broken Trinitron sets.
Meanwhile, another gem arrived via mail! It was an EV-DT1
Trinitron (the “EV-DT1” stands for who knows) that I had bidden
for a week before, complete with an analog tuner and Video8
capabilities. I did not aim for serious use and just wanted it to
look cool on my shelf (which it does). After connecting it to one
of the PlayStation 2 models that float around my
room, I noticed that the picture’s vertical axis would randomly
shit itself, depending on what was visible on-screen. Tuning the
vsync knob wouldn’t fix anything.
Now at this point, I had three broken Trinitron sets.
Time passed, and life went on.
I decided to visit Lars who lives an hour
Intrigued, I looked at the classifieds nearby, and found a
KV-M1400D (the “14” stands for 14 inches) Trinitron in pristine
condition. I eventually decided to pick it up after a quick debate
that I was having, with myself, in my head, on
whether this was truly necessary.
But at this point, I was already in too
Contrary to the other models which I carried around, this one had
a huge imbalance, and virtually all of its weight was located in
the front of the chassis, near the screen. That was unfortunate,
as the TV started to tumble around in the trunk while I was
driving it through the mountains. Thankfully, nothing serious
happened as I had covered the screen with a large sweater
So I took it to the front, put it in the passenger’s seat and
wrapped the seatbelt around it, as you would probably do with a
tiny person. That seemed to work.
As did the TV! It paints a splendid image, everything feels as
it’s supposed to, and it is even compact enough to be put on my
desk (which is what I did). Plus, it won’t ever be a burden when
After having it set up, I wanted to take that precious thing on a
10-minute test drive which happened to culminate in me playing
Metal Gear Solid for five hours straight. I guess it’s a really
good television set. Until it eventually dies. Sob.
I guess I can take all the other semi-broken TVs to recycling