So my grandmother is moving house and was going to throw out a big old SD TV she doesn't use anymore, one of those big buggers that's so bulky and heavy it takes two people to move it safely. I offered to take it off her hands instead of it going straight to landfill, and this morning I decided to fire up my old SNES on it.
First off, the difference in input latency over a HDTV is immediately noticeable. It feels instantaneously responsive, as opposed to what felt like a good quarter second of delay playing SNES on my flat panel. The difference in just how good it feels to play is night and day superior. I used to think I'd just lost my touch at older games, but apparently it's just that I was being handicapped by input latency. Well no more, and it feels soooo good.
Then of course there's the difference in image quality. My SNES games look fucking gorgeous on it, especially compared to all the nasty artefacts you get when playing them on a HDTV. Everything is just so smooth and vibrant. Fired up Donkey Kong Country, and on the CRT it still might be one of the best looking games I've ever seen.
I'm just geeking out now, but wow, I never realized just how much I was missing by playing my older systems on a HDTV. Playing on CRT is just so much better in terms of gameplay and visuals I can't overstate it. I mean I knew this, in theory, but the hands-on, eyes-on difference is so much more stark than I was expecting.
It's kinda weird, in a way, that such obsolete technology is so much better than its modern equivalent in some ways.