[An Anon's guide to finding high-end CRTs!] v0.2
PVMs, BVMs, and other professional specced CRTs are getting harder and harder to find by the day, but there are still a great number of them out them available for the picking. Sure, you can always just buy one from the price gougers on Ebay or from the few reputable technicians that maintain and service what they're selling and offer a guarantee, but for many, the prices being asked are still far from what would be considered reasonable.
The first and most important hurdle to deal with is reaching out to the right people and getting them talking. The importance of being polite, friendly, and especially having some patience cannot be overstated. This includes not driveling on about things they're not likely to care about in the slightest, even if tangentially related(i.e how you plan to sear your retinas using your xtra-sharp™ modified SNES). After you've started a communication with them, give them some time and space. These people have more important things to do than to go digging through dusty storage closets that likely haven't seen the light of day for god knows who many years. Getting to even this point will take some work, as it's almost a definite that the public-facing employees are going to have no idea what you're talking about. At a TV studio, you'll want to find the production guys; for hospitals, it may be the maintenance or IT department that handles this. Reception will hopefully be able to get you in touch with them, and then you can go from there.
Just because you shouldn't go running your mouth about everything you plan to due with a monitor doesn't mean that you can't engage in a bit of conversation about them. The longer and closer that many of these people have worked with CRT tech, the more likely that they are personally interested in them rather than just professionally. While this seems like something small and insignificant, it can make the difference between spending 5 minutes glancing around casually for an unused monitor and spending an extra hour or so after hours digging through old equipment. This is only a general rule, and there will be times where you just contacted them at the wrong time and the stress of work will just completely block them off from you. Again, give them some space and maybe try back in a week or two, but don't go pestering them endlessly.
These people are doing you a favor, not the other way around. You're wasting their professional time to further your hobby, so be gracious for anything they manage to find for you. Perhaps you could offer to volunteer to help them out as well, do some work for them or what have you. Results may vary depending on where and who you're talking to based on local laws and regulations, but it's still worth a shot.
After you've put in all this foot work and finally come upon a monitor for sale, don't just jump on it because it's there and you think it may be your only chance to get one. If they're asking too much money for it, wait. Be it a few weeks, months, or even a year. Is it possible that someone who is willing to pay the asking price may come along and snatch it up? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean you should fall back on what this guide is trying to get around: Overpaying for monitors. If after a given period, it still hasn't sold, shoot them an offer; It all depends on the mindset of the person in question, but they may come to the conclusion that "something is better than nothing" and accept.
Outside of ebay, you still want to give the obvious places like craigslist, gumtree, kijiji and so on the occasional search and/or alert tracked, but in 2016 many of these places have either dried up for the most part of their users have become wise to the resurgence in demand for outdated tech. Still there are several places that you should give a look in your search for CRT goodness.
In rough order from the most to least likely to give results:
1. Regional/Rural TV stations:
Local stations or local branches of national networks. These guys may not have upgraded for a while, and may even still use CRT for colour correction or SD reformatting. People in rural areas are more likely to be using CRTs still, and regional studios deliver content to look ok on those sets.
2. Production companies:
These guys all used high-end CRT's as well. Might be companies who did film, TV, documentaries, or advertising. A lot of them will still have stuff floating around, even if it's not in use. They will also likely know a lot of other people in the industry, and are a good source of contacts.
3. AV/Presentation companies:
Sort of a loose category. It includes guys who do corporate video, expos, conventions, etc. Possibly also video walls, public exhibitions, but that might be better filed below...
4. Production rental companies:
Places that rent to film or TV-commercial sets, or to people producing live events. Or people recording something else. Most of these firms will have CRT's floating around. They'll also be reluctant to sell for cheap, but you can try. Quite often, these are the same companies selling off old, outmoded stock on ebay.
Medical imaging machines all used to have high-quality SD CRT displays, often rebadged Sony PVMs - see old ER episodes for reference :)
Go gently. Call reception and ask for maintenance, or whoever takes care of the medical imaging machines. They may have some in storage, and they *won't* want to go digging. When you do find the right people, your best bet by far is to get them talking, whether that's about CRT's or about the godawful state of the health system and how shit their funding is. Feel things out.
6. Auction yards:
Govt. departments and studios and other places are always dumping lots onto auction and sales yards. Pickles and Gray's in Australia have had lots up in the last few years, and there have to be similar places in the US. Can be hard to find if you're not combing the listings of like ten places daily, and you may not want to buy 10 sets when they do come up.
7. Art Galleries:
Video walls, video installations, performance art production, that kind of thing. Often enough they'd build speaker-cabinet type things to house broadcast tubes, or even arcade tubes, which also run RGB but aren't covered here. Ask for the guys who'd take care of a video installation.
8. TV stations in Major cities:
Usually tapped out. They'll have gotten rid of their CRTs years ago. Still worth a try, and you may get a few leads.
9. Schools/Colleges known for Film/TV/production courses:
This includes campus TV stations, but is more about film schools. They'd often have high-end gear. Like in a hospital, the right people can be very hard to reach though, through the administration. Be patient, and be prepared to get the runaround as people have no idea who you should be talking to.
10. OB companies.
Stands for Outside Broadcast, and some of these firms are so small all they had was a single broadcast truck, from which they would sell regional coverage back to the major studios. Some of them are on contract, perhaps covering sporting events or the horse-racing, etc. They often know a lot about who's doing what, locally. Besides, the broadcast trucks are packed with gear, and when they decommission one...
11. Security firms
Low end gear, possibly only black&white sets. Worth a shot, or they wouldn't be on the list. BEWARE OF BURN-IN FROM TIME CODE REFERENCES.
The military, the police, the emergency services, other arms of government or public bodies. This may sound crazy or weird, but it isn't. The RAAF (Australian Airforce) maintained its own in-house production studios for over 15 years, finally closing them some time in the late 2000's, apparently. The Victorian Police did too, and theirs might be still going. Rumour has it the fire dept of Victoria also had one.
Finding the right people here might be a nightmare. Most of the organisation will have no idea the production facility or capability exists within their ranks. For the RAAF example above, you might have tried general inquiries line > media relations > ???
13. Other other:
Stuff I haven't thought of or don't know about. Feel free to contribute! Reply to the OP for maximum visibility.
Share! Don't sell for more than you paid, save to cover reasonable expenses. And if you find a set or lot but can't or don't want to pick it up, let other people know!
Original text (https://www.mediafire.com/?24d3c6ua2bz0x06) by Aussie Anon (>>3222668 >>3222669 >>3222672 >>3222679 >>3223131)
Input by Anon >>3222913 and T̶h̶e̶ ̶2̶0̶L̶5̶ ̶P̶a̶r̶i̶a̶h̶ Free20L5 guy!!uuWXeqNW6/F
Editing and Revision by Kya!kDashing02