This was my initial assessment of the above pair of photos.
Potential Spoiler Alert
"I’m confident that the real CRT is the photo on top because of the curvature. The curvature in the four corners looks equal, if looking at a real CRT spot on, center, the curvature and warping will be at its minimum so you’ll hardly see any warping or bending of the horizontal lines. This is because in the real world, the screen curves in the z-axis. Using 2D Curvature, the screen curves in the X and Y axes unfortunately.
I think the only time you’ll notice that kind of curvature on a real CRT would be if you’re viewing from an angle that’s not dead center and level with the screen and in a case like that the curvature will be more pronounced near the side that’s closest to your eyes or the camera while appearing less curved in the more distant plane.
I may not be 100% accurate or scientific in my assessment or my terminology but what I’m basically trying to say is that for me 2D Curvature usually results in an inaccurate perspective as well as inaccurate warping of the horizontal and vertical lines on the screen, not to mention the warping of the mask itself or if the mask isn’t being warped, a mismatch between the mask and the warped graphics and it’s something that I can notice and there are even worse artifacts when motion comes into play."
However on taking a deeper look, I’ve realized that I was actually wrong and the CRT is definitely the second picture.
This is because on further investigation, I’m seeing some elements that would only be present on a real CRT.
In terms of the above “essay” on 2D Curvature and perspective, I still think there’s a lot that’s valid there. It could just be that @RetroGames4K skillfully adjusted his perspective either inadvertently or deliberately and that is reflected in the first photo. This is because perspective is also at play because this is a photograph we’re talking about. Perspective warping is not exclusive to CRT’s or curved screen. Good Job “fooling” me initially @RetroGames4K but the CRT is the picture below.
I’d be happy to tell you what gave it away if you would like to know.
They’re extremely close though. Almost too close to call.