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Why we (really) don’t miss CRT screens

The other day we were looking at what we’re all looking at – screens – and being nostalgic. Then we realized there isn’t much to be nostalgic about.

Here’s what we remember of the good old Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens that used to adorn our desktops:

  • Backache – Would you rather carry around a 72-pound or a 24-pound (33 or 11 kg) 22-inch screen? We prefer the latter.
  • Desktop real estate – We don’t miss having a hulk of a monitor on our desks.
  • Skin burn – In cold climates, static electricity from CRT screens can give some individuals problems with this. We’re in a cold climate (Sweden).
  • Dust magnets – Another side effect of the static electricity in CRT monitors is that they amass dust faster than you can wipe it off (well, almost).
  • Screen burn – The phosphor in conventional CRT screens can make an image projected over a long time period stick, leaving a ghost image.
  • Screen flicker – LCDs don’t “paint” their image as CRTs do and so you can avoid any risk of a flickering image. (Just look at a CRT screen out of the corner of your eye, which is more sensitive to motion.)
  • Aussie or Viking screen – The difference in the Earth’s magnetic field between the Northern and Southern hemispheres can cause the electron beams in a CRT calibrated for the wrong hemisphere to be slightly skewed. Not that this matters to most people, but it’s a pretty funny consequence of how CRTs work.
  • Good stuff inside – A vacuum tube that can implode, lead glass to isolate us from X-rays, high voltage, all combined inside the box. That’s all stuff we, as well as our environment,  can do without.
  • Energy consumption – At any time except during the coldest winter (when you might relish the heat at the back of a CRT screen), why use more than double the energy?

Now, of course, we have to admit that the trusted CRT technology still provides a very strong performance in areas like contrast, color fidelity and viewing angle. But even considering that, we still prefer our flat friends.

Do you think we are being too hard on CRT screens? Let us know in the comments.

Image from Wikimedia Commons



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12 comments
Health Care
Health Care

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Delaware payday loan
Delaware payday loan

All of the row lines are selected in sequence during a refresh operation. Active-matrix addressed displays look brighter and sharper than passive-matrix addressed displays of the same size, and generally have quicker response times, producing much better images.

Todd
Todd

We still do not know the longevity of LCD , Plasma, so it is rather assuming that the LCD and Plasma will last as long as the standard Tube TV's. Sony Trinitron were tough to beat. Many may be eating there words, lets see in 5 - 10 years if and how new technology will outlast the old. If i were a betting person, which i am not, i wouldn't put my money on the newer LCD or plasma technology, If they are that good they should last 15 to 20 years like the tube TV's of old, Lets just wait and see shall we !!

_ck_
_ck_

If you used a Sony FW900 CRT for a few hours, you'd never go back to a LCD. It's the last, best CRT ever made, a 23" Widescreen Flat CRT that runs at 1920x1200 and the picture quality is insane. Sure it weighs over 100 pounds and uses 170 watts of power but I tried several high end 24" LCD displays and they could not compare in color quality, contrast quality, and the fact that letters are fully formed on a CRT vs the "screen door" effect on an LCD

Fr3d
Fr3d

I'm pretty sure any one of my 24" Dell 2408WFPs kick out more heat than any CRT I ever owned...

af
af

... but you can't degauss an LCD display. I still have withdrawal symptoms from the audiovisual extravaganza degaussing 21" CRT provided. Wouldn't change back, though.

Adam
Adam

I definitely don't miss key stoning my monitor