Is The Concept Of CRT HDTV Really Extinct?


Today, as we all are well aware, the consumer is king and he dictates the market trend in every industry. Let us take the case of High Definition TVs, for example. The consumer today has a vast choice ranging from the humble, traditional CRT and rear projection sets to slim and sleek Plasma, LCD and DLP HDTV sets. While the latest technology is always more welcome and desirable-looking, it is also true that old is gold and there are certain advantages of owning older gadgets. CRT HDTV sets are supposedly extinct and not so popular anymore. But is that really a hundred percent true? Read on to know more….

What is CRT technology?

Traditional CRT or Cathode Ray Tube technology is also referred to as “Direct View”. This involves shooting electrons at a screen, the movement of which is controlled by magnets. This creates pictures on the screen by illuminating several lines of pixels. HDTVs normally contain 1080 lines and the whole screen comprises 1920×1280 pixels.

Most CRTs weigh up to 200lbs and are a minimum of 20” deep. The biggest CRT HDTV screens come up to about 38”. Needless to say, the larger CRT sets are heavier and more unwieldy.

The latest CRT HDTV sets offer fantastic picture quality, with sharp and rich colours and even better contrasts. Companies are constantly working on improving HDTV resolution and this, in turn, gives the CRT set better picture.

Are CRT HDTVs still worth it?

While many write off CRT HDTVs as virtually extinct, given the current LCD and Plasma HDTV advancement, there are still certain areas where the CRT HDTV scores much above its latest counterparts. Moreover, the new super slim CRTs offer a lot more than the older, bulkier sets. Let us now do a complete analysis of the CRTs.

Traditional CRTs are much lower priced than LCD or Plasma HDTVs. So if you are looking for good technology that is also reasonably priced, you should definitely think of direct-view HDTV.

CRT TV sets last much longer than other fancier sets. It generally offers about 20,000 hours of use, which is way above what you can expect from higher-end TV sets in the market today.

Though the market for CRT HDTVs has declined in the past few years, it still holds a considerable share of sales in many pockets of the world market.

Traditional CRT TVs still come with a curved screen, but today’s latest CRT technology gives user flat screen HDTV sets, which far improves viewing quality, with reduced glare and almost no image distortion.

Latest super-slim CRT HDTV sets

LG Electronics and Royal Philips Electronics have jointly come out with an ultra-slim design for the latest CRT HDTV sets. So has Samsung, one of the top players in the consumer electronics goods market. Not only have these manufacturers reduced the depth of these sets, but they have also re-designed the tube in order to make it appear like a flat-panel TV from the front.

These sets offer great picture quality, slim design and also a much reduced price than the latest LCD and Plasma HDTV sets. In short, they are a cheaper, yet stylish alternative to their higher-end technological counterparts.


In conclusion, though there seems to be a temporary decline in the demand for CRT HDTVs, they are expected to stage a comeback and create a new wave of enthusiasm among the consumers in the near future.

About Priya Viswanathan

Priya Viswanathan has written 195 post in this blog.


14 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    Yeah right. Tell me retail stores that will want to sell them. They are pushing LCD, Plasma, and LED Tvs that are only inches thick. Unless CRT HDTVs are rock-bottom priced, they aren’t ever going to “come back.” A 15 inch LCD 720p HDTV (granted it will be low quality, but average consumers rarely look at anything beyond price and size comparison]) goes for $120-$150 on big sales, so a 19 inch CRT HDTV will need to be around that price to compete due to the size. Pushing $350-400 for a 32 inch LCD HDTV, a 37 inch HDTV will need to be $250-300 to justify the size. I just don’t see this happening, especially since there hasn’t been a push to require all broadcasts in HDTV. Maybe, MAYBE if all broadcasts were required in HD, then CHEAPER CRT HDTVs might become viable. Otherwise, keep the 250 lbs monster as blueprints in case we do switch to HD-only broadcast.

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  2. Newdude says:

    Personally i hope they start making CRT TV again for Two Words – Video Games. IF you want to play any game before the PS3 or Xbox 360. Your better off playing it on CRT. Mainly because CRT TV dont have a fixed resolution like LCD Does. And SD Content is still better on CRT TV HD or SD. To me buying a LCD or Plasma is a downgrade not a upgrade for these reasons. Not to Mention Contrast and Black levels. People who buy Lcd and Plasma are pretty stupid. Most people who buy them just want something shinny and the newest thing and respond to nothing but buzzwords without knowing what it means… They dont care about quality or backward compatibility. The only advantage to flat panel is size and weight. I know CRT are big. But how often do you move your TV, Everyday. LCD are great for computer monitors. But sucks for TV. Especailly if its not in HD and there still alot that isnt HD. Alot of people said Turntables werent going to make a comeback and they did. Maybe not in a big way. But they did come back. Hopefully the same will happen with CRT TV. I hate a stupid industry forcing me to buy an inferior technology

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  4. Jason Kingsley says:

    Bravo for raising this as a valid point.I’ve been looking for 1080p CRT TVs for over a year now and cannot find one for love or money. I really wish they would do this.
    Also Samsung did the CRT HD 720p Slimfit Series several years ago but discontinued it.
    Which models in 2010 are Full HD compliant?

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    • Matt says:

      I have a 37″ Mitsubishi Megaview from 1995. It only has RGBHV for inputs, but it will do 1280X1024 @ 72 Hz. If you got the refresh rate down to 60Hz, it would easily do 1080p.

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    • Matt says:

      If you want to go CRT Front projection, there is the BarcoReality 912 that will do up to 3,200×2,560.

      Yes, 2560p. 8 Megapixels..

      And since it uses a separate CRT for each color, there really isn’t any horizontal pixels, just a line that varies in brightness, basically like laser tv.

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  5. Great article. I really enjoy share for my friends and post on my blog.

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  6. classic tech says:

    newdude is right. crts are still the only tech that give a razor sharp pic with true blacks. plasma was almost as good as the best crts but now plasmas are starting to go away. lcds have come a long way but need so much tech behind them to bring them up to the pic quality of crts, which has already been achieved (things like refresh rate to get rid of motion blur is ridiculous. motion blue never even was a problem with crts. and you hated playing the old gameboys because of motion blur. now you have to watch for that problem on your +$1000 tv!) its like digital cameras that don’t use film, which is nice, but the chips in them have a long way to go to compare to regular film.

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  7. Sanjay says:

    You didn’t talk about how amazing computer images look on the CRT hdtv. I have that Sony Wega myself–the one that’s in your picture. My iMac looks AWESOME on it. YouTube video from 1080p down to 480i looks clear and great like “real” TV. YouTube or any computer image has blurry outlines and looks like crap on any type of flat-panel (LCD, LED, Plasma, etc.) On my older Wega that only goes up to 480i, images still look amazing b/c my box scrunches down 1080 down into 480i so that scrunch makes everything look AZMAZING–as long as one is using RGB cables. That is the solution for the flat panel TV’s today (LCD, etc.) Make them only 480i, then have some type of converter that mashes anything higher than 480i down to 480i.

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  8. TwistedD85 says:

    All they need to do to make the flat HD CRTs move is to sell them in small quantities. Set them apart by saying something like… they’re the TV for the “real videophile” who truly appreciate an excellent picture. Of course people are just going to buy them because they want to be “those people”, the ones with the really expensive TV that shows you know more about televisions than other people. But at least it’d continue the development of the technology for those who actually appreciated it. And who knows, they may come to truly appreciate it themselves once they understand just what they have in their possession.

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  9. TwistedD85 says:

    I really should’ve waited before I submitted my reply, but I do have something else to add. I only recently understood just why CRTs were superior over LCD TVs and other similar technologies. My internet connection is fairly mediocre, yet while playing online I still seem to have an advantage over most other players. I’ve come to realise my CRT has no noticeable latency, when it happens on my game console I see it as quickly as possible thanks to my CRT technology while most others have their signals running through filters and software before they get to see it. It’s only a few extra milliseconds but still that’s enough to give me the advantage and that’s enough reason for me.

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  10. Adam says:

    I agree that they may offer truer colors and better blacks. However, having moved several times this year, I love my 32” LCD Samsung. It replaced an old 40” Sony Trinitron that weighed a ton. It was so cumbersome and bulky I got fed up and went HD. I didn’t even know they made HD CRTs until I found this article. Either way, I’m happy with my TV. The best part is I have DISH Network for my TV provider/employer. They have the most HD channels available and HD is Free for Life with qualified packages. No matter what kind of HD TV you have, it will look best with DISH.

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  11. Darknecros says:

    I too wish CRTs would make a comeback. Fixed resolution sucks especially when playing video games across multiple generations (ps1,2,and3). Remember how tiny the pixels were on high end CRT computer monitors? If only they could make CRT HDTVs with those tiny pixels, they might even be able to support HIGHER than 1080p. All with crisp looking pictures and best possible color depth you could get.

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  12. Dave says:

    I bought a Toshiba 32 inch CRT 1080i TV/monitor back in Dec. 2005 for $699. In those days, a comparably sized LCD or Plasma was still priced at over $2000. I LOVE this television! The color and contrast are better than any LCD or Plasma TV I have ever seen. Like some of the other posters, I use the set for gaming, as well as using it as a monitor via HDMI with my laptop. YouTube videos are like watching a regular TV channel. It really shines through though when playing video games. Very happy with this TV and I wish more companies would use CRT technology. As for the average picture tube life of 20,000 hours, this TV has been turned on for 4 years straight without ever being turned off and the picture is still as good as it was when it was new. Weight is about 150 lbs, but I never move it, so no biggie. The only thing I don’t like about it is it is NOT HDCP compliant. I have tried to use it with my digital cable box with the HDMI, but just get purple letters on the screen saying “Not HDCP compliant”. Not Toshiba’s fault though…I just use component for TV/HDTV and HDMI for gaming/computer.

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