There is some level of irony that the same day we post a feature to express our frustration at legacy devices, LG Philips is trying to revive one of the oldest technologies around: CRT.
To be fair to CRTs, however, while the falling price of LCD monitors means they are beginning to dominate our desktops and offices, the same cannot be said for our living rooms. So much so that when it comes to television CRT technology is a long way from being as redundant as floppy disks.
In fact, CRTs actually have a number of advantages over newer technologies and still account for over 80 per cent of the 180 million unit a year TV market. For a start plasma screens don't last as long as and are susceptible to screen burn, while LCDs can suffer from motion blur when the pixels fail to keep up with rapidly moving objects. What CRTs do lack, however, is portability, with their huge bulbous behinds looking in need of some serious exercise.
All that is set to change though as today LG Philips has started to ship its first “slim tube” CRTs, or as LG Philips Displays calls them, “Thin CPTs” (colour picture tubes). I prefer Slim Fast Tellys.
The initial 32in models, previously displayed to the public at CES in January, will have a reduced cabinet depth of 35cm. Within two years the company expects to cut this down to 25cm. South Korean launch prices translate to roughly £800 - which may mean little compared to the extortionate costs we pay for living on what the rest of the world disparagingly calls Treasure Island - it's safe to assume there would be little point coming to market with this technology if it is not going to be competitive.
Of course 25-35cm is still not as thin as the 10-15cm LCD and Plasma screens available today, but given that few people mount their expensive thin panels on the wall (apart from rappers featured on MTV Cribs) it seems the extra 10 to 20cm is not going to bother many outside of the Hip Hop industry. Personally, I think they look pretty good.
CRTs making a comeback in 2005? Who’d have believed it?