Trash the Tube?

Outside I see them everywhere, sitting next to the trash bins: cathode-ray tube monitors. I doubt there’s been a rash of monitor failures (I’ve been using one since 1997 with no problems)–they’ve just been replaced by LCD screens. In fact, a few months ago, I *ahem* picked up a perfectly good-looking 19″ model sitting in my apartment’s trash courtyard. It works great.

But now that LCD and plasma screens are so inexpensive, I’ll be in the minority soon. But apparently some CRT manufacturers refuse to give up on the technology:

Samsung’s “slim” CRT, which began rolling off a Tijuana assembly line in April, is an effort to stall the technology’s anticipated demise.

CRTs which some videophiles insist produce the best pictures use a gun that fires electrons in a heavy, glass tube to light phosphors, far different from flat-panel TVs. LCDs affix liquid crystals to thin plates of glass, while plasma uses special gases to light the screen.

Manufacturers have tried for years to flatten CRTs but failed to design an electron beam that’s wide enough to light the screen’s edges, said Paul Semenza, an analyst at market researcher iSuppli Corp. Samsung appears to have cracked that riddle, though whether it can produce them on a large scale remains to be seen, he said.

My thoughts exactly:

“Why would I pay two, three times as much for an LCD or a plasma when I’m not going to be able to see the attributes of a flat panel in my cabinet?” Weedfald said.

Sadly, that’s a Samsung salesman speaking. This is probably more typical:

Shoppers at a store in San Diego said they liked the picture and the price, but nearly all said they wanted something flatter.

Alejandro Herrera, 38, a software specialist at a Mexican bank in Tijuana, plans to save up to $3,000 to buy a plasma TV later this year.

His wife, Amparo, walked up to the Samsung TV, inspected the back and shook her head disapprovingly.

“It’s obsolete,” she said.

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