Sunday, December 02, 2007

The last CRT

Some time ago our TV died, trying to switch it on led to a light coming on for a few seconds, then it turned itself off. My guess was the power supply had died or the screen itself had died (for a few days the picture displayed hadn't been the right size).I did think for a second about getting it fixed but then thought it would be as cheap to buy a new TV. After all, the price of TVs has been dropping for a while. And my brother would no doubt be able to fix it, so the TV wouldn't go to waste. But then I actually had a look for a TV and was unable to find any CRT TVs anywhere. I did find some LCD TVs that were pretty cheap but there were a few problems.

  • Most of them were too big to fit into our living room without removing shelving. Not everybody wants a 32"+ screen.
  • Call me a Luddite but the picture quality of LCD screens doesn't seem that good. OK, when high definition TV becomes ubiquitous, the picture quality may be pretty good, but for a 28" screen I don't really need high definition TV.
  • Most LCD screens seem very fragile. They look like they can get knocked over very easily. Having a five year old wandering around with an LCD screen in the room is asking for trouble.

I know I'm not really getting into the new technology here but I think CRT TVs are great. The picture quality, even on very cheap models, is pretty damn good. The technology is proven. The prices are now great, if you can actually find one. Finally I discovered probably the last CRT TV available, from Argos.

Some of you may be thinking "it's analogue, you won't be able to receive anything on it in a couple of years", which is a fair point*. But we have a DVR with FreeView so that's not an issue for us. Also, there is a digital version available for a few quid more. Funnily enough, delivery on this TV took a very long time. Apparently the demand for it is pretty high, so perhaps I'm not the only person who thinks CRT TVs are actually pretty good.

* Digital TV itself seems something of a con. OK, there are more (mostly crap) channels available, although chances are you'll need a better aerial to receive them but why turn off the analogue signal?  Obvious really, it forces everybody to upgrade their kit so equipment manufacturers get some additional income and the government can sell of the old analogue bandwidth to get some extra revenue. Everybody's a winner, except the public. Expect a switch to HD only channels in a few years time.

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