If you’ve been in any consumer electronics store in the United States within the past year, you may find this next item surprising, but here goes. According a industry-watcher DisplaySearch, LCD TV shipments surpassed CRT TV shipments for the first time in 2007, accounting for 56% of the 28.5 million units. CRT stands for “cathode ray tube” and refers to what many consider a “traditional” television that relies on a vaccum picture tube.
It’s getting very difficult to find CRT TVs for sale in the U.S. Consumers want larger screens and HD resolution, both of which result in sets that are too big, too heavy, and too expensive to compete with LCDs and plasmas. The fact remains, however, that for smaller screens in standard definition resolution, the CRT remains a cost competitive product. As a result, it has continued to be a mainstay on the world market, especially for emerging markets. Profitability has declined rapidly for CRTs, however, and many manufacturers are shutting down plants around the world. This will speed the takover by LCDs, aided by the fact that LCD prices continue to fall.
The next generation won’t understand references to the “Boob Tube“, having grown up in a solid state world. The days of the picture tube television are numbered.