Some technologies are mourned and fondly remembered by a cult when they go to the great gadget graveyard in the sky. We cite you vinyl and laserdisc as exhibits A and B.
Today’s news that Dixons is going to stop selling cathrode ray tube TVs by the end of 2006, however, is unlikely to cause much grief amongst the nation’s home cinema fans and the couch potatoes. Despite retaining the high ground on picture quality until relatively recently, few people will miss having a huge dusty plastic box in the corner of the living room.
The knife in the CRT’s back was placed, of course, by the rise and rise of the flat TV. Of the 4.5 million TVs sold in the UK each year, the vast majority are now LCDs or plasmas, outselling CRTs by a ratio of five to one.
The reasons are manifold. Flat TVs are far more sexy, prices have finally become comparable with CRTs – a 32in LCD that would’ve cost over £2K a year ago can now be picked up for under a grand – and most CRTs are incompatible with the coming TV revolution, high definition. Hi-def, as regular Stuffers will know, promises to bring massively improved image quality when it’s launched by Sky and the BBC later this year.
Dixons’ move follows earlier decisions to quit selling film cameras and VHS VCRs. Watch this space for the next old tech to fall under the modernising retailer’s axe – we predict analogue TVs could be next for the cull, especially with the analogue switch-off beginning as soon as 2008 in some regions.