CRT Televisions are Still the Best

Home theater enthusiasts and videophiles are getting nervous these days. As more modern technologies take over the video world, certain sacrifices are being made. All current fixed pixel displays have attributes that make these displays look no better than the traditional CRT, and in many ways, even worse.

CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube, and has been around for over 100 years. Obviously not anywhere nearly as refined, but the technological principle has been around a long time. A CRT creates a picture by firing an electron-scanning beam at a coating of Phosphor, which is a crystalline substance that glows. Modern day CRTs have extremely high resolutions, 1920x1080 and greater with a 9" size, and deep black levels. In fact, CRT televisions are still produce the best black level of any current technology.

Fixed Pixel devices fall short where CRT TVs still reign supreme. LCD, DLP, and plasma displays can't hold up in resolution and black level. In fact, the highest resolution you can get in these categories right now is 1366x768. It may seem close, but at that resolution it has 1,024,512 less pixels than its 1920 x 1080 brethren, nearly half the image density! Yes, 1080 x 1920 material is interlaced, which does make the playing field more even with lower resolution progressive displays, but per frame (not per field), CRTs whomp on fixed pixel for image detail.

Black level and grayscale are the other categories that CRT beats out the others. CRT's can clearly display the subtleties of DVD movies and HDTV content. Even in dark scenes with dark details, a good CRT TV can track the deepest blacks, and darkest grays. Fixed pixel can handle grays, but lose out on 3 dimensional look that those dark blacks give to the picture.

Another advantage of CRTs is the smooth, film-like image that CRT TVs provide. There is no argument that a fixed pixel structure provides a certain kind of sharpness to an image, considering that every pixel is separated from each other. However, there is a softness and subtlety that CRTs provide for movies and film that simply cannot be reproduced by any other video technology.

Let's face it fellow videophiles, the CRT will, one day, go the way of the dinosaur. The slimmer profiles, and newer technologies of future displays will prevail. There's just no stopping it. All we can do is hope that by the time quality CRT products are no longer available, there have been enough advances to fixed pixel technologies that the image quality is the same as, or at least close to, CRTs, at a reasonable price.


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