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9 Compelling Reasons to Avoid CRT TVs Today

A Look Back at CRT TV Technology

Cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs were the dominant display technology for most of the 20th century. First introduced in 1927, CRT TVs worked by firing electrons from an electron gun onto a phosphorescent screen to create images. This bulky setup involving large vacuum tubes and high voltages was the only way to watch television at home for over 50 years.

While CRT TVs ushered in a home entertainment revolution, they had major limitations like excessive heat and energy use, heavy weight, large sizes and poor picture quality compared to films. By the 1990s, new "flat-screen" displays like LCD (liquid crystal display) and plasma TVs offered sleek form factors and better visuals. By mid 2000s, CRT TVs were obsolete as LCD variants like LED and OLED delivered vastly superior viewing experiences minus the bulk of old CRTs.

Why You Should Avoid Buying CRT TVs in 2023

While CRT TVs played a pivotal role in bringing entertainment home, they are now antiquated and come with major downsides versus modern television technology. Here are 9 compelling reasons to avoid cathode ray tube televisions today:

1. Expensive Purchase and Operating Costs

With CRT TV manufacturing declining sharply, these old units are no longer budget-friendly. Expect to pay a premium for a new CRT television, if you can even find one in stock. Moreover, CRT TVs are not energy efficient – a 32-inch CRT may consume over 150 watts of power, nearly 3X more than an LED TV. This leads to high electricity bills in the long run.

2. Large, Heavy and Bulky Design

The cathode ray tube along with surrounding components make CRT TVs extremely heavy. Even smaller 20-inch units can weigh over 50 pounds. Not just weight, but CRT TVs have large rear ends to house tubes and intricate wiring. This bulkiness also limits screen size – the largest CRT television was just 43 inches. Modern LED and OLED screens are razor thin in comparison, with giant 98-inch models also available.

3. Lack of Smart Capabilities

Modern televisions offer smart platforms for streaming apps, web access and voice controls. CRT TVs lack any computing capabilities – they can simply display signals from older inputs like coaxial cable or AV ports. Forgetting streaming, you cannot even play video games on CRT screens. While this basic functionality suits some users, most expect a web-connected multimedia experience from current TVs.

4. Inferior Picture Quality

Despite those heavy vacuum tubes and high voltages, CRT TV pictures tend to be dim and lack vibrance compared to modern flat panels with LED backlighting or OLED pixels. Moreover, CRT screens have low refresh rates that cannot match fast-action videos and games without motion blur. Resolution maxes out at 1080p, with no support for 4K. Lastly, curved CRT screens cause geometry distortion issues unseen in flat panels.

5. Lack of Durability

The average CRT television lasts just 30,000 hours before failure, nearly 3X less than modern 120,000-hour LCD/LED TV lifespan estimates. Moreover, delicate parts in bulky CRT televisions often break when dropped or moved frequently. Replacement parts are hard to source as manufacturers focus on newer flat-screen technologies. This makes durability and repair ability also key advantages of buying an LED or OLED television instead.

6. Hazardous Materials Usage

The production and disposal of CRT TVs involves harmful chemicals like lead and mercury. If mishandled during manufacturing or when broken, these materials pose environmental and health risks. The complexity of safely recycling old units is another rising concern. Modern screens use less dangerous compounds, making their manufacture and end-of-life management safer for all.

7. Significant Heat Generation

Cataphote tubes work under extremely high voltages, making CRT TV sets notably hotter than modern displays. Extended exposure can cause safety issues like fire hazards and component failures in older models. New TV technologies stay much cooler by comparison – for instance OLED screens do not need large heat sinks and fans required previously to cool CRT televisions.

8. Lack of Design Flexibility

The outdated look along with large, protruding backs makes CRT TV sets aesthetically unappealing for modern households. They seem out of place paired with contemporary furnishings, lack wall mounting ability, and occupy substantial floor space. New ultra-thin screens can be flexibly setup as per room layouts, even hung like art pieces!

9. No Recycling Programs

Finally, many companies and municipalities have stopped CRT TV recycling initiatives due to rising costs and complex disposal needs of lead, mercury and other toxic components. This means even transporting an old CRT unit to a landfill can incur large fees. Recycling programs for modern flat-screen TVs are more widely available given safer construction.

Modern Television Technologies Offer Clear Benefits

As seen above, CRT televisions lag modern options like LCD, LED, quantum dot LED (QLED) and OLED TVs on all aspects – picture quality, versatility, aesthetics, features, operating costs, durability and environmental safety. Considering their many downsides and virtually obsolete status, opting for one today makes zero practical sense.

Mid-range LED and high-end OLED televisions deliver pristine 4K or 8K ultra HD picture quality, smart interfaces via Fast Ethernet or Wi-Fi for media streaming, gaming-friendly 120Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) outputs, and battery-conscious energy efficiency – besides sleek, minimalist builds suiting any décor. With superlative image reproduction rivalling cinema halls, advanced audio and thin bezels barely noticeable when wall mounted, modern televisions are light years ahead of outdated CRT technology.

While nostalgia may tempt some buyers towards old CRT televisions, practical households should avoid these aging, hazardous and inefficient displays. Instead, investing in a future-ready LED, QLED or OLED television that outclasses CRTs across metrics offers smarter value. We leave you with our top picks across budget categories:

Our Top LED & OLED Television Recommendations

Best LED TV Under $1000

Sony X80K 43 Inch TV: 4K Ultra HD LED Smart Google TV Buy on Amazon We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Best Mid-Range 4K LED TV

TCL 50-inch Class 4-Series 4K UHD HDR Smart Android TV – 50S47, 2022 Model Buy on Amazon We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Best Premium 4K OLED TV

LG C2 Series 48" Alexa Built-in 4k Smart OLED TV Buy on Amazon We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Way Forward is Clear – Avoid CRT Televisions!

We hope this detailed guide covered exactly why cathode ray tube TVs are best avoided in favor of modern display technologies that outclass CRTs across critical performance, design, efficiency and longevity metrics while future proofing your investment. Any nostalgia for old CRT units fades once you experience stunningly vivid LED and OLED television visuals first-hand! Still have questions? Let‘s continue the conversation below.