CRT flat panel screens - why don't they exist? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 29 Old 10-16-2013, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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At one point in the early 2000s, IBM developed a technology to make CRT flat panel screens. These were to be cheaper than LCD and Plasma screens and would have had higher picture quality. I would like to know why this technology was ultimately not pursued. It would be sweet to one day have CRTflat panel screens. I'd probably pay more for a CRT flat panel than for a same sized LCD or LED.

Here is the story about IBM's research into CRT flat panels:

http://www.informationweek.com/sleek-crt-could-strut-its-stuff/6505950

Does anyone know why this technology wasn't pursued?
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post #2 of 29 Old 10-16-2013, 08:21 AM
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Interesting, thanks for sharing. Too bad no one appeared to jump on it promptly as the years that have since passed by are long in terms of tech. The advancement of LED and new technologies such as OLED may have gotten too much of a head start for it to be pursued now. Still would be interesting to know why it wasn't pursued.

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post #3 of 29 Old 10-16-2013, 12:15 PM
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Nowadays manufacturing a TV only takes around 40 mins from start to finish , and use of plastic materials is prevalent.

Also, direct view CRTs with subpixels are not as good as CRT-s without subpixels (projectors), then CRT projector tech is stuck in 90's , too, projection screens, too.
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post #4 of 29 Old 10-16-2013, 12:46 PM
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Business isn't about reason. Or what's good for the consumer. It's about making money. So even if the industry made the wrong decision about the technology and picked the wrong horse (*cough*oled*cough*) they are still going that way because money was invested. And they have to get it back.

Where are kickstarter projects with new display technologies, I ask you?
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post #5 of 29 Old 10-18-2013, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I think Elix is probably right. I haven't been able to find any information on why CRT flat panel technology was not pursued, other than the 12 year old story I posted. If anyone has any more information on this or knows where it might be found, please let me know!

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post #6 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 07:16 PM
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Not to be sarcastic, but why not ask IBM? They have a PR staff who may field such questions. I do suspect that it probably fizzled out in the light of plasma panels. After all, they do use phosphors, only the means of lighting them differ from CRT.
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post #7 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 07:22 PM
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$

But the last generations of CRT were all "nearly flat" which had a very large radius on the curve. My 20" NF Samsung 1600x1200 monitor around 2004, which was as deep as wide, cost more than my 24" Dell IPS. LCD has become so cheap to make that we'll never have CRT again.
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post #8 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 08:54 PM
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He is not asking "why weren't CRTs flat." He asked "why were no thin CRTs ever made?" And he laid the groundwork for this question with an article about a CRT technology IBM had been developing years ago. Thin, and flat, are not the same thing, and while there were "slim fit" CRTs from Samsung, and "super slim" tubes from LG, these are still not "thin"in the way an LCD or plasma are thin. This "thin" factor is the development that the article discussed, so the question remains, why were "thin" CRTs like this IBM tech never made?
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post #9 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 07:33 AM
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"CRT flat panel screens"

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post #10 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 08:52 AM
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The closest thing to flat-panel CRT was SED. Patent licensing issues played a major role in its demise:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SED-tv
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post #11 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 08:54 AM
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Again, just as "flat" and "thin" are not the same thing, "flat" and "panel" are not the same thing, either. If you are quoting the OP's thread title to point out how one might get confused, I can see the use in it. Otherwise, honestly, does the term "flat panel" really mean anything? I don't think it does. Is there such a thing as a non-flat panel? If so I cannot say I have ever seen one. Every single time I have seen a person use the term "flat panel," what they have actually meant was, "a television or monitor screen that is thin." Just because the OP used the phrase "flat panel" equating it with "thin" does not mean the two terms are equal. Flat is flat, and, well, as lespurgeon pointed out, many, many CRTs have been made which were flat.
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post #12 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 11:37 AM
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Flat, curved, heavy, light, thick, thin, slim, not-so-slim, etc...... it's not worth arguing over semantics.

The question at hand is why IBM or another manufacturer didn't follow up 12 years ago.
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post #13 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 01:50 PM
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It isn't worth arguing over it, no, but then it isn't worth posting if all you have to say is that the last generation of CRT was "nearly flat," either. That falls under the no **** Sherlock file and doesn't add anything we don't already know.

Could be many reasons it wasn't pursued. Honestly, just seeing how the "slim" and "super slim" CRTs perform at much deeper than 2cm thickness (terrible, where uniformity is concerned), I couldn't imagine how these tubes described in the article would even function. At least, not as a CRT. Nor with any means of deflection as we know it on established CRTs. For all I know the article writer may have been describing plasma screens, confusingly naming it a CRT for its similar technology (sealed spaces, phosphors that glow, etc.). Even if it is in fact a CRT that is being described here, it's also very possible they just couldn't make it work to the kind of quality that a production would require.
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post #14 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 02:05 PM
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Because the screen would have to be transparent and maintain a vacuum. This would require approximately 2 inch thick glass at current technology for a 50 inch panel never mind the back side. This is not feasible period. At this time SED was in pre production with Kodak and that was much more feasible and still failed to come to market. Japan did have a analog thin CRT in the early 1990's (2 inches deep) but failed due to deflection issues/distortion.
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post #15 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidSnake View Post

... if it is in fact a CRT that is being described here, it's also very possible they just couldn't make it work to the kind of quality that a production would require.

That could possibly be all that needed to be said. tongue.gif
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post #16 of 29 Old 10-23-2013, 10:02 AM
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Just quoting the OP to back up your post #8, 'Snake.

That SED article was interesting and makes more sense IMO.

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post #17 of 29 Old 12-16-2013, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I found this additional information. The original article in question is not referring to another technology like SED or Plasma.


Quote:
Zeus thin CRT display[edit]
In the late 1990s and early 2000s Philips Research Laboratories experimented with a type of thin CRT known as the Zeus display which contained CRT-like functionality in a flat panel display.[30][31][32][33][34] The devices were demonstrated but never marketed.

Source: "Cathode Ray Tube," Wikipedia.

Apparently, they were able to get the crt display down to around 1cm for any display size.
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post #18 of 29 Old 12-16-2013, 03:16 PM
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Hm-mmmm...
The things to keep in mind are:
1) 20 years ago
2) experimented
3) demonstrated
4) never marketed

None of the marketing, financial and technological reasons/obstacles have changed. Keep trying. biggrin.gif
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post #19 of 29 Old 12-16-2013, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Please read the sources I linked to, not just the brief on the wikipedia article. The sources indicate that the technological obstacles had been addressed late 1990s early 2000s. Unless there is some other technological reasons which haven't been mentioned in this thread. 

 

SO that leaves only the fact that they were never marketed. Which could come down to something as simple as business betting on the wrong horse.

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post #20 of 29 Old 12-17-2013, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
"The CRT has served us well for many many years — since the early 1930s into the golden age of television and the advent of color in the 60s," said LG's Taylor. "The longevity of that technology is probably second to none in our industry, but time marches on, and flat panels have really captured the enthusiasm of the American public."

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/products/gear/2006-10-22-crt-demise_x.htm
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post #21 of 29 Old 12-17-2013, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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An interesting article, but this still does not provide a logical reason for abandoning crt tech, especially considering that crt flat panels could have been produced more cheaply and would have performed better than LCDs.

 

 Industry has to find a way to get people to buy more stuff. What better way to do that then introducing an entirely new technology. Also, people have a fascination with new tech even when it offers no real advantages over existing tech. Both of these factors probably played into the demise of crt.

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post #22 of 29 Old 12-17-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickM84 View Post

... crt flat panels could have been produced more cheaply and would have performed better than LCDs.
I guess we'll never know. wink.gif
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post #23 of 29 Old 12-17-2013, 06:13 PM
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The first article here reads way too much like it could be referring to SED, FED, plasma or some such in order to be anything but suspect as to the writer not knowing what the hell he is talking about. As for Zeus, you can search all you like, there is not even a photo of it anywhere documented in the public. Believe me, you're not the first person to have noticed it. So it easily could have been a similar effort (SED, FED, plasma), one that knowledge of such only made its way to us in very incomplete and potentially incorrect descriptions. You have to imagine a time when ANY television was "a boob tube," to anybody and everybody. New technology was instantly described in these terms, just because it was the only thing familiar and recognizable. Ever heard of a horseless carriage? The likelihood of this sort of human error getting in the way of this information looms large and you would be wise to take notice.

If you were serious about an in depth answer, with what little information exists in the wild, you would do best to go to the source: IBM and Philips. ******** your way into a telephone interview as a technology blog journalist or something and report back.
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post #24 of 29 Old 12-17-2013, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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There are lots of technical and research articles that I still haven't read. Some of them are $30+ for one article...

Apparently there is something called a hopping electron cathode (HEC) which was used in the Zeus display

More than one technical article I've read thus far has referred to the Zeus display as a type of crt. Seems unlikely that articles published in research/technical journals would make the mistake of using incorrect terminology. I still have more reading to do. Eventually I may call IBM and/or Philips, that's not a bad idea.
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post #25 of 29 Old 02-26-2015, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickM84 View Post
At one point in the early 2000s, IBM developed a technology to make CRT flat panel screens. These were to be cheaper than LCD and Plasma screens and would have had higher picture quality. I would like to know why this technology was ultimately not pursued. It would be sweet to one day have CRTflat panel screens. I'd probably pay more for a CRT flat panel than for a same sized LCD or LED.

Here is the story about IBM's research into CRT flat panels:

http://www.informationweek.com/sleek...-stuff/6505950

Does anyone know why this technology wasn't pursued?

FYI, IBM wasn't the only mfr that could make thin CRT's. Philips mfr a 1 cm thin CRT display they named ZEUS. IMHO, it had to be money or politics that interfered. Perhaps, a jealous company or companies got together and went to court and claimed patent violation and/or got a court order to prevent the technology from going to market. Perhaps Philips took a very very big payoff to abandon their marketing plans. Sometimes companies purchase their competition to shut them down. Black & Decker is famous for doing that, Dewalt, Porter- Cable, Emglo were a few of the companies they ruined . . . who knows, I don't, but I don't trust big money, it always gets corrupted by its very nature and power. or when lawyers get involved. I wonder if it was the US Govt that stopped it, because it was analog in nature!?


ZEUS links: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...6558179784675X


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...65581797846773


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...65581797846888


There you have it, full disclosure!

Last edited by diyer999; 02-26-2015 at 11:10 AM.
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post #26 of 29 Old 02-26-2015, 11:31 AM
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Yawwwwwn!
Have 14 months passed already?
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post #27 of 29 Old 02-28-2015, 10:47 AM
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Patience, Cheap OLED's are coming.

We deserve a cheap and good emissive technology because they slayed Plasma and CRT.
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post #28 of 29 Old Today, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elix
Business isn't about reason. Or what's good for the consumer. It's about making money. So even if the industry made the wrong decision about the technology and picked the wrong horse (*cough*oled*cough*) they are still going that way because money was invested. And they have to get it back.

By this rational, the product should've been made to recoup the costs of I.B.Ms. research. Considering that, It's only reasonable to assume there was some reason for why the I.B.M. didn't pursue it. Sometimes part of trying to make money is knowing when to cut your losses. I would agree it's not always about satisfying the customer though: Planned obsolescence may also be a factor and it may just be that the sets were too reliable =P. However with that being said, there may be more genuine reasons at play as well.

Do try to remember that Samsung's Slimfit televisions were sent out to market and were often criticized for geometry and reliability problems and those weren't such an extreme departure, only being about a third thinner. Perhaps a little refinement could've improved these displays' performance but these prototype sets were a much more extreme departure could've exhibited a variety of problems that made them comparatively undesirable to L.C.D. tech.

There's also another flaw inherent to cathode ray tube tech. as we know it today at play, which is the weight. The leaded glass legally required to protect the users from the hypothetical effects of the electron gun's radiation, as mentioned in the Health Concerns thread is perhaps the heaviest part of the display. I'd surmise that this is actually the bigger factor into the demise of the displays. Think about it for a minute: The weight makes it more costly to ship due to fuel considerations, The weight, combined with the fragility of glass, also makes it easier to break them during shipping, as anybody who has dealt with an eBay 'not as described' case can attest. It's also a potentially backbreaking inconvenience to the customer and whatever helpers he enlists to help him move the thing when necessary, which discourages upgrades, since you don't only have to bring the new product up but figure out what to do with the old product as well. Why would you give the customer a reason other than satisfaction to keep their set instead of upgrading to a newer product you've started selling?

In fact, although thinness was the claimed selling point, I'd argue the actual thickness of C.R.T. tech isn't nearly as much of a consideration as the weight was Seiki's set with an exterior that looks like a C.R.T. the se22fr01. If you think about it, you also can't put anything in front of the display either, without blocking your picture. The only difference thinness makes, as an actual space saving consideration, is that you can stash stuff behind the set or store the display on a smaller piece of furniture, if you otherwise wouldn't have enough walking space.. However the first of those options also hides it from view and makes it difficult to reach and the second means less storage space for other things. You also lose the space on the top, unless you have a shelf over it.. Maybe I'm just being crazy though....



Quote:
Originally Posted by James Freeman
We deserve a cheap and good emissive technology because they slayed Plasma and CRT.
I'm looking forward to that for future generations of content. Too bad there won't be a good substitute for multisync. I mean I get that fixed pixel displays have better geometry but on the other hand, it's nice to be able to switch resolutions without needing to rescale the content, especially now that we have more resolutions of video content to consider than when C.R.Ts. were actually sold.. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep one version of every future resolution type around the house. . .
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Last edited by Tonepoet; Today at 07:11 AM.
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post #29 of 29 Old Today, 10:26 AM
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I think screen size was the key factor at the time. Plus they can be hung on a wall.

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