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Sony to Stop Producing Smaller CRTs 564

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the forced-obsolescence dept.
NerveGas writes "Sony is apparantly going to stop producing 17- and 19-inch CRTs, in favor of LCDs. It seems a bit soon to drop CRTs completely, seeing as how LCDs still have less than 30% of the market share. Maybe since their patent on Trinitron screens expired, they're not able to command ridiculous margins any more." Smaller CRTs? I've got a couple 19" Sony monitors here, and I've always considered them to be a good size.
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Sony to Stop Producing Smaller CRTs

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  • by timothy (36799) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:00PM (#5147447) Homepage Journal
    I'm happy for 19" CRTs to be considered small -- anyone who would like to give me an LCD or nine, I take all sizes, even little tiny 17-inchers.

    Looking forward to the day that 42" plasma TVs are also small :)

    timothy
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:09PM (#5147516)
      Looking forward to the day that 42" plasma TVs are also small :)

      Welcome to my airplane hangar... I mean office.
    • Know anything about plasma screens?

      When I get my own place, I'm going to buy one of those sweet things for like $5,000 and, if I can, double it up as a computer monitor and a TV.

      I figure it's worth it to have a great monitor no matter what I'm currently watching/doing.
      • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:21PM (#5147622)
        Plasma screens have really short burn in times, if you put a computer desktop on it you'll have permanent ghosts where the static objects on your desktop are in notime.

        People who buy them as televisions have to be very careful to avoid burn it, that's why they have grey vertical bars instead of black when watching 4:3 television on a 16:9 display. The technology just isn't quite there yet.

    • by joe_bruin (266648) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:11PM (#5147535) Homepage Journal
      sorry, lcd's are still too slow to refresh. there is a visible lagtime (in milliseconds) when dragging windows and scrolling, especially when there is a big contrast difference between the surface that was visible and the one that replaced it (after-ghosts). i dunno about you guys, but i find it rather annoying. i'll be sticking to my 100hz crt for now.
      • by StArSkY (128453) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:51PM (#5147818) Homepage

        This all depends on what the pixel response time is. I get no ghosting on my LCD's at all, but I have seen some crappy (eg Viewmaster) ones that did ghost.

        My pixel response time on my TWO LG 563LE's is 25ms. This is the equivalent of 40fps... BUT this is only for the pixels that change colours.

        All of the other pixels don't change color at all, and as such are inifite FPS !!! This is why you don't get such sore eyes on these babies.

        I also play counter-strike and DOD on my LCD's and I experience no problems at all playing. I have had other gamers surprised at how good they are given they are LCD's
      • by Edgewize (262271) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:52PM (#5147824)
        You haven't looked at LCD recently, I guess. I paid under $280 for a KDS 15" LCD to replace a 17" (16.1 viewable) Trinitron and it has no smearing whatsoever. The only thing I have ever noticed is when quickly scrolling white text over a black background, the text is visibly dimmer (but still readable).

        There are plenty of LCD monitors with a total response time under 35 ms now, which is enough for 30 crisp, fully-contrasted frames per second. Quake 3 and other fast high-contrast games might lose some crispness, but the images are still clear and bright enough for the average joe. (Maybe even better-looking, since there's just the slightest hint of motion blur :)

        Of course some very cheap LCDs have serious issues with ghosting, but you shouldn't have any problems as long as you try before you buy.
      • by StArSkY (128453) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:55PM (#5147846) Homepage
        Some pixel response times are measured in half-cycles and others are measured in full cycles.

        My 25ms lcd's are FULL cycle. 25ms to clear and replace a pixel with a new colour.

        Some manufacturers are advertising pixel response times based upon just the time from already cleared to fill, and as such report their times twice as good as they actually are. So be careful and definitely TRY BEFORE YOU BUY with LCD's. Also remember ot check for dead pixels.
      • by Sir Joltalot (66097) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @09:35PM (#5148033) Homepage
        The thing that bothers me about LCDs is not the response time. A lot of people seem to be bothered about it, and say that playing games is not feasible on LCDs, but even though I notice the ghosting a bit, I can't really say it bothers me all that much, at least not on the newer displays. No, what bothers me is always the resolution. Sure, a 17" LCD usually has the viewable area of a 19" CRT, but on my 19" CRT I can run 1600x1200x85Hz, and every 17" LCD I've ever seen is 1280x1024. Give me an LCD that'll run 1600x1200 at <= $500 and I'd be all over it...

        I don't get why in laptops they make the resolution uber-high (well, PC laptops anyway, Apple is a different case) and then make the desktop LCDs with such low resolution.. I mean you can barely even see stuff on those Dell laptops with 15" 1600x1200 screens, for crying out loud!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you look at the prices of both 17" and 19" CRTs, you'll see that there isn't much room for profit in making that size monitor. Sony's resources are much better spent making LCDs and large screen TVs.
    • Sony GDM-FW900 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BrookHarty (9119) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:22PM (#5147628) Homepage Journal
      When they can charge 2250 bux for a 24 inch GDM-FW900 Wide screen monitor (2304X1440), compared to 250 bux for a 19inch monitor, its an easy to tell where the profit is.

      BTW, We have these on triple headed sun boxes, man they are great. I'd love to have one at home, dvd, hdtv and games, oh yeah... Too bad its artificially priced high, you could buy 2 21 inch LCDs for the same price.
    • Not quite true -- but there is a lot more profit margin in a $900USD G520 (21") than in a $500 G420 (19"), as the only real difference is the tube and the plastic casing.

      I love my G520, but the only reason I have one is that I could not find anyone who had the G420 in stock -- they were perpetually sold out as soon as they'd come in. Maybe because they were a real nice price/performance/resolution/quality balance?

      As to LCD's, no freakin' way. Poor black level management, poor color control, poor multi-resolution signal management. Basically not much good for anything other than standard office work -- which is not what I do.

  • by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:02PM (#5147460) Homepage Journal
    It's not the size of the CRT that matters...it's the resolution of the image!

    At least that's what my wife tells me.
    • but if I was going above 1280x1024, an LCD would have better image quality than my shitty CRT.

      If monitors weren't so damn expensive, I'd buy several of them. The same goes for nearly all technology. If 1gb/s ethernet equipment was reasonably priced, I would upgrade my network.

      Are tech manufacturers trying to squeeze money out of those that will pay the most before squeezing mass sales from the rest of us or does it really cost more to manufacture for the first two years?
      • Reservation Price (Score:5, Informative)

        by vandel405 (609163) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:41PM (#5147765) Homepage Journal
        Its called "Reservation Price" and if you don't do it in business, you're doing the 'wrong' (profitwise) thing.

        A persons reservation price, is the max $ they are willing to spend on an item. Lets say there are 5 (A, B, C, D, E) people in our world interesting in buying a shinny new FOO.

        Bar INC. the maker of FOO does market research before releasing FOO and finds that some people (A and B) would pay $10 for foo, C thinks it is only worth $8 and D, E wouldn't buy it unless it were $5 or less.

        So to make maximum profit, Bar INC. first prices FOO at $10 for a year, A and B pick up one each. Then they drop it to $8, C picks one, then after 18 more months, they drop it to $5 and D and E get there FOO's. Total revenue is 38$ for Bar INC. If they had just marketed at some average of like ~$8 they would have only made $24 because D and E would never purchase.

        It is safe to assume that nearly all hardware companies practice this.
        • by Apollo13 (241841) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @09:02PM (#5147880)
          That only worls if Bar INC has a monopoly on that product. Otherwise a second company Baz INC prices FOO at $8 to start with. A, B and C buy from Baz INC which make $24. Bar INC sells nothing and goes broke. Baz INC then buys Bar INC for $1 and sells off the remaining stock at $5 each to D and E.
        • That seems a simplistic view.

          First, is FOO an unique product ? There are always multiple products that have the same _end goal or use_. Bar INC can only make keep a high reservation price if others do.

          Also, in your example, D & E think FOO is worth $5 at the time of release. Why do you assume they will buy it at that price 30 months after release. Maybe BARcheap INC will have released a cheaper product than FOO called FOOcheap. maybe FOOcheap reaches the $5 mark when FOO reaches the $8 mark. Then, D & E never do purchase FOO.

          Safe to say, economics is more complicated than what my or your comment makes it to be.
    • by Magus311X (5823) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:21PM (#5147618)
      Tell that to some of the people in my company.

      User is still using one of the older monitors (15" Trinitron tubes) and made a requisition, complaining for a better monitor. Well, they clamored enough for a while we were told to give her a 19". I set it up during her lunch, and set it to 1024x768.

      I thought I was being very conservative with that resolution, because everyone seems to complain about their eyesight.

      Next day I walked by it and she apparently set it to 640x480 with large icon and large fonts. She wears glasses too.

      -----
    • by Syncdata (596941) <syncdata71 AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:23PM (#5147635) Journal
      and I've always considered them to be a good size.
      "Brodie, when a woman tells you it's a good size, that's a nice way of saying 'It's too small'".
      /mallrats
    • "It's not the size of the CRT that matters...it's the resolution of the image!"

      At least that's what my wife tells me.


      That's what your wife tells me too. :)
    • That's what you, people with small CRTs, always say.
  • Does this mean... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by s.a.m (92412) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:03PM (#5147465) Journal
    That we'll get to see some companies pick up the details of the patent and start producing CHEAPER trinitron crt's? That would be awesome since sony crts are expensive.
    • Re:Does this mean... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nexx (75873)

      They can get all the details they want from Sony's now-expired patent, like Mitsubishi did. Why they're not doing so is mostly because Trinitron/Diamondtron monitors are slightly more difficult to manufacturer.

      I'm actually curious to see who builds ViewSonic's vertically-flat trinitron-esque tubes (it's definitely not Sony).

      • I'm actually curious to see who builds ViewSonic's vertically-flat trinitron-esque tubes (it's definitely not Sony).

        Two ways

        1) Google for "$model regulatory"
        where $model is the Viewsonic model number

        2) At the back of the Viewsonic, look for a label containing FCC-ID. That FCC-ID will generally contain the model number of the "reference model"
    • by kscd (414074)
      If i'm not mistaken, mitsubishi already did with their Diamondtron series....
  • LCD Cost (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kmahan (80459) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:04PM (#5147474)
    Hopefully this will be an incentive to drive the cost of LCD monitors down.
  • LCDs Still Suck. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quaoar (614366) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:05PM (#5147479)
    I refuse to by a monitor that loses definition at odd angles, has a hard time with the color black, and is only sharp at one resolution. I especially refuse to buy them when they're twice as expensive. The only benefits are power use and desk space...two things that rank very low on the ladder of importance for me. I'm certain a LOT of other people feel the same way.
    • by MisterFancypants (615129) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:09PM (#5147520)
      Lets not forget dead-pixel syndrome and shitty refresh rates which cause ghosting in fast action games (this has been reduced in newer LCDs but NOT eliminated.. not by a long shot).

      LCDs are great when you're space limited and need an office-work machine and are great for laptops of course, but I refuse to put on on my home system given the insane cost and all of the associated problems (particularly for gamers and graphics professionals).

      • Re:LCDs Still Suck. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by aetherspoon (72997) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:18PM (#5147581) Homepage
        I'm a gamer.
        I run UT2003.
        I own a LCD.
        My LCD runs usually at 75 hz, although it can run at 80 hz.
        I see no ghosting whatsoever.
        I see no dead pixels, and I've even had my monitor go through the US's airline BAGGAGE.

        Me thinks you have not seen a modern LCD.
        • by fault0 (514452) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @09:01PM (#5147875) Homepage Journal
          I'm a gamer, who plays quake3, and who has two pretty decent (and modern) monitors. One is CRT (a Viewsonic 19" E90f), and one is a LCD (a Hitachi 17" CML174). The Hitachi DOES have some ghosting--- everything seems to move faster than on the Viewsonic and things sometimes feel blurry. This happens to a point where I only play FPS games on my CRT.

          HOWEVER, I use my LCD for 90% of my other work, and I plan to sell my Viewsonic soon. Why? Because text is just so damn readable on the Hitachi. I just love it.

          For everyone except very hardcore competitive gamers and other people with special needs, I really recommend LCD's.
        • by Gyan (6853)
          I'm a gamer.
          I run UT2003.
          I own a LCD.
          My LCD runs usually at 75 hz, although it can run at 80 hz.
          I see no ghosting whatsoever.


          Stop blinking so much ...now how is it ?
    • Three words (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alexjp (43728)
      Reduced eye strain.
    • by Nexx (75873)
      Keep in mind Sony is a Japanese company, and in Japan, space is at a premium. LCD's are the norm there (though mostly in the 15" variety), with some companies issuing laptops as their workers' main PCs.
    • Re:LCDs Still Suck. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by be-fan (61476) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:20PM (#5147603)
      I refuse to buy a monitor that doesn't have at least a 120 DPI native resolution. That rules out pretty much every CRT. I switched from a nice 19" Sony Trinitron to a 15" 1600x1200 Dell laptop LCD, and it's the best switch I've ever made. Staring at text just plain becomes easier when there are enough pixels to actually display letter shapes! The total lack of flicker and zero geometric distortion doesn't hurt!
      • I refuse to buy a monitor that doesn't have at least a 120 DPI native resolution. That rules out pretty much every CRT.

        Hmm, my several-year-old Sony 19" does 1920x1440 just fine. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, that's around 125 dpi. However, I generally find that to be a bit excessive, and stick to 1792x1344, which gives me nearly 118 dpi (possibly a little more, since the display doesn't quite go all the way to the edges of the screen), and the refresh rate is high enough that there's no noticable flicker.

        Anyway, if you don't want your old trinitron any more, I'm sure I can find it a nice home. :)
    • by Wee (17189) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:21PM (#5147615)
      The only benefits are power use and desk space...two things that rank very low on the ladder of importance for me. I'm certain a LOT of other people feel the same way.

      I can tell you that those two things (well, one does, anyway) rank pretty high on a large organization's list. For example, I can tell you that any new computers which come with monitors bought by UCSD's CS dept have to be ordered with LCD monitors now. The power savings are pretty big, even though it may take a while to phase in the new machines and their flatpanels. A couple friends in various other large companies have also seen this trend.

      My guess is that Sony is merely catering to business needs and pressures and not thinking of home users as much.

      -B

      • Maybe so, but I like to think that these companies will still be sensitive to those employees that have vision problems, and can't stand LCDs. I am such a person, I avoid using my laptop's LCD screen at all costs. The fact that the colors are distorted or completely lost at the edges, and that I just can't seem to find a confortable viewing angle, is causing me headaches and degradation of productivity.
    • The text and other figures (but usually not colors)
      look -much- sharper on LCDs. LCDs -are- a great improvement because my job involves stating at the screen at least 6 hours a day. For the last few years I have been using exclusively 19inch CRTs. Recently, I have switched to a 19inch LCD and man.. that's a real improvement. It is trully a joy to look at that screen and I don't have headaches any more at the end of work day.
    • LCDs Still Rock (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aetherspoon (72997)
      You know, I could have swore I hit submit on this...

      Anyways, my LCD rocks. 17" LCD with built in TV tuner for 800 USD... and worth every dime. I live in a dorm room, so my deskspace is at a premium. I'm a computer geek and coder, so the lack of eyestrain is DEFINITLY worth it.

      Refresh rate? 80 hz max, although I usually run it at 75 hz.
      Resolution? 1280x1024. My biggest sticking point since I have a habit of running monitors at 1600x1200 if they are larger then 17".
      Color depth? My god it is beautiful... I can't go back to a CRT because of how it looks.
      Power? My UPS lasts a hell of a lot longer now...
      The space saved is immense. I can play PS/PS2/Whateverconsoleyouwant games in a picture in picture if I so desired. My LCD rocks.

      I just saw a LCD for 350 USD the other day. 17". Wow.

      A side note: LCDs are measured in viewable sizes, so that 17" CRT is only really a 15.9" (or whatever) viewable, but that 17" LCD is really a 17" viewable.
    • I like LCDs because when you spend 20 hours, like I do, a week in front of a monitor, it's nice not to get all that radiartion. Also, unless you are doing something that requires a lot of color detail, an LCD is just fine. You do have some good points, LCDs are too expensive and they don't have good color.
    • I refuse to by a monitor that loses definition at odd angles, has a hard time with the color black, and is only sharp at one resolution. I especially refuse to buy them when they're twice as expensive.

      Good points. I know that while I am looking at my flat panel I often tilt it away from me just to change the angle. I also like to turn the monitor away from me just so I can see the colors washed out.

      The bottom line is that LCD monitors don't have the field of vision that CRTs have. But once I set up my monitor I only view it from one angle.

      My dell 20" Flat panel that runs at 1600x1200 has no problem with showing black.

      And yes, you have to make sure that you are comfortable with the native resolution before you purchase it. But the one nice thing microsoft has done is that most directx games nowadays can run at the desktop's resolution rather than a set 1024x768 or 800x600. So with the games I have purchased the past year or so I am running them all at 1600x1200.

      As for the price issue, they are a little more expensive than the CRT counterparts if you compare them to high quality CRTs. I have yet to see a CRT show lines as straight as my LCD at 1600x1200. And I only paid $750 for mine, brand new.

      The one major benefit that LCDs have over CRTs is the ergonomic issue (and not just moving them :) LCD screens are so much better on a person's eyes. It really is a noticable difference.

      So yes, they have a few drawbacks, but the benefits far outweigh the few disadvantages.
    • Re:LCDs Still Suck. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AKnightCowboy (608632) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @09:40PM (#5148076)
      Don't forget that very important difference between LCDs and CRTs. With a CRT you don't get dead or "stuck" pixels. Imagine my suprise when I found my brand new $1300 iBook had 3 dead pixels at various places around the screen. Hell, my mother-in-law has a blue line of dead pixels on her 1 year old LCD display. She just ignores it though, THAT would drive me nuts. At least with a CRT it's either dead or just gets dimmer and a bit fuzzier but that can be adjusted for a long time before it's useless. My 10 year old 14" CRT display is still going strong as the console for my servers. Somehow I doubt an LCD backlight will last that long. By the way, I also see no point in them for "space savings". I've got plenty of space and enjoy my 21" Trinitron CRT over any LCD any day of the week. :-) Plus LCDs suck for gaming and graphics. Apple must be smoking crack to try to sell LCDs to graphics artists when the color matching is so horrible! I imagine most of them just buy a third party monitor.
  • I have always wanted to upgrade to a good 19 inch LCD anyway, but Its still about 300 dollars too much for my tastes, and IMHO, the refresh rates still have to catch up.

    Guess I'll have to stick with the "quaint" 21 inch for all my games.

    PS~ I know my dear old mom would love a 17 inch LCD display!
  • IMHO they really are, as long as space is not an issue. The contrast, brightness, sharpness seems to be better than LCD. In addition LCD screens have limited viewing angle. I agree LCD screens look cool, consume less electricity and space. But thats not good enuf to completely dump CRTs, esp if they are *cheaper*
    • Actually, I find quite the opposite.
      At work, I have a 17 inch CRT that is quite possibly the worlds worst monitor. I like to run at high resolutions and this thing can barely support 1240 x 768. In contrast, at home I run my Dell Inspiron at 1600 x 1200 and love it. The text is clear, and the contrast I find to be quite good. Also, I find reading text and working on LCDs is far better than working on a CRT. I can't quite pin down what is better about them, but if I had to guess I would probably say that I find the LCD display 'crisper'.
      You are not the only person I found with the opinion that CRTs are better, and frankly I find that I'm in the minority. Most people that have them, when asked why the bought them, say that they look cooler and save space. Nobody has any real reason (besides aesthetics) for having them.
      To sum it up, I guess I like my LCD better because it seems to "paint" the picture on the screen, while the CRT seems to be trying to burn the image into my retinas.
      • CRTs are still better than most of the crappy LCDs sold at CompUSA, but they have been soundly thrashed by the higher-end LCDs -- the kind that sell for around 3X the price per square inch of a good CRT display.

        What Sony's doing here is acknowledging that customers who are after a high-quality display are probably also looking for a large display. There's no point making an expensive, high-quality, small CRT monitor anymore, unless you're selling video reference monitors (an entirely different market).
    • Viewing angle isn't a problem on reasonably modern LCDs. Also, I'd like to disagree about brightness and sharpness. LCDs look much brighter and sharper and CRTs. They are specially good if you're mostly working with text, which is what people do most of the time on computer related jobs. I think LCDs are great for businesses. The consumers might take a while to catch up though.
    • Like anything the quality of the screen will vary, depending on how much you pay and who you buy it from. I have a Dell portable with a 15" screen with a resolution of 1400*1050, and the image is crisp. Now I have walked into a fair few stores and most of the screens look fuzzy. I attribute this to the fact that they are all using SVGA (digital->analogue->digital), which in not the best solution. Most of the top end screens use a DVI connector which takes out the analogue conversion, which only really makes sense for CRTS. The other problem is, unless I am going for the high end, the screens tend to have a lousy resolution for their size.

      For me resolution and screen real-estate are just as important, but unless I am willing to pay the price of a computer on a screen, I am going to stick with my CRT for my desktop.
  • Easy Fix (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dolly_Llama (267016) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:08PM (#5147505) Homepage
    Maybe since their patent on Trinitron screens expired, they're not able to command ridiculous margins any more.

    Easy solution to this problem: Copywrite Trinitron and lobby Congress to extend your rights for another 50 years.

  • by kruetz (642175) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:08PM (#5147511) Journal
    Okay, I'm not gonna buy an LCD screen anytime soon and neither is anyone else I know (but I would like one). But consider companies that require large monitors - they DO exist. For example, petroleum and minerals companies need their employees to inspect large amounts of geographical data as quickly as possible. Quite often they have many 19" to 21" monitors, and one or two 25"+ beasts.

    Now, if they're going to have all of these huge monitors, they may still want to be able to use their desks. So LCD screens that take up a small fraction of the desk would be a great improvement upon CRTs. And besides, the trend in screen sizes has always been "bigger IS better". So perhaps Sony is going to restrict itself to the upper-end of the monitor market.

    But let's face it, Sony can afford to do this. They have the PS2, MiniDisc, a reputation as a maker of top-quality stereo equipment ... I don't think they'd be too worried about losing CRT sales. And CRT sales are declining - it's not a growth market. In fact, in five years time you may not be able to buy brand-new CRTs any more. Why would you want to hang around in such a market?

    And if they get an early start on LCD monitors, they may end up in a similar situation ten years down the track to what they had with the Flatron. They may corner the market with some technological gimmick just like before. At least this way, they're giving themselves every chance.
    • a reputation as a maker of top-quality stereo equipmen

      where did you hear this one?!! Sony makes bottom of the barrel audio equipment, both at home garbage and mobile trash. It is sold to the lowest common denominator who is more interested in the 300 watt rating than anything else.

      • Sony makes bottom of the barrel audio equipment

        I can't imagine where anyone would get this idea. Sony consistently beats the crap out of every other manufacturer.

        While everyone else had 3 second shock-protection, and had to swap batteries every 2-4 hours, I had a Sony CD Discman that had 40 second memory, and lasted about 40 hours on two AA batteries, had S/PDIF output, and a metal shell (not plastic).

        Their headphones have great frequence ranges, where most others cut of the high or low-end. And Sony headphones are always louder than others (less resistance) because they don't use cheap speakers that can't handle the power.

        Their amplifiers are powerful, and just about all their equipment produces less noise than anything but professional equipment (which costs several times more).

        Their equipment is quite durable as well, and lasts for years even under my heavy use.

        I can't imagine how anyone else could have such different experiences than mine.
    • Wow, for oil tycoons they're flirking stupid then. I have a 35 foot 'monitor' and it only cost me a few hundred bucks, much less than several LCDs. Projectors and sheets = god
      • Well, this is what I saw when doing some work experience at such a company ... about 7 years ago. They had a few Sun workstations with 25" monitors (and OPTICAL mice - wow!). I'm not sure about the state of projectors back then, but there are some problems with projectors: wall space. In a floor full of cubicles, there just isn't room to use a projector. And meeting rooms can't be used, because they need to be able to check the data constantly ... so that's why they have a few monster screens. What the spend on monitors they make up for in fully-utilised office space.
  • by ucblockhead (63650) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:10PM (#5147524) Homepage Journal
    I doubt any conspiracy theories are in order. It is more likely that sales of lower-end CRTs are dropping to the point where there's no point in making the effort.

    I doubt that the big CRTs are going anywhere, at least until LCDs get cheap.

    Remember that Sony can't "force" you to buy a higher price LCD as you can always buy another brand. The fact that there taking the smaller ones of the market means that they feel that they won't lose very many customers.
  • 100 columns of 1cm high text is just dandy
  • Stopping the 19"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:13PM (#5147549)
    I just bought a 19" Sony E440 like 4 days ago. And while it was more expensive than the other 30 monitors sitting next to it on display, I could easily tell the difference in the vividness of color, and the sharpness of the resolution between the Sony and the other makes. And if your a computer nerd who spends all day infront of a computer, and only wants 1 monitor, wouldn't you likely get the nicest one out there?

    Why stop producing these Sony? There are plenty of people out there who will pay the "premium" for the superior picture. Or am I the only one?!
    • Get the 21" E500-series. I have a older E400 I paid a LOT of money for back in the day. It's bright enough to hurt to look at if cranked up all way. It'll be the last CRT I buy though, I stare at the screen all day, and the reduction in eyestrain is worth every penny. I pretty much just use my home system for games anyhow.

      Sony makes really nice 21" CRTs including widescreen CRTs for what you paid for that 19" a year or so ago. So don't sweat it. I'll be replacing this monitor with a cinema display from Apple when it goes (I use one at work). Put a CRT next to a LCD and try to multihead .. it's painful.

  • by Gyan (6853) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:14PM (#5147553)
    For prepress and color-sensitive work, I would still want CRTs. Maybe 2-3 years down the line would sound OK, not now.
  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:16PM (#5147570)
    As a photographer and digital effects artist, I can't do anything mission critical on an LCD screen. The gamma is all wrong and it changes depending on your viewing angle. It's also very harsh on photographs, in terms of contrast and edges.

    However, I prefer LCD screens for reading text. The square pixels and sharp edges lend themselves to that sort of purpose.

    The interesting thing is that eventually everyone at home will be looking at my photos online with LCDs anyway, so it can't be ignored.

    I just hope that as an artist I'll still be able to get CRT screens until LCD's have advanced to a point where they are acceptable, or DLP or other promising technology has taken over. I personally swear by the Sony 21" FD trinitron. We still use CRT's for everything in the effects industry, however I have seen the (very nice! IMHO) 22" Apple cinema LCD displays being used at a print studio facility in San Francisco that was producing the Macy's christmas catalog while I was visting. I asked them about the color and gamma shifting issue and he said "Yea, we just have to make sure and look at them dead center, and then it's okay." And in the final checking room, there were computers with CRTs and hoods on the monitors for fine tuning anyhow.

    For now, my ultimate dream monitor is still the Sony FW-900 [sonystyle.com] 24" widescreen CRT display, and it's down to about $2k now.

    --Mike

    • I agree. I am NOT a photographer and my living doesn't demand perfect colors, etc, but I can easily see the defficiencies.

      As for sharpness, I think a good CRT does fine. It might take going into service mode to fine tune the beam focus.

      I just bought a Samsung 17" flat panel. I am still using an old NEC 21" beast, but my desk is too small to get two such units.

      This LCD unit's colors are too blue (color temp wise), and the backlighting intensity is very uneven, too bright on the sides, and too dark on the top edge. The color temp issue can't be totally remedied by the color balance, I set it to as red as possible and it is still a bit blue. I think if I can get some filter gels I might be able to tune the color of the backlight, but I won't try the thing is going back in a few days because other unexpected expenses came up.
    • Finally, someone on MY side. The last time I made a comment about all the benefits of CRT and the negatives about LCD I got trashed by about twenty Apple dorks.

      I agree, the 22" and even more so with the 23" Apple Displays are beautiful displays. But not for what Apple is trying to sell them for, and definitely not for the price. I am the sys admin for an advertising agency in Little Rock, Arkansas - I buy all 21" Sonys for my artists and they absolutely love them. I'd get them the 24" if my budget were twice as big ...

      And actually I've been under the impression that Sony made Apple's displays all along - back to the days of the beige 21" Apple Studio Display. Without doing actual research I stumbled onto this Sony display [sonystyle.com] which happens to be a 23" LCD with the exact same specs as Apple's HD Cinema Display [apple.com] I pretty much knew they were the same thing. Guess what, Sony's is $500 cheaper. Only difference is the Apple Digital Connector.

      When the Trinitron is replaced I'll still be buying from Sony. They just make good shit.
    • Eyestrain (Score:3, Interesting)

      However, I prefer LCD screens for reading text. The square pixels and sharp edges lend themselves to that sort of purpose.

      LCDs are better for reading text. CRTs quickly give you eyestrain. The CRT image aslo shakes, even if only slightly on the better models. When LCD producers have had time to put as much time, effort and funding into color as the CRTs manufactures, then there will be no need to keep the CRTs around.

      Right now, the best compromise is to have dual-head: one CRT for sensitive color work, one LCD for the other work.

  • Most CRT's double in price in two inch increments. Now I understand that because it becomes difficult to make a larger vacuum tube as volume increases. The same thing does not apply to LCD's in terms of production costs. However, since the standard price scale works that way, Sony will make a killing on their 17-19 inch lcds. Thats my theory as to why they are killing of CRT's.
  • I hate big monitors (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:19PM (#5147591) Journal
    They're obviously stuck in a hopeless cycle of groupthink here.... thinking that big==good. This, of course, is hogwash. I have a 17" monitor sitting on my desk and it's perfect. I have a 21" Viewsonic Pro monitor sitting in the corner of my room holding up a bunch of boxes.

    But EmagGeek! Why not use the 21"!?

    Because it's so damn deep, I can't put my input devices in front of it! I just happened to be at that stupid trendy (but cheap) quasi-swedish furniture store today measuring up desks. The standard depth was 28", on almost every single desk. That ViewSonic monitor I mentioned is 24" deep including cable relief - so unless I can find a 4" keyboard, I'm screwed..

    Of course, chiming in with all the "conspiracy theories" that this thread seems to have spawned, I could conjecture that monitor manufacturers have teamed up with computer desk manufacturers so that no desk can accomodate the smallest CRT, forcing people to LCDs... :)
    • But EmagGeek! Why not use the 21"!?

      Because it's so damn deep, I can't put my input devices in front of it! I just happened to be at that stupid trendy (but cheap) quasi-swedish furniture store today measuring up desks. The standard depth was 28", on almost every single desk. That ViewSonic monitor I mentioned is 24" deep including cable relief - so unless I can find a 4" keyboard, I'm screwed..


      My solution: Put the big monitor on a corner of the desk. That leaves over a foot in front of it, and fills a desk section that just collects cruft (especially if it's the corner that's in the corner of the room).

      A desk that's designed as an L-shaped corner desk is even better for this, but I do it on standard desks as well.

      YMMV.
  • Aww! (Score:5, Funny)

    by SteakandcheeseUm (191173) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:19PM (#5147598) Homepage
    Now I won't be able to have a CRT display device double as a heater for my room. shucks!
  • LCDs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jeepee (607566)
    Another thing that comes to my mind in CRTs vs LCDs is that it almost impossible to find cheap lcds whatever the size, that can do 1600*1200 or over i prefer to have a 17in crt that can do 1600*1200 (ok its a little har to read :-) ). than a 19in or 21in LCD that can do not more than 1024*768 or 1280*xxx after all My ** real desk space ** its those pixels !!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:24PM (#5147644)
    I've got 17" monitors at work (3 of them) and a 17" at home. Not much point in getting anything bigger for what I do.

    What I _really_ want is a 3840x1024 LCD display. Wide, wide, wide. Reference on the left, code in the middle, debug on the right. I'm probably going to get cancer from having three CRTs blasting at me all day.
  • I hate Trinitrons. Those lines thru the middle of the screen can really get annoying, like a dead pixel on an LCD screen.
  • A good idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gyorg_Lavode (520114) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:26PM (#5147658)
    This is probably a good idea. It will let Sony focus on what will be the governing technology. Assuming they are able to use a signifigant amount of money from their CRT development and production to improve their LCD development and production.

    That said, I don't buy LCDs except for space and computers I don't use alot. My 3 main monitors are CRTs. First, I run at 1920x1440 and 1600x1200 on my 2 main computers. To get a LCD that does that is well beyond my budget. Second, I play games, I like bright images, and clear colors. LCD's are great for places like entertainment centers where you don't want a clunky CRT viing for affection with the TV, but for something you need to look at for hours a day, a CRT is the way to go.

    I do hope though, that in the future very high quality LCDs will be available at more reasonable prices. When I bought my first CRT, it did 1024x768 and cost more than my Diamontron 17in monitor that does 1600x1200 and is perfect flat. (I'm young. the monitors bought before the 1024x768 ones were purchased by the parents.) It seems like LCDs are at that exact point. The very cheap ones are 1024x768 and crappy quality. But hopefully the same way I can now get a nice monitor for that price, hopefully the same amount of time in the future the CRTs will be that good.

  • by jmichaelg (148257) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:26PM (#5147662) Journal
    ...when color television was just getting going, my best friend's dad worked as a machinist at the Berkeley Rad Lab. That was the lab that E.O. Lawrence had started just before WWII. One day in the very early 60's a group of physicists invited him to be the group's machinist and moonlight on a project. They were going to build a new color TV tube that was going to beat every other TV then on the market. They figured that since they had worked on particle accelerators for years, they really ought to know a thing or two about TV tubes which are nothing more but scaled down electron accelerators.

    They worked nights and weekends on the project and when they finally had something to show, they schlepped the tube around to Motorola, Zenith, Sylvania, GE and one other American Television company. They chose those 5 companies because, combined, the companies dominiated the world television industry. None of the companies was interested. Discouraged, the group sold the rights to the tube to a European outfit. The Europeans gave the tube up as a lost cause because it was too hard to manufacture so the Europeans dumped it on a small Japanese electronics company. The company was Sony and that's how Sony ended up with the Trinitron. The name Trini - meant three for the three color guns and Tron, well because everything being built at Berkeley back then was a "-tron" - Calutron, Bevatron.

    • by Turbyne (563535) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @09:35PM (#5148030)
      After the settlement of the strike and the successful launch of their ADR stock, Sony had returned to normal. An eventful 1961 drew to a close on December 16, when Sony concluded a contract with Paramount Pictures to provide technical assistance in the production of a chromatron tube and color television receiver utilizing it.


      The days of radio are over. The future lies in television. Ibuka's simple comment resulted in the birth of Sony's model TV8-301, the world's first portable television. It was, however, a black and white receiver.

      We are surrounded by vivid colors in our daily life. Television, then, must be true to life. A TV set that cannot reproduce color is far from having been perfected. Producing color TVs was the next logical step for anyone involved in television. Sony was no exception. Many people had taken part in the technical research of color TVs from the earliest days of television. Early color receivers used cathode-ray tubes developed by RCA, which employed the three-electron gun shadow mask system. These cathode-ray tubes had three major drawbacks however: they were expensive, difficult to tune and broke down often. In comparison with black and white sets, the images were much darker. Moreover, when viewed in a normally lit room, the beautiful colors did not come through. Colors often ran into one another --- in general it was difficult to attain an accurate picture.

      The consensus was that the dark picture and failure to produce true color did not merit the high price. This feeling accounted for the slow sales of color sets. In the U.S., the ratio of B/W TV owners to color TV owners was 50 to 1 (50 million to 1 million). In Japan, the situation was worse, with only 300 color receivers sold in contrast to nine million B/W sets.

      Ibuka and the others decided that if they were going to tackle color TV, they would not rely on the shadow mask process with all its drawbacks. The Sony staff was confident that they could come up with a television without precedent. Sony is an innovator. We do things that no one has done. With this, Sony began the urgent search for a replacement to the shadow mask.

      The SV-201 all-transistor VTR.

      Sony was not alone. Dissatisfaction with the shadow mask screen was widespread. One possible substitute was the banana tube. Television signals were sent through this long thin tube, followed by RGB signals flashed at timed intervals, shuttered through a striped filter rotated through the beam. The rotating sound made a clattering noise, which in Japanese is onomatopoetically referred to as karakara. The color television using it was given the dubious, but amusing, name of karakara television, because of its phonetic closeness to the word color. The apple tube, which had been developed by Philco, was another possibility. Then there was the chromatron tube. This was the invention of famous American atomic physicist and Nobel laureate, Dr. E. O. Lawrence.

      In March 1961, Kihara and his staff took part in the IRE Show which was held at the New York Hilton Hotel and the New York Coliseum. An exhibit of the latest technology and technological applications, this was more like a scientific exposition than the present day trade show. Kihara and his staff had brought along the SV-201, the world's smallest video recorder and Hi-D (high-density) metal powder-coated tape which had been developed for the recorder.

      Here at the show, the Sony staff came across the brightest color display they had ever seen. It had originally been conceived as an IFF (Identification of Friend or Foe) display for military use. At one glance, however, Kihara knew that it was what they had been looking for.


      http://www.sony.net/Fun/SH/1-10/h1.html [sony.net]
  • Steve Jobs declared "the CRT dead" at MacWorld SF 2002. Besides the little eMac thing and them still selling the old CRT iMac , Apple stopped selling stand alone CRTs over a year ago. I am guessing Apple was not finding profit in them anymore either. Yes, they were more expensive than some other monitors, but they were very high quality and designers need that. They had a really nice high end graphic design quality 20" (or was it 21 or 22?) CRT that had a built in calibration button and was top notch all around. I still see a fair amount of them in places, they used the Sony tubes so it could not have eaten up as much money to make them as some other things.... ***COUGH*** cube ***COUGH****

    In the next year or less i predict Sony will have a slick 17" laptop, then Gateway will follow and totally screw it up.
  • Trinitron tubes have always cost a lot more than Diamondtron (Mitsubishi's apature grill tubes), and I think sony may have been losing more business vs LCD than Mitsubishi has been, as the Mitsubishi tubes have been traditionaly cheaper.

    The other factor is a 19" CRT is equivilent to a 17" LCD in practice, because the LCD's screen size is completely out there, while part of the CRT is hidden by the frame. Currently, 17" LCDs are more expensive, but the price is a lot narrower than it was a couple years ago.
  • True story. I got a Dell laptop with their Ultrasharp LCD screen. It is incredible. Fast refresh, deep contrast, good black levels. And no headaches. It was getting to the point where I could not look at a CRT for more than an hour at a time. I do not have that problem anymore. After a few months of using the machine, I've noticed that my eyesight has improved from not staying in front of a CRT. Don't knock an LCD until you've used a premium one.
  • The sooner LCD production is ramped up, the sooner the price will drop.
  • by jsse (254124) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @08:50PM (#5147809) Homepage Journal
    Failed the attempts to remove two black lines on all trinitron monitors, Sony finally announces discontinuing of the production line.

    "For all these years," said a Sony spokemen, "we thought we could finally fix this problem, the progress were not as expected."

    "but we pushed the defective products to the market anyway, and told people these two black lines are a sign of high quality [digitalvibes.com]. We're glad we didn't get caught and now it's over!"

    (For humor impaired, this is a joke. :)
  • is two 15" LCDs. Costs about the same but you get more desktop space to play with.
  • In a story that slashdot posted almost eighteen months ago IBM announced it was going to start making flat panel CRT's... Sleek CRT could... [informationweek.com] The original slashdot story is here [slashdot.org].
  • The problem for Sony is that the low-end CRT makers are much cheaper and yet have reasonable quality. From that perspective, Sony has to either cut their prices or exit the business, and they've chosen to exit.

    There will be CRTs until flat panels get both cheaper and better than CRTs. That's still a few years away.

  • by Lord Sauron (551055) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @09:03PM (#5147883)
    I used to be a Sony customer. I bought a 200-CD changer, a 19" CRT monitor. Now I promised myself to NEVER buy anything from them again.

    Why? Because of their stupid anti-piracy politics. They are one of the main RIAA members, one of the main supporters in the lobby that approved DMCA, one of the main supporters of that stupid DVD zone, one of the creators of that stupidest "copy-protected" disks (they can't even be called CD's, according to Philips, that holds the CD patent).

    So, even if their products are good, even if I can't find anything better, even it they are the last brand in Earth, I'll boycott Sony.

    Will you ? Will you give money to a company that screws its users ? Will you support DMCA and RIAA ?
  • by raynet (51803) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @09:31PM (#5148011) Homepage
    What I cannot understand is that most LCD have only 1024x768 resolution or maybe 1280x1024. With 19" CRT you can have a nice resolution of 1600x1200. Where are the cheap high resolution CRTs? HP Omnibooks have 1440x1050 and a 15" display size. And the screen can't be that expensive, because the whole Omnibook is quite cheap, but LCD panels at that resolution are really expensive.
  • by Michael Snoswell (3461) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @09:34PM (#5148023) Journal
    Having been an IT Manager in a big corp and also worked at SGI where 21" monitors are par for the course, and in military app development, I can think of many reasons to favour LCD screens:
    (not in any particular order)

    - less desktop space
    - lighter (you'd be surprised the number of insurance claims for back problems come from lifting monitors, they get moved from deskto desk or returned for repairs)
    - don't go fuzzy over time
    - look more high tech
    - less fire risk
    - less electric shock risk
    - less radiation risk
    - no alignment problems
    - less heat generated
    - lower magnetic interference of nearby equipment
    - able to withstand wider temp and pressure fluctuations
    - less storage space for stock

    This is offset by the dowsides ppl have mentioned like:

    - limited viewing angle
    - gamma/colour problems in cheaper LCDs
    - fixed resolution
    - images can look "harsh"
    - cost

    I'm sure Sony did their marketing homework before announcing this. Personally I love my 21" Trinitron...
  • by WiPEOUT (20036) on Thursday January 23, 2003 @09:44PM (#5148114)
    Regardless of what Sony would have me do, I will replace my trusty 19" CRT only when a display with OLED [pocketpcthoughts.com] technology become available at a reasonable price-point.

    Vibrant colour, excellent resolution, quick refresh, cheap to manufacture and makes an LCD look chunky. Sony just wants to make money off LCD before OLED comes along and forces them to write off their LCD investments.
  • Vacuum tubes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lildogie (54998) on Friday January 24, 2003 @12:08PM (#5151572)
    With the passing of the new millenium, I noted that the CRT was the only remaining, widespread, consumer use of vacuum tube technology.

    We were so close to leaving those heavy, hot, power-gulping things behind with the 20th century.

    (OTOH, I also note that it always takes about half a minute for my computer to power up, even the laptop with LCD. Same as when I was a kid and we had to "warm up" the television or radio in advance of a show.)

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