What Is a CRT, and Why Don’t We Use Them Anymore?

A CRT (cathode ray tube) is a type of display technology that was commonly used in televisions and computer monitors before the advent of LCD and LED displays.

A CRT works by using a vacuum tube to create an electron beam, which is then directed towards a phosphorescent screen. As the beam hits the screen, it creates a visible image by exciting the phosphors on the screen.

While CRTs were widely used for decades and offered some advantages over other display technologies, such as high contrast and response time, they also had several drawbacks. These included:

  1. Large size and weight: CRTs were bulky and heavy, making them difficult to move and install.
  2. High power consumption: CRTs required a lot of power to operate, which made them expensive to run and contributed to global energy consumption.
  3. Limited resolution: CRTs had a maximum resolution that was lower than what is possible with LCD and LED displays.
  4. Eye strain and radiation: CRTs emitted a small amount of radiation and could cause eye strain or headaches for some people who used them for extended periods of time.

Today, most displays use LCD or LED technology, which offers many of the same benefits as CRTs without the drawbacks. While CRTs are no longer commonly used, they are still found in some specialized applications, such as in medical equipment or in some retro gaming setups.