The 7 Best Reasons to Avoid a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) TV Today

Hi there! Have you considered buying an old heavy CRT TV to save some money? I strongly advise against it! Modern televisions beat CRTs hands down in virtually every way – especially long term costs. Let me walk you through the 7 best reasons to avoid cathode ray tube sets today.


CRT drawbacks compared to current choices like LED, OLED screens:

  1. High Energy Expenses – CRT TVs cost significantly more to power over time
  2. Bulky and Heavy – Huge, awkward dimensions; difficult to properly place
  3. Size Restrictions – Could not scale above 40" diagonals vs 100"+ today
  4. Poor Visual Appeal – Chunky and unsightly; low tech vs sleek, elegant panels
  5. Health and Safety Issues – Risk radiation exposure; contain toxic materials
  6. Inferior Picture Quality – Fuzzy low resolution images; flickering and artifacts
  7. Excess Heat Generation – Components run hot; high fire hazard

Let‘s explore the specifics behind each limitation to understand why sticking with a CRT in 2022 makes little logical or financial sense…

CRT TVs Carry High Ownership Costs

I regret to inform you that picking up a decades old CRT expecting to save cash is wishful thinking! A 32" CRT displaying high definition content can consume over 150 watts on average. Equivalent modern LED televisions draw less than 50 watts – 3 times more efficient!

And that energy gap only widens as screen sizes scale up. Take 50" sets for example:

  • 50" CRT – ~300 watts
  • 50" LED – ~80 watts

Running costs really add up over years of regular use. Using my local electric rates as an example:

*Watching 5 hours daily on a 32" CRT at $0.15 per kWh equals ~$330 annually! The same 32" LED usage costs about $110.

You would waste over $220 extra every year by choosing obsolete CRT technology! Tack on environmental impact…and imagine 10+ years of cumulative savings and lower carbon emissions an Energy Star LED provides.

Over a decade, I estimate about $2,000+ in CRT power bills avoided – essentially paying for a brand new TV with the surplus. And LED lifetimes can still last another 5 to 10 years after that point. Pretty compelling case for leaving CRT behind, wouldn‘t you agree?

Excess Bulk and Weight Make CRT TVs Burdensome

Have you lifted or carried a traditional CRT television set lately? Let me warn you – it‘s no fun task!

That 32" CRT easily hits 100+ pounds. Compare that to a slim 32" LED at around just 15 to 20 pounds. Imagine lugging something 5 to 7 times heavier up staircases or across rooms! And prepared to reinforce whatever furniture you intend to place it on.

TV TypeAverage Weight (32")
CRT100 lbs
LED/LCD15-20 lbs

Additionally, CRTs required long tubes to aim electron beams properly. So they always protruded substantially from the wall. Check out this side view:

CRT Side Profile

That‘s easily a 2+ foot depth added to accommodate innards! Compared to modern displays measuring an inch or less thick. Current TV designs eliminate awkward protrusions and mount flat against walls no problem.

If you value open space and easier arranging, I must steer you from outdated CRTs. Their unwieldy nature restricts room layout flexibility compared to placing sleek new panels just about anywhere.

Large CRT Screen Sizes Were Not Viable

Don‘t expect to find jumbo 80" or 100"+ CRT television sets on the used market either. Engineers capped diameters around 40" – producing anything larger grew impractical fast.

Mainly down to weight factors. Picture a huge curved glass tube, electron gun and deflection yoke assembly scaled to giant proportions. Now try mounting that without crushing whatever sits under it! Limits in tube manufacturing processes also constrained potential CRT dimensions.

Whereas LED panel pieces easily snap together to create immense ultra HD displays. For example, Samsung‘s modular The Wall system assembles screens reaching 1,000 inches!

TV TechnologyMax Typical Size
CRT~40 inches
LED1,000+ inches

My point is you sacrifice huge screen real estate sticking with obsolete CRTs. Even smaller LEDs provide way more viewing area relative to the total footprint in modern living spaces. CAP their maximum capabilities far below what Next Gen panels routinely achieve.

CRT TV Designs Lack Visual Appeal

Beauty resides in the eye of beholder they say…but c‘mon – no rational person finds CRT televisions attractive looking!

Bulbous curved screens, tacky plastic housing, giant protruding rears…zero sophistication or style present. Don‘t expect to impress guests placing that relic in your finely furnished entertainment center!

Whereas today‘s best panels set standards for tech elegance. Take Samsung‘s ultra-thin The Frame as a prime example:

Samsung The Frame TV

Now that‘s artistic! And The Frame mounts totally flush against walls too – unlike unsightly gap spacing CRTs force. I simply see no reasonable justification claiming CRTs offer appealing aesthetics in 2022.

Health and Safety Hazards Lurk Within CRT TVs

Did you know inside every cathode ray tube television lurks assorted toxic materials and radiation sources?

Decades back before environmental consciousness, manufacturers lined CRT glass with lead to block viewer exposure from harmful x-raysgenerated by firing electron beams. Some color CRTs also contain traces of mercury and other heavy metals.

So damage one mishandling the 100 lb beast and toxicity spills forth! Even intact, cumulative x-ray emission takes a toll – raising lifetime risk for thyroid abnormalities, skin damage, eye lens defects and possible cancers. Children endure even greater vulnerabilities.

And if the high voltage electron gun power supply fails, anyone nearby risks severe electrical shock hazards from 25,000 volt+ exposures!

Modern LED/LCD televisions utilize much lower DC voltages – minimizing such threats by orders of magnitude. Their construction also avoids materials like lead and mercury. I suggest walking away from old CRTs and their safety baggage. Well being risks loom larger over time as components degrade.

Vastly Inferior Picture Quality

If putting health issues aside somehow, CRT televisions still sorely disappoint based on visual merits. They compare poorly across metrics driving display excellence:


CRTs natively output 530p resolution maximum! No amount of cables or settings bumps that to modern 4K. So expect quite fuzzy images.

Refresh Rate

Slow 60 Hz scan frequencies cause visible flickering artifacts in fast motion video. New 120 Hz+ screens show smoother transitions.


Aging CRTs suffer declining phosphor coatings, causing uneven dark areas. LED backlights maintain consistency.

Contrast Ratio

Inky LED blacks with localized dimming eclipse CRT‘s shades of gray.

Color Gamut

Limited CRT phosphors cannot match the vivid wide P3/Rec.2020 color LED/OLED panels display.

Geometry Distortion

CRT electron beams strike edges at angles, creating image distortion. Some peripheral warping always exists.

I don‘t know about you, but I prefer crystal clear 4K scenes over distorting fuzzy pixelation! Why settle for anything less? Even entry level LEDs outclass CRTs for realistic imaging.

High Power Consumption and Excessive Heat

Hopefully at this point I‘ve made quite a convincing case to ditch old CRT technology! But allow me to quickly reinforce their egregious inefficiency still…

As covered earlier, CRT televisions need LOTS of juice to energize their electron guns. Hundreds of watts translating into kilowatt hour drains over time. Worst of all, most energy wasted ends up converted to pure heat rather than light pixels on the screen.

All those active electronics and the vacuum tube glass enclosure turn CRTs into virtual furnaces after some hours of operation. Things get hot enough inside to literally cook off chemicals and melt components if ventilation falters. Talk about a severe fire hazard!

None of us want 500+ watts of heat blowing on us for very long either. Luckily modern LED/OLED alternatives sip just a fraction of the power while running far cooler. So let‘s agree to leave the hot, risky CRT tech where it belongs – in our memories!

I hope this guide gives you a helpful overview explaining why CRT televisions are best left a relic of the past. Please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy TV shopping!

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