There are technical and aesthetic issues that contribute to the stubborn reluctance of the industry to replace the CRT. Do current displays meet core requirements? Dick Hobbs talks to the players involved
“WITH THE RoHS and environmental issues faced by CRTs, not to mention the lack of spare parts, the reality was that it had to happen.” That’s how Kris Hill of JVC summarises one of the biggest challenges faced by broadcast engineers: how do we look at what we are putting out? The CRT is dead: but what replaces it?
The mass migration to flat panel displays changed the business as well as the engineering of monitoring. As JVC’s Hill points out, flat panel displays are smaller, lighter and
cheaper, and by being on top of this advance JVC now takes the largest overall market share in monitors in Europe. It also brought about the multiviewer revolution: take advantage of the larger screen sizes available by putting multiple feeds onto one display. There is one screen, though,
that remains to this day a problem: the grade one monitor, the reference display. As the BBC’s Richard Salmon puts it, we need a monitor that shows us not how good the signal is but what is wrong with it, so we can put it right.
It was in 2007 that Sony stopped manufacturing its grade one CRT, which was pretty much the only game in town. Since then, there has not been any practical replacement, and much engineering time has been
devoted to nursing the installed base of grade one CRTs along. As Michael Byrne of WTS
Broadcast said, “there are both technical and aesthetic issues that contribute to the reluctance in the industry to replace the
CRT. Technical issues relate to the limitations of current alternatives; aesthetic issues relate to visual differences, which result in the viewer losing confidence in the accuracy of the image.”
Richard Salmon: “It is very difficult to replace a CRT with a flat panel display, because you have to keep the colours the same”