Many people may assume that conventional television sets and computer monitors — the kind that use picture tubes (technically known as cathode ray tubes, or CRTs) rather than flat panel screens — have virtually disappeared from the market, like buggy whips and 8-track cassette tapes. But a new MIT study reports that demand for these devices is still greater than the supply of old discarded CRTs, whose glass is recycled to make new ones.
The demand comes mostly from the world's developing nations, where inexpensive TV sets using CRTs are one of the first luxury items people tend to buy as soon as they have a little bit of disposable income, says Randolph Kirchain, associate professor of materials science and engineering and engineering systems and co-author of the new study.
Sales of CRT television sets peaked in 2005 at about 130 million units worldwide, and declined to about 90 million last year — almost all of those in Asia and Latin America. Sales of CRT computer monitors peaked around 2000 at about 90 million units, but have already declined to near zero.
From MIT News
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