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Today's Lighter TVs Mean Much Less E-Waste

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the try-lugging-an-old-36"-crt dept.

Earth 197

MojoKid writes "We all know that today's flat-screen TVs weigh far less than old-style CRTs, or they wouldn't be able to hang on the wall. New research from the Consumer Electronics Association finds that this translates into a massive savings of electronics waste. The report found that today's flat screen TVs are 82% lighter and 75% smaller than cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs. In other words, 40- to 70-inch flat-panel TVs weigh 34% less than 13- to 36-inch CRT TVs. This reduction in materials has a staggering downstream effect. The report claimed that an old 36-inch CRT TV generated about the same amount of electronics waste as 5,080 cell phones. However, today's 70-inch flat-screen TV generate the equivalent of just 953 cell phones."

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Tit for tat (4, Informative)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859138)

Sure, you eliminate several kilos of leaded glass, but you replace it with LCD electronics and all the highly toxic compounds associated with that process. Crushed and submerged in water, leaded glass will not leech, but let the waste from LCDs soak in a stream and you'll soon find heavy metals downstream.

So while you have less overall weight of e-waste, the potency of the waste goes up.

Re:Tit for tat (3, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859174)

But pixel mapped displays should last longer than scanning tubes. The electron guns, valves and other components in a CRT display degraded over time.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859198)

Plasma screens certainly don't last very long before the colour starts going off.

Do LED backed LCDs use a phosphor coating? In which case they won't last more than 2 or 3 years either before becoming dim or losing colour correctness.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859426)

TVs maybe, computer monitors not so much. I've had this Acer for 5 years and it's fine.

Re:Tit for tat (3, Interesting)

powerlord (28156) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859452)

Don't know, but I've got a pre LED, 32" LCD TV from 2006 that is still good sitting in the living room (watch the backlight go right after I write this :) ).

The color still seems fine, and the only reason I would consider replacing it is for a larger model (prices have dropped enough to make that feasible), while I'd move that unit into another room for auxiliary use.

It replaced a 2001 21" CRT that was still good (but with HD TV around the corner I decided to trade up).

That replaced a 1981-2 19" CRT that finally died (no amount of bench-thumping would bring the picture back).

So, so far, the earliest CRT model lasted ~19-20 yrs. Replaced by a CRT that only lasted ~5-6 (before being discarded as obsolescent not due to failure), and the current LCD is approaching the same 5-6 years and shows no problems so far.

I hope it reaches 19-20, but doubt it will. I bet it dies before the 10 year mark, although the biggest weakness from what I understand is the pre-LED backlight, so I have high hopes the next model lasts longer. :)

Re:Tit for tat (-1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859556)

Do LED backed LCDs use a phosphor coating?

No. (This is Slashdot I'm on right now isn't it?)

Re:Tit for tat (3, Insightful)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859576)

Yes, it's an unfortunately naive question, but the persnickety answer is that the white LEDs that form the backlight internally have phosphors to generate broad-spectrum light.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860016)

I'm sure some do from what I understand about them (in some the LED produces UV and the phosphor turns it to the visible spectrum) but it's a far cry from hitting the phosphor with an electron beam.  It should still be far more stable and last far longer (in theory!).  If a problem does show up i strongly suspect it won't be from degrading phospors.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860048)

So they are a UV LED with built in phosphors? I kind of always thought that they simply combined red, green, and blue LEDs in a single package.

Re:Tit for tat (2)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860236)

Yep. The problem with using separate R, G, and B colored LEDs is that they age differentially and the color balance shifts too much.

You can get triple LED packages with R, G, and B elements, but those aren't used (any more) for producing white light as you would want for backlighting an LCD.

Re:Tit for tat (2)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859978)

(This is Slashdot I'm on right now isn't it?)

Yep. You can tell by your sarcastic dickhead answer!

Re:Tit for tat (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859344)

This would be the first device built in the last decade that lasts longer than ones built 30 years ago.

Face it, we're in a world of throwaway electronics. The ancient ones here might remember how our parents sent the TV for repairs every now and then and how we had the same TV from the moment we start noticing that there is a TV 'til about puberty or beyond. Today, you'll be hard pressed to find any kind of electronics that survive 5 years or more.

Re:Tit for tat (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859392)

thank you. its almost exactly what I just typed, a minute ago.

yes, we grew up with our 25" 'console tv' that was in the living room and it was there for much of my childhood (70's and 80's). we had another tv in the family room and that was a 10year or longer lasting set, probably closer to 15.

replace some tubes, shoot some tuner cleaner and rotate the mechanical set of coils and contacts and you're good. maybe throw that tuner clear stuff in the analog pots, too.

but that was when things were designed to be fixable! and fixable by regular people, too.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860092)

but that was when things were designed to be fixable! and fixable by regular people, too.

And that's the problem, isn't it? It's not that we're in a throw-away society, it's that companies realized that if they designed products to fail on a shorter timeline, and could incrementally improve products in small enough amounts to always be able to take advantages in lowering production costs on older models with slight alterations, they could make a lot more money. Except if you kept fixing it. That was the monkey wrench in the cake. They can't make you buy a new one if it's a simple fix to repair the old one, so they make everything as hard-wired together as possible, ensuring maximum cost to repair any defects, and suddenly it's roughly the same cost to fix as buy new, only with a lot less hassle. After all, you get the new one right now, and fixing the old one can take a week. The new one has more features, and should last about as long as the old one. The old one could have a different part fail the week after you get it back. You'd have to be pretty dedicated to keep the old unit instead of trashing it for a new one.

Re:Tit for tat (4, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860178)

There are a lot more attributes than longevity and maintainability.

There's quality. You're comparing the 525 interlaced lines of SDTV with the 1080 progressive scan lines of an HDTV. You can claim "it's just a TV, it worked fine for all those years", but in reality, the image was substantially worse than HDTV. And with a 16:9 aspect ratio, you see the original movie without the funky pan-and-scan reediting needed to shift perspective to the most important on-screen action.

Price is important: your $400 25" TV set from 1970 cost the equivalent of $2,300 in 2011 dollars. You can get a 26" LCD today for about $200. Even if you replaced one every two years, the LCD is still cheaper.

For efficiency, the tubes powering your hundred pound 25" CRT TV probably drew 300-400 watts while on. Many TVs of the 1970s had "instant on", meaning the filaments of the tubes were kept hot while the TV was "off", drawing perhaps sixty watts of standby current. That feature also led to premature burnout of filaments, requiring more frequent tube replacement. Today's 26" LCD weighs less than 20 pounds, and draws 26 watts while on.

As far as availability goes, well, in 1970 your choice was CRT or nothing. CRTs obviously win in that comparison.

Safety wise, of that hundred pounds of 25" TV set, about 40 pounds of it was lead. The circuit boards were soldered with lead. The entire inside of the back half of the tube, everything but the front screen, was either lined with lead or made with leaded glass in order to catch the electrons after they had excited the phosphors on the front. The phosphors themselves were often made with cadmium. The picture tubes leaked small amounts of X-Ray radiation to its viewers. And when damaged, the picture tubes could implode, causing a glass shrapnel hazard, not to mention the huge static charge the flyback transformers generated inside the tubes.

Environmentally, it wasn't until this century that the EPA required they be kept from landfills, meaning the older landfills and junkyards (built before modern containment landfills were invented) will remain filled with every TV disposed of from the 1940s through the 1990s. Once broken, the lead-lined CRTs will readily leach lead into the environment. The leaded glass may leach much more slowly, but it still does leach over time. Older LCD TVs have cold cathode fluorescent tubes containing a bit of mercury vapor, while newer ones are using LEDs for illumination. A RoHS compliant LCD TV is not going to risk damaging the environment nearly as much as a CRT.

Even if it seems like they were "built to last", they delivered a much lower-quality product wrapped in a dangerous and highly toxic shell, at ten times the price.

Longevity may be a desirable attribute, but it's certainly not the only important attribute.

Re:Tit for tat (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859362)

you must be young ;)

tv's that were crt based lasted 10 and more years. show me someone who still uses an lcd after even 5. all my lcd's show more ghosting and wear over 5 yrs than my old tv's used to.

tv's also didn't have stuck pixels and refresh problems. tv's pretty much 'just plain worked' for decades and decades.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859460)

That was before and they have gotten cheaper in the meantime. My last CRT TV didn't even last 5 years before it had problems and I've had some CRT monitors die after 1 year.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860052)

It's the cheaper boards and components that fail, not the CRT tubes themselves. As they go down-market, they are no longer made with "solid state" boards.

Re:Tit for tat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859574)

I've got a few hundred LCDs that are old than 5 years at the place I work. Care to cite a source for your claim?

Apples and oranges... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859964)

My old 21" 1600x1200 capable Nanao CRT monitor did not last anywhere near as long as our 27" Sony trinitron TV of the same era. The electronics to handle high resolution RGB were a lot more sensitive than for plain old NTSC. And I do even recall old NTSC sets having problems with sync and convergence as they got older.

On the other hand, LCDs don't need high-frequency, high power analog circuits like that... Barring physical damage like a smashed panel or water damage, they usually just have backlight or power supply failure, which could be easily repaired by a new breed of TV repairman. I remember the amazing "new" picture I got after replacing the backlight and inverter on one of my own old Thinkpad laptops, which then meant it had a great screen when I retired it for being obsolete by computational standards. Desktop models usually have much more serviceable backlight components, too.

I suspect that people often want the LCD to die, so they can rationalize a purchase of a newer, fancier unit. We may see this change once people reach the plateau of large-enough 1080p displays being good enough to just repair and keep in service. Or, the marketeers may sustain their feature march to make sure nobody wants the old sets to stick around.

Sure (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860240)

I have a lab of 50 of them. They are 11 years old now. They were just replaced, but not because they are being taken out of service. They are going to replace CRTs in other parts of the department. They all function perfectly. Their brightness has faded, but that's all.

Re:Tit for tat (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860256)

all my lcd's show more ghosting and wear over 5 yrs than my old tv's used to.

Ghosting on an LCD is a TEMPORARY issue, which is trivially easy to completely reverse. The ghosting on your CRTs is permanent and irreversible.

As for "wear", I have no idea what you're talking about. If you mean physical, then yes, plastic can be scratched more easily than glass, but that's a problem that can be fixed, too.

tv's also didn't have stuck pixels and refresh problems.

Actually, TVs did get dead pixels. The phosphor may flake, the screen may shift, the gun may lose alignment. I've seen some TVs with bad (internal) screen damage, that people just keep using.
On an LCD, stuck and dead pixels can often be worked-around with some simple software to exercise the screens. And if it doesn't fix it, well, that's one pixel in 2 million, instead of one in 300 thousand.

tv's pretty much 'just plain worked' for decades and decades.

TV's didn't "just plain work". TVs were EXPENSIVE, so people put up with the problems a hell of a lot longer, did all kinds of half-assed fixes to keep it going a bit longer (eg., glue a screwdriver permanently in the hole to keep the vhold adjustment in proper contact) or perhaps got professional repair, back when the economics of repairing TVs made sense. Or how about designed-in quick-fixes, like the ability to easily turn up the power on the flyback transformer, so the TV will keep looking tolerable for a couple more years as it starts fading and getting terribly blurry...

show me someone who still uses an lcd after even 5.

LCDs aren't century-old technologies like CRTs, so:

A) There just isn't such a long history of widespread LCD use, as there is for CRTs. You can't look back at the LCD TV your parents owned as you were growing up... Naturally, there will be far less long-term owners, because there are simply far, far less owners, period.
B) The technology is improving rapidly, so people WANT to buy new ones.

Re:Tit for tat (4, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859454)

I bought a Samsung LNT4069 tv about 3-4 years ago. Within 2 years of buying it, it completely died...wouldn't turn on. Luckily the problem was busted caps and after a trip to *3* different radio shacks (er, "The Shacks") to find the proper capacitors I was easily able to replace them and the TV is still working perfectly today.

Most people would not be able to fix that kind of problem. Most people would not take their tv to a repair shop anymore (doesn't make sense most of the time). Most people who have ANY kid of electronics failure are just going to ditch the device. Doesn't matter that the technology should inherently be longer lasting, one shoddy cap is all it takes. Shoddy caps are no rarity today!!

Re:Tit for tat (2)

kpoole55 (1102793) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859756)

Now there's my kind of hardware hacker. I've brought motherboards and power supplies back from the dead with repairs like that. Yes, it's a shame that newer electronic devices and even their components are built to such poor standards.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859618)

My 14 year old CRT tv is fine. My 3 year old LCD monitor has some pixels that take a while to wake up and is nearly garbage.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860104)

heh its the back light that gets you every time

Re:Tit for tat (4, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859202)

Not to mention, CRTs last a hell of a long time. My parents still have a CRT in the household that runs just fine after at least twenty-five years. Most LCDs only have a short warranty and there are a lot of parts that will simply fail over a much shorter period of time than a CRT (like the backlight). In the lifespan of that one CRT, I would expect to go through at least three LCDs based on lifespan alone (not counting the greater frequency of replacement due to technology improvements/shifts/etc). So when it comes down to it, you're probably looking at just as much waste for the same period of time.

Re:Tit for tat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859230)

And of course, in ye olden days CRTs actually would get repaired. I wonder if there'll ever be a day when that becomes a realistic option again.

Re:Tit for tat (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859410)

it will never be cost effective, but some people are trying it. I'm in the early process of starting a new DIY audio company that will emphasize 'design for serviceability'. ie, using thru-hole common parts, open source code and schematic, no wacky connectors from hell, stuff like that. it won't be price competitive with, say, sony or panasonic, but it will also be built to 'run for 5 or more years' standard. I expect to get a good 10 years from the current prototype I'm building. it IS possible, but it will never be mainstream or super profitable. still, I'm going to try. look for my arduino-based stereo preamp box - if I can ever get the thing to market..

Re:Tit for tat (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859582)

I guess it depends on the type of LCD. On a pure flat LCD panel display, I would say that there are far fewer things that you could or would get repaired, when they fail. However, on a rear projection LCD (like my 60" Sony SXRD that is sitting upstairs), there are plenty of thing that you would have serviced and for a $4,000 display, you most certainly *would*.

On the other hand, I'm sitting in front of a 30" Apple LCD that was $1,700 last time I bought one and $3,000 the *first* time I bought one. Just a big flat display panel. If something were to go seriously wrong with it, I have no idea what the resolution would be. I guess at best, return it under warranty and they throw it out and give you a new one rather than fix a "part" . . . ?

Re:Tit for tat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36860286)

Nope. Apple does board-level repairs. As an Apple tech, I get refurbed boards all the time - anything that's expensive goes back to Apple, they refurb it.

Your 30" will have parts available until at least 5 years after it's discontinued. It's a depot repair, though - it has to be shipped back to Apple.

Re:Tit for tat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859424)

That's also because the flat panels keep getting better overall, so people are buying new ones in shorter periods *anyway*, and they cost a lot less as a percentage of income than CRT's did at the same time-in-the-market.

They'll start to last longer as the other improvements start to be less dramatic, and durability becomes a more important attribute for manufacturers to compete on. Right now it's just not worth it: when people's sets burn out in five years, they're not going to go to the same manufacturer their friends have that's still going strong, they're going to whoever has the latest features that they've been missing out on the past two.

Once the feature improvements start to level off, you'll see more purchases where durability factors in. Right now manufacturers need to concentrate on being just durable enough to not price themselves out of the market, while having all the latest features. And hoping that just durable enough is just a little more durable than their competitors, so they'll be the ones with the reputation when the feature race runs out.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859920)

Most LCDs only have a short warranty and there are a lot of parts that will simply fail over a much shorter period of time than a CRT (like the backlight).

They're mostly selling LED backlit systems now for both TVs and Computers (and phones and notebooks and tablets, etc). The two monitors that are part of my desktop of LED and over a year old (and were cheap already).

I'd say the weight savings in the summary is understated going forward. My monitors are much lighter than the old flat ones, let alone CRT.

Re:Tit for tat (2)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859218)

CRT televisions also have a few pounds of lead in them, don't they? I wonder how much of that is taken out before it reaches the landfill.

Re:Tit for tat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859386)

All of it, if you dispose of it responsibly. Same for the mercury in your LCD TVs.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859474)

But the lead is inside the crystal matrix of the glass. Its locked in there and short of refining it in a furnace its not coming out.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860218)

But the lead is inside the crystal matrix of the glass. Its locked in there and short of refining it in a furnace its not coming out.

Not always. Only the newer CRTs were made with leaded glass. Lots of the older CRTs were made with a plain glass envelope with a lead coating on the inside. Once that tube is broken, the raw lead is directly exposed to the environment.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860304)

Not to mention all the pre-RoHS leaded solder gracing the big fat solder points on those flyback bearing PCBs. I don't think many CRTs were manufactured with "unleaded" solder if any at all.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

wwbbs (60205) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859514)

CRT Televisions are processed at very few places in North America (last time I researched it Noranda Mines was doing it in Quebec Canada. CRT Displays contain high amounts of Beryllium by weight. You must be careful with beryllium-containing dusts; inhalation while surely cause you severe illness. Beryllium is corrosive to tissue, and can cause a chronic life-threatening allergic disease called berylliosis in some people. As it is not synthesized in stars, beryllium is a relatively rare element in both the Earth and the universe. The element is not known to be necessary or useful for either plant or animal life.

Re:Tit for tat (0)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859254)

You Environmentalist will never be happy... Where are these hypothetical streams full of LCDs? When will they exist? If you throw things away it will be taken to a Landfill eventually buried under about 10 feet of dirt and usually have grass planted over it. There are a lot of regulations on what land can be used for landfills.

Re:Tit for tat (0)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859298)

You idiots never learn anything. That's right - landfill sites are all situation insided of 30 feet of waterproof material, so any toxins are safely stored forever, with zero chance of it leaking into the water table. That grass they plant over the top of it - it turns toxins and poisons into butterflies and puppies.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859544)

I would like to personally thank you for further proving my point that Environmentalist will never be happy. Yes there is a chance toxins can leak into the water table which is why...

There are a lot of regulations on what land can be used for landfills.

Its either that or you use twice as much energy to reprocess waste into raw material then re-manufacture it (a process called recycling).

Re:Tit for tat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859350)

China and Southeast Asia [scientificamerican.com] , mostly. Because no one ever breaks the law.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859486)

Its cheaper to ship it overseas to China than to properly dispose of it in a legal landfill.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859340)

Not to mention the LCD TV is mostly glass anyhow, which is kind of fascinating. But they're only going to get thinner as time goes on. To the point where it'll be a sheet 1 mm in thickness. The power supply will be the biggest piece of the unit.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

wwbbs (60205) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859470)

Indium is a major component in the screens (were running out of it too! ) It's produced by letting nickel react with air and water and the sludge that results is the good stuff. Indium is chemically similar to gallium and thallium, both of which you do not want in your body. so MrQuacker your on the right track. There is a reason there is are very few North American E-Waste processors. The good stuff is is hard to get at without generating smelters penalties for the bad stuff.

Re:Tit for tat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859636)

Everything else *but* the tube glass itself will leach heavy metals just fine, so it isn't much of a consolation.

So quickly dump any remaining CRTs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859142)

And buy shiny new flatscreens!

Consider projection systems (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859282)

Projection systems create even less waste, allow for much larger images, and can generally be refurbished with nothing more complicated than a new bulb.

When my family gathers around for a movie, my 200" diagonal display [flickr.com] allows me to include several generations. But the actual display hardware only consumes about 1/3 a cubic foot. The "display" is just wall space, which isn't going anywhere or being used for anything else.

Re:Consider projection systems (1)

carlzum (832868) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859682)

Projection systems are becoming more practical, but I wouldn't replace my family room TV just yet. You have an actual movie theater in your home, and that's really cool... only the ultra-rich could afford something like that until now. But you still need a relatively dark room, and maintenance would be expensive with everyday use.

I'm jealous of your setup. I've seen your photo a few times now and always wish I had the space (and not so lazy) to do the same.

Re:Consider projection systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859774)

Aside from needing to replace the bulb every 3000-6000 hours, and cheap projectors still being a bit weak on the light intensity and contrast, I don't see anything stopping you.

Projectors aren't very expensive any more. Not to a screen of a quarter of the size anyway.
I'd just make sure it's a DLP one (true blacks) with full HD, lots of lumen, and cheap replacement bulbs, and you're good.

A 5.1 system with a good subwoofer isn't strictly necessary, but truly enhances the experience, and they can be damn cheap anyway. Most of the time you just have to buy a couple of smaller additonal speakers for your existing hi-fi amp, and you're good.

Then just get some popcorn that you can heat at home, and you've got your home cinema.

If your wall is white, and its structure is finer than the pixels will be, don't bother with a projection screen. Iâ(TM)ve watched on ingrain wallpaper and painted grainy plaster (both white, of course) with no visible distortion.

P.S.: Playing games is also great fun on it!! We usually get some alcohol and snacks, and play games like Crysis, Far Cry, Riddick (which somehow are made for the big screen with their colorful and bright appearance), in hot seat fashion.
The trick is to put the mouse and mouse pad on the arm rest of the couch and keyboard on your lap. It works surprisingly better than it sounds.
But for games, as usual, watch the reaction time of the LCD. (A fast refresh rate usually is implemented with some kind of "booster", as you probably know, which unfortunately introduces a 200-300ms lag. Unacceptable for a fast game. Only good for preventing smearing with movies. So avoid those, and get one that has real low refresh rates, without that "booster" trick!)

Rear projection sets are fine too (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860004)

Find yourself a good DLP (rear projection) lit by a LED bulb and you can benefit many ways, first your power consumption is magnitudes lower than any Plasma or LED/LCD television, next your image for movies is amazing, and the sets are very light weight. The negatives are summarized as, viewing angles are constrained. However in most setups people never notice. With good seating arrangement you will never know let alone care. If you have the space and the room then a DLP projector is a better solution, but for space limited rear projection makes a good setup

I have both a DLP (Samsung 61) and a LED LCD (another Samsung) in the house and the movie TV is definitely the DLP. The images are the most "picture" like I have seen. There is not "bleed" or blurring. The LED LCD is great where we have it because from any angle it looks the same.

Re:Consider projection systems (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860150)

You should be able to put a 100" display up in almost any room; just take anything out of the way and hang the projector from the ceiling on the opposite side of the room. Screens.... any white wall will do. And any flat (must be flat!) white paint will do.

A really large display is just as easy, but you need a building with almost a 2-story exposure. We were super lucky and got an old, empty church on two lots for almost nothing, but I've been in lots of other houses where it was an available choice. We're huge gamers and movie watchers, so there wasn't much con/discussion once we saw that wall. I suppose if there is more conventional decorating / furnishing that's important to someone, this does require the wall to be entirely clear and that might be a project killer... but for us, it's worth it.

I've got a couple friends that have DLP projection systems with newer, brighter projectors, they're really pretty awesome. And they cost less than LCDs, too. this 135" guy is one of those... [flickr.com] he started out with a 720p projector, now has a 1080p one. Check out the integrated cabinet/screen he built. [flickr.com]

Even the most basic cabinet/screen building skills can save more money than the projector even costs.

As far as maintainance... we use ours every day, and replace the bulb every few years when it dims. Probably amounts to twenty five cents a day, max.

Dark rooms... nighttime, baby. :^) Seriously, I don't watch during the daylight hours, so it's not an issue. But blackout shades are super cheap down at wham-a-lart if you need 'em.

Lazy, I can't help ya with.

Re:Consider projection systems (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859998)

...my 200" diagonal display...

Why not just post an image of your nut sack?

Re:Consider projection systems (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860088)

Why not just post an image of your nut sack?

Because I wouldn't want your suicide on my conscience. You can buy a projector like mine for less than most LCDs cost, and empty walls are free; but you're permanently stuck with your tiny, squirrely balls and that dwarf dick of yours.

Oh, wait, you were just trolling. Sorry for outing your tiny genitalia. Too late now, though. :^)

Updated units of measurement (1)

Clancie (678344) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859146)

Updated units of measurement: Inchs Ounces Cell Phones Got it...

Re:Updated units of measurement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859188)

Ah, the ubiquitous cell phone. Are we talking about the little non-smart monochrome LCD flip phones or the big screen colour LCD screen smart phones with the three times larger batteries so it might last the day?

Should be comparing masses in standard units like kilograms, pounds or stones. It doesn't matter which because they don't change as appreciably as the cell phone has and does over time and across models.

I think that about the 35th dumb thing I've seen so far today; counting poor driving decisions, spelling mistakes on signs and kids texting while skateboarding through stop signs. Was one of the signs of the end times a general shedding of intelligence or is it the shedding of intelligence that leads to the end times?

Re:Updated units of measurement (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859366)

If purchasing power can be measured in hamburgers, waste can be measured in cellphones.

Re:Updated units of measurement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859402)

Purchasing power can be measured in hamburgers? Seriously? Where?

Re:Updated units of measurement (1)

heypete (60671) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859472)

The Big Mac Index [economist.com] .

The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on the same subject goes into a bit more detail.

cell phone units? (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859150)

Are they metric or imperial cell phones?

Re:cell phone units? (1, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859158)

What is that in terms of Library of Congress units?

Re:cell phone units? (2)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859220)

Let's throw the whole Library of Congress in a landfill and find out!

Ya an yar intel-actual me-sure-meants... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859224)

Whadsa me-sure in food-baal feelds?

Re:cell phone units? (1)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859458)

For that matter, are they "today's flat-screen" cell phones, or yesterday's cell phone bricks?

how much in.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859164)

how much is a cell phone in libraries of congress?

Re:how much in.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859244)

Also how would this translate into cubits?

Speaking of waste... (2)

Vecanti (2384840) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859238)

I hope somebody didn't pay for this research. 20lbs of garbage of is "less" than 50lbs or garbage? Wow.

Not convinced (2)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859264)

This summary seems to be a rather misleading collection of confused data.

So far as electronics goes, the main board is pretty much the same. The power supply is less beefy, due to not having to provide an EHT supply, though there is an inverter which to some extent takes its place. The CRT is mostly just glass - lots and lots of glass so that doesn't add much to the electronics waste and may have just as many toxic chemicals in it as the CCFLs and TFT of a flat-screen TV.

So, on balance I doubt that there's much in it on a unit-by-unit basis. One thing that does seem to me is that CRT TVs last longer than LCD ones. Our CRTs were bought in the early 90s and only tossed when they were replaced - still working. However, the lifespan of an LCD TV doesn't appear to be much longer than a few years, driven often by the limited number of hours that the CCFLs run for, or the fragility of the screens. Since they're not economic to repair, an LCD TV becomes waste much sooner than a CRT TV ever did.

Re:Not convinced (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859290)

Curious where do you get your information about the lifespan of these newer sets from..
I've had my LCD tv for nearly 6 years now and it's been on upwards of 12 hours a day for the extent of that time.

Same. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859864)

I've had my TV for nearly seven years, and it's still working like it did when I first bought it. (Including the crappy speaker bar. ;D)

I've also had the same LCD monitor (a 30" Dell) for years. Nary a dead pixel or anything else wrong to be seen.

IMO, these ridiculous claims of, "GUYZ I BAUGHT MY OLD CRT DURING TEH WAR OF 1812 AND IT STILL WORKZ!" are ridiculous luddite FUD.

From typical rose coloured glasses BS (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860282)

People remember the past too fondly. Also, with goods, they have a skewed view. Inherently the devices, houses, cars, etc that were made long ago and are still around are the good ones. The bad ones broke and went away. So yes, my parents have a working CRT TV from 20+ years ago (as I mentioned elsewhere). However that just means it is a good one. There was another CRT I had as a kid long since in the trash because it stopped working. You don't see that example of failure because it is gone.

Also people forget that you can only have long comparison periods for old goods. Someone once asked me to show him a current washer and dryer that would last for 20 years like his old ones did. There is no way I can do that, of course. I can't know how they will last. I can only know something lasts 20 years when it does indeed last 20 years.

Finally there's a problem of comparing a new tech with a mature tech. 10 years ago desktop LCDs were still somewhat new. They'd reached the point that they were realistic replacements to CRTs for many people, but that was a new phenomena. They'd only come down to that price and performance level fairly recent. CRTs were old hat by that time, in production for over half a century. Gee, maybe a new technology isn't quite as developed as an old one.

My experience is LCDs are extremely reliable. We have some 11 year old ones at work, still going strong. When they fail, it will almost certainly be the CCFL backlight or inverter, both devices easy to replace. The panels still work great and unlike CRTs have lost nothing in terms of focus or convergence or any of that. Of course the backlight issue is being dealt with by LED sets. Those ought to last in the 50-100k hour range.

My bet is in the long run. LCDs end up being the more reliable tech.

Re:Not convinced (1)

wwbbs (60205) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859534)

CRT Displays contain high amounts of Beryllium by weight. Beryllium is not good for you. Not sure about leaching into ground water but it is corrosive and reactive.

um, no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859280)

Yeah, the waste goes down, but when the average TV has a 1 year warranty and technology advances push for new products every 18 months, the number of TVs being disposed goes way up. (We had our first family TV for over 10 years before it blew out.)

Staggering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859286)

This reduction in materials has a staggering downstream effect.

Whenever I hear something described as "staggering", I imagine something so incomprehensibly big and stupendous that the very thought of it causes people to stagger around in a drunken stupor, falling over each other, drooling, etc.

This is just the sort of thing to induce that response.

This just in... (0)

Impeesa (763920) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859288)

Small objects still smaller than large objects after being thrown away. More as it develops.

Metric vs Imperial (1)

TheChromaticOrb (931032) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859308)

So, what's the metric equivalent of a cell phone?

Re:Metric vs Imperial (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859342)

A mobile.

+1 funny (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859418)

Wish I had mod points...

Re:Metric vs Imperial (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860306)

More important, how many cell phones to one Library of Congress?

What about longevity? (1)

lfp98 (740073) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859328)

If flat panel vs. CRT computer monitors are any indication, the flat panel TVs will fail far sooner, possibly wiping out the effect of less waste per TV.

Stupid article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859338)

What they don't mention is the HDTV transition encouraged a lot of people to buy new television sets that may have waited a few more years otherwise. This generated a lot of the old big tv sets in landfills sooner. Any benefit they many have long term is lost on this. If for some crazy reason 3D television takes off, the same thing could happen.

You know what else creates less e-waste? (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859348)

You know what else creates less e-waste? Hanging on to your perfectly good older TV instead of buying a newer, bigger TV every time the electronics companies bring them to market. Oh, but let me guess: I bet a 3-D LED TV saves the planet even more than the regular, 2-D kind, right?

Re:You know what else creates less e-waste? (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859442)

Well, I went to an LCD on my desktop after moving 3 times in one year,the old 22" flat panels were way heavy. In the living room, it's when I started into using an HTPC, and gifted the 32" to my grandmother, which she is still using. Not everyone upgrades just because they can... in fact I know far fewer that do, than I know who don't.

Re:You know what else creates less e-waste? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859482)

flat screens, not panels...

Re:You know what else creates less e-waste? (4, Insightful)

heypete (60671) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859518)

Perhaps, but there's other factors to consider. For example, technology improves: I have a 1920x1080 22" LCD monitor or this computer. It is much more useful to me than an old 800x600 CRT or even my 19" 1280x1024 LCD monitor I purchased in 2003 (it's dimmed and gotten a bit yellow over the years).

In addition to improved technology, a lot of newer devices use considerably less resources to manufacture and operate. The electricity costs of running a CRT monitor or TV are much greater than that of an LCD monitor or TV of comparable size. I'm not sure about plasma, but I don't have such displays here.

Yes, there's a lot of e-waste and people should definitely waste less, but there are several compelling reasons to upgrade equipment over time.

Re:You know what else creates less e-waste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36859804)

Weird. I'm using a LCD from 2003 too. 15 inch 1024x768.
The only problem it has is screen burn, which will go away after an hour of so of running milkdrop or a screensaver.

Also, things do fail (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860252)

My parents have two tube TV sets, never replaced them with LCDs. They are very old, both over 20 years. One is starting to go out, it is losing focus rather badly. I don't know how long it has, but it is going to die and they'll have to replace it if they want to have a TV there. Things don't last forever not even stuff from "the good old days".

I don't plan on replacing my HDTV with a new one, it works fine and if I do get a new TV, the old one will move to another room. However it will not last forever. Some day it will break down and have to be replaced. If it can create less waste when that happens, that is not a bad thing.

Re:You know what else creates less e-waste? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860126)

You know what else creates less e-waste? Hanging on to your perfectly good older TV instead of buying a newer, bigger TV every time the electronics companies bring them to market.

Did you type this on your five year old computer?

953 cell phones? (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859436)

How much is that in football fields?

Re:953 cell phones? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859490)

How much is that in football fields?

it's 12 square buses, or 3.1 olympic sized swimming pools - though I don't know how many of them you'd have to lay end-to-end to get to the moon.

Re:953 cell phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859666)

What generation cell phone? 953 of these [quarkit.com.au] could be severe, whereas if they were RAZRs, it wouldn't amount to much.

Measuring units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36859524)

So... How many Libraries of Congress is that?

What the heck? (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 2 years ago | (#36859716)

"The report claimed that an old 36-inch CRT TV generated about the same amount of electronics waste as 5,080 cell phones. However, today's 70-inch flat-screen TV generate the equivalent of just 953 cell phones."

A 36 inch CRT? I think a 24 inch CRT would be a more reasonable size set for comparison...

A 70 inch flat-screen? Most people lose the ability to relate to a set over 40-42 inches.....

Who's throwing out a 70 inch flat screen TV?

Re:What the heck? (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859776)

Somebody in 10 years when they're having the 100" wall unit installed.

Re:What the heck? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860124)

but it will only be 1 meter tall

Re:What the heck? (1)

kramerd (1227006) | more than 3 years ago | (#36859790)

More importantly, who measures electronic waste in terms of cell phones?

In the Business (4, Informative)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860034)

(Cracks knuckles).... First, the CRTs themselves last a long time (and apparently survive heat waves better). More recently, many of the CRT TV are assembled with cheaper tuner boards and speakers, etc., are not "solid state". The failure to last longer was not the cathode ray tube's fault, and most CRTs exported are rebuilt with a new board (see article on exports of used CRT tubes http://tinyurl.com/5wz37u2 [tinyurl.com] ). So while the Cathode Ray Tubes themselves last much longer than the LCDs fluorescent lamps (don't know about LED), as the CRT market went downscale, quality suffered, and e-waste may increase if we are not allowed to re-export them to have those tunerboards replaced (the same factories which assembled them buy them back, but that's increasingly illegal because Americans assume the factories are paying $10 apiece and then burning them).

What is incredible at our Vermont "e-waste" recycling plant are the number of flat TVs coming in with a small impact crack in the corner. They are called "Wii Screens" by the staff. Apparently, people "bowling" and doing other arcade stuff on the games tend to forget to attach the wrist strap. So the E-Waste jury is still out - the CRT TVs are heavier, but if they have solid state boards will last longer, and they deflect flying plastic "ewaste" satellite gadgets.

So regarding TFA, the moral is that the "ewaste" volume is not going down, but the "ewaste" export we were worried about was not as bad as we thought it was in the first place.

Finally, if the CEA and industry was really concerned, they'd make the LCDs so you could replace the LCD and the fluorescent lamps. The LCD screens appear to us to be designed to make that virtually impossible.

Jevons Paradox (1)

rusl (1255318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36860144)

...so now we can reduce the inefficiencies that keep us from wasting more!

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