The Return of the Raster

Shameful but true: I own and watch a CRT TV, in all of its big, boxy glory. This might be a sore spot for someone who has recently immersed herself in the study of Displays & Screens, but my reasoning is solid. The TV works, the display area is large, and the picture is beautiful. Also, I invested a fair amount of money in a delightful cabinet to house the set and its peripherals. This TV and cabinet have a few more years to go before I can justify the investment and annoyance of rearranging my living room to accommodate a flat panel display.

So, in light of my adherence to the CRT, it makes sense that I’m happy to report that the old tube technology is finding new life in a new type of display called laser phosphor display. LPD appears to have some of the advantages of more modern displays, but with a fraction of the power requirements. Both CRT and LPD raster images onto a phosphor, but where a CRT uses an electron beam, guided by a magnetic field, to activate the phosphor coating, LPD uses lasers, guided by a mirror.

Wade Roush, a friend and former Technology Review colleague, broke the story of Prysm, the LPD startup last week. I’ll be writing a story for Technology Review about the technology, adding some perspective from display experts and explaining a bit more of the technology. Stay tuned!

I got it in college and went on to buy an expensive (and beautiful) cabinet to hide it in, and just haven’t bothered to upgrade

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