'The world is flat': Dixons turns off old-style TVs

The cathode ray tube will soon become a museum piece as plasma-screen and high-definition sales take off
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The cathode ray tube, one of the most significant inventions of the past 100 years, is about to be consigned to history.

DSG International, the retailer which owns Dixons, has quietly withdrawn bulky cathode ray television sets from its smaller stores. And this Christmas will be the last time that shoppers will be able to buy them from its superstores.

DSG which is rebranding its shops Currys.digital, said that from next year, only LCD, plasma flat screen and high-definition television sets would be available. At the moment, half a dozen different cathode-ray models are sold in its superstores only; most are portable "combination" sets featuring a DVD player. By comparison, there are about 80 flat-screen models on sale.

The move shows how quickly flat-screen televisions have taken off. Last year, the sets sold by DSG were roughly split evenly between flat screen and cathode ray.

Nick Bubb, an analyst from Evolution Securities, said: "This spells the end of the cathode ray tube television. Why would you want to buy one anyway when high-definition TV is available?"

The move to flat-screen sets also spells the end for the cathode ray tube technology. Most new computer monitors - the other main application for the technology - are also flat.

Flat screen televisions first went on sale in 1997, when they cost as much as £10,000. Today, the cheapest models start at around £150.

A spokesman for DSG International said: "The big-backed cathode ray TV has been a fixture in households for decades, but we're now discovering that the world is flat after all."

Over the next year, television sets will be increasingly integrated with computers to act as home entertainment systems.

DSG announced last year that it would sell only digital cameras, abandoning cameras that use film. In a trading statement last week, it reported soaring sales of laptops and flat screen televisions.