How many analog TVs? Soon, too many

May 30th, 2007

Have you, along with your friends and neighbors, and everybody you know, thrown out all your crusty old analog TV sets? Nah, I didn’t think so…not yet, anyway.

But according to a certain local station, the number of analog sets in the U.S. is “about 70 million.” A pretty obvious underestimate, wouldn’t you say? Census figures from 2004 (as reported by the LA Times) put the number at 268 million.

That number will fall, of course, and perhaps suddenly, as analog broadcasts disappear. We will be looking at a problem, too, when tons and tons of family room fixtures become hazardous waste:

A major change to broadcast television in 2009—the conversion from analog signals to all digital—is expected to send many Americans to the store for new TV sets. That could mean a flood of outdated TVs, which contain lead-encased picture tubes and other hazardous material, heading into landfills.

“There’s going to be an e-waste tsunami that hits America,” said John S. Shegerian, chief executive of Electronic Recyclers in Fresno…

The Times article mentions a Consumer Electronics Assn. website that can be used to locate drop-off sites for discarded TVs and other devices.

Killer app of obsolescence: Digital TV
Switch to digital TV will add to toxic trash

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