Sony's PVM-4300 was the "biggest CRT ever made"

Behold Sony's PVM-4300, a menacingly-large cathode ray tube television manufactured by the company in 1989. They exported 20 to the United States, writes David L. Farquhar, "just in time for the recession."

Sony's part number suggests it has a 45 inch tube inside. But in a rare case of truth in advertising, Sony advertised it as a 43-inch model. It weighed about 450 pounds, stood about 27 inches tall, and it wouldn't fit through a standard door frame. That's probably okay, it's not like someone was going to use this as a bedroom TV. This thing was going in your living room.

$40,000, and no discounts. They might throw in some speakers, but you were paying forty thousand American dollars. The giant CRT was made by hand, eight times the price of the second-smallest 29-inch set Sony made, and Farquhar was unable to determine if any were still in operation or indeed how many were sold. Consolemod has some real-world photos of the sets. If their size is not so remarkable to modern eyes that feast daily on wall-sized OLEDs, just imaging trying to move one somewhere.

Panasonic made a CRT set only a hair smaller, the TH-43K1DP.

We had a 32-inch CRT at some point in the early 2000s. I hated it! The picture was outstanding, but for various reasons it kept needing to be moved. We forget how massive these things were until you see the lengths we went to house them. The whole geography and economy of video arcades were essentially downstream of the sheer hulking weight, size and energy requirements of cathode ray tubes.