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The JumboTron

A JumboTron is a large-screen television technology developed by Sony, typically used in sports stadiums and concert venues to show close up shots of the event. Although JumboTron is a registered trademark owned by the Sony Corporation, the word jumbotron is often used by the public as a genericized trademark. Sony JumboTrons ceased being sold in 2001, when the company decided to exit the business.

Manufactured by Sony, the JumboTron is recognized as one of the largest vacuum fluorescent displays ever manufactured. It is not an LED (light-emitting diode) display — each display element is composed of 3 or 6 small CRTs (cathode ray tubes), each of which is one color of a pixel. Sony displayed one of the earliest versions at the Expo '85 World's Fair in Tsukuba. Sony creative director Yasuo Kuroki is credited with the development of the JumboTron. Eventually, even JumboTron Systems adopted LED technology as it phased out CRT based systems. LED based systems have about 10 times the lifespan of CRT based systems, a key reason for the changeover.

One of the largest eight-sided (octagonal) JumboTrons in the world is in Dallas, Texas, USA. The largest one for a high school in the USA is located at Lassiter High School in Marrietta, Georgia. While the JumboTron and similar large-screen displays are physically large, they were often low in display resolution. The JumboTron at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida, USA, measured 30 ft (9 m) diagonally with a resolution of only 240×192 pixels. Screen size since then varies depending on the venue. The display introduced in 1985 was 40 meters wide by 25 meters tall. Newer, LED-based large screens have 2 or 3 times this early JumboTron resolution at a fraction of the cost.

The largest JumboTron in use was located at the Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome) in Toronto, Ontario, and measured 33 ft (10 m) tall by 110 ft (34 m) wide (10 m tall by 33.5 m wide) at a cost of US$17 million. By comparison, a similar sized LED system sold today would cost around $3.0M. The Rogers Centre JumboTron was replaced in 2005 by a Daktronics ProStar as a part of a stadium revitalization project. The Western Hemisphere's largest high-definition display is a Daktronics ProStar at the University of Texas Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium known as Godzillatron.

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