Old TVs never died either. Until the companies realized "Wait a minute. If we build such high quality products, then people only buy 2 TVs in their lifetime. How about we build them to fail after 5 years, so they buy 12?"
And since then, everything just dies after 3-5 years.
Yes and no...the older TVs were based on a cathode ray tube and all tvs pretty much worked the same way. Sure there was grill vs shadow mask displays, but the cathode ray tube really was the "man behind the curtains" and lasted 50+ years. Now it's like every year there is a new display technology: plasma, lcd, dlp, led, edge lit, full array, etc...It's hard to perfect a technology when you keep replacing it with new ones. I agree, they makes things cheaply so that people have to replace them every few years, but also because we demand cheap products over rugged, reliable ones. Freaking refrigerators are the same way...25+ yr old ones runs like a charm....the new ones that all but shake your orange juice for you, seem to only last 8 or so years