Computer monitors have a rich history, using technologies first invented in the late 1800s. CRTs (cathode ray tubes) were first used in the 1940s in television sets and, with advances and modifications, developed in to the CRT computer monitors in use today. Development of newer types of video displays has led to a general changeover in preference from CRT monitors toward the LCD (liquid crystal display).
Cathode ray tube (CRT) computer monitors work by using an electron gun, or cathode, that fires electrons (cathode rays) through a vacuum tube within the monitor. By using magnetic fields, these rays are eventually translated in to the appropriate colors on the display. Until recently, CRT computer monitors were the standard in home and business computer systems. However, because of the way CRT monitors work, they are extremely bulky and heavy. They consume much more power than cutting edge technologies like LCD. As a result, CRT computer monitors are no longer as popular as they once were.
Using a cathode, or electron gun, the CRT monitor functions by firing cathode rays (electrons) through the monitor’s vacuum tube. Magnetic fields transmit the electrons to the video display which translates them into the appropriate color. One drawback of the early CRT computer monitors was the curved screen, which distorted objects at the screen edge. This problem was eliminated with the manufacture of flat screen CRTs. Even with advances in technology, the CRT has obvious disadvantages when compared to a LCD. CRT computer monitors are prone to flickering or fading, because of what is called the refresh rate. The refresh rate refers to how many times the display is drawn per second. CRTs are also power-hungry, bulky and heavy.
The CRT has advantages and disadvantages. A CRT still renders color more accurately than a LCD. A user may use different screen resolutions on a CRT and not lose any video quality. CRTs are viewable from different angles. The disadvantages include the fact that CRTs are prone to flicker and fade, especially if they have a low refresh rate. The refresh rate is the rate per second that colors and displays are redrawn. The traditional CRT computer monitor is large, bulky and consumes much more power than a LCD computer monitor. Many CRTs have a curved screen, rendering the display distorted at the edges. Because they are no longer as popular, CRT computer monitors are getting more difficult to find.
Today’s LCD computer monitors offer genuinely improved performance. As a result, sales of CRTs have inevitably slowed. Because many view CRT computer monitors as outdated, manufacturers are no longer developing CRT monitor technologies as they once did.
Most modern computer manufacturers offer additional monitor accessories and options, along with energy saving features. USB ports, TV and video connection options are some of the integrated features available. Most monitors automatically power down or shut themselves off when not in use for a period of time. Several computer monitor manufacturers now offer “green” monitors that run more efficiently and use less power.
Settings available on most LCD monitors allow the user to adjust and customize the contrast, brightness and color. LCD computer monitors are lightweight and offer easier portability than traditional monitors.