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How Computer Monitors Work


LCDs vs. CRTs

If you are looking for a new display, you should consider the differences between CRT and LCD monitors. Choose the type of monitor that best serves your specific needs, the typical applications you use, and your budget.

Advantages of LCD Monitors

  • Require less power - Power consumption varies greatly with different technologies. CRT displays are somewhat power-hungry, at about 100 watts for a typical 19-inch display. The average is about 45 watts for a 19-inch LCD display. LCDs also produce less heat.
  • Smaller and weigh less - An LCD monitor is significantly thinner and lighter than a CRT monitor, typically weighing less than half as much. In addition, you can mount an LCD on an arm or a wall, which also takes up less desktop space.
  • More adjustable - LCD displays are much more adjustable than CRT displays. With LCDs, you can adjust the tilt, height, swivel, and orientation from horizontal to vertical mode. As noted previously, you can also mount them on the wall or on an arm.
  • Less eye strain - Because LCD displays turn each pixel off individually, they do not produce a flicker like CRT displays do. In addition, LCD displays do a better job of displaying text compared with CRT displays.

Advantages of CRT Monitors

  • Less expensive - Although LCD monitor prices have decreased, comparable CRT displays still cost less.
  • Better color representation - CRT displays have historically represented colors and different gradations of color more accurately than LCD displays. However, LCD displays are gaining ground in this area, especially with higher-end models that include color-calibration technology.
  • More responsive - Historically, CRT monitors have had fewer problems with ghosting and blurring because they redrew the screen image faster than LCD monitors. Again, LCD manufacturers are improving on this with displays that have faster response times than they did in the past.
  • Multiple resolutions - If you need to change your display's resolution for different applications, you are better off with a CRT monitor because LCD monitors don't handle multiple resolutions as well.
  • More rugged - Although they are bigger and heavier than LCD displays, CRT displays are also less fragile and harder to damage.

So now that you know about LCD and CRT monitors, let's talk about how you can use two monitors at once. They say, "Two heads are better than one." Maybe the same is true of monitors!