Chapter 16. Displays

PCs use one of two display technologies, a traditional “glass bottle” CRT monitor or a flat-panel display (FPD) that uses LCD technology. Although traditional CRTs remain dominant, FPDs are gaining ground fast. This chapter covers both technologies and tells you what you need to know to select and use the best display for your needs.

CRT Monitors

Like a television set, a monitor comprises a cathode ray tube (CRT) and supporting circuitry that processes the external video signal into a form that can be displayed by the CRT. Monitors use a different video interface than televisions, have much higher bandwidth, and can display much finer detail. In fact, with the proper adapter, computer video signals can be displayed on a standard television, but only at low resolution. Conversely, a monitor can be used to display television video at very high quality, although doing so requires using a video card with TV input, a tuner, and other electronics that are built into television sets but not monitors. The quality of the CRT and supporting circuitry determines the quality of the image a monitor can display. Because of their higher bandwidth and resolution, computer monitors cost much more than televisions with equal screen sizes.

Monitors comprise the following major elements:


The CRT is essentially a large glass bottle, flat or nearly so on one end (the screen), tapering to a thin neck at the back, and with nearly all air exhausted. The inside of the screen ...

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