what are monitors and their types

What are Monitors and their Types? – In Detail

Monitors for computers have developed throughout the years, and the quality of images has also improved.

In this article, we’ll provide you with an understanding of what a monitor is and the kinds of monitors for computers and the functions that the screen serves.

Read More: What Is Aspect Ratio?

What is the definition of a computer monitor?

A monitor for a computer is a device for output that displays information and data in a visual format.

It’s also referred to as a VDU or Visual Display Unit.

The monitor functions exactly like a television, but its resolution on a monitor is more than a TV. 

The monitors are on the market in a variety of sizes.

Whatever input is provided to the computer by us, it is presented as text, images, videos, or graphic on the computer screen.

The output that is displayed on a computer screen is called soft copy.

The Evolution of Computer Monitors

Previously called Video display units (VDUs), the first monitors to incorporate lighting for computer engineers to check the state of power of their components and know whether the devices were operating correctly or not. 

As technology has improved and computer monitors have advanced, they have advanced in terms of what they can show and how to accomplish this.

The monitor you have to buy is contingent on the purpose you’ll use your computer for and can be divided into three broad categories: general/business usage, professional visuals, gaming. 

Not every monitor is created equal. Certain physical features and integrated technologies on a product may provide the best results for running gaming applications instead of office tools or professional graphic design/video-editing programs.

It is imperative to remember that monitors come with their language and terminology that you must be aware of to make an informed choice. 

Monitor’s role

The screen’s primary function is to enable users to communicate with their computer via graphics, text, display videos, and images.

The user utilizes equipment for input, such as the mouse keyboard, mouse, etc., to input the computer. 

The computer then generates the desired output following basic information and data processing.

To help you understand the concepts better and easier, we’ll now go over the various types of monitors and their purposes.

Let’s Start 👉🏻

Different types of computer monitors and their functions

  • Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Monitors
  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Monitors
  • Thin Film Transistor (TFT) Monitors
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Monitors
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP) Monitors
  • Touch Screens Monitors
  • Plasma Screen Monitors
  • Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) Monitors

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Monitors

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Monitors

A CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitor is a digital display device that makes an image visible in the form of a screen by sending three electron beams through million phosphor dots to cause them to light up. 

A color display screen is made up of multiple stripes consisting of alternating green, red and blue dots of phosphor, which are activated by electrons, and then combine to create numerous colors.

The electron beam continuously goes through the whole front to “paint” and refresh images around 100 times per second.

Televisions and computers which use CRT technology come with huge, heavy physical casings.

The lengthy distance between the front and back of the casing is required to allow for all the dimensions of the CRT vacuum tube.

CRT Monitors: A Brief History

CRT tubes were frequently utilized in televisions and computer monitors from the mid to late 1900s. 

Over time manufacturers constantly improved their quality and resolution.

The majority of computer monitors in the 1970s showed only green text on a black background.

In 1990, IBM’s Extended Graphics Array (XGA) display had 16.8 million colors at 800 600 x 800 pixels resolution.

In the 2000s, technological advancements enabled flat-panel displays to be accessible.

These displays (LCD, plasma and OLED) do not require a huge casing and are much more energy-efficient.

The manufacturing costs are less than CRT monitors, and flat-panel displays are produced in bigger dimensions than CRTs.

This makes flat-panel displays more popular for consumers.

Is a CRT Display Better Than an LCD Display?

Although flat-panel LCD and OLED televisions and monitors are more popular than CRTs, technology remains superior in a few ways.

CRT monitors can display and refresh images faster than LCD screens, and the monitor can respond more quickly to inputs and prevent motion-blur issues that are common to LCD /screens.

The color spectrum and contrast are usually better when using CRT monitors as this kind of monitor has more black tones.

For some computer users, the advantages of these monitors are sufficient to justify searching the web for CRT monitors from the past.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Monitors

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Monitors

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is a flat-panel display that uses liquid crystals for its main mode of operation.

LCDs come with a wide and diverse set of cases for businesses and consumers and are frequently seen in TVs, smartphones, computers, monitors, and instrument panels.

LCDs are a significant leap over their technology. 

They replaced which included the light-emitting diode (LED) and gas-plasma displays.

LCDs enabled displays to be considerably thinner than cathode ray tube (CRT) technology.

LCDs use less power than LEDs and gas-display displays as they work based on blocking light instead of emitting light.

LEDs emit light while the liquid crystals inside an LCD create an image with the backlight.

As LCDs have replaced old technology for display, LCDs are now being replaced by other display technologies.

LCDs and their Operation

Displays consist of millions of pixels. The display’s quality typically refers to the number of pixels.

For example, a display with 4K resolution comprises 3840×2160 (or 4096×2160) pixels.

A pixel is composed of three subpixels: green, blue and red.These are commonly known as the RGB

If the subpixels of the pixel switch color combinations in a pixel, a different color could be created.

When all the pixels on a screen work together, the display could produce millions of colors when the pixels are swiftly turned on and off, creating a picture.

The method in which a pixel gets controlled is different for every kind of display. 

CRT LCD, LED, and the latest types of displays control pixels differently. 

In simple terms, LCDs are illuminated by a backlight, and pixels are turned off and on using liquid crystals that rotate the light source to create a polarizing effect.

A glass filter that polarizes light is placed on and behind the pixels, and the front filter is set at a 90-degree angle.

Between the two glasses are liquid crystals, which can control electronically between off and on.

LCDs are constructed using either a passive or active matrix grid for display. An active matrix LCD is a thin film transistor ( TFT) display.

A passive LCD comprises conductors in a grid with pixel placement at every intersection on the grid.

A current flows across two conductors within the grid to regulate the brightness of any one pixel.

Active matrix displays have an active transistor situated at each intersection of the pixels, which requires less current to regulate the intensity of a single pixel.

The current flowing through the active display may be turned off and on more frequently, increasing the time to refresh the screen.

Some LCDs that are passive feature dual scanning, which means the screen is scanned twice using current at the same time. 

It would have taken for a single scan in the first technology. But active-matrix remains the superior option of the two.

Thin Film Transistor (TFT) Monitors

Thin Film Transistor (TFT) Monitors

Thin Film Transistor (TFT) is a flat-panel display LCD, and it’s named so because of every pixel control via transistors.

The TFT technology has the highest resolution of all flat-panel technologies, and however, it’s also one of the costliest.

TFT and their Operation

TFT LCD Display (Thin-Film-Transistor Liquid Crystal Display) technology has a sandwich-like structure with liquid crystal material filled between two glass plates.

Two filters for polarization color filters (RGB, blue/red/green) and two aligning layers define how much light is allowed to pass through, and the colors are generated.

Every pixel of the active matrix is connected with a transistor which includes the capacitor, which allows each sub-pixel to keep its charge instead of needing an electrical charge to be sent every time it needs to be replaced. The TFT layer regulates light flow. 

A color filter shows the color. The top layer is your display screen.

Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Monitors

Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Monitors

The term “short for” means the light-emitting diode or LED monitor. An LED display (also known as LED display) is a flat-screen, TV or flat-panel computer monitor.

It is extremely thin in-depth and is very light in weight.

 The backlighting is the primary distinction between this monitor and a standard LCD monitor.

First, LCD monitors employed the CCFL rather than LEDs to light the display.

They operate by making use of liquid crystals to create images. They are incorporated into the display screen, and then there’s a backlight that illuminates the crystals.

If the backlight is turned on and the light source is turned on, it creates light that is partially blocked by the crystals of liquid.

Digital Light Processing (DLP) Monitors

Digital Light Processing (DLP) Monitors

Digital Light Processing ( DLP) is an audio technology developed by Texas Instruments to create front and rear projection units.

DLP monitors make use of digital micromirrors or DMD. This method uses millions of micromirrors to create a video display similar to digital projectors.

Larry Hornbeck of Texas Instruments developed the technology in 1987.

Touch Screens Monitors

Touch Screens Monitors

Monitors with touchscreens are a brand new display that lets users interact with their PC in an entirely different method.

While they aren’t ideal for everyone, they are a lot of enjoyable to use if willing to take the effort to learn to use these screens.

Touchscreens, also known as touchscreen monitors, comprise a “touch panel” for input and a “display” for output.

Touch panels are usually located on top of the display.

It lets a user provide input to the computer using his stylus or finger on its screen.

Touchscreens are commonly used in gaming consoles POS (point for sales), Airports, EVMs (electronic voting machines), ATMs(Automated Teller Machine) as well, and personal computers.

 Plasma Screen Monitors

 Plasma Screen Monitors

Plasma screens are monitors with flat screens. They are very well-known due to their excellent image clarity and crystal clear colors. 👌 

The screen of this display is usually produced in widescreen format. 

Plasmas aren’t cheap, and if you choose to purchase one, the price range is anywhere from $ 2,000 to approximately $15,000.

Although they aren’t expensive, consumers love them and provide excellent image quality. 

They can also be fixed on the wall and free up much-needed space within your home.

Plasma screen monitors use tiny cells containing plasma or ionized gas, which respond to electric fields and then illuminate every pixel on the screen.

Plasma screens are a screen that is thin and flat, and you can mount them easily in the ceiling.

There are a few advantages to plasma screens, such as higher contrast and darker blacks.

OLED, a new LED form, refers to the organic light-emitting diode. In contrast to LED, which relies on backlights to give illumination for the pixels, OLED relies on an organic material composed of hydrocarbon chains to release light when it comes to proximity to electricity.

There are many advantages to this method that are worth mentioning, including the capacity for every single pixel to shine independently, creating an inexhaustibly high contrast ratio. 

That means blacks are black, and whites can be extremely bright.

Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) Monitors

Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) Monitors

Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) Monitors is a diode that emits light made up of an organic material placed between two electrodes, cathode and electrodes that emit light when stimulated by the current generated by the electric circuit.

Of these two electrodes, at least one is translucent, and it does not require backlight since the light it produces is visible.

OLED is commonly utilized in monitors for computers, PDAs(Personal Digital Assistant), smartphones and smartwatches.


There you are. You’re aware of what a screen is and, beyond that is, what the various types are.

I hope you enjoy the content and learn more about them.😊

If you’re interested in purchasing a new monitor but aren’t certain which one to buy, please visit our categories section, which has various options to fit your needs and budget. I would recommend it.

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