Chapter 11: Video Monitors


Acomputer uses a video monitor to convey information to you. Just about everything you do with the computer shows up on the monitor in some form. It would certainly be possible to use a computer without a monitor, but the experience would be completely different.

In simple terms, a computer monitor is a video display that shows the output of the graphics controller. So the monitor's only task is to receive bits from the controller and display them on a screen as actual images. Obviously, the operation of a monitor is closely related to that of the graphics card connected to it.

Until recently, the vast majority of desktop computer monitors used cathode ray tubes (CRTs) to display images. Like the televisions and oscilloscopes that preceded them, CRT monitors are big, bulky objects that were at least as deep behind the screen as they were wide. Because they had to be in plain sight (unlike the processor unit case that could be located on a shelf or hidden underneath a table), they required a tremendous amount of space on every user's desk. Today, the era of CRT monitors is almost over because they have been replaced by thin flat-panel displays that use liquid crystal technology instead of scanning electron guns.

Of course, millions of CRT monitors are still in daily use around the world, but the market for new CRTs is rapidly shrinking as one manufacturer after another announces that they are discontinuing them. Except for specialized applications that require very accurate color reproduction for publication, or very wide viewing angles, there's not much reason to buy a CRT monitor anymore except economy-new CRT monitors often offer very high-quality images at lower prices than flat panels (but they cost more to operate).

From the start, laptop computers have always used flat-panel displays-without flat panels, portable computing would be impractical; the early Osborne and Compaq portables that had CRT monitors were more like overweight suitcases than notebooks.

In this chapter, you can learn how both types of monitors work, how to evaluate and compare monitors before you buy one, and how to use the controls built into your monitor to adjust the appearance and performance of the display.

PC User's Bible
PC Users Bible
ISBN: 0470088974
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 372 © 2008-2017.
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