Which Monitor Type is Better, LCD or CRT

In the past CRT monitors were the only choice for desktop systems, while LCDs were built into laptops. By the late 1990s, people could choose between the two causing many to wonder which type of monitor was better, LCD or CRT?

The traditional CRT monitor resembles a television set and uses the same technology. CRTs have many pros: they are inexpensive, dependable, have good clear pictures and can be viewed from any angle. Cons include their weight, large footprint, they aren't environmentally friendly, and they emit a fair amount of low-frequency radiation thought to be unhealthy.

LCDs or flat panel displays weigh under 10 pounds (<4.5 kilograms), are only a few inches thick (<7.5 cm), consume only one-third to one-half the power of CRTs, emit very little radiation and provide a crisp bright display that's easier on the eyes. The main drawback of early LCDs was that the display would "wash out" when viewed off center. Also, fast-moving images would "ghost" or create distracting trailing artifacts due to slow pixel response rates.

LCDs soon improved in all areas with sales overtaking CRTs in 2003. Even with these improvements, arguments continue that CRTs remain better suited to graphics professionals and to those who require consistent color regardless of viewing angle. Video editors, game developers or anyone who works with fast moving images in a professional capacity might also prefer a CRT, though it seems safe to assume diehard devotees have shrunk over the years. The remaining draw for the CRT is cost, appealing to those on a budget or to those who only use their computers infrequently, as a used CRT can be picked up for next to nothing.

Nevertheless, the contest between "LCD or CRT" is over for most. LCD monitors have extraordinary color and graphics with much crisper text and a screen that is easier on the eyes, reducing strain and headaches that sometimes accompanied long hours on a CRT. This improvement is due to the "flicker free" technology of an LCD. LCD monitors are also great for long hours in text-based applications like word processors or spreadsheets, and they don't require anti-radiation screens.

Choosing a model with a wide viewing angle effectively eliminates "wash out" while faster response rates have eliminated ghosting. With reduced eyestrain, great color, and virtually no fading or ghosting, a good LCD is a great choice for the whole family. Whether gaming, putting together a family photo album, surfing, doing homework or writing out proposals for work, the LCD will take up less space while using less electricity and emitting less radiation — and will deliver a dazzling picture.

Because of its many advantages, LCD monitors have essentially outdated CRT technology. Aside from graphics professionals, deciding between an LCD or CRT today might apply best in nations or regions where digital displays are scarce and the application requires the least expensive option. Examples include rural schools or non-profit and humanitarian aid organizations in third world nations. In these cases the dutiful CRT will serve well and may be purchased inexpensively.

If interested in purchasing an LCD monitor, note that standardization in specifications is lacking. A viewing angle might actually be greater than advertised, or narrower. Response rates can also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so that a direct comparison between different models can be misleading when judging from specs alone. It might be helpful to read reviews from people who already own the product, and professional reviews might also help guide you.

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