Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

Monitors: CRT versus LCD

ZDnet has put together a short video talking about the differences in CRT monitors and LCD monitors, specifically weighing the costs of each against their usable life.

One mistake that they make is comparing CRT’s of one size (say 19″ diagonal) to LCD’s of “the same size” (say 19″ viewable). Herein lies the problem.

CRT’s are just like old-style tube-based telvision sets, they have a tube (a cathode ray tube to be exact) which is measured diagonally starting from one edge of the tube to the diagonally opposite edge of the tube. That’d be fine and dandy if the picture filled the entire tube — which it doesn’t. To combat this apparent problem, CRT makers will put the “viewable” diagonal measurement somewhere on the outside of the box in itty-bitty font. That 19″ CRT actually is actually going to be around 17″ viewable (give or take depending on the make and model of the monitor).

The same goes for 15″, 17″, 21″, and larger CRTs. Now, that’s not saying that there’s something WRONG with CRT technology. It has its own set of pros and cons as compared to LCDs. Just keep in mind that LCD technology is based around a grid of liquid crystals arranded in a (usually) rectangular pattern. The size of the LCD panel is the diagonal measurement of that panel — and the entire LCD panel is viewable; in other words, a 17″ LCD panel has a viewable measurement of 17″ — which means you should compare it to a 19″ CRT (remember, that’s ~17″ viewable).

Once you take that into consideration, the cost differential between CRTs and LCDs of comparable viewable size is significantly reduced. LCDs are typically a little more money than CRTs of the equivalent viewable size, but factor in the ease of moving them, reduced electrical consumption, reduced heat output (therefore reduced air conditioning costs), reduced eye fatigue (caused by CRT’s refresh rate), and the overall “cool factor,” and I think you’ll agree, your next monitor should be an LCD.

[ Video | Transcript ]


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