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A monitor is an electronic output device that is also known as a video display terminal (VDT) or a video display unit (VDU). It is used to display images, text, video, and graphics information generated by a connected computer via a computer’s video card. Although it is almost like a TV, its resolution is much higher than a TV. The first computer monitor was introduced on 1 March 1973, which was part of the Xerox Alto computer system.
Older monitors were built by using a fluorescent screen and Cathode Ray Tube (CRT), which made them heavy and large in size and thus causing them to cover more space on the desk. Nowadays, all monitors are made up by using flat-panel display technology, commonly backlit with LEDs. These modern monitors take less space on the desk as compared to older CRT displays.
A monitor may refer to any of the following:
1. Alternatively referred to as a VDT (video display terminal) and VDU (video display unit), a monitor is an output device that displays video images and text. A monitor is made up of circuitry, a screen, a power supply, buttons to adjust screen settings, and casing that holds all of these components.
Like most early TVs, the first computer monitors were comprised of a CRT (cathode ray tube) and a fluorescent screen. Today, all monitors are created using flat-panel display technology, usually backlit with LEDs (light-emitting diode). The image is an example of an ASUS LCD (liquid-crystal display) monitor.
2. When used as a verb, monitor is a term used to describe the act of watching over someone or something. For example, a parent may monitor what their child does on the Internet to make sure they’re not doing anything they’re not supposed to be doing. Other forms of monitoring can include monitoring network traffic, website visitors, e-mails for spam, and the performance of computer hardware.
History of Monitors
- In 1989, VESA defined the SVGA standard for the display of computers.
- In the late-1980s, the color CRT monitors were able to support 1024 x 768 resolution display.
- Eizo Nanao manufactured the Eizo L66, the first LCD monitors for desktop computers, and released it in the middle-1990s.
- In 1997, the color LCD monitors were started developing by IBM, Viewsonic, and Apple that provide better quality and resolution than CRT monitors.
- In 1998, the color LCD monitors for desktop computers were manufactured by Apple.
- Later in 2003, CRT monitors outsell for the first time by LCD monitors. Till 2007, CRT monitors consistently outsell by LCD monitors, so they become more popular computer monitor.
- In 2006, Jeff Han released the first interface-free, touch-based monitor at TED.
- In 2009, the LED monitor MultiSync EA222WMe was released by NEC company. It was the first monitor released by NEC.
- AMD and Intel announced to end support for VGA in December 2010.
- In 2017, touch screen LCD monitors became more affordable for the customers as they started to decrease the price.
Types of Monitors
There are several types of monitors; some are as follows:
1. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Monitors
The electron beams repeatedly hit the surface of the screen. These guns are responsible for generating RGB (Red, Green, Blue) colors, and more other colors can be generated with the help of combining these three colors. Today’s Flat Panel Monitors replace the CRT monitors.
2. Flat Panel Monitors
These types of monitors are lightweight and take less space. They consume less power as compared to CRT monitors. These monitors are more effective as they do not provide harmful radiation. These monitors are more expensive than CRTs. The flat-panel monitors are used in PDA, notebook computers, and cellular phones. These monitors are available in various sizes like 15″, 17″, 18″ & 19″ and more. The display of a flat-panel monitor is made with the help of two plates of glass. These plates contain a substance, which is activated in many ways.
3. Touch Screen Monitors
These monitors are also known as an input device. It enables users to interact with the computer by using a finger or stylus instead of using a mouse or keyboard. When users touch the screen by their finger, it occurs an event and forward it to the controller for processing. These types of screens include pictures or words that help users to interact with the computer. It takes input from the users by touching menus or icons presented on the screen.
4. LED Monitors
It is a flat screen computer monitor, which stands for light-emitting diode display. It is lightweight in terms of weight and has a short depth. As the source of light, it uses a panel of LEDs. Nowadays, a wide number of electronic devices, both large and small devices such as laptop screens, mobile phones, TVs, computer monitors, tablets, and more, use LED displays.
It is believed that James P. Mitchell invented the first LED display. On 18 March 1978, the first prototype of an LED display was published to the market at the SEF (Science and Engineering Fair) in Iowa. On 8 May 1978, it was shown again in Anaheim California, at the SEF. This prototype received awards from NASA and General Motors.
5. OLED Monitors
It is a new flat light-emitting display technology, which is more efficient, brighter, thinner, and better refresh rates feature and contrast as compared to the LCD display. It is made up of locating a series of organic thin films between two conductors. These displays do not need a backlight as they are emissive displays. Furthermore, it provides better image quality ever and used in tablets and high-end smartphones.
Nowadays, it is widely used in laptops, TVs, mobile phones, digital cameras, tablets, VR headsets. The demand for mobile phone vendors, more than 500 million AMOLED screens were produced in 2018. The Samsung display is the main producer of the AMOLED screen. For example, Apple is using AMOLED OLED panel made by SDC in its 2018 iPhone XS – a 5.8″ 1125×2436. Additionally, iPhone X is also using the same AMOLED display.
6. DLP Monitors
DLP stands for Digital Light Processing, developed by Texas Instruments. It is a technology, which is used for presentations by projecting images from a monitor onto a big screen. Before developing the DLP, most of the computer projection systems produced faded and blurry images as they were based on LCD technology. DLP technology utilizes a digital micromirror device, which is a tiny mirror housed on a special kind of microchip. Furthermore, it offers better quality pictures that can also be visible in a lit room normally.
7. TFT Monitors
It is a type of LCD flat panel display, which stands for a thin-film transistor. In TFT monitors, all pixels are controlled with the help of one to four transistors. The high-quality flat-panel LCDs use these transistors. Although the TFT-based monitors provide better resolution of all the flat-panel techniques, these are highly expensive. The LCDs, which use thin-film transistor (TFT) technology, are known as active-matrix displays. The active-matrix displays offer higher quality as compared to older passive-matrix displays.
8. Plasma Screen Monitors
A plasma screen is a thin, flat-panel, and capable of hanging on a wall like LCD and LED televisions. It is a brighter screen as compared to LCD displays and thinner than CRT displays. It can be used to either display modes of digital computer input or analog video signals, and sometimes, it is marketed as ‘thin-panel’ displays. Plasma displays have wide viewing angles, high contrast ratios, and high refresh rates, which is used to reduce a blur video. Additionally, it provides better quality pictures as it supports high resolutions of up to 1920 x 1080.
What are the different types of monitors?
There are essentially two types of monitors, with the second having two variations based on backlighting (CCFL vs. LED). The first (and oldest) is the CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitor, which was based on the same technology as early televisions. The second is the LCD (liquid-crystal display) monitor.
Why is a monitor an output device?
A traditional monitor is only used to display (output) information from a computer and provides no source of input. For this reason, a computer monitor is considered an output device.
Can a computer work without a monitor?
Yes. A computer does not require a monitor to work. However, for the user to interact with the computer’s user interface (operating system) you’ll need to use a monitor or another output device. Without a monitor or another output device, you have no method of determining what the computer is doing.
Types of monitor connections
Computer monitors have at least one of the following types of monitor connectors to connect to a computer.
Video adapters can convert one type of connector to another. For example, connecting DVI to VGA or HDMI to VGA, and vice versa.
How to connect a monitor to a computer
To use a desktop computer, users need a monitor. The monitor allows you to see the operating system GUI and software applications, like playing a game or typing a document.
There are two types of flat-panel displays available: LCD, and LED. These monitors are very similar and use a VGA, DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort, or USB-C connector to connect to the computer. VGA and DVI are older connections, whereas HDMI, DisplayPort, and especially USB-C are newer.
How to connect a monitor
NoteFor most monitors, there are two cables included with your monitor. One is the connector cable, for connection between the monitor and the computer. The second is the power cable for connection between the monitor and the power outlet.
- Find the monitor’s connector cable. It should be included with your purchase.
- Match the cable with one of the video ports on the back of the monitor. The images below show each of the video ports used today (with the general exception of S-Video).
Locate the monitor power button
Once a monitor is connected to the computer, the next step is locating the power button. Unfortunately, there is no standard for where a monitor power button is placed but should be in one of the following locations.
- The front of the monitor, below the screen, commonly on the bottom right corner.
- The top or bottom edge of the monitor, commonly on the top-left or bottom-right side.
- The Left or right side edge of monitor.
- Bottom center of the monitor.
When the monitor power button is pressed correctly on a properly connected monitor, an LED (light-emitting diode) on the monitor should illuminate.
How to turn on a laptop display
A laptop display should turn on with the computer. If the computer is turning on (power light turns on), but the screen remains black, there may be a problem with the display. See the following links for troubleshooting help with no laptop display.