CRT Vs. LCD Monitor

If you are facing a dilemma in choosing between CRT and LCD monitors, this article might just clear out your confusion. The comparison between the two, presented in this article, will illuminate the major points of difference between the two technologies.
Although LCD monitors have largely displaced CRT screens today and outnumber the latter in sales, there is still a lot of demand for them, in markets around the world. The reason is the picture quality they offer. This comparison will illuminate the advantages and disadvantages of using these rival technologies.

Comparison Between CRT and LCD Monitors

CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) technology has been around for decades now and compared to this old technology, LCD is a recent upstart. Both technologies come with their share of advantages and disadvantages.

Technological Difference
The CRT monitors render picture using an electron beam that hits a phosphor-coated screen, to create picture through phosphorescence. The beam scans the length and width of the screen, according to either interlaced or progressive scanning. It renders the whole picture, line by line, across and down the screen. The scanning speed is very high. Every one of the successive images is rendered this way.

The LCD screen is made up of two sheets of polarizing material, with a layer of liquid crystals, sandwiched in between. When a charge is passed through this film, the crystal alignment changes and becomes opaque to light emitted from behind or reflected light. This is the technique used for image rendering. Thus, light modulation of liquid crystals is the basis of the LCD technology.

Color images are created by arrays of such liquid crystals, using the passive or active matrix technology. This is a substantially expensive technology, which makes LCD monitors expensive, compared to CRT monitors. CRT wins, when it comes to cost comparison. However, with rising demand, LCD TV and monitor prices are coming down.

Resolution, Color Rendering, and Depth
The resolution offered by CRT is flexible. This is due to the fact that the cathode ray beam creates the image. Unlike them, LCD screens have a fixed resolution due to the fact that they rely on fixed arrays of liquid crystals, for creating images.

In terms of color rendering and picture quality, CRT monitors were superior until a few years back. However, color LCD technology has evolved to offer better quality, depth of color, and rendering today. In terms of sharpness, LCD scores high. CRT displays can lack sharpness and suffer from an occasional screen flicker problem.

One slight problem that remains with LCD screens is that the image created by them is best viewed only by sitting right in front. With changes in viewing angles, the picture becomes unclear. This problem crops up due to the polarizing character of the outer screen. The brightness of CRT screens can hurt eyes, while LCD screens are less harmful. When you have to work for long hours, an LCD monitor is a better option to choose.

Power Consumption
CRT monitors consume more power than LCD screens. This high power consumption is a result of the high electric power consumption of the cathode ray tube. LCD displays require far less power and are eco-friendly options.

Size and Weight
The major problem with CRT monitors is their huge size and bulk. While LCD displays only take up a fraction of your table space, a CRT screen will occupy more than two-thirds of it. LCD TV reviews make this a major USP in the introductory phase of this technology. So, in terms of spatial economy, LCD monitors are the clear winners.

Unless you are on a low-end budget, I would personally recommend that you go for an LCD monitor, for all the reasons that have already been made clear, in the comparison above. Not only do they save power and occupy less space, they are also softer on the eyes, compared to CRTs. Though they are not free from certain shortcomings, the merits of using LCD screens, far outweigh their demerits. However, if you are looking for a low-cost option or are into graphic design, a high quality CRT monitor might be the right choice for you.