Friday, June 26, 2009

Computer Monitors

A visual display unit is just a fancy name for a computer monitor. A monitor is a piece of equipment that converts signals sent from a computer to a visual and audio representation. When deciding what monitor to choose for your computer, there are many factors to take into consideration.

1. Size-Monitors are classified using a number of different criteria, but the most common is size. A monitor screen size is measured diagonally, from the bottom corner of one side to the upper corner of the other. Generally speaking, the larger the monitor size, the less the user experiences eye fatigue, but the more money the user should expect to spend.

2. Video Technologies- The same concept applies to computers as does to television sets. There are a number of different technologies that all affect the visual presentation of the signal from the computer.

a. LCD (liquid crystal display)- LCD monitors are the most common type of monitor sold in the marketplace today.
b. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)-Up until the 1990's, this was the preferred technology for computer monitors.
c. Plasma Display

3. Dot Pitch-This is the measurement between pixels of the same color. Once again, the smaller the distance between the pixels, the more pixels that will be displayed, the sharper the image will be on the display.

4. Display Resolution-This is the number of pixels displayed in each zone. Generally speaking, the more pixels displayed, the sharper the picture.

5. Response Time-This is the amount of time it takes for a pixel to respond to the signal being sent by the computer. This is usually measured in milliseconds. The shorter the time, the faster the transition and the better the image quality will be.

Each of these factors comes into play when determining what monitor to purchase. While price is a huge motivating factor for purchasing a computer monitor, please keep these tips in mind:

1. LCD computer monitors that are produced for the lower end of the price spectrum are generally produced with some dead pixels. This will affect the quality of the image you see. Also, there is a propensity for lower quality monitors, without phosphor screens to be plagued by "stuck" pixels, or pixels that will only display a certain color. Dead pixels and stuck pixels can sometimes be reversed by rapidly displaying many colors in order to "wake" them up.

2. Phosphor burn in-older CRT monitors were plagued with ghost images being burnt into the screen after bright static images were displayed for a length of time. This is generally not an issue with newer CRT monitors, as well as LCD and plasma displays.

3. Plasma burn in-Older plasma displays suffered the same issues as older CRT displays, though newer technology has all but eliminated this issue.

The best way to ensure that you are getting the best possible monitor for your money is to research all the available options and comparison shop. Many retailers and e-tailers offer discounts and sales on monitors when purchased in conjunction with computers or other computer equipment, so time your purchase when you can receive the best deal.

Matthew Kerridge is an expert in monitor technology. If you would like more information about monitors please visit

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