What Is A Monitor? Its Types, History And FAQs Answered!

In the race for technological advancement, the Monitors seem to be shoulder to shoulder with other computer hardware. As someone who is into the niche of tech, I have observed a remarkable change in the Monitors over the last half a decade. The Ultra-HD graphics, reduced size, a bundle of multiple features, and higher prices are some of the noticeable changes to mention.

what is a monitor
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But things were not always the same for the Monitors as they are today. In fact, poor Monitors have had their own era of persecution at the hands of ill-tempered teenagers and employees who would exercise the norm of smashing them for having a Bad Day. Gladly, that’s not the case, at least on a large scale, anymore.

My first experience with a Monitor was a funny one and that’s for a reason. Having Looked at that oversized Monitor by IBM I thought I could easily replace it with my TV. Now after years, I realize that was the stupidest thing that I ever dared to think.

There is so much to learn about Monitors. It’s like a mini world within the world of computers. You can spend hours and hours consuming Monitors-related content and it wouldn’t be enough for you to learn about the things they offer. Whether you want to watch an Ultra-HD movie or want to get the best graphics experience of your videogame, you are going to need to invest in a high-spec Monitor.

What Is A Monitor?

A Monitor is an electronic device that displays computer-processed information on its screen. The Monitor displays the computer-processed information in the form of text, imagery, or videos. Basically an output device, a Monitor has to be attached to a power source and a computer to display the information on the screen. For a regular PC experience, the involvement of a Monitor is a must. The Monitor provides the users with an eye to take a look inside the computer and operate it. It’s like a complete blackout for a user without the Monitor attached to a computer.

Types Of Monitors

There are five standard types of Monitors based on their different technologies. All these Monitors are readily available in the market. There is a striking difference between their technology that impacts the display results and over PC experience. Take a look at the following for a short description of each type of Monitor.

CRT MonitorThe earliest ancestor to the modern Monitors, a CRT Monitor uses electron beams to display computer-generated information
LCD MonitorShort for Liquid Cyrstal Display, It consumes less power, weighs less, and is the most widely used type of Monitor
LED MonitorPreferred by elite gamers, this type of Monitor features an advanced display for a superior experience. Its display detail is next-level and the response time is better than other types
OLED MonitorPowered by an advanced contrast ratio, It offers the best display compared to any other type of Monitor and is best suited for watching HD videos
Plasma MonitorIt’s a flat panel display that runs using plasma technology and offers a wider angle.

History Of Monitors

The history of Monitors is quite complex and long enough to take a few pages to be covered. According to some PC experts, the history of Monitors could be traced back to the early 1900s. However, more or less, it is a widely accepted phenomenon that Monitors have existed since the 1950s. Starting from the 1950s, Monitors took an active role in bringing the revolution of computers.

Unsurprisingly, CRT Monitors or Cathode Ray Tube Monitors were the first to be used with computers for display. First used as a memory in the early computers in the 1950s, CRT technology was later utilized for computer display which later gave birth to the CRT Monitors.

The CRT Monitors were based on electrical beams to illuminate the screen. While they were good in performance, their big size was a problem for the early general-purpose computer users. Apart from that, CRT Monitors relied on heavy power usage. The first CRT Monitor specifically designed for a general-purpose computer was introduced by the Xerox Alto computer in 1973.

But before the first-ever CRT Monitor came into existence, Plasma and LED displays were already invented. For your record, only a decade ago, the first-ever Plasma Monitor had already been invented by the team of Donald Bitzer, H.Gene Slottow, and Robert Willson for the Plato Computer System. Plasma Monitor could operate using charged gases to illuminate the screen.

Furthermore, In 1968, while working for HP, Howard C. Borden and Gerald P. Pighini pioneered the technology of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) display which was a groundbreaking achievement at that time. However, the LED display didn’t work out well for HP during the reign of CRT Monitors. Rather, the LED Monitors had to wait for a few decades to be accessible to general consumers.

As CRT Monitors made their way to the mainstream general-purpose computer industry, they found little competition from any other technology. This trend continued for at least the next four decades with CRT Monitors being on the top. While different types of displays were introduced or worked upon during this period, nothing could come close to CRT monitors. From the heavy workstations to the early general-purpose computers, CRT Monitors were used with all types of computers for display.

In the late 1980s, CRT Monitors met with LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Monitors, their first major competitor that would outrank them in the future. Since the LCD Monitors used transparent electrodes for the display, they provided better results than CRT Monitors. The LCD Monitors consumed less power, were lightweight, and first appeared with laptops in the late 1980s.

Despite superior performance and features, LCD Monitors took a few more years to beat CRT Monitors. Throughout the early and mid-1990s, the clash between the two types of Monitors was visible with CRT Monitors being the victor. However, in the late 2000s, LCD Monitors snatched the crown from CRT Monitors. So, after CRT Monitors stepped down from the top list, LCD, LED, and Plasma Monitors began dominating the market. And within only a few years, the long reign of CRT Monitors had its end.

Today, due to the affordable price and less power consumption, most users have LCD Monitors attached to their PCs. Now the real war is between LCD Monitors and their LED counterparts. It’s about the time that we would get to know who would remain in the game and who would have to retire.

What Are Hz In Monitors?

The Hz is the capability of a Monitor to update the display a number of times per second. Also referred refresh rate, Hz is one of the key features that should be looked for before buying a Monitor. If a Monitor has a 60hz refresh rate, it means, it can update the image 60 times per second. Similarly, if a Monitor features a 144Hz refresh rate, it can load the image 144 times per second. The higher the Hz or refresh rate, the better the display results would be.

For an overall general experience, 60hz Monitor is what is recommended by most PC experts. While 60Hz is a bit compromising number for a good display, It is the standard one for most Monitors. However, for a dramatic improvement in the display results and no compromise on the colors, you can opt for a 144Hz Monitor. If you are an elite gamer who wants to get the HD display results, you better go for a 244Hz Monitor for a never-like-before experience.

How Much Does An Average Monitor Cost?

On the internet, you can find tons of Monitors available starting from the low cost of $50 to as much as $1000. In general, a Monitor comes packed with features that determine its actual worth. The more and better the features, the bigger the price regardless of the brand tag. If you want to shop for an average Monitor featuring standard resolution for HD videos, at least 144 Hz of refresh rate, and a good size for a wide angle, you would have to pay $150 – $250. In the said amount, you should be able to get a Monitor that would leave you satisfied in terms of all aspects of it.

Is Monitor Necessary For A PC?

Yes, a Monitor is necessary for a PC. It is important to know that a Monitor provides PC users with a medium to look inside the computer. Although a PC can operate without a Monitor, it requires a Monitor to display the information it generates or processes. If there is no Monitor, the PC user would be unable to figure out what’s going inside it. A Monitor allows the user to watch videos, see pictures, play video games, and use applications or programs on a PC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

Monitors bring us to the fact that there is no digital experience without them. They are evolving in terms of size, shape, and resolution to take our PC experience to the next level. I am a huge fan of 4k and 8k videos and I know the worth of Monitors for the fact that they deliver the best results for such graphical videos. Watching the highly graphical content would have been impossible without these Monitors.

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Bilal Khan
Bilal Khan

Bilal might look like a Bearded Caucasian right out of a Viking movie but trust me he's a native Pakistani. He has a long list of hobbies among which staying updated on the Latest Technology and Hardware happens to be on the top. If you are looking for detailed hardware explanations through no tricky terminologies, follow him to read Tech Content curated perfectly for the human brain.

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