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LCD vs CRT Pros and Cons (A Quick Overview)
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This article provides a birds eye view of the differences between CRT and LCD computer display technologies.

MAJOR ADVANTAGES OF LCD (Pros of LCD, Cons of CRT)

 

CRT

LCD

Slim Factor

Bulky, the back size is proportionate to the size of the monitor

LCDs are much slimmer than their CRT counterparts. This slimness brings along a host of advantages such as space saving and portability.

Viewable screen

The viewable area is always about 0.9 - 1.1 inch smaller than the size specified on paper. This is due to the frame around the glass screen.

So a 15" CRT would have only about 14" of viewable area.

A 15 inch LCD always has a same size of viewable area as the specifications say.

Larger displays may have their viewable area reduced by at most 0.1 inches.

Screen Flatness

Many manufacturers tout true flatness for their CRT monitors, but the sad truth is that most are fake.

In reality it is only the outer glass that is flat, and not the actual screen. The true 100% perfect flat monitors are the aperture grille tubes made by Mitsubishi and Sony.

Even then, these tubes have a disadvantage - a faint thin line or two (Depending on size) running through the screen to stabilize the grill.

Some people find this distracting, especially if you work on a light background (eg. documents) most of the time.

100% ninety degrees true perfect flat screen

 

Radiation

CRTs emit electromagnetic radiation. Much of it is filtered by the lead heavy glass front and the rest that reaches your eyes are mostly harmless.

Even then, radiation still passes through the screen and some people regard them as hazardous.

LCDs emit a very small amount of radiation compared to CRTs. Health conscious consumers prefer them for this one reason.

Weight

CRTs weigh heavier, especially in their front (the display area)

17 inch CRT weighs around 16kg.

19 inch CRT weighs around 20kg.

LCDs are very light, hence being portable.

17 inch LCD weighs around 6kg.

19 inch LCD weighs around 7kg.

Power Requirements

Higher power usage, more than 200% to an LCD of equivalent size.

17 inch CRT requires around 90 watts

19 inch CRT requires around 110 watts

Considerably lower power usage.

17 inch LCD requires around 35 watts

19 inch LCD requires around 45 watts

Glare

Glare is reduced by the use of special filters and treated glass.

Little or no glare

Display Sharpness

Slightly less sharp images - but it is noticeable when comparing with LCDs

Sharp (when used at native display resolution)

Automatic Resize

Newer CRTs come with a Auto-Fit feature, but unfortunately it does not work well and requires micro adjustments to fill the screen

Hit the Auto button, and the display resizes to fit every pixel within its viewable area.

Burn-In

Suffers from burn-in problem.

If displaying a same image for a prolonged period, it could be embedded in the display permanently.

LCDs are free from the burn-in issue that plagues CRTs and Plasma displays.

However, they do occasionally have Image Persistence problems which can be fixed by switching off the LCD for an extended period of time.

Refresh Rate (Screen Flicker)

A minimum of 75hz is required for a flicker free image. All CRTs already support this, except at ultra high resolutions 2048++.

LCDs do not "paint" their image. They provide a flicker free image every time.

Warmness

Back gets noticeably warm after some time

Little

MAJOR ADVANTAGES OF CRT (Pros of CRT, Cons of LCD)

 

CRT

LCD

Dead / Stuck Pixel

There is no such problem in CRTs as images are painted on the screen.

LCD panels are prone to dead or stuck pixels (or dots) on the screen due to their manufacturing process.

However, stiff competition has made many manufacturers adopt zero dead pixel / stuck pixel warranties for their products.

Response Time

CRTs already have a very fast response time hence this attribute does not apply to it.

This attribute is specially for LCDs as the lower the response rate is, the better the chance of avoiding "ghosting" effect.

Price

Affordable and cheaper than LCDs due to their declining popularity.

17 inch CRT costs around $160

19 inch CRT costs around $225

Considerably more expensive, but prices are dropping fast.

17 inch LCD costs around $275

19 inch LCD costs around $330

Native Resolution

Can be used at any resolution up to the maximum supported. No image quality is lost at any resolution.

Must be used at its native resolution (maximum resolution) for best quality. Using the display at a lower resolution will result interpolation (scaling of the image), causing image quality loss.

This is one of the major reasons for CRTs being in use by gamers as the high native resolution that LCD demands may not deliver smooth frame rates.

Max Colors

32 bit

8-Bit max, 16.7 million colors.

Viewing Angle

Wide viewing angle

Narrow viewing angle, depending on technology employed.

Video

Ideal for any video including HD

Not ideal for Standard Definition videos, but great for High Definition videos

Blackness

True Black

Between Dark Gray to Gray

Summary

Pros of LCD vs Cons of CRT

 

LCD

CRT

Slim Factor

Slim

Bulky

Viewable screen

Full or very close

Usually 0.9 inches or less than actual size

Screen Flatness

True Flat

Fake Flat (unless aperture grille)

Radiation

Little or none

More Radiation

Weight

Light

Heavy

Power Requirements

Low Power requirement

250% or more power

Glare

No Glare

Reduced Glare

Image Sharpness

Sharp

Slightly less sharp images

Automatic Resize

Perfect

Imperfect

Burn-In

None

Suffers from burn-in problem

Refresh Rate

No refresh rate (60hz fixed)

Needs refresh rate (minimum 72hz)

Warmness

Little

Back gets warm after some time

Pros of CRT vs Cons of LCD

 

CRT

LCD

Dead / Stuck Pixel

No such problem

May have dead / stuck pixel

Response Rate

No issue with response rate

Slow

Price

Cheap

Expensive

Native Resolution

None

Has a native resolution

Max Colors

32 bit

8-Bit max, 16.7 million colors.

Viewing Angle

Wide viewing angle

Narrow viewing angle

Video

Ideal for any video viewing including HD

Not ideal for videos, unless HD

Blackness

True Black

Between Dark Gray to Gray

This document is Copyright(©) 2001-2008 by G.Ganesh. Visit Bootstrike.Com (http://bootstrike.com). Figures were compared using a typical 19 inch LCD (Viewsonic VA926) and 19 inch CRT (Viewsonic G90F).

Last Updated 1st Feb 2008.

30 comments RSS of last 10 posts

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bw Unregistered Anonymous My 6 year old, 20", Sony Trinitron CRT uses 54 watts running. Not sure where the reported high CRT power usages are coming from. Possibly very old units? How about a few more specifics?
posted 22 Feb 2009 - show 1 replies - Reply - Permanent Link
Admin Administrator Admin Viewsonic G90F
http://www.viewsoniceurope.com/UK/Support/NonCurrentCRTs/CRTGraphics/G90f+.htm#Specs
posted 22 Feb 2009 - Reply - Permanent Link
Kev Unregistered Anonymous Thanks all, helped loads
posted 1 Jan 2009 - Reply - Permanent Link
foro Unregistered Anonymous LCD 8 Bit color ??? dont you have to update that ?
posted 24 Feb 2008 - show 1 replies - Reply - Permanent Link
b8two Unregistered Anonymous 8 bit = 256 colors for Red, Green & Blue

256 x 256 x 256 = 16,777,216 colors.

If you can find the specifications of an LCD with more colors post it here.
posted 21 Apr 2008 - Reply - Permanent Link
pvrtech Unregistered Anonymous what you are referring to is the panel type

TN panels are 6 bit and actually have 262,000 colors (+/-)MVA panels are 8 bit and actually are true 16.7 mil color

most panels are TN however and dither the colors to mimic a 8 bit panel. you can tell the difference best by looking at the picture from the bottom up as a TN panel will look like the colors are inverted and the MVA panel will only show a fluctuation of contrast and brightness but the colors will be the same.
posted 5 May 2008 - Reply - Permanent Link
skythra Unregistered Anonymous where did you get the idea that "Most panels are TN" with only 6bit? Maybe back in 2006 they were, but these days a company who does that isnt competitive anymore. No new brand name monitors will be 6bit, and in fact on spec tech sheets you will read that most just say "16.7 million colours" or... colors as you 'mericans like to cut out vowels.

Also how you have worked out your "8bit color" is wrong. 8bit color is "3bits for red 3bits for blue and 2bits for green" where as 32bit color is actually 24bit color with a bunch of values left blank (or for a game would be used to bumpmap). IE: 8bits for red, 8bits for blue and 8 bits for green.

So you've essentially misunderstood. But Each pixel is worth 32bits of data for the color alone. With 24bits of that data actually being useful on the monitor and the other 8 being empty bits.

Hope this clarifies..

check "www.wikipedia.com" for more info and then click the reference links if you still dont believe :)
posted 5 Jul 2008 - Reply - Permanent Link
skythra Unregistered Anonymous Im not sure if I was clear, Its not that your logic is wrong in 256x256x256 = 16.7 million colors, but its still not 8 bit, because even by your logic, its 8Bit + 8Bit + 8Bit =24 (+8bits of uselss info).

So therefore because each pixel has to be able to display ALL COMBINATIONS of those, its called 24Bit [32bit].

Im guessing this is what the above poster was also referring to. But the logic works from the other way.. if you know what i mean...

Essentially on the box, it will say either 24 or 32bit color, and that should align with what it says here. Because thats what people are using to look at when they are trying to make purchasing decisions..

GRR im making a bigger hole as i dig :D
posted 5 Jul 2008 - Reply - Permanent Link
Unregistered Anonymous This all sounds correct to me. I think perhaps another issues is being missed, I might be mistaken on this but I believe that color depth on a CRT may actually be infinite, not 32 (24) bit as it is analog?? Not that you would be able to visually tell the difference.
posted 8 Dec 2009 - Reply - Permanent Link
alinadrian Unregistered Anonymous very nice thanks for the info! ...sure helped ;)
posted 13 Feb 2008 - Reply - Permanent Link
Dime Unregistered Anonymous Thanks, that help a lot...
posted 25 Jan 2008 - Reply - Permanent Link
aceuang Unregistered Anonymous cool man...
help me a lot...
thankz ya...
posted 4 Dec 2007 - Reply - Permanent Link
thanks Unregistered Anonymous Cool thanks alot, I always thought that CRTs took up more power but I never knew it was that much, thanks for this it helped alot.
posted 5 Jun 2007 - Reply - Permanent Link

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