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General discussion


by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / December 15, 2005 6:44 AM PST

A CRT flat-screen monitor not only has a much larger viewing
area and resolution rate, it's a lot cheaper than comparable
LCD monitors. Other than size and style, what are the
advantages and/or disadvantages of using an LCD monitor over
a CRT monitor? And if I were looking into purchasing an LCD
monitor, are there any specific things, such as contrast
ratios, refresh rate, and so forth (which is all foreign to
me), that I should pay particularly close attention to in
order to make a good buying decision on an LCD monitor? I
would be grateful for any detailed explanations. Thanks.

Submitted by: George



Hello George.

Let's try to help you decide what type of monitor to buy. I will try not to sway you one way or the other; however, LCD monitors show obvious advantages, while CRT do not. For reference, LCD stands for liquid crystal display, which uses two sheets of polarizing material with a liquid crystal solution in between. When electric current passes through the solution, it causes the crystals to align themselves so that light can't pass through them. Each crystal is like an on\off switch--either it allows light to pass through or blocks the light.

CRT is cathode ray tube, and uses an electron beam which passes back and forth on your screen. It lights up the phosphor bits, or dots, inside a glass tube that essentially lights up any active portion of your screen, giving you an image. NITS is used to describe LCD brightness; the higher the NIT, the brighter your display.

That said, let's look at some things to consider.

Benefits and non-benefits of both...

There are essentially many benefits of LCD beginning with, what in my eyes is most important - ELF \VLf, which goes under electromagnetic radiation emissions in CRT caused from the scanning beam. LCD does away with this.

This was also the reason for many glare screens on CRT monitors. There is a counterpart to this - the flicker you get from the refresh rate on CRT which causes symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, motion sickness and is called computer vision syndrome. This is caused by the scanning beam that refreshes your image, along with glare, position of monitor etc... LCD does away with this also, and as I mentioned above (each pixel acting as an on\off switch on LCD), is what eliminates the flicker problem with CRT. Also, the eye fixation is less; in a couple of words, your eyes have less to fix themselves on with LCD contributing to less CVS also. There are studies being done to see how much CVS is being reduced by using LCD monitors. As far as GLARE is concerned, it is fairly done away with as LCD uses a plastic film instead of glass to reduce glare.

There are however, many factors to be looked at. The length of time you use a monitor has a lot to do with many of the problems mentioned and does not mean that a CRT monitor will cause any of this immediately, in the future, or at all. Some claim to never have had issues, while others do.

Another consideration is energy consumption. A "typical" LCD monitor will use about 25 to 30w when in use and when in standby, around 3 to 4w. A CRT monitor will use 80w in use and around 5 w in standby. One thing to look at is a 15" LCD may give you close to the viewing area of a 17" and a 17" LCD will be close to a 19" CRT monitor, so getting a smaller LCD gives you a larger CRT viewing area, reducing the wattage in size. This can be a huge energy saver over years for anyone. This will also help to possibly balance the price difference in LCD to CRT, which I will get into later.

There are also angle viewing concerns. Most CRT monitors can be viewed from a sharp angle while LCD cannot. This means, if you (let's say at work) for whatever reason need to work from the side for a moment, you may have a hard time viewing your work screen with LCD. However, LCD is far more adjustable on the pivot arm than CRT and many times can make up for the lack of angle viewing. Many companies are solving this issue also and it is no longer a problem for some, but others like the screen viewing privacy this gives, so fixing this may not be good for some.
Straight on viewing in LCD is geometrically better since it lacks the distortion of CRT and your screen view is focused, you see your whole screen, and portions are not lost or out of proportion. This is the reason a 15 " LCD may give you close to a 17" CRT display. To put it another way, all your pixels are fit within a certain range on your screen so you get the whole view without distortion.

Refresh rates in LCD have surpassed or equaled CRT. There were many issues with GHOSTING on the screen, which when playing a movie, or high end video game, left an image behind itself when movement occurred. Many LCD companies have solved this issue also.

Your DOT PITCH is the space between pixels. The smaller your number (e.g. 0.34 to 0.24) the 0.24 would be a better display. This is something to keep an eye on when buying a monitor. Newer CRTs will give you a resolution of up to 1600 X 1200 and higher. One drawback of most LCDs - the native resolution is a set resolution and can be changed, but you may get quality loss and performance loss. This is also being worked on and will not be an issue in the near future. Some still say that LCD cannot surpass the color depth of the CRT, but that is changing also. In general, an LCD will be up to any lacking that a CRT can provide. For a typical user, the color depth will not be an issue as it comes into play with graphic artists and such.

EMI (electro magnetic interference is still an issue with CRT. For example, speakers too close to the monitor will cause distortion, green or white patches, among others. LCD is not affected by EMI (in most) and has protected circuits, so it is covered from EMI. Some very cheap brands do not use protection, or use low protection, on their circuits, but this is rare. While extremely high EMI's may still affect an LCD, in most cases it is no longer a concern.

CRTs were known for having a sharper, true color image, but with active
matrix display, the LCD refresh rate is higher than on most CRTs. The technology has a price currently, but active matrix, in my opinion, will become a standard and the price will narrow.

Space is a major factor also. A typical CRT monitor weighs up to 40 lbs., give or take, while an LCD monitor can weigh as little as 15, give or take. This all depends on what type and how big the monitor is going to be of course. Also, LCD monitors are (just for example) about as thick as the front cover of a CRT monitor, saving space for all the clutter so many of us have. Some are made to be hung up on a wall and can obviously fit in spaces that CRT monitors will never hope to go. If the thought of placing a CRT monitor on a say, thin shelf, makes a person shudder, an LCD will take that worry away in most cases as the weight and thickness will not be a problem. Being a thinner monitor, LCD can also be set back further from the user as some would have to move further from the keyboard with CRT to get some eye relief as I do.

LCD has a backlight, which illuminates the desktop in almost any condition. Without the glass screen of a CRT, your glare and viewing improve. The backlight has a typical half brightness point of 50,000 hours and is typically the only component (made of fluorescent tubes) that ages. A CRT monitor, with the cathode ray tube, has typically 10 to 20,000. So, really what that says is (in theory) you will get 30 to 40,000 more half point brightness hours, before dimming occurs or display fails. That is a fairly large span in terms of numbers. LCD's also generate very little heat as opposed to CRT monitors, and this has much to do with less circuit breakdown and longer overall life of the monitor.

LCD seems to have many features and each company makes different features per monitor, and to try and name each is impossible. You can look at this link just for the purpose of giving you an idea of what some have/don't have, price etc...There are many links out there, many companies and as I always say, don't be afraid to ask when buying a product. If you are paying for it, you have a right to know anything you want to know about it.

Then of course there is Price...
Typically an LCD monitor is going to be more costly than a CRT monitor, but the prices are dropping and becoming quite comparable. So much that some don't consider the difference to be a problem when pricing. This price drop is good news for LCD buyers. Also, every brand is different, sales do matter, quality etc... There are so many shopping options these days, it's hard to pinpoint a price and doing a search is the best way to find what you want as I mentioned above.

In closing, what I would like to try and sum up is, CRT's advantages are becoming null and void as LCD is rapidly filling any gaps that CRT may have put between them. Some will say LCD already fills these disadvantages, while other sites and stores will say no. The confusion is there, but ultimately it is up to you and I hope that this will help you in some way.

Good luck!

Submitted by: Paul K. of Gladstone, Michigan
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Honorable mentions
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / December 15, 2005 6:44 AM PST
In reply to: 12/16/05

First of all, your statement that "A CRT flat-screen monitor not only has a much larger viewing area and resolution rate" is not accurate. As a rule of thumb, for any CRT diagonal size (e.g. 19"), the actual viewing area is approximately one inch less (i.e. 18"). Not so for LCD. The size stated is, within an RCH, the viewing area. So, inch for inch, LCD provide a larger screen. Resolution is another issue and goes from DC to daylight (across the spectrum) on any size. Two more thumbs, money buys resolution in both tubes and LCDs and 1600x1200 seems to be the generally available LCD top end. Wide screen format changes this 4:3 ratio to 16:10 and a quick survey showed two trends. The cheaper trend is to hold the horizontal count down and drop the lines (e.g. 20" 1680x1050 pricewatch $450) or more expensive trend, up the horizontal pixels (e.g. 24" 1920x1200 $950). Not quite apples and apples so your individual preferences and usage apply.

What else? CRTs are big, heavy and hot. Big and heavy are inconvenient except for desk space but hot costs money. A lot of heat is generated and while this is OK once you get close enough to the poles, air conditioning to counter it costs more money. Did I mention that LCDs come on quickly? Oh yeah, let's not forget that you're sitting in front of an electron beam when you use a CRT. There is some radiation. Whether or not that's a problem they may figure out when the cell phone radiation question is answered.

If you already sit in front of a screen for a living, you'll know some of your preferences. I have seen people with a problem with flicker in some CRT screens, very allegorical. Some have complained of blur when using LCDs and movies, again allegorical. Make sure that the resolution you like with the refresh from your graphics card are within the supported range of the LCD. My best recommendation is to view your options in advance. Brightness and contrast are a personal and situational issue. Internal speakers are available for some reason, but I haven't figured out why.

IMO LCDs don't handle non-native resolutions as well as CRTs so, don't go buying a 1600x1200 until you check it out using the resolution that you'll want to use regularly. I personally like 1280x1024. Last issue is dead pixels. I haven't heard much on this lately, but deal with a reputable vendor and manufacturer who clearly state when dead pixels become too many and will be replaced.

There's my $0.02 USD. I'll send you a bill.

Submitted by: Mike S. of Normandy, TN



This is the big question many people ask when buying their first LCD. When in the market for a new LCD, some things you need to keep in mind are:

1) Image latency time. A decent LCD monitor will have a latency time somewhere around 12ms. Obviously you would do well to find something lower than 12ms, as there will be what's known as ghosting on the screen, and that can pose a problem when one is watching DVD's, gaming, etc... all LCD's are, unfortunately, subject to some level of ghosting due to Image latency time, so there's no escaping it.

2) Color replication. For the longest time, LCD monitors have had a difficult time accurately displaying true colors. There can be a noticible difference on a lot of LCD's when put side-by-side with CRT's. Take these things into account if you will be doing any sort of multimedia work such as video editing or image manipulation.

3) Image continuity. Because of the fact that LCD's have lighting sources (which I believe are flourescent lightbulbs, however I could be wrong on that), and aren't using an electron gun to control luminance/color, there will be light differences on the viewable surface of the display. This may not be very obvious to the consumer on first glance, but anyone with a good eye that looks carefully enough will be able to spot about 70% of continuity problems in LCD monitors.

4) Contrast/Black level. This can pose problems on the blacks. If you have a high black level, you can see images through black. Sometimes, even, ending up to where your blacks could be extremely dark grays.

5) Size constraints. If your desk space is cramped, LCD's can be great space savers (obviously). Needless to say, this is one of the main selling points on LCD's

6) Energy consumption. In a stand-off of LCD and CRT monitors, most LCD's will be more energy-efficient.

Finally, I reccomend you check out for some awesome reviews on LCD's.

Submitted by: Michael W.



Well, you're right that CRTs have a larger viewing area in that can you buy a 22" CRT for roughly the same price as an 18" LCD. CRTs also can handle a variety of resolutions without blowing up or compressing the picture like LCDs have to do, and like you said, CRT are currently cheaper than LCD.

The biggest advantage of LCD, to most non-tech people, is like you said, size and style. LCDs take up much less space on your desk and can even be mounted on a wall or positional stand so you can point it in any direction you like. People like the style of LCD because they are slim and they think they look 'cool'.

Now, I'm sorry to answer you question with a question, but why buy a functional device, for reasons based on its style rather than its actual function? A monitor's function is to display a picture, as accurately as possible. Why would someone knowingly purchase a device that doesn't do its primary function as well as another device, not only that, but at a cheaper cost!

This other device I'm talking about is CRT. The good 100-year old technology. Don't let the age of technology fool you, the CRT has evolved greatly through its life time. If you want to buy a monitor based on the picture quality it can produce, and nothing else, CRT is your best option.

What exactly makes CRT better (in picture quality) than LCD?

1. Viewing angle: with CRT if you can see the screen from any angle, you can see is full brightness and full color. LCD's brightness and color fades and you move away from its center viewing angle. Just look at any LCD monitor sitting on a desk and see if the top or bottom of the screen is brighter than the other half. Unless the monitor is angled just right to the position of your head, the chances are good that it is.

2. Contrast: The difference between the lightest and darkest parts of the picture. LCD may be brighter than CRT, but it is accurate contrast that produces the most natural picture.

3. Resolution: LCDs has one native resolution. That means there is one resolution (aka. the amount of pixels it can display, more pixels mean a sharper more natural picture) that LCD can display. Say an LCD's native resolution is 1024x768(1024 pixels side-to-side, 768 pixels top-to-bottom).
If all your going to be doing is a little web surfing or word processing, that is enough screen detail to do the job. However, when you PC games, work with graphics or pictures, or watch HDTV, you'll want the ability to use higher or lower resolutions without scaling. LCD has to scale resolutions different from its native resolution which always leads to some amount of quality loss. CRT on the other hand, switches easily between resolutions, because it doesn't have physical pixel limitations.

There are more advantages CRT has over LCD, but getting back to you original question. What should you look for when buying an LCD?

Make sure you find one with a native resolution you can live with, but remember that resolutions either higher or lower than its native resolution will lose some amount of detail.

Response time is an important measurement with LCD because LCD cannot refresh as fast as CRT. If you are going to be playing fast-action PC games, action DVD movies, or sporting events on HDTV, you?ll want a response time of 16ms or lower. A lower number means a faster response time. If your response time is too high, you will notice visible smearing on the screen.

Ultimately, what looks best, or what works best for your situation is up to you. Go to the store, and look at each CRT and LCD and make up your own mind about what works best for you.

Submitted by: Tyler B.



I still swear by CRT. It's getting harder and harder to find one these days, everyone wants a flat-panel. But here are some things to consider:

- CRT is brighter. You get much richer and more vivid colors. If you ever want to look at pictures or watch movies on your computer, you care about contrast and color quality.

- CRT looks good from any angle. LCD's change brightness if you view them from the top, the bottom, or the sides. In recent years there have been some improvements, but even so LCD's are much more limited in terms of viewing angles. If you ever want to have a bunch of people gather around your computer, say to look at photos or a funny web page, then you want a monitor that will look good from any angle.

- LCD has a smaller footprint, but so what? If you've lived in the United States since 1905, you have a desk that's two to four feet deep. You may even have a "corner" desk that will be even deeper. Go to your friends' houses, or look in your coworkers' cubicles, and see what they've done with the space they saved by getting an LCD. Nothing. You still want it close to your face (16-20 inches) for best viewing and ergonomics, which leaves a huge empty, dusty space behind. If you're a college student with a tiny desk, then an LCD actually makes a difference. But otherwise, the smaller footprint of the LCD makes no difference.

- CRT is cheaper. Way cheaper. If cost is an issue (and when is it not?), then you should ask yourself what benefit you're getting by buying a much more expensive monitor. Most likely, you have a fixed budget that you're willing to spend. For that money, you could get a smaller LCD, or a larger CRT. Larger screen size is always better. Always. Get a high-quality 21" CRT and you will love yourself.

Being a real technophile doesn't mean going for every fad. Being a real technophile means knowing what is truly best for you in the long run.

Some other things to consider regardless of what you buy: look for a brand name you trust. There's a reason some brands are better-known than others. Also, you should consider getting an extended warranty. If a computer breaks, you can go to the CNet forums and get help. If your monitor breaks, you probably have to throw it away. But if you have the option of taking it back to the shop, that can be a real benefit.

Good luck with your purchase, I hope it brings you enjoyment for many years to come!

Submitted by: Jordan K.



I used to have a high end crt, I liked the picture, it had good refresh rates and it was one of the flat pannel ones which are much nicer to look at. Then I got tempted into forking out just over
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E-Dimension 3D Glasses
by georgelm / December 15, 2005 6:36 PM PST
In reply to: Honorable mentions

Just a minor point. I have E-Dimensional 3D glasses. The ones I have only work with CRT's. (Unless that has changed since I bought them about 2 years ago)
George Moore.

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Another 3Der
by Brianstech / December 17, 2005 10:44 AM PST
In reply to: E-Dimension 3D Glasses

Yep, one of the main reasons I still use CRT's is for my gaming glasses. I have a stealth black IBM 21" Sony Trinitron, and a matching 19". They are fantastic, but weigh in at 85 and 75 pounds.

I just checked to find that E-d glasses now work with LCD.

I guess it's time to start saving for the change.

Anyway, it's nice to hear from a fellow 3-Der!

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Do ED glasses work fine?
by samuelgarcia87 / December 18, 2005 12:22 AM PST
In reply to: Another 3Der

Hi, I would like to ask you a little question. I was looking out there to buy a pair of E-dimensional glasses to use with my pc games, and would like to know if they produce any eye-strain because of the flickering occuring inside those "lenses". By the way do they work on Mac?



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3-D Gaming and Movies on CRT Only! But not Mac :(
by eye2fun / December 18, 2005 1:59 PM PST

Ok I have a Sony 24'' hooked to both a Mac PowerPC and a custom AMD 64, Nvidia 6800 display card. Runs 3-D on the Nvidia equipted pc, but not the Mac. The reason is although Nvidia is the only true supporter of 3-D viewing, the 3-D driver is only written for x86 computers.

The Sony CRT monitor is fanastic for gaming and the graphics design using the Mac w/ OS-X. It is one of the few Monitors that supports being switchable between two systems. It also is quite hefty at 110 pounds. Aside from that I couldn't live without it.

I must say I disagree with what some say here, an LCD is inherently weak in the color quality (being incapable of 32bit quality), brightness and resolution (completely incapable of displaying even closely the qualities of a good CRT). Neither my Nvidia equipted Mac or AMD 64 pc can show off the display capabilities of the 24'' Sony CRT to their max. It takes a professional display card to do that like a FireGL. LCD's are for all intents and purposes a fixed or native resolution only monitor. Otherwise they tend to look terrible.

Don't get me wrong LCD's are getting better, but for 3D and color purity, CRT's are the only game in town. Happy

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Refresh rate
by Brianstech / December 19, 2005 4:02 AM PST

I believe they recommend a refresh rate of at least 100, 120 being ideal. If you have an older PC, it will struggle to keep up.

I have 2 year old wireless glasses from a company that's now gone. I'm hoping to upgrade to the latest E-D someday.

For more specific questions, you'll need to use the link I provided earlier.

Just to mention my plans, my main PC with the 21" CRT is also split to my Sony VPH 1252 CRT projector. It is displaying a 10 foot diagonal high-rez picture. I prefer it to an LCD, just like many Home Theater enthusiasts do.

Anyway, I did a rough test with my 3-D glasses and found they work with the projector. The dongle wire would need to be lengthened to mount the transmitter above the screen. The only real problem was the PJ doesn't support a high refresh rate, but it still looked okay.

So I plan to buy at least 3 pairs of wireless E-D glasses, and also their software to convert DVD movies into 3-D. It won't be cheap, but it should be an amazing experience for all who visit.

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Lower refresh rate
by Brianstech / December 19, 2005 11:54 PM PST
In reply to: Refresh rate

I just found time to look at E-D's site.

They claim a minimum refresh rate of 70Hz.

I've got to get rid of my old 3-D system!

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Other recommendations by our members
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / December 15, 2005 6:45 AM PST
In reply to: 12/16/05

All things being equal I would not even use a computer without an LCD and I never have till very resently (18 month's all up) as using a crt becomes intolerable in a short period time due to eye strain and headache. But now I've jumped in with both feet having two very high end desk tops one a small form factor which I am going to use for a home theater and I can quote the spec's of both of the top of my head verbatem. So my vote is certainly personal one if not an emotional based one as a bonus I get more desk space and less power useage!

Submitted by: Rob L.



Any LCD monitor is far superior than CRT monitors which are on their way out. Not only it is space saving but looks and functions fine in all departments. Do not be awed by all the specs and technicalities and measurements, go for high end LCD monitor brands which are also brands of high end CRT monitors of yore.

To reiterate, do not be too conscious of specs. LCDs do not differ much like CRTs where you have to choose flat or concave, black or white, etc. Just think of PC LCD monitors as equivalent to plasma screen in TVs - which are quite far, far superior than conventional TV screens.

The only disadvantage of LCD monitors over CRTs is that they are more expensive.

Submitted by: Butch



As simply as possible, I've owned a flat screen CRT and a top of the line 23" LCD. The first thing I did was connect them to the same videocard so I knew I'd be getting the same picture back (arranged multiscreen and set it to clone). I then logged into World of Warcraft and ZOWIE!!!! BATMAN!!!

Okay, I didn't say Batman, but I nearly did. My girlfriend (who gave me the LCD as a gift) was actually the first to say something. As a non-gamer who wears high level contacts, I thought she would be the last to see any difference, but she tapped me on the shoulder while my mouth was still open.... She said "Is it me or does the LCD, is that what you call that one (as she pointed to it)... Are the colors much more clear or am I seeing things at a bad angle. I let her switch all around. Then HER eyes lit up because she realized the significant difference between them. I'm yet to see a CRT (and I've seen very high tech military screens as well as what's commercially available) which can come close to matching the bright, crisp, clean color of an LCD.

Even cheap LCDs, IMO, look far more sharp, more crystal, realistic, and with such significantly better color that I'll never go back to a CRT again. Note, I AM a CORE GAMER in that I buy at least 4-5 games a month (though that's getting harder to do with the absence of quality titles coming out), so what I look for is speed, clarity, and BRIGHT, CLEAR WOWIE ZOWIE color and picture.

If you're a programmer or you just do web design, or you don't care about graphics quality, etc..., by all means stick to a cheapo CRT. If "WOW!", Jaw dropping graphics are what you look for, at least for now, I'm yet to see a single monitor match up to the HPf2304. I have 2 of them now, and run them side by side in dual mode. I've even managed to get some RTSG's to let me use all of both monitors giving me unparralleled viewing range. But like I said... take my reasoning with a grain of salt because I use my computer pretty much for games, games, and then more games with a little bit of email thrown in.

Submitted by: Art S.



From one George to another George Happy

CRT vs LCD: It's a matter of horses for courses.

Currently, I'm using a laptop which has an LCD screen - and a CRT monitor as my main viewing screen.

For ordinary text, an LCD is OK. Much of my work is in Photoshop Elements, editing and restoring photographs.
What I found when only using the LCD screen, even the slightest tilt - or a slight change in the angle from which
I viewed it, would change the colour saturation, contrast and brightness. No matter how I adjusted the gamma.

Result: what I thought looked OK, as far as the colours on the LCD screen, would be totally different to how the
colours on the print came out. And this is using an Epson 2100 7 colour printer, with all the bells & whistles!
Lots of frustration, wasted ink and paper - and I could never get the results I needed.

Consulting a programmer friend of mine, I was advised to get the "Old Fashioned" CRT screen - which has solved
my problem. Screen and print colours are now very close indeed. Perhaps a fixed LCD monitor would be OK too.

So, the type of monitor you need depends on the type of work you intend to do. I hope this note is of help to you.

Submitted by: George G.



The first thing that we need to address, what are you going to be using the monitor for? If you are an avid gamer, watch dvds or work with digital photography then your best bet may be the CRT. If you are using your computer for desktop applications and internet browsing then you might want to consider the LCD. Let's go into a little more detail. For gamers the most important aspect is the response time. Response time refers to the updating of color pixels. If the response time is slow then there will be a slight ghosting effect. CRT's definitely "had" an advantage in response time and color quality. The faster the response time the better. for example you would want a response time of 12ms or less. Also, you would want a 500:1 ratio for detailed images. Other advantages of purchasing an LCD monitor include energy savings. An LCD uses only about a third of what the CRT consumes. A typical LCD uses about 30 watts compared to 80 watts for a CRT.

Also, LCD's are not prone to magnetic interference and consumes a lot less space. When purchasing a CRT one thing to look for is the dot pitch. Remember smaller is always better. Also, opt for the flat screen and check the refresh rate. Higher the refresh rate the better. This makes for less eyestrain. In price comparison you can buy a high quality flat screen 17"

CRT with a dot pitch of .23mm and refresh rate of 85mhz for about $130. The high quality 17" LCD's with a rate of 8ms response and a 500:1 ratio runs about $230.

Submitted by: Jerry R.



I may have spent more time staring at computer screens over the past 30+ years than I have sleeping. I have less than perfect vision. I managed with large CRT's. Because of my vision issues, I didn't try an LCD display on my desktop. Laptops were always a pain to read. Then I moved to a place with a space crunch. To save space, I bought a 17" HP monitor. I fell in love. I could read it better than any CRT I have used ... and the last several CRT's contained Sony Trinitron tubes at 19". Unfortunately, that monitor quit working within one year. I now have a 19" LG FLATRON L1951S LCD monitor. It is even better although it doesn't have that wonderful, springloaded stand that was built into the HP. Now that I am retired and living in Mexico, I use this monitor for high quality digital photo work almost every day. When purchasing, watch for a quick response rate if you are intending to watch motion pictures (12 ms or less for today's monitors), viewing angle (at least 160 horizontal - vertical angle is generally less important). Honestly, the differences between monitors with the other parameters such as contrast ratio, etc. generally seem to be most apparent in laboratory situations or when monitors are side by side. They all seem to be very good ... maybe it's my vision. Finally, even at 60 Hz refresh rate there is absolutely no flicker apparent even under flourescent lighting.

Submitted by: Jim H.



The first thing to bear in mind when making the CRT or LCD decision, is to remeber that a 19" CRT has the equivelent screen size as a 17" LCD, a 21" CRT has the same screen area as a 19" LCD, so and so forth. This is becuase manufacturers measure screens as the total screen area, including the area behind the bezel. As LCD's have no such screen behind the bezel, a CRT has 2" less effective screen space than an LCD.

Things to look for when buying an LCD include a decent resolution - for the bigger 17" and 19" models, you should be looking for 1280x1024, as these are fairly cheap now and give you a nice big roomy display. Also, look for a fast refresh rate, at least 12ms for smooth movie watching and game playing. Always look for a reputable brand and a 12month warranty, and a long 'no dead pixel' warranty. Look for a high contrast ratio - at the very least 300:1. Most of all, once you find a model you like, google it and find a review, as this usually tells you much more than you can learn from a spec sheet.

The only other advantage of LCD's over CRT's are that LCD's are slimmer and look better, and can fit on smaller desks. However, they are much more expensive, so it is matter of deciding what is more important to you - slim design and higher cost or bulky design and lower cost.

Submitted by: Michael O.



For myself and for the businesses I take care of, the Dot Pitch is vital. I work a lot of offices in which the people there spend all day in front of a monitor in data entry or phone marketing. My standard for these offices is .25 dot pitch or better (better meaning .249 or less). It's a question of sharpness of the image and the stress that image puts on your eyes after some time. Eye strain is very subtle, but can manifest itself in the form of increased sick days, headaches and general discomfort. In addition, you should try to set your monitor to a point where room glare is minimized and there is some backlighting. Doing these simple steps will make your time in front of a computer much more pleasant.

Submitted by: Buddy N.



I gave up my CRT several years ago and will never go back (flat screen or not). The only real advantage I can think of that a CRT has over an LCD is price. The disadvantages are numerous. CRTs take up considerably more desktop space than an LCD. CRTs throw off a significant amount of heat. My LCD gives off none. (Well, it probably emits some small measurable amount but you can't feel it.) An LCD display can be mounted on a wall behind your desk. Not so with a CRT.

As for making a good purchase decision, I would check out the numerous Web sites where users can review products.

Good luck in your hunt and enjoy your LCD monitor!

Submitted by: Jerry
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by OldManEmu / December 15, 2005 6:35 PM PST

hi people,

crt or lcd..dont waste your time on an lcd !!!

flat crt are the best

you only have to chip or just knock an lcd and your up for new panel which is the same as the lcd originally

colours are better on crt

i wouldnt touch an lcd unless i got one for $50 or for free

to repair a crt would cost about $100 most or you can get another for same price almost

give the lcd the flat crt..i have used LG Flat Ez Screen..they magic..check on google and many other people will agree with my choice of crt monitors


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CRT for me
by Derr1ck / December 15, 2005 7:12 PM PST
In reply to: CRT or LCD

I have "low fuzzy vision" and use my computer to save my sanity...... SO the resolution I need is 600 X 800, I have been to various stores to view LCD, and the staff think I'm "having a laugh" when I can't even SEE some of the Icons!! no one is even willing to show me what LCD looks like at 600 X 800. For the moment, long live CRT

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LCD or CRT - yes, and errrr No....
by kingsgraphic / December 15, 2005 9:34 PM PST

While the LCD has advantages in size, weight and power consumtion, one area that currently it lacks is resolution. I've recently replaced a 20" CRT with a 19" LCD. In fact the 19" LCD has a slightly larger viewing area than the CRT. However the LCD only supports upto 1280 x 1024 resolution. I was previously using the CRT at 1600 x 1280. There are very few (I've only seen one) 19" LCDs that will go to 1600, and the choice will be with a 20" or bigger LCD, and a significant increase in cost, if you want or need the higher resolution.

Otherwise I am very pleased to have made the cahnge. The fast 'warm-up' time compared to a CRT alone is a boon, and if you have limited desk space the LCD will fit almost literaly on a postage stamp.

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Have Yet to See LCD That Doesn't Have Blurry Acrobat Fonts
by deanfinlay / December 16, 2005 10:10 PM PST

I work in a large corporate environment and the company decided to use nothing but LCD monitors for replacement a couple of years ago. The experience has been costly and frustrating to users.

First of all the failure rate of the new LCDs has been very high (~25%). The failures have ranged from permanent screen lines to monitors that won't turn on. Secondly all corporate documents are in Acrobat format and are much more difficult to read than on an equivalent CRT monitor. As a result I have resisted giving up my monstrous 21" Trintiron monitor because the picture quality of the replacement LCDs is simply inferior.

The replacement LCDs have been Viewsonic and Compaq. Maybe other companies are doing a better job.

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blurry leters
by hightowermusic / December 18, 2005 2:37 AM PST

I also have had blurry leters with my lcd monitor that i got from gateway with a pc purchase. I replaced the dvi cable with one i bought at wal mart andthe problem went away. I do believe that the frist generation of lcd's were not up to par. I just gave my daughter my Sceptre 20" Wide DVI LCD
Res: 1680 x 1050 Contrast: 800:1 Brightness 300nit monitor that i had purchased at wal mart last feb.I replaced it with a 32 inch hd lcd tv/monitor. So good luck getting your work to replace all of their outdated lcd monitors. Have hope though they are 100m times better than they use to be.

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LCD v.s. CRT
by solacemarine / December 16, 2005 1:26 AM PST

LCD's are definately superior
if you are forced to buy a very cheap monitor (under 100)
buy a CRT
the cheap LCD's are simply not up to par
and if you HAVE TO have a CRT (for some odd reason)
Buy a trinitron they are one of the best (of the major brands) CRT monitors you can buy
i have a HD trinitron CRT monitor (dont ask me why) and I'am very happy with it

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by markjames17 / December 16, 2005 2:00 AM PST
In reply to: LCD v.s. CRT

well i got a 19inch lcd monitor and i am well pleased and it can make me room and my computer desk alot more room to put me keyboard at the front of me. long time ago before i had this lcd monitor, i have a 15 inch CRT and it was so big i had troubles with it by getting flickering and it effected my eyes so bad i had to wear glasses, so i ended up buying a new monitor so i wondered what to go for, should i get a CRT that might had same problem or i should get a lcd that has better clear colorful screen and doesnt had reflections, well i got a better cheaper price online by going to or so if anybody who wants a better monitor. go for LCD and look out for special offers,

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You said something...
by PKsteven / December 16, 2005 3:12 AM PST
In reply to: LCD Vs CRT

very interresting, you ended up needing glasses. I also had perfect vision until being on the pc too much. My eye doctor narrowed it down to the CRT monitor. Our eyes have to see differently when looking at a monitor compared to real objects. I went through a streak where my pc was down for a month and a half or so. My eyes were getting better after not being at the monitor. This checked out with an eye exam. Now I take a couple of days on the pc and a couple of days off. The LCDs I have been on, don't bother me so much but still makes a person's eyes trained to see differently. Still, I sit back a bit further now, and don't view the pc in the dark, since this puts even more strain on your eyes.
Take care , Paul

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by mackspane / December 16, 2005 7:37 AM PST

In playing a wide variety of turn based games, why in the world do I care about response time or speed? The HPf2304 at 1920x1200 I have is driven by a Falcon Northwest Mach V with a 2 Gigs of RAM. All I do is play games... lessee, "The Movies", "Sim Golf", "Pirates", "Risk 2", "Majesty" and I could go on for a long time... heck, even throw in WOW, and COH/COV, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, etc... and I haven't seen the least bit of ghosting on my HP. Maybe it's because I go high end when I buy things (23"LCD, F-NW MACH V), but I'd put the Hewlett Packard f2304 against ANY monitor for gaming--even for shooters, and with it, you will not get the least bit of ghosting. I truly am a dedicated gamer, but once I saw the HPs picture, I knew the days of the CRT were over for me. Don't bash all LCDs until you try them all. I'd bet if you saw the HP, you might start to understand that even without a perfect "black", it's the clearest, cleanest, most dynamic color monitor available for gaming. It's even set up for HDTV.


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by ramchandrans / December 15, 2005 6:17 PM PST
In reply to: 12/16/05

I however feel the technology of LCD for angular viewing is still not ijmproved and there is a huge scope of improvemet in that area.

Graphic designers who want WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) would still prefer CRT as its more accurate from any angle to the actual printout of a graphic image and its color, allowing them to adjust the correct color, brightness, gamma and contrast.


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I'm not sure, yet.
by 70441.2227 / December 15, 2005 6:31 PM PST
In reply to: 12/16/05

It seems all the real benefits are in the future. Right now I have a 20" CRT monitor that I couldn't buy as a LCD monitor and get the same quality or features. Plus, the price would be outrageous. Until the price comes down and the features and quality go up, I don't see any way I'm going to switch.


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CRT for another reason
by Pebkac / December 15, 2005 8:02 PM PST
In reply to: I'm not sure, yet.

OK lets says it is for home use, with kids around.
CRT will take more abuse (something hittig screen) than the LCD.

Furthermore, the LCD screen becomes damaged, you end up with a BLACK row going across the screen. With a CRT you will not notice unless you lose one of the GUNS entirely.

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CRT, Hands Down
by markdoiron / December 15, 2005 7:54 PM PST
In reply to: 12/16/05

crt for me, hands down. all the "advantages" of the lcd (weight, power consumption, susceptibility to emi, etc) do not outweigh the fact that the crt **far** outperforms the lcd in one area: the lcd image can't touch the image on a crt. period. now, if the quality of the image isn't important to you, go with an lcd. but, if you play games, watch dvd's, do photo viewing/editing, design graphics, etc, there's no question that a crt will provide the more pleasing image.

mark d.

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depends on how much you want to spend
by SammyF70 / December 15, 2005 10:56 PM PST
In reply to: CRT, Hands Down

I'm currently using a 19'' Iiyama CRT (8 years old!) and a Philips 17'' LCD.
The CRT has definitely a better looking picture than LCD. The colors and resolution is much better on the CRT. Try doing a grayscale and look at it on an LCD and a CRT and you'll understand what I mean.
Btw. CRTs can easily run most resolution at 100hz and above. You just need to change the refresh rate yourself. My guess is that most people who are in awe of LCDs because they suddenly don't have strained eyes used to have the refresh rate set at 75 or even (gasp) 60hz on their old CRTs.

The Pros for the LCD : doesn't use much space, has clearer, better defined pixels, uses less energy.

That said, I'm sure that Paul is right that there are LCDs out there who are as good as any CRTs ... what he fails to mention is that the price tag is accordingly high. Your generic Shopping mall LCD screen can't compete in terms of refresh, colour or resolution with cheaper CRTs.
So if you have the funds or do nothing besides surfing the net and writing text, go for a really good LCD, otherwise I'd advise to stick with a 19'' CRT.
(another solution is to do as I do : use the capacity of most modern grafic adapters to have dual screens, and have one of each kind of monitor)


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not necesarily true..
by MacGarnicle / December 15, 2005 11:13 PM PST
In reply to: CRT, Hands Down

If you use a DVI cable to hook up your computer to your LCD screen, it basically compensates for any difference there might have been..

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I used to think the same way, but no more
by metman4u / December 16, 2005 12:18 AM PST
In reply to: CRT, Hands Down

I previously had two (networked) monitors, a Dell 21" and Dell 20"(of course the true screen size was 1" less on both). Both text and graphics were crisp and clear and gaming action was very good. Then I replaced the 20" CRT with a 20" LCD by Viewsonic (VP201b). All I can say is I will never go back to a CRT, ever! I still have the Dell 21" and the 20" LCD just clearly outperforms it on both text and graphics and the DVI signal output in gaming is excellent! I do a lot of photographic work with the LCD as well as play demanding games (Battlefield II) with it - it is just excellent! The benifits of a high end LCD monitor over a high end CRT monitor far and away justify the extra cost and make it the best choice now and for the future.

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I don't agree that CRTs give much better image quaility now
by TomG / December 16, 2005 7:32 PM PST
In reply to: CRT, Hands Down

While it is true that CRTs used to be better than LCDs, and there are still advantages in the resolution you can run them at, I do NOT agree that LCDs are no good if you take image quality seriously.

As a photographer, I take it very seriously indeed, and am delighted with my 19" Eizo L767 LCD. It gives excellent contrast, vibrant and accurate colours (fully adjustable, and comes with its own profile), and is far sharper than the Iiyama CRT I used to have. I also do not have to worry about CRT colour shift that happens with time.

It also gives me no eye strain whatsover, even working on it all day, which was always a problem on CRT, even at 85MHz. It only has a refresh rate of 25ms, but for what I use it for, who cares? Even movies are fine on it.

The only downside is the cost of course- good LCDs are not cheap (the current equivalent model is around

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by malafama212 / December 18, 2005 5:38 AM PST
In reply to: CRT, Hands Down

I would have to agree. If you do not plan on ever watching any video (not nec. only a movie but any type of video clips), view pictures and play games, then go for an LCD, otherwise even the most expensive LCD can't hold a candle to a good CRT.

The person who made the original post explained the differences very well, but go into any electronics store and compare for yourself, you will note the difference. In order to get a ''good'' lcd that will closely match a crt, one must be willing to spend upwards of $900.00 from what I've seen so far. Just my .02

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Looking at LCDs
by kayo38 / December 18, 2005 6:31 AM PST
In reply to: Agreed!

I have to put in my 2 cents here - unless you are going to use color management from a program such as Photoshop or Photoshop elements which allows a quick and dirty approach to monitor calibration, No LCD monitor is going to look good when you hook it up to the computer and turn it on. Therefore, what you see on display in the store is enough to convince you that LCD monitors are very poor in comparison to CRTs. However, as I mentioned, I invested in Spyder2 to calibrate my monitor and also an older CRT and side by side, there is absolutely no difference I can tell between the color on the 2 displays - something rather critical for those of us who work in digital imaging. I'd suggest you examine the issue of monitor calibration before deciding LCDs are not up to snuff...

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LCDs upset my bad eyesight
by richard-s / December 15, 2005 8:26 PM PST
In reply to: 12/16/05

I have poor eyesight so need to use large fonts and icons. So far, large VDUs have worked much better for me than LCDs.

A 19 or 21 inch VDU can easily be set for a 1024 x 768 (or 800 x 600) resolution. This automatically enlarges everything on the screen. "Naturally flat" VDUs with anti-reflection coating give minimum reflected glare. 85Hz refresh rate stops all screen flicker.

Although the visible screen of a 17 inch LCD is only slightly smaller than that of a 19 inch CRT, I've had much worse problems with the LCDs. Admittedly, I've not used DVI connected LCDs. Problems have included:

1. Optimum LCD resolution of 1280 x 1024 makes everything smaller - in spite of all attempts with Windows XP's various settings. Using a "non-optimal" resolution gives a poor quality display.

2. Something about the LCD displays "upsets" my eyes - I don't know what, and my eye specialists can't tell me, but it really happens. I guess that it may be the thinner text on hi-res LCDs.

Good quality CRTs are becoming rare. Lets hope that newer LCDs soon overcome these problems.

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vision problems plus lcd eguals no go
by thedragonmaster / December 15, 2005 9:51 PM PST

personaly i am legaly blind with a visual acuaty of 20/400 in both eyes, and NEED to be able to adjust the resolution on monitors, lcd's make that practicly impossible. my experiance with lcds are they are quight dificult to "focus" on with my particulare vision ailment, and im allmost certain its that backlight! OR the way there viewd, in either case ill be useing crt's untill lcd's match the video of a crt that includes the lighting!

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by PKsteven / December 15, 2005 11:40 PM PST

You bring up a good issue as did the original post you replied to. I personally think there should be special monitors for a resonable price for people with impaired vision. Many of the standards CRT uses, makes you think you have a better setup for your vision problems, which in truth, turning up the brightness, not very good for your eyes. In my opinion, it is a false sense of accommodation to your problem. With the technology today, you would think they could build something for people with poor eyesight that would actually meet your needs. Unfortunately the focus is always more for entertainment purposes. At least CRT works for you currently which is good. I wish you well.

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