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What is a Monitor?

Last Updated : 12 Dec, 2023
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During ancient times, before the introduction of monitors, devices like Abacus and mechanical calculators were used. After the development of the Analytical Engine by Charles Babbage, the theory of computers came into existence. Now the latest computers comprise basic components like Output Devices, Input Devices, RAM, ROM, CPU, Motherboard, Hard Disk Drives, Cooling Systems, etc. Output Devices are components of the computer. It converts electronic data to a readable format. This readable format can either be displayed to the user as end result or can be used by any other equipment. Some examples of Output Devices are monitors, printers, speakers, headphones, projectors, etc.

What is a Monitor?

Monitor belongs to the category of output devices. It is a hardware device which is used to display output. The monitor can display all the graphics and information to the user through the video card. In traditional desktop computers, separate monitors are connected to the other devices with the help of cables. In laptops and tablets, the monitor is built. The monitor is similar to a TV but has a higher resolution.



History of Monitor

Monitor was first introduced in 1973 by Xerox Alto Computer. Then further high resolutions were adopted in the late 1980s. Color Cathode Ray Tubes were also introduced during this time period. Later LCD( Liquid Crystal Display) was introduced by Apple in 1998. During this phase different categories of monitors were introduced. By 2008 LED monitors were introduced.

Working Principle of Monitor

Monitor works by using pixels to display the information. These are nothing but tiny dots that emit light. When the monitor receives electrical signals from any other source like for instance the video card that sends video signals, these signals are processed by the monitor and each pixel is illuminated using display technology. The color of each pixel is also determined after processing of signals. The internal circuit of the monitor control the pixel’s brightness and the user can see the images, videos and other outputs on the screen.

Types of Monitor

The different types of monitor are as shown below:

  • Cathode Ray Tube Monitors: are those monitors that were used in earlier versions of computer. They are heavier and consume more energy. These monitors produce images through manipulation of electronic beams.
  • LCD: stands for Liquid Crystal Display. These monitors are thinner as compared to Cathode Ray Tubes. They have higher resolution, consume less energy and take up less space.
  • LED: stands for Light Emitting Diode. As the name suggests it uses light emitting diode for backlighting. LED Monitor provides upto 4K resolution and is much more environment friendly as it consumes less energy.
  • OLED: It stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. It uses organic materials to convert electronic current to light. Organic materials include wood, plastic, polymers etc. These monitors are foldable as compared to traditional LCD or LED. It is thinner and is excellent for watching movies. However its lifespan is very less and are expensive.

How to Take Care of Monitor?

It is important to maintain a device so that it can work for a longer lifespan. Here are some tips on how to take care of monitors:

  • Place the monitors in a well ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Always clean the monitor screen with a clean, soft cloth. Ensure the dust should not settle on the screen.
  • For laptops, tablets do not keep heavy weight objects on them as it can damage the monitor screen.
  • Properly close your computer.
  • Keep magnets away from the monitor.
  • Keep the minimum brightness as excess brightness can reduce lifespan.

Advantages of Monitor

Below are some advantages of monitor.

  • Energy Consumption: Nowadays, the LCDs and LEDs consume very less energy as compared to other machines. This helps the companies to maintain their budget.
  • Resolution: Monitors provide high resolutions. Some monitors are capable of providing resolution up to 4K that are suitable for gaming, watching movies, videos, editing etc.
  • Designs: Nowadays monitors have lightweight and sleek designs that allows users to place their monitors anywhere. Nowadays with the introduction of laptops and tablets, users can use it anytime anywhere.

Disadvantages of Monitor

Below are some disadvantages of monitor.

  • Expensive: Although monitors provide high resolution, these monitors are very expensive. Specially LCD, OLED are expensive and individuals cannot afford to purchase.
  • Environmental Pollution: Disposing of monitors is a serious issue as they contribute to electronic waste. These wastes are difficult to recycle.
  • Emission of Blue Light: Monitors emit a large amount of blue light which causes serious eye problems to individuals.

FAQs on Monitor

Q.1: What is the difference between pixel and screen resolution?


Pixels are the tiny dots that emit light from the signal whereas screen resolution refers to the size of the pixels. Here size refers to the amount of pixels that can be displayed horizontally or vertically.

Q.2: What factors do we need to consider while choosing a monitor?


There are many factors that are considered while choosing the right monitor:

  • Resolution: Higher the resolution monitor, better is the display of graphics.
  • Brightness: This factor is expressed in terms of candelas per meter’s square. Higher the value better is the display of monitor.
  • Response Time: A typical monitor of 60 Hz serves enough for day to day purposes for video transitions.
  • Size: Size totally depends upon the demand of the customer. If the size is large it will occupy more size but will provide better picture.

Q.3: What is main importance on monitor?


The monitor is visual display of a computer as monitor shows everything that is being run inside the CPU. it helps us receive a visual image of every action being performed by the computer.

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