CRT basics

In this age of sleekness, CRTs appear much bigger and definitely more cumbersome than their LCD counterparts. But given the technological advancements there is definitely merit in buying CRTs because they give you great value for your money. You can appreciate this more if you familiarize yourself with CRT basics.

One point that you must keep in mind is that at the entry level most brands are the same. It is in the mid to high-end segment that you can notice the differences. The points you must keep in mind are:

1. Bandwidth: Bandwidth is how fast the CRT can process information. This rate is measured in Megahertz (MHz). Generally higher the bandwidth, the faster is the refresh rate at any resolution, and better the image quality.

2. Convergence: Convergence is the ability of a color CRT to simultaneously align, and project, red, green and blue images. If it fails to do so, you get images that are not focused and have outlines.

3. Dot pitch: Look for a smaller dot pitch because this means that the monitor can display high-resolution images more accurately.

4. Maximum refresh rate: Sometimes when an image refreshes very slowly on the screen, you get a flicker. You need to get at least a 70Hz speed at the resolution you intend to use. Refresh rates become an issue when the screen size gets larger. People are more susceptible to flicker in their peripheral vision.

5. Power consumption: Power consumption is an important point to research. CRT power consumption is specified in watts. A standard 19-inch model can draw up to 130 watts when operational. That’s the equivalent of two standard 60-watt light bulbs. The heat generation is considerable as well.

6. Screen size: CRTs specify the diagonal dimension of the entire picture tube. This is one to two inches larger than the viewable image size (also measured diagonally).

7. Larger LCDs tend to have dead pixels. These never turn on. To find them, open Internet Explorer and type about: blank, in the address line. Then press Enter. After this use the F11 key to make it full-screen. Look for small black specks on the screen. Press F11 gain to escape.

For stuck pixels, that is pixels that are always on: right-click the Windows Desktop, pick Properties, then select the Screen Saver tab. Choose Blank from the list of screensavers, and press the Preview button. Look for any glowing red, green, or blue spots. To escape press any key.

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