Features to look for in flat screens

Every high-end model of any product comes with a plethora of features. With monitors too it is no different. If you are looking at high-end LCD or CRT models you will be overwhelmed with the kind of features you can choose from. Here are some features to look for in flat screen monitors

1. Digital and analog signal support: CRTs do not usually support digital (DVI) signals; LCDs do. And most LCDs support analog signals as well; so you don't need any special graphics adapter. However, analog signals have improved to a point where there is hardly any difference between analog and digital signals.

2. Adjustability: Just as you can tilt and swivel your CRT monitor, you can actually turn your LCD on its head. Some LCDs, besides tilting and swivelling, can pivot between Portrait and Landscape modes. This makes documents and Web pages easier to view.

3. Audio: Some monitors offer audio functions as standard feature while others offer it as an optional accessory. This could include anything from a headset jack and volume control to embedded speakers.

4. Cable-feed systems: Many LCDs have mechanisms to manage signal and power cords. 5. Wide-screen format: Both CRTs and LCDs have wide-screen formats that can display more information and show HDTV and movies in their full width. There is no letterboxing, which usually happens in such cases.

6. USB: Many monitors have USB ports. They are not usually powered hubs, but simply convenient ports that connect to a keyboard or a mouse. This helps to reduce the tangle of cables at the back of the computer.

7. Video/TV: With the boundaries between television and computers rapidly weakening, some manufacturers include TV tuners and connectors for video signals in their list of extras. Others have connectors that accept composite or S-Video input signals from entertainment devices.

8. Wireless: Since sleekness is the call of the day, some manufacturers are beginning to do away with cables altogether. ViewSonic's Airpanel uses Microsoft's Smart Display technology to establish a wireless connection with a desktop computer.

9. Other goodies: Some LCDs and CRTs allow you to increase the amount of light for a particular window or the entire screen. This can be helpful when viewing movies or other graphic images. Others let you input CompactFlash, SmartMedia, and SD/MMC removable media cards.

So when buying a monitor if you are planning on getting extras, make sure you get the right ones. It will give your machine the edge you have always wanted.