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color monitor
Last modified: Friday, March 12, 2004 

(n.) A display monitor capable of displaying many colors. In contrast, a monochrome monitor can display only two colors -- one for the background and one for the foreground. Color monitors implement the RGB color model by using three different phosphors that appear red, green, and blue when activated. By placing the phosphors directly next to each other, and activating them with different intensities, color monitors can create an unlimited number of colors. In practice, however, the real number of colors that any monitor can display is controlled by the video adapter.

Color monitors based on CRT technology employ three different techniques to merge phosphor triplets into pixels:

  • Dot-trio shadow masks place a thin sheet of perforated metal in front of the screen. Since electrons can pass only through the holes in the sheet, each hole represents a single pixel.
  • Aperture-grille CRTs place a grid of wires between the screen and the electron guns.
  • Slot-mask CRTs uses a shadow mask but the holes are long and thin. It's sort of a cross between the dot-trio shadow mask and aperture-grill techniques.
  • Also see The Science of Color and Northern vs. Southern Hemishpere Monitors in the Did You Know . . . ? section of Webopedia.

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    related categories




    related terms

    analog monitor



    dot pitch

    LCD monitor

    mask pitch




    RGB monitor

    shadow mask

    video adapter

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