AOL Computing's Webopædia home page
newly added terms
newly added links

Top Ten Terms
IP address
operating system
Pentium 4
local area networks

Search AOL Computing's Webopædia for information

By keyword...
...or by category
Term of the Day:
impact printer

analog monitor
color monitor
digital monitor
display screen
dot pitch
ELF emission
fixed-frequency monitor
flat technology monitor
gray scaling
LCD monitor
multiscanning monitor
pincushion distortion

(1) Another term for display screen. The term monitor, however, usually refers to the entire box, whereas display screen can mean just the screen. In addition, the term monitor often implies graphics capabilities.

There are many ways to classify monitors. The most basic is in terms of color capabilities, which separates monitors into three classes:

  • monochrome : Monochrome monitors actually display two colors, one for the background and one for the foreground. The colors can be black and white, green and black, or amber and black.
  • gray-scale : A gray-scale monitor is a special type of monochrome monitor capable of displaying different shades of gray.
  • color: Color monitors can display anywhere from 16 to over 1 million different colors. Color monitors are sometimes called RGB monitors because they accept three separate signals -- red, green, and blue.
  • After this classification, the most important aspect of a monitor is its screen size. Like televisions, screen sizes are measured in diagonal inches, the distance from one corner to the opposite corner diagonally. A typical size for small VGA monitors is 14 inches. Monitors that are 16 or more inches diagonally are often called full-page monitors. In addition to their size, monitors can be either portrait (height greater than width) or landscape (width greater than height). Larger landscape monitors can display two full pages, side by side. The screen size is sometimes misleading because there is always an area around the edge of the screen that can't be used. Therefore, monitor manufacturers must now also state the viewable area -- that is, the area of screen that is actually used.

    The resolution of a monitor indicates how densely packed the pixels are. In general, the more pixels (often expressed in dots per inch), the sharper the image. Most modern monitors can display 1024 by 768 pixels, the SVGA standard. Some high-end models can display 1280 by 1024, or even 1600 by 1200.

    Another common way of classifying monitors is in terms of the type of signal they accept: analog or digital. Nearly all modern monitors accept analog signals, which is required by the VGA, SVGA, 8514/A, and other high-resolution color standards.

    A few monitors are fixed frequency, which means that they accept input at only one frequency. Most monitors, however, are multiscanning, which means that they automatically adjust themselves to the frequency of the signals being sent to it. This means that they can display images at different resolutions, depending on the data being sent to them by the video adapters.

    Other factors that determine a monitor's quality include the following:

  • bandwidth : The range of signal frequencies the monitor can handle. This determines how much data it can process and therefore how fast it can refresh at higher resolutions.
  • refresh rate: How many times per second the screen is refreshed (redrawn). To avoid flickering, the refresh rate should be at least 72 Hz.
  • interlaced or noninterlaced: Interlacing is a technique that enables a monitor to have more resolution, but it reduces the monitor's reaction speed.
  • dot pitch : The amount of space between each pixel. The smaller the dot pitch, the sharper the image.
  • convergence : The clarity and sharpness of each pixel.
  • (2) A program that observes a computer. For example, some monitor programs report how often another program accesses a disk drive or how much CPU time it uses.


    For pages about monitor, . Also, check out the following links!

    More Information

      17" monitor reviews
    PC Magazine interactive test of 17" monitor capabilities and several product reviews. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      BARCO display products
    Home page for BARCO's Display Products Division. The site highlights their communication, projection and display systems and color monitor products. Updated on May 28, 1998

      Caravelle home page
    Provides information on Caravelle's line of network monitoring and content delivery products, company information and news, and software downloads. Updated on Aug 24, 1997

      Choosing the right monitor
    An IBM Information Brief that discusses factors that you should consider when buying a new monitor. Updated on May 2, 1998

      Comparison of LCD to typical CRT monitors
    A comparison between flat LCD and traditional CRT monitors, including display sizes, physical size, display charactersitics, and energy features. Updated on Jul 31, 1998

      CRT Characteristics
    Describes analog and Digital CRTs, dot pitch, shadow mask and aperture grill, image quality factors, and magnetization and degaussing. This page is from "The PC Guide."

      Dancer Communications remote monitoring products
    Corporate site for Dancer Communications, provider of remote monitoring hardware, software, and services. Updated on Apr 8, 1998

      Guide to choosing a monitor
    This Windows Magazine article, from February 1997, provides guidelines for selecting a monitor to match your system components and applications. Updated on Jul 31, 1998

      Image One home page
    Image One specializes in the manufacture of a VDT enhancement screens to protect against low frequency electromagnetic and electric fields. Their home page offers links to information about their products, solutions, and monitor information. Updated on Jul 8, 1998

      Macintosh monitors
    Provides notes on connecting and adjusting Macintosh monitors.The sections covered are: basic information, Macintosh sense pins, modifying a monitor, sync on green, cable information, and examples. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Monitor Repair FAQ
    Provides diagnosis and troubleshooting tips and techniques for repairing computer and video monitors. There are good explanations in each section, as well as links to additional information on a particular topic. Updated on Jul 17, 1998

      NoRad Corporation home page
    Provides to information about NoRad, a company which specializes in the production of protective shields and filters for VDTs along with meters for measuring low frequencyVDT radiation. Included are links to FAQs, information on VDTs and ELF, and resource links to related information.

      PC Guide's monitor reference
    Comprehensive guide to the operation of the monitor. Covers construction and operation, resolution, color, refresh, size and size matching, CRT characteristics, and power and safety issues.

      PC hardware product ratings surveys
    Contains survey results for several hardware products including modems, motherboards, and monitors .Included are complete survey details and a Top 10 product list. Updated on Aug 2, 1998

      Performance management software products
    Home page of Landmark Systems Corporation. Describes their line of system performance monitoring products, as well as company information, articles, and white papers. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Portrait Displays home page
    Features information about Portrait Displays, Inc. and their line of rotating monitors. Also contains information about LCD products, a comparison of CRT and LCD monitors, a guide to monitors, multimedia demos, FAQs, and technical support information. Updated on Jul 31, 1998

      Touch screen monitors for PC systems
    Home page of Mass Multimedia Company, providers of touch screen monitors for PC and Macintosh systems. The site also contains an overview of touch screen technology, a collection of touch screen related Web links, and information on their line of CRT monitors, LCD displays, and add-on and upgrade kits. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Traffic analysis and monitoring tools
    Home page for Network Flight Recorder, Inc., creator of network traffic analysis and monitoring tools. Updated on Feb 11, 1998

      Troubleshooting Monitors
    Discusses problems related to the system monitor. Includes information on failure or inproper operation and image quality problems. This page is from "The PC Guide."

      Yahoo!'s monitor buyer's guides page
    Yahoo!'s directory of buyer's guides for monitors. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Yahoo!'s monitor companies page
    Yahoo!'s directory of monitor companies. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Yahoo!'s monitor reviews page
    Yahoo!'s directory of monitor reviews. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Yahoo!'s monitors page
    Yahoo!'s directory of monitors. Updated on Aug 4, 1998


    Copyright © 1996-2000 Corporation

    brought to you by: