Key Takeaways:

  • CRT technology was first invented in 1897 in Germany
  • Between the 1990s to the 2000s, CRT monitors outsold flat-screen displays
  • Price drops in flat-screen displays led to the death of CRT monitors

Younger individuals might not remember a time before flat-screen televisions or even LCD and LED monitors. But once upon a time, popular computer monitors took up most of your desk and were big and heavy. Once a brand standard, they’ve now fallen out of favor as slim monitors that free up space and aren’t a pain to move is now the gold standard. But cathode-ray tube or CRT monitors were a major stepping stone in technology for their time.

CRT Monitors Explained

CRT monitors are analog display devices that rely on electron beams and phosphor dots to create an image on your screen. Specifically, three electron beams are directed at alternating stripes of red, blue, and green phosphor dots. These dots are activated by an electron beam and depending on the combinations can create a wide array of colors. Typically, the beam makes repetitive scans that “paint” the tube to produce and refresh an image roughly 100 times per second.

Tip: CRT monitors are analog display devices that rely on electron beams and phosphor dots to create an image on your screen

Interior Design

CRT Monitors are best known for their oversized design with large physical casings that are heavy. This is because the cathode ray tube inside the monitor is large. It’s a glass envelope with a larger front end — a screen that’s usually made from a thick glass.

Warning: CRT Monitors are best known for their oversized design with large physical casings that are heavy

Related Posts:

History of CRT Monitors

Of all the monitors, CRT understandably has the oldest origins. The earliest version of this technology was invented in 1897 by German physicist Ferdinand Braun. However, other inventors would create modifications over the next few decades. However, the first commercial version of a CRT was released in 1922. It wouldn’t be until 1926 when Kenjiro Takayanagi created a CRT television that could support images in a 40-line resolution.

Tip: The earliest version of this technology was invented in 1897 by German physicist Ferdinand Braun

Transitioning from Televisions to Computer Monitors

Over time resolutions and even color outputs were improved. Some of the earliest computer CRT monitors were released in the 1970s and were limited to green text against a black screen. However, by the end of that decade, color CRT computer monitors were widely available.

As time progressed, tech and electronics firms ranging from IBM to RCA and even Zenith all worked to upgrade CRTs by releasing innovations that made them more effective as computer companions. These included high definition resolutions and flat screens to reduce reflections as well as improving image contrast and brightness.

The Inevitable End of CRT Monitor Popularity

From its inception until the early 2000s, CRT technology was the dominant choice for television sets and computer monitors. It outpaced LCD sales because the older technology was significantly cheaper. However, as flat panel display prices began dropping, consumer adoption increased and the CRT monitor began to fall out of favor. Along the same lines, the thinner and lighter size of LCDs helped to drive the transition both for consumer and commercial uses.

Warning: as flat panel display prices began dropping, consumer adoption increased and the CRT monitor began to fall out of favor

Warning: the thinner and lighter size of LCDs helped to drive the transition both for consumer and commercial uses

A Relic of a Bygone Era

While it’s possible to purchase recycled CRT monitors, it’s no longer possible to buy new CRT monitors or televisions for consumer purposes. The last known consumer-focused manufacturer for CRT monitors and televisions ceased production in 2015.

Gone But Not Forgotten

However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t still have a loyal following. Some gaming purists who prefer to play older games prefer using CRT monitors because some older games were specifically designed for analog displays. Likewise, in some industries, it’s not uncommon to see CRT monitors in use. For example, the airline industry still uses CRT monitors in the cockpit with both the Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A320 relying on the technology for aviation instruments.

Tip: Some gaming purists who prefer to play older games prefer using CRT monitors because some older games were specifically designed for analog displays

Tip: the airline industry still uses CRT monitors in the cockpit with both the Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A320 relying on the technology for aviation instruments

STAT:

In the mid-1990s, some 160 million CRTs were made per year. (Wikipedia)

In 1934, the first CRT televisions were made available commercially in Germany by Telefunken. (Computer Hope)

Sources:

https://www.easytechjunkie.com/what-is-a-crt-monitor.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathode-ray_tube#History

https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/c/crt.htm

https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/why-would-you-want-a-crt-monitor-in-2019/

https://techterms.com/definition/crt

What is a CRT Monitor FAQ

What is a CRT computer monitor?

CRT stands for cathode-ray tube and relies on a vacuum tube that creates an image by beaming electrons over phosphor dots to create colors.

Is CRT better than an LCD?

There are few scenarios where a CRT monitor is going to provide a better display than an LCD. CRTs are limited in resolution when compared against LCDs but provide better viewing angles.

Does a CRT monitor consume more power?

While CRTs are generally known to be low-power consumers, they do consume more power than a standard LCD screen.

Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *