Liquid Crystal Display is what LCD stands for, and you thought crystals could only be a solid. Liquid crystals were actually first discovered in 1888 and took more then 100 years to progress into the LCD monitors that we see for computers, laptops, calculators and so one. So why the history lesson you ask, because most likely you are interested in getting an LCD monitor for your computer, but want to get the best deal and quality of monitor. So you need to know everything that you can about LCD’s, or you might purchase the wrong one for you.
The difference between a good old fashioned CRT monitor and an LCD is not just the size, far from it. LCD’s produce a clearer picture and use a digital connection between the computer and the monitor instead of an analog one like CRT monitors. As we all know, digital is much better then analog since there is less signal loss.
In addition to its picture quality as a main benefit, LCD monitors also consume less power, which actually saves you money on your electric bill. Sure it won’t be much, but after awhile the savings will add up and make up for the cost difference between a CRT and an LCD monitor. So in the end you paid just about the same amount for an LCD as you would have for a big old clunky CRT monitor.
Okay let’s say you want to buy an LCD monitor now, but you don’t know which one to get. Well let me first tell you that all LCD’s are not created equal and the quality really depends on the manufacturer and a few certain other aspects. There are so many LCD monitor manufacturers these days that deciding which one to buy simply by the company name is much too hard. What you should do to find the best LCD monitor amongst all those other pesky inferior ones, is to compare the contrast ratio. The screen with the highest contrast ratio will have better picture and color quality, which is the whole reason we use a monitor anyways, too look at it.
Another factor that determines the picture quality of your LCD monitor is the response time. This basically means how long it takes to transform the liquid crystal to the state that will display the correct color. The higher the response time, the more blurry the images will be, especially images moving on black backgrounds.
The connection between the LCD monitor and the computer also makes a major difference in picture quality. LCD monitors have an AGP port just like CRT’s do, but they also have another port called DVI, which instead of being analog it uses a digital signal. Digital connections have less picture and color loss than an analog one, but do require you to have a DVI port on your computer. If your computer doesn’t have one, then you have to buy a new video card that does and install it.
Now that you have the basic knowledge that you need to know when buying an LCD monitor, you are prepared to buy one at your local store or online. Before you go though, I just wanted to say that I have owned an LCD for the past 2 years and I could never go back to a CRT monitor, my eyes have been spoiled! The picture quality is just that good, plus not to mention how much more desk space I have and the fact that I am using less power feels good too. I guarantee that once you have an LCD monitor you won’t be able to go back to a CRT either.