PC monitors come in all shapes, sizes and resolutions and not all monitors are created equal. Before you think about purchasing a new pc monitor, there are a few things you should know.
First of all, a pc monitor is a visual display unit. It operates much like your TV, except that it displays images generated by your computer and not a broadcast signal. PC monitors can either use a thin film of liquid crystal or a cathode ray tube in order to accomplish this feat.
CRT monitors were the first monitor types that were used and many are still in use today, though more and more are being replaced by LCD or liquid crystal display units. CRT monitors are bulky are the resolution is not the best, but were cost effective and efficient in displaying pc images as high definition programming hadn't been mainstreamed yet. CRT monitors feature a contrast rate that has yet to be matched by any LCD monitor currently on the market. The viewing angle is excellent and the color saturation is good. CRT technology is a tried and true, solid and reliable technology.
Later models used LCD technology to project crystal clear, high-resolution images that had pixels that would refresh at a rate that kept any picture crisp and true to life. LCD monitors are lightweight and versatile, allowing the pc monitors to be hung from walls or placed onto smaller, spacing saving desks. The LCD monitors of today consume much less power than the CRT monitors of yesterday and there is little, if any flicker. Drawbacks to the LCD monitor include a lower contrast ratio than the CRT, limited viewing angle with the best view being directly in front of the monitor, input lag, and price. LCD technology is generally more expensive than CRT. Cheaper models are available, but are generally not of the same quality as a comparably priced CRT.
There is a third type of pc monitor though it is not as widely available as the CRT or LCD. It is the plasma display. Plasma display combines the best of CRT technology with the best of LCD and creates a well-balanced, if not somewhat expensive pc monitor. The major drawbacks of a plasma screen include: a noticeable flicker, especially close up, high operating temperatures, high power consumption, older plasma displays are prone to "burn in" if images aren't moved regularly, dead pixels, and cost.
When choosing the best PC monitor for your application, you should balance your needs with the cost of the monitor and purchase the best unit you can afford. It is advisable to go ahead and invest in a LCD or plasma display unit due to the fact that CRT technology is becoming a thing of the past, making technical support and warranty fulfillment difficult. Not to mention, with the highly graphic nature of PC programs today, a high-resolution monitor is a must in order to get full enjoyment of these applications. Make sure to comparison shop to get the best price on the monitor of your choosing.