Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021

Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 – Buying Guide

Welcome to the Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 Buying Guide. For many people shopping online, anything over 500 bucks may seem too expensive, and we get that. Of course when you are specifically looking for a new monitor, you still want it to be high quality. So taking that into consideration, we’ve compiled a helpful list of the best monitors under 500 dollars currently available.

Best 500 Monitor Under 500 Dollars Evaluation

We’ve gone over the following monitor performance parameters to make sure you get the best possible monitor under 500 dollars.

Monitor Performance Parameters

  • Luminance is measured in candelas per square meter (cd/m2 also called a Nit).
  • Color depth is measured in bits per primary color or bits for all colors.
  • Gamut is measured as coordinates in the CIE 1931 color space. The names sRGB or Adobe RGB are shorthand notations.
  • Aspect ratio is the ratio of the horizontal length to the vertical length. Monitors usually have the aspect ratio 4:3, 5:4, 16:10 or 16:9.
  • Viewable image size is usually measured diagonally, but the actual widths and heights are more informative since they are not affected by the aspect ratio in the same way. For CRTs, the viewable size is typically 1 in (25 mm) smaller than the tube itself.
  • Display resolution is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. For a given display size, maximum resolution is limited by dot pitch.
  • Dot pitch is the distance between sub-pixels of the same color in millimeters. In general, the smaller the dot pitch, the sharper the picture will appear.
  • Refresh rate is the number of times in a second that a display is illuminated. Maximum refresh rate is limited by response time.
  • Response time is the time a pixel in a monitor takes to go from active (white) to inactive (black) and back to active (white) again, measured in milliseconds. Lower numbers mean faster transitions and therefore fewer visible image artifacts.
  • Contrast ratio is the ratio of the luminosity of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the monitor is capable of producing.
  • Power consumption is measured in watts.
  • Delta-E: Color accuracy is measured in delta-E; the lower the delta-E, the more accurate the color representation. A delta-E of below 1 is imperceptible to the human eye. Delta-Es of 2 to 4 are considered good and require a sensitive eye to spot the difference.
  • Viewing angle is the maximum angle at which images on the monitor can be viewed, without excessive degradation to the image. It is measured in degrees horizontally and vertically.

Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 – Quick List

  1. LG 27UK850-W Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 (Best Overall)
  2. LG 34UM68-P Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 (Best Ultrawide)
  3. Philips 272E1CA – Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 (Best Curved)
  4. ASUS VG248QE – Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 (Best Gaming)

Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 – Reviews

LG 27UK850-W 4K Monitor – Best Overall

best monitor under 500 dollars
Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 (Best Overall)

The LG 27UK850-W satisfies those looking for a monitor that excels at as many things as possible. It has an impressive 4K display, with a substantial screen size, that covers 99% of sRGB, has USB-C, HDR10 compatibility, and FreeSync.

This monitor can be utilized for virtually anything you throw at it from streaming 4K content, to word processing docs, and editing photos, to fast paced action pc games. Essentially every application is enhanced with the 4K display.


LG 34UM68-P Ultrawide Monitor – Best Ultrawide

Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021
Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 (Best Ultrawide)

The ultrawide monitors are typically popular with those seeking out the best display to multi-task or view various forms of entertainment (streaming video, games) in a “widescreen” mode. If that’s what you’re looking for, we get it. Who wouldn’t want a massive screen to get things done and be immersed in your favorite content?

The LG 34UM68-P will not disappoint with it’s massive 34 inch, 21:9 (ratio) ultrawide screen. Similar to our “Best Overall” pick from this list, the LG 24UM68-P actually exceeds expectations for just about every application as well. It has comparable color coverage of sRGB at 99%, along with FreeSync technology and a 75Hz refresh rate for smooth, responsive action in games.

Something exclusive is On-Screen Control, and Split Screen 2.0. The unique On-Screen control system facilitates the adjusting of monitor settings with just a few clicks (of the mouse). Split Screen 2.0 allows you to customize your visual layout with multiple virtual screens including PIP (picture in picture).

This is one of the most feature-rich ultrawide monitors on the market, especially under 500 dollars.


Philips 272E1CA Curved Monitor – Best Curved

Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 (Best Curved)

Philips makes some of the best monitors out there. You can be confident that when it is setup in your room or office it will deliver (as a high quality display) for multiple years. Especially, since this specific Philips monitor includes a generous, comprehensive 4 year warranty.

Philips monitors tend to focus on visual clarity, vibrancy, and color coverage. The Philips 272E1CA is no exception with 100% sRGB color gamut coverage with smart and dynamic contrast options. This monitor is perfect for photo editing and other photography related tasks and projects.

The curved display with ultra narrow bezels pushes the boundaries of excellence even further with a noticeably increased field of view and sense of immersion.

Not only is this one of the best curved monitors you can get your hands on right now, but it is also the lowest priced monitor of this list. Philip’s high quality, with a low price, and a 4 year warranty… you can’t go wrong.


ASUS VG248QE 144Hz Gaming Monitor – Best Gaming

Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021
Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars 2021 (Best Gaming)

The ASUS VG248QE is a gaming beast that is fully stacked with specs and features specifically geared for gaming. It has a 144Hz refresh with a 1ms response time, and displays 16.7 million colors with 4 temperature modes for accurate and adjustable color calibration.

Something very unique and actually proprietary is the integration of ASUS GamePlus. ASUS GamePlus provides visual tools for aspiring and experienced gamers to hone their skills with custom crosshairs, custom timers, FPS (frames per second) display, and Display Alignment.

The features keep on coming with incredible adjustability to: tilt, swivel, pivot, adjust the height, mounting options, and even the ability to physically switch to a vertical portrait mode.

It currently has over 3000 reviews with an average rating of 4.5/5 on Amazon, which essentially guarantees a high quality gaming display. If you’re a serious gamer and want a feature packed monitor, this one’s a steal for less than 500 dollars.


Best Monitor Under 500 Dollars – Honorable Mentions


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LED display is a flat panel display that uses an array of light-emitting diodes as pixels for a video display.

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4K resolution refers to a horizontal display resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels.[1] Digital television and digital cinematography commonly use several different 4K resolutions.

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In television and consumer media, 3840 × 2160 (4K UHD) is the dominant 4K standard, whereas the movie projection industry uses 4096 × 2160 (DCI 4K).

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The term “4K” is generic and refers to any resolution with a horizontal pixel count of approximately 4,000.[3](p2) Several different 4K resolutions have been standardized by various organizations.

DCI Digital Cinema System Specification

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If you are a photographer, and would love to view your images on a 4k monitor, check this out.

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If you are looking for a curved monitor that won’t break the bank, take a look at our in-depth list of monitors under 500 bucks.

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500 dollars is a perfect amount for a high quality monitor that can be utilized for numerous years.

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500 dollars is a perfect amount to seek out a high quality monitor.

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Do you want to see your high resolution photos the way they were meant to be? Then check out these incredible monitors for less than 500 bucks.

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A professional photographer knows that you need good equipment to obtain a high quality photo.

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The same of course goes for viewing and editing your photos as well. That’s why they should strongly consider a high resolution, preferably 4k, monitor.

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In 2005, Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), a prominent standards organization in the cinema industry, published the Digital Cinema System Specification.

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This specification establishes standardized 2K and 4K container formats for digital cinema production, with resolutions of 2048 × 1080 and 4096 × 2160 respectively.[4](§4.3.1) 

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The resolution of the video content inside follows the SMPTE 428-1 standard,[4](§3.2.1) which establishes the following resolutions for a 4K distribution:[5](p6)

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  • 4096 × 2160 (full frame, 256∶135 or ≈1.90∶1 aspect ratio)
  • 3996 × 2160 (flat crop, 1.85∶1 aspect ratio)
  • 4096 × 1716 (CinemaScope crop, ≈2.39∶1 aspect ratio)

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2K distributions can have a frame rate of either 24 or 48 FPS, while 4K distributions must have a frame rate of 24 FPS.[4](§3.1.4.2)

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Some articles claim that the terms “2K” and “4K” were coined by DCI and refer exclusively to the 2K and 4K formats defined in the DCI standard.[6] 

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However, usage of these terms in the cinema industry predates the publication of the DCI standard,[7][8][9][10] and they are generally understood as casual terms for any resolution approximately 2000 or 4000 pixels in width, rather than names for specific resolutions.[3](p2)[11](p109)

SMPTE UHDTV standard

In 2007, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers published SMPTE ST 2036-1, which defines parameters for two UHDTV systems called UHDTV1 and UHDTV2.[12][13] 

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The standard defines the following characteristics for these systems:

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  • A resolution of 3840 × 2160 (UHDTV1) or 7680 × 4320 (UHDTV2)[13](§5.2)
  • Square (1∶1) pixels, for an overall image aspect ratio of 16∶9[13](§5.1)
  • A framerate of 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60, 100, 119.88, or 120 Hz with progressive scan[13](§1.2)
  • RGB, Y′CBCR 4:4:4, 4:2:2, or 4:2:0 pixel encoding[13](§7.7)
  • 10 bpc (30 bit/px) or 12 bpc (36 bit/px) color depth[13](§1.2)
  • Colorimetry characteristics as defined in the standard, including color primaries, quantization parameters, and the electro-optical transfer function. These are the same characteristics later standardized in ITU-R BT.2021. UHDTV1 systems are permitted to use BT.709 color primaries up to 60 Hz.[13](§6.2)

ITU-R UHDTV standard

In 2012, the International Telecommunication Union, Radiocommunication Sector published Recommendation ITU-R BT.2021, also known as the Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) standard.[14] It adopts the same image parameters defined in SMPTE ST 2036-1.[15]

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Although the UHDTV standard does not define any official names for the formats it defines, ITU typically uses the terms “4K”, “4K UHD”, or “4K UHDTV” to refer to the 3840 × 2160 system in public announcements and press releases (“8K” for the 7680 × 4320 system).[16] 

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In some of ITU’s other standards documents, the terms “UHDTV1” and “UHDTV2” are used as shorthand.[17]

CEA Ultra HD

In October 2012, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced their definition of the term Ultra High-Definition (or Ultra HD) for use with marketing consumer display devices.[18] CEA defines an Ultra HD product as a TV, monitor, or projector with the following characteristics:[19]

  • A resolution of 3840 × 2160 or larger
  • An aspect ratio of 1.77∶1 (16∶9) or wider
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  • Support for color depth of 8 bpc (24 bit/px) or higher
  • At least one HDMI input capable of supporting 3840 × 2160 at 24, 30, and 60 Hz progressive scan (though not necessarily with RGB / Y′CBCR 4:4:4 color), and HDCP 2.2
  • Capable of processing images according to the color space defined in ITU-R BT.709
  • Capable of upscaling HD content (i.e. 720p / 1080p)

The CEA definition does allow manufacturers to use other terms—such as 4K—alongside the Ultra HD logo.[3](p9)

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Since the resolution in CEA’s definition is only a minimum requirement, displays with higher resolutions such as 4096 × 2160 or 5120 × 2880 also qualify as “Ultra HD” displays, provided they meet the other requirements.

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Some 4K resolutions, like 3840 × 2160, are often casually referred to as 2160p.[20][21][22] 

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best monitor under 500

This name follows from the previous naming convention used by HDTV and SDTV formats, which refer to a format by the number of pixels/lines along the vertical axis (such as “1080p” for 1920 × 1080 progressive scan, or “480i” for the 480-line interlaced SDTV formats) rather than the horizontal pixel count (≈4000 or “4K” for 3840 × 2160).

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The term “2160p” could be applied to any format with a height of 2160 pixels, but it is most commonly used in reference to the 4K UHDTV resolution of 3840 × 2160 due to its association with the well-known 720p and 1080p HDTV formats.

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Although 3840 × 2160 is both a 4K resolution and a 2160p resolution, these terms cannot always be used interchangeably since not all 4K resolutions are 2160 pixels tall, and not all 2160p resolutions are ≈4000 pixels wide.

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However, some companies have begun using the term “4K” to describe devices with support for a 2160p resolution, even if it is not close to 4000 pixels wide. For example, many “4K” dash cams only support a resolution of 2880 × 2160 (4∶3);[23][24] although this is a 2160p resolution, it is not a 4K resolution.

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Conversely, Samsung released a 5120 × 2160 (64∶27) TV, but marketed it as a “4K” TV despite its 5K-class resolution.[25][26]

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In 2015 LG Display announced the implementation of a new technology called M+ which is the addition of white subpixel along with the regular RGB dots in their IPS panel technology.[27] The media and internet users later called this “RGBW” TVs because of the white sub pixel.

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Most of the new M+ technology was employed on 4K TV sets which led to a controversy after tests showed that the addition of a white sub pixel replacing the traditional RGB structure would reduce the resolution by around 25%. After tests done by Intertek in which the technical aspects of LG M+ TVs were analyzed and they concluded that “the addressable resolution display is 2,880 X 2,160 for each red, green, blue”, in other words, the LG TVs were technically 2.8K as it became known in the controversy.

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[28][29] Although LG Display has developed this technology for use in notebook display, outdoor and smartphones, it is more popular in the TV market due to the supposed 4K UHD marketed resolution but still being incapable of achieving true 4K UHD resolution as defined by the CTA as 3840×2160 active pixels with 8-bit color. This negatively impacts the rendering of text, making it a bit fuzzier, which is especially noticeable when a TV is used as a PC monitor.[30][31][32][33][34]

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The 4K television market share increased as prices fell dramatically during 2014[2] and 2015.

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Their brightness allows them to be used outdoors where they are visible in the sun for store signs and billboards.

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In recent years, they have also become commonly used in destination signs on public transport vehicles, as well as variable-message signs on highways.

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LED displays are capable of providing general illumination in addition to visual display, as when used for stage lighting or other decorative (as opposed to informational) purposes.

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LED and LCD have some of the same terms.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) came into existence in 1962 and were primarily red in color for the first decade. The first practical LED was invented by Nick Holonyak in 1962 while he was at General Electric.[1]

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The 2011 UEFA Champions League Final match between Manchester United and Barcelona was broadcast live in 3D format in Gothenburg (Sweden), on an EKTA screen. It had a refresh rate of 100 Hz, a diagonal of 7.11 m (23 ft 3.92 in) and a display area of 6.192×3.483 m, and was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest LED 3D TV.

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The first practical LED display was developed at Hewlett-Packard (HP) and introduced in 1968.[2] Its development was led by Howard C. Borden, Gerald P. Pighini, and Egyptian engineer Mohamed M. Atalla, at HP Associates and HP Labs, who had engaged in research and development (R&D) on practical LEDs between 1962 and 1968.

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In February 1969, they introduced the HP Model 5082-7000 Numeric Indicator.[3]

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 It was the first LED device to use integrated circuit (integrated LED circuit) technology,[3] and the first intelligent LED display, making it a revolution in digital display technology, replacing the Nixie tube and becoming the basis for later LED displays.[4]

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Early models were monochromatic by design. The efficient Blue LED completing the color triad did not commercially arrive until the late 1980s.

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In the late 1980s, Aluminium Indium Gallium Phosphide LEDs arrived. They provided an efficient source of red and amber and were used in information displays. However, it was still impossible to achieve full colour.

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The available “green” was hardly green at all – mostly yellow, and an early blue had excessively high power consumption. It was only when Shuji Nakumura, then at Nichia Chemical, announced the development of the blue (and later green) LED based on Indium Gallium Nitride, that possibilities opened for big LED video displays.

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The entire idea of what could be done with LED was given an early shake up by Mark Fisher’s design for U2’s “Popmart” tour of 1997. He realized that with long viewing distances, wide pixel spacing could be used to achieve very large images, especially if viewed at night.

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The system had to be suitable for touring so an open mesh arrangement that could be rolled up for transport was used. The whole display was 52m (170ft) wide and 17m (56ft) high. It had a total of 150,000 pixels. The company that supplied the LED pixels and their driving system, SACO Technologies of Montreal, had never engineered a video system before, previously building mimic panels for power station control rooms.

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A claim for the ‘first all-LED flat panel television screen‘ is presented in this section. It was possibly developed, demonstrated and documented by James P. Mitchell in 1977. Initial public recognition came from the Westinghouse Educational Foundation Science Talent Search group, a Science Service organization.[7][verification needed] The paper entry was named in the “Honors Group” publicized to universities on January 25, 1978.[8] 

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The paper was subsequently invited and presented at the Iowa Academy of Science at the University of Northern Iowa.[9][10] The operational prototype was displayed at the Eastern Iowa SEF[11] on March 18 and obtained a top “Physical Sciences” award and IEEE recognition. The project was again displayed at the 29th International SEF at the Anaheim Ca. Convention Center on May 8–10.[12] The ¼-inch thin miniature flat panel modular prototype, scientific paper, and full screen (tiled LED matrix) schematic with video interface were displayed at this event.[13][14]

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 It received awards by NASA[15] and General Motors Corporation.[16][17][18] This project marked some of the earliest progresses towards the replacement of the 70+-year-old high-voltage analog CRT system (cathode-ray tube technology) with a digital x-y scanned LED matrix driven with a NTSC television RF video format. Mitchell’s paper and operational prototype projected the future replacement of CRTs and included foreseen applications to battery operated devices due to the advantages of low power consumption.

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Displacement of the electromagnetic scan systems included the removal of inductive deflection, electron beam and color convergence circuits and has been a significant achievement. The unique properties of the light emitting diode as an emissive device simplifies matrix scanning complexity and has helped the modern television adapt to digital communications and shrink into its current thin form factor.

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The 1977 model was monochromatic by design.

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MicroLED displays are currently under development by numerous major corporations such as Apple, Samsung, and LG.

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These displays are easily scalable, and offer a more streamlined production process. However, production costs remains a limiting factor.

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liquid-crystal display (LCD) is a flat-panel display or other electronically modulated optical device that uses the light-modulating properties of liquid crystals combined with polarizers.

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Liquid crystals do not emit light directly,[1] instead using a backlight or reflector to produce images in color or monochrome.[2] LCDs are available to display arbitrary images (as in a general-purpose computer display) or fixed images with low information content, which can be displayed or hidden, such as preset words, digits, and seven-segment displays, as in a digital clock.

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They use the same basic technology, except that arbitrary images are made from a matrix of small pixels, while other displays have larger elements. LCDs can either be normally on (positive) or off (negative), depending on the polarizer arrangement.

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For example, a character positive LCD with a backlight will have black lettering on a background that is the color of the backlight, and a character negative LCD will have a black background with the letters being of the same color as the backlight. Optical filters are added to white on blue LCDs to give them their characteristic appearance.

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LCDs are used in a wide range of applications, including LCD televisionscomputer monitorsinstrument panelsaircraft cockpit displays, and indoor and outdoor signage. Small LCD screens are common in LCD projectors and portable consumer devices such as digital cameraswatchesdigital clockscalculators, and mobile telephones, including smartphones.

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LCD screens are also used on consumer electronics products such as DVD players, video game devices and clocks. LCD screens have replaced heavy, bulky cathode ray tube (CRT) displays in nearly all applications. LCD screens are available in a wider range of screen sizes than CRT and plasma displays, with LCD screens available in sizes ranging from tiny digital watches to very large television receivers.

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LCDs are slowly being replaced by OLEDs, which can be easily made into different shapes, and have a lower response time, wider color gamut, virtually infinite color contrast and viewing angles, lower weight for a given display size and a slimmer profile (because OLEDs use a single glass or plastic panel whereas LCDs use two glass panels; the thickness of the panels increases with size but the increase is more noticeable on LCDs) and potentially lower power consumption (as the display is only “on” where needed and there is no backlight).

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OLEDs, however, are more expensive for a given display size due to the very expensive electroluminescent materials or phosphors that they use. Also due to the use of phosphors, OLEDs suffer from screen burn-in and there is currently no way to recycle OLED displays, whereas LCD panels can be recycled, although the technology required to recycle LCDs is not yet widespread.

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Attempts to maintain the competiveness of LCDs are quantum dot displays, marketed as SUHD, QLED or Triluminos, which offer similar performance to an OLED display, but the quantum dot layer that gives these displays their characteristics can not yet be recycled.

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Since LCD screens do not use phosphors, they rarely suffer image burn-in when a static image is displayed on a screen for a long time, e.g., the table frame for an airline flight schedule on an indoor sign. LCDs are, however, susceptible to image persistence.[3] The LCD screen is more energy-efficient and can be disposed of more safely than a CRT can.

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Its low electrical power consumption enables it to be used in battery-powered electronic equipment more efficiently than a CRT can be. By 2008, annual sales of televisions with LCD screens exceeded sales of CRT units worldwide, and the CRT became obsolete for most purposes.

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Today, large displays use high-brightness diodes to generate a wide spectrum of colors. It took three decades and organic light-emitting diodes for Sony to introduce an OLED TV, the Sony XEL-1 OLED screen which was marketed in 2009. Later, at CES 2012, Sony presented Crystal LED, a TV with a true LED-display, in which LEDs are used to produce actual images rather than acting as backlighting for other types of display, as in LED-backlit LCDs which are commonly marketed as LED TVs.

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Each pixel of an LCD typically consists of a layer of molecules aligned between two transparent electrodes, often made of Indium-Tin oxide (ITO) and two polarizing filters (parallel and perpendicular polarizers), the axes of transmission of which are (in most of the cases) perpendicular to each other. Without the liquid crystal between the polarizing filters, light passing through the first filter would be blocked by the second (crossed) polarizer.

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Before an electric field is applied, the orientation of the liquid-crystal molecules is determined by the alignment at the surfaces of electrodes. In a twisted nematic (TN) device, the surface alignment directions at the two electrodes are perpendicular to each other, and so the molecules arrange themselves in a helical structure, or twist. This induces the rotation of the polarization of the incident light, and the device appears gray.

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If the applied voltage is large enough, the liquid crystal molecules in the center of the layer are almost completely untwisted and the polarization of the incident light is not rotated as it passes through the liquid crystal layer.

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This light will then be mainly polarized perpendicular to the second filter, and thus be blocked and the pixel will appear black. By controlling the voltage applied across the liquid crystal layer in each pixel, light can be allowed to pass through in varying amounts thus constituting different levels of gray.

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computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial form. A monitor usually comprises the visual displaycircuitry, casing, and power supply. The display device in modern monitors is typically a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) with LED backlighting having replaced cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlighting. Older monitors used a cathode ray tube (CRT). Monitors are connected to the computer via VGADigital Visual Interface (DVI), HDMIDisplayPortThunderboltlow-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) or other proprietary connectors and signals.

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Originally, computer monitors were used for data processing while television sets were used for entertainment. From the 1980s onwards, computers (and their monitors) have been used for both data processing and entertainment, while televisions have implemented some computer functionality. The common aspect ratio of televisions, and computer monitors, has changed from 4:3 to 16:10, to 16:9.

History

Early electronic computers were fitted with a panel of light bulbs where the state of each particular bulb would indicate the on/off state of a particular register bit inside the computer. This allowed the engineers operating the computer to monitor the internal state of the machine, so this panel of lights came to be known as the ‘monitor’. As early monitors were only capable of displaying a very limited amount of information and were very transient, they were rarely considered for program output. Instead, a line printer was the primary output device, while the monitor was limited to keeping track of the program’s operation.[2]

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As technology developed engineers realized that the output of a CRT display was more flexible than a panel of light bulbs and eventually, by giving control of what was displayed in the program itself, the monitor itself became a powerful output device in its own right.[citation needed]

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Computer monitors were formerly known as visual display units (VDU), but this term had mostly fallen out of use by the 1990s.

Technologies

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Multiple technologies have been used for computer monitors. Until the 21st century most used cathode ray tubes but they have largely been superseded by LCD monitors.

Cathode ray tube

The first computer monitors used cathode ray tubes (CRTs). Prior to the advent of home computers in the late 1970s, it was common for a video display terminal (VDT) using a CRT to be physically integrated with a keyboard and other components of the system in a single large chassis.

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The display was monochrome and far less sharp and detailed than on a modern flat-panel monitor, necessitating the use of relatively large text and severely limiting the amount of information that could be displayed at one time. High-resolution CRT displays were developed for the specialized military, industrial and scientific applications but they were far too costly for general use.

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Some of the earliest home computers (such as the TRS-80 and Commodore PET) were limited to monochrome CRT displays, but colour display capability was already a standard feature of the pioneering Apple II, introduced in 1977, and the speciality of the more graphically sophisticated Atari 800, introduced in 1979.

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Either computer could be connected to the antenna terminals of an ordinary colour TV set or used with a purpose-made CRT colour monitor for optimum resolution and colour quality.

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Lagging several years behind, in 1981 IBM introduced the Color Graphics Adapter, which could display four colours with a resolution of 320 x 200 pixels, or it could produce 640 x 200 pixels with two colours. In 1984 IBM introduced the Enhanced Graphics Adapter which was capable of producing 16 colors and had a resolution of 640 x 350.[3]

Liquid crystal display

There are multiple technologies that have been used to implement liquid crystal displays (LCD). Throughout the 1990s, the primary use of LCD technology as computer monitors was in laptops where the lower power consumption, lighter weight, and smaller physical size of LCDs justified the higher price versus a CRT.

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Commonly, the same laptop would be offered with an assortment of display options at increasing price points: (active or passive) monochrome, passive color, or active matrix color (TFT). As volume and manufacturing capability have improved, the monochrome and passive color technologies were dropped from most product lines.

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TFT-LCD is a variant of LCD which is now the dominant technology used for computer monitors.[5]

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The first standalone LCDs appeared in the mid-1990s selling for high prices. As prices declined over a period of years they became more popular, and by 1997 were competing with CRT monitors.

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Among the first desktop LCD computer monitors was the Eizo FlexScan L66 in the mid-1990s, the Apple Studio Display and the ViewSonic VP140[6] in 1998. In 2003, TFT-LCDs outsold CRTs for the first time, becoming the primary technology used for computer monitors.[4]

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 The main advantages of LCDs over CRT displays are that LCDs consume less power, take up much less space, and are considerably lighter. The now common active matrix TFT-LCD technology also has less flickering than CRTs, which reduces eye strain.[7

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] On the other hand, CRT monitors have superior contrast, have a superior response time, are able to use multiple screen resolutions natively, and there is no discernible flicker if the refresh rate[8] is set to a sufficiently high value. LCD monitors have now very high temporal accuracy and can be used for vision research.[9]

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High dynamic range (HDR)[8] has been implemented into high-end LCD monitors to improve color accuracy. Since around the late 2000s, widescreen LCD monitors have become popular, in part due to television seriesmotion pictures and video games transitioning to high-definition (HD), which makes standard-width monitors unable to display them correctly as they either stretch or crop HD content.

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These types of monitors may also display it in the proper width, by filling the extra space at the top and bottom of the image with a solid colour (“letterboxing“). Other advantages of widescreen monitors over standard-width monitors is that they make work more productive by displaying more of a user’s documents and images, and allow displaying toolbars with documents. They also have a larger viewing area, with a typical widescreen monitor having a 16:9 aspect ratio, compared to the 4:3 aspect ratio of a typical standard-width monitor.

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By the end of the 1980’s colour CRT monitors that could clearly display 1024 x 768 pixels were widely available and increasingly affordable. During the following decade, maximum display resolutions gradually increased and prices continued to fall. CRT technology remained dominant in the PC monitor market into the new millennium partly because it was cheaper to produce and offered to view angles close to 180 degrees.[4] 

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CRTs still offer some image quality advantages[clarification needed] over LCDs but improvements to the latter have made them much less obvious. The dynamic range of early LCD panels was very poor, and although text and other motionless graphics were sharper than on a CRT, an LCD characteristic known as pixel lag caused moving graphics to appear noticeably smeared and blurry.

Organic light-emitting diode

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Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) monitors provide higher contrast, better color reproduction and viewing angles than LCDs but they require more power when displaying documents with white or bright backgrounds and have a severe problem known as burn-in, just like CRTs. They are less common than LCD monitors and are often more expensive.

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Modern computer monitors are easily interchangeable with conventional television sets and vice versa. However, as computer monitors do not necessarily include integrated speakers nor TV tuners (such as Digital television adapters), it may not be possible to use a computer monitor as a TV set without external components.[1]

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The chemical formula of the liquid crystals used in LCDs may vary. Formulas may be patented.[4] An example is a mixture of 2-(4-alkoxyphenyl)-5-alkylpyrimidine with cyanobiphenyl, patented by Merck and Sharp Corporation. The patent that covered that specific mixure expired.[5]

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Most color LCD systems use the same technique, with color filters used to generate red, green, and blue pixels. The LCD color filters are made with a photolithography process on large glass sheets that are later glued with other glass sheets containing a TFT array, spacers and liquid crystal, creating several color LCDs that are then cut from one another and laminated with polarizer sheets. Red, green, blue and black photoresists (resists) are used. All resists contain a finely ground powdered pigment, with particles being just 40 nanometers across.

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The black resist is the first to be applied; this will create a black grid (known in the industry as a black matrix) that will separate red, green and blue subpixels from one another, increasing contrast ratios and preventing light from leaking from one subpixel onto other surrounding subpixels.[6] After the black resist has been dried in an oven and exposed to UV light through a photomask, the unexposed areas are washed away, creating a black grid. Then the same process is repeated with the remaining resists. This fills the holes in the black grid with their corresponding colored resists.

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Another color-generation method used in early color PDAs and some calculators was done by varying the voltage in a Super-twisted nematic LCD, where the variable twist between tighter-spaced plates causes a varying double refraction birefringence, thus changing the hue.[21] They were typically restricted to 3 colors per pixel: orange, green, and blue.[22]

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The optical effect of a TN device in the voltage-on state is far less dependent on variations in the device thickness than that in the voltage-off state. Because of this, TN displays with low information content and no backlighting are usually operated between crossed polarizers such that they appear bright with no voltage (the eye is much more sensitive to variations in the dark state than the bright state).

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As most of 2010-era LCDs are used in television sets, monitors and smartphones, they have high-resolution matrix arrays of pixels to display arbitrary images using backlighting with a dark background.

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LCDs, along with OLED displays, are manufactured in cleanrooms borrowing techniques from semiconductor manufacturing and using large sheets of glass whose size has increased over time. Several displays are manufactured at the same time, and then cut from the sheet of glass, also known as the mother glass or LCD glass substrate. The increase in size allows more displays or larger displays to be made, just like with increasing wafer sizes in semiconductor manufacturing.

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When no image is displayed, different arrangements are used. For this purpose, TN LCDs are operated between parallel polarizers, whereas IPS LCDs feature crossed polarizers. In many applications IPS LCDs have replaced TN LCDs, particularly in smartphones such as iPhones. Both the liquid crystal material and the alignment layer material contain ionic compounds.

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If an electric field of one particular polarity is applied for a long period of time, this ionic material is attracted to the surfaces and degrades the device performance. This is avoided either by applying an alternating current or by reversing the polarity of the electric field as the device is addressed (the response of the liquid crystal layer is identical, regardless of the polarity of the applied field).

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A Casio Alarm Chrono digital watch with LCD

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Displays for a small number of individual digits or fixed symbols (as in digital watches and pocket calculators) can be implemented with independent electrodes for each segment.[23]

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In contrast, full alphanumeric or variable graphics displays are usually implemented with pixels arranged as a matrix consisting of electrically connected rows on one side of the LC layer and columns on the other side, which makes it possible to address each pixel at the intersections.

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The general method of matrix addressing consists of sequentially addressing one side of the matrix, for example by selecting the rows one-by-one and applying the picture information on the other side at the columns row-by-row. 

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For details on the various matrix addressing schemes see passive-matrix and active-matrix addressed LCDs.

Univac computer operators in 1951 didn’t have a monitor to help them see what was going on inside the computer — they’d have to take their cues from lights on a control panel flashing as the computer went about its chores. Today, computing chores are much more complex and people need monitors to communicate with their computers. When commercial monitors first started to appear around 1960, though, they were quite primitive compared to the large, vibrant flat screens of today.

Computing in the Early Paper Days

Monitors are output devices that computers use to convey information. People in the early computing days didn’t need monitors that much because they communicated with computers using paper. Punch card machines let them type instructions on cards that a computer read. After it processed the instructions, the computer punched its output onto other cards or paper tape that humans had to decipher.

Computer Monitors Arrive

Cathode ray tubes became the first computer monitors that people used to view computer information. A CRT is a vacuum tube with one end coated with phosphors. When electrons strike them, they emit light. Because CRTs were the only displays people had, they often referred to computer displays as CRTs. Early computer operators rarely viewed text on a CRT. Instead, they used CRTs to display colorless vector graphics. As technology advanced, color CRTs that displayed text and graphics filled offices, homes and schools.

The CRT Gets Competition

Over the years, technology evolved and people built primitive personal computers that had built-in terminal devices. These devices could send composite video output to cheap CCTV monitors. The Apple I, unveiled in 1976, for instance, was the first computer from a factor that had this type of output that people could plug into a video monitor. It wasn’t long before inventors created RF modulators that enabled people to connect devices such as the Apple II and game consoles to ordinary televisions.

Today’s Monitors: A New World of Computing

While you can still find old CRTs for sale, they’re bulkier and use more energy than modern flat panel displays such as liquid crystal display monitors. LCD monitor sales surpassed CRT monitor sales in 2007. LCDs didn’t suddenly appear that year, of course; manufacturers had been creating them since the 1980s. However, the early LCDs were expensive and had performance problems. LCDs create vivid, colorful images when electrically sensitive material changes color when electrical current passes through it. LCDs also make it possible for laptop owners to enjoy high quality images, text and video on thin, lightweight screens.

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Monitors are electrical devices used to display pictures and videos on devices such as personal computers. They interpret electrical signals from computers and project them onto the screen.

LCD Screens

The majority of monitors are liquid crystal displays, made of thin film transistors.

Layered Glass

LCD screens are constructed of layered glass, which manipulate light before it is viewed on the monitor.

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LCD displays are supported by thin plastic display stands, designed to reduce the footprint of the device on desks.

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LCD monitors are ultra-thin and ultra-light, making them the perfect choice for reducing clutter on a desk.

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LCD screens can produce dead pixels during production, resulting in odd colors in certain areas of the screen.

Parts of a Computer Monitor

Monitors are electrical devices used to display pictures and videos on devices such as personal computers. They interpret electrical signals from computers and project them onto the screen.

LCD Screens

The majority of monitors are liquid crystal displays, made of thin film transistors.

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LCD screens are constructed of layered glass, which manipulate light before it is viewed on the monitor.

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LCD displays are supported by thin plastic display stands, designed to reduce the footprint of the device on desks.

Benefits

LCD monitors are ultra-thin and ultra-light, making them the perfect choice for reducing clutter on a desk.

Drawbacks

LCD screens can produce dead pixels during production, resulting in odd colors in certain areas of the screen.

Different Types of Computer Monitors

 

When you go computer shopping nowadays, you’re inundated with specs like processor speed, RAM and storage capacity – and if you’re smart phone shopping, it seems like every manufacturer has some sort of jargon-heavy screen gimmick, like a Quad HD Super AMOLED display. But let’s not neglect the monitors on our desktops and laptops. Though they don’t often get the same amount of screen time as handheld devices, a whole spectrum of different types of monitors have been serving as our windows into the digital world for more than 40 years.

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While some early home computers, like the Sinclair Spectrum and those from Commodore, used televisions as their visual displays, the Apple II and IBM-compatible personal computers made the monitor a standard home computing accessory in the 1970s and 1980s.

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This early type of monitor, like old-school tube TVs, used cathode ray tubes (CRT) to generate an image. CRT projects an image onto a glass screen when electrons hit a gas-filled tube (hence the term “tube TV” or “watching the tube”). In these days, computer monitors were monochrome, typically black with green, orange or white text. They also used dot-matrix displays capable of displaying only text or crude imagery until the late 1980s introduced CRT monitors with resolutions up to 1024 by 768 pixels capable of displaying full-color pictures.

LCD Screens

If you’re looking at a desktop or laptop monitor right now, chances are you’re looking at an LCD (liquid-crystal display) screen. Sporting a much thinner profile and a flat screen compared to the slight curve of CRTs, LCD monitors use thousands of liquid-crystal molecules which respond to an electrical charge to display an image.

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Though LCD technology traces its history all the way back to the watches and calculators of the 1970s, it didn’t gain mainstream proliferation as computer monitor tech until the early 2000s, when consumers began to opt for the low-power profile and space-saving designs of LCD over CRT en masse. The rise of LCD also gave rise to high-definition (HD) displays, defined as a display of 1,280 by 720 pixels. Full HD monitors reach 1,920 by 1080 pixels, and 4K displays feature either 3,840 by 2,160 or 4,096 by 2,160 pixels. And, yes, 8K is a thing – these monitors display at 7,680 by 4,320 pixels.

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Advances in LCD display tech has seen the arrival of LED (light-emitting diode) monitors. These types of monitors are LCD displays that use LED backlights rather than fluorescent lights. This makes LED monitors more energy-efficient, slimmer and more likely to have a higher refresh rate – the speed at which the image on screen updates itself – than LCD screens.

Specialized Monitors

Touchscreen-equipped displays on desktop, laptop and convertible computers began to commonly appear after the proliferation of smart phones and tablets, though touch technology has been around since the mid-1960s.

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Some modern manufacturers offer curved PC monitors, which aim to heighten immersion, reduce eyestrain and increase the user’s field of view. This has made them especially attractive to gamers, who also often opt for monitors with high refresh rates – the higher the refresh rate, the quicker the response time from button press to on-screen action.

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Other monitor options include IPS (in-plane switching) LCD monitors, which offer better viewing angles and color reproduction compared to common LCD monitors (which use TN, or twisted nematic, panel technology). A VA (vertical alignment) LCD monitor offers a middle ground between the two, both in terms of price and color reproduction.

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LED displays can offer higher contrast ratios than a projector and are thus an alternative to traditional projection screens, and they can be used for large, uninterrupted (without a visible grid arising from the bezels of individual displays) video wallsmicroLED displays are LED displays with smaller LEDs, which poses significant development challenges.

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