Best 27 inch Monitor 2020 – Quick List:

  1. Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX WQHD Monitor – Best 27 inch Monitor 2020 (Best Overall)
  2. LG 27UK850-W 4K MonitorBest 27 inch Monitor 2020 (Best LG)
  3. HP 27er FHD Monitor – Best 27 inch Monitor 2020 (Best HP)
  4. VIOTEK GNV27DB Curved QHD Gaming Monitor – Best 27 inch Monitor 2020 (Best VIOTEK)
  5. Philips Brilliance 272P7VUBNB 4K Monitor Best 27 inch Monitor 2020 (Best Philips)
  6. ASUS VA27EHE FHD Monitor Best 27 inch Monitor 2020 (Best ASUS)

Best 27 inch Monitor 2020

Welcome to the wtg buying guide for the Best 27 inch Monitor 2020.

Currently the most popular screen sizes for monitors are 24 – 27 inches. Over the recent years monitor screen sizes have progressively gotten larger similar to the proliferation of large screen TVs.

We believe that the 27 inch monitor is quickly becoming the current standard size. It’s no surprise considering that many individuals utilize monitors to watch their favorite movies, tv shows, and online tutorials.

If you do not have a monitor or currently have an outdated monitor, now is a great time to invest in a high quality display that will increase your productivity and entertainment for multiple years.

Best 27 inch Monitor 2020 – In-Depth List:

Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX WQHD Monitor

Best 27 inch Monitor 2020
Best 27 inch Monitor 2020 (Best Overall)

The Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX is the Best Overall 27 inch monitor for all brands, not just for Dell. Featuring a 27 inch QHD 2560 x 1440 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio with an ultra-thin bezel, Dell has still managed to make it affordable. The 178/178-degree viewing angle pairs with a full range of tilt, pivot, swivel, height adjustments, and even the option to physically rotate the monitor to vertical (portrait) mode.

Graphic designers and anyone who appreciates vibrant and accurate color should be impressed by the color gamut of 99% sRGB and NTSC of 85%. This is a visually impressive display, as well as an incredibly versatile monitor that can easily switch from working with a productivity application, to streaming some content online, to even playing your favorite pc games.

If you want a Dell 27 inch Monitor that can do it all, and is still affordable, you should order one today.


LG 27UK850-W 4K Monitor

Best 27 inch Monitor
Best 27 inch Monitor (Best LG)

The 27UK850-W is an incredible 27 inch monitor that just about anyone would love to add to their computer setup. From stock traders, to graphic designers, to casual pc gamers, and everyone in between.

Designers will appreciate the 99% sRGB coverage, minimal bezels, high contrast capabilities, and the ability to convert to portrait mode on demand. It’s perfect for applications such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Gamers will get good use out to the 5ms response time, 60Hz refresh rate, and 4K resolution.

People who work from home will especially appreciate the USB Type-C and USB 3.0 connectivity, enabling a high-end hub for all of your productivity needs and peripherals.

We believe that a high quality monitor that is under $500 is affordable for most buyers, and the 27UK850-W fits into that range.


HP 27er FHD Monitor

Best 27 inch Monitor (Best HP)

The HP 27er gives you as much as possible for a 27 inch display, for the lowest price imaginable. It’s thin, it’s lightweight, it’s stylish yet not overbearing, the bezels are nominal, and the image & color quality compete with the best out there.

The HP 27er utilizes HP Enhance+ resolution that amplifies images, videos, and games by reducing noise through an advanced filter. We personally like the unique stand that has a base that seems to mimic the look of an Apple wireless trackpad.

HP of course is so stranger to most households, so you can count on receiving a high-end, low priced product that will retain it’s incredible value over a number of years.


VIOTEK GNV27DB Curved QHD Gaming Monitor

Best 27 inch Monitor
Best 27 inch Monitor (Best VIOTEK)

VIOTEK is not quite the household name as HP or LG but it’s rapidly becoming known as a very affordable maker of visually sharp displays. The bezels are literally some of the thinnest available.

We suggest the QHD curved 144Hz setup, but VIOTEK has various specs to choose from. The options we recommend also comes with a 3 year warranty to resolve any unlikely discrepancies.

The VIOTEK GNV27DB includes a 75×75 VESA mount to attach it to a wall or monitor arm.

This monitor will not disappoint gaming enthusiasts, and the low price tag should stun (in a good way) the savvy buyers out there. The small bezels and affordable price make it possible to easily setup a dual panoramic gaming experience.


Philips Brilliance 272P7VUBNB 4K Monitor

Best 27 inch Monitor
Best 27 inch Monitor (Best Philips)

The Philips Brilliance 272P7VUBNB is targeted at the amateur and professional designer. Individuals that are accustomed to pixel perfection and extensive color gamuts such as 122% of sRGB and 103% of NTSC. It displays over 1 billion colors with the high color accuracy. Some of the specs it has are typically found on monitors 3-10x it’s price (seriously).

The USB-C port is useful for transferring image and video content, as well as powering up your favorite peripherals and devices. Philips has generously included a 4 year warranty for long lasting peace of mind.

If you are a web designer who is just getting their feet wet, or perhaps a photographer or graphic designer with over 20 years experience, you can’t go wrong with the Philips 272P7VUBNB.


ASUS VA27EHE FHD Monitor

Best 27 inch Monitor 2020
Best 27 inch Monitor 2020 (Best ASUS)

ASUS is pretty established in the computer products industry. The ASUS VA27EHE is a technological achievement, especially considering the quality of screen packed into a minuscule price (it’s microscopic compared to most).

The ASUS VA27EHE pretty has everything a typical user would be looking for with a 27 inch monitor. A solid max resolution, good colors and contrast, small bezels, and a design aesthetic that would look good on just about any desk. Even the refresh rate is good, making it a low priced contender for gaming as well.

It truly is amazing what ASUS is offering, and monitors priced this low don’t stay in stock very long.



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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.

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[edit]

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]

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]

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

Technologies[edit]

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[edit]

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. 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.

Some of the earliest home computers (such as the TRS-80 and Commodore PET) were limited to monochrome CRT displays, but color display capability was already a standard feature of the pioneering Apple II, introduced in 1977, and the specialty of the more graphically sophisticated Atari 800, introduced in 1979. Either computer could be connected to the antenna terminals of an ordinary color TV set or used with a purpose-made CRT color monitor for optimum resolution and color quality. Lagging several years behind, in 1981 IBM introduced the Color Graphics Adapter, which could display four colors with a resolution of 320 x 200 pixels, or it could produce 640 x 200 pixels with two colors. In 1984 IBM introduced the Enhanced Graphics Adapter which was capable of producing 16 colors and had a resolution of 640 x 350.[3]

By the end of the 1980s color 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] 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.

Liquid crystal display[edit]

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. 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.

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

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. Among the first desktop LCD computer monitors was the Eizo L66 in the mid-1990s, the Apple Studio Display in 1998, and the Apple Cinema Display in 1999. In 2003, TFT-LCDs outsold CRTs for the first time, becoming the primary technology used for computer monitors.[4] 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.[6] 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[7] is set to a sufficiently high value. LCD monitors have now very high temporal accuracy and can be used for vision research.[8]

High dynamic range (HDR)[7] 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. These types of monitors may also display it in the proper width, however they usually fill the extra space at the top and bottom of the image with black bars. 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.

Organic light-emitting diode[edit]

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) monitors provide higher contrast and better 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.

Measurements of performance[edit]

The performance of a monitor is measured by the following 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 AdobeRGB are shorthand notations.
  • Aspect ratio is the ratio of the horizontal length to the vertical length. Monitors usually have the aspect ratio 4:35:416:10 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.

Size[edit]

 

The area, height and width of displays with identical diagonal measurements vary dependent on aspect ratio.

On two-dimensional display devices such as computer monitors the display size or view able image size is the actual amount of screen space that is available to display a picturevideo or working space, without obstruction from the case or other aspects of the unit’s design. The main measurements for display devices are: width, height, total area and the diagonal.

The size of a display is usually by monitor manufacturers given by the diagonal, i.e. the distance between two opposite screen corners. This method of measurement is inherited from the method used for the first generation of CRT television, when picture tubes with circular faces were in common use. Being circular, it was the external diameter of the glass envelope that described their size. Since these circular tubes were used to display rectangular images, the diagonal measurement of the rectangular image was smaller than the diameter of the tube’s face (due to the thickness of the glass). This method continued even when cathode ray tubes were manufactured as rounded rectangles; it had the advantage of being a single number specifying the size, and was not confusing when the aspect ratio was universally 4:3.

With the introduction of flat panel technology, the diagonal measurement became the actual diagonal of the visible display. This meant that an eighteen-inch LCD had a larger visible area than an eighteen-inch cathode ray tube.

The estimation of the monitor size by the distance between opposite corners does not take into account the display aspect ratio, so that for example a 16:9 21-inch (53 cm) widescreen display has less area, than a 21-inch (53 cm) 4:3 screen. The 4:3 screen has dimensions of 16.8 in × 12.6 in (43 cm × 32 cm) and area 211 sq in (1,360 cm2), while the widescreen is 18.3 in × 10.3 in (46 cm × 26 cm), 188 sq in (1,210 cm2).

Aspect ratio[edit]

Until about 2003, most computer monitors had a 4:3 aspect ratio and some had 5:4. Between 2003 and 2006, monitors with 16:9 and mostly 16:10 (8:5) aspect ratios became commonly available, first in laptops and later also in standalone monitors. Reasons for this transition was productive uses for such monitors, i.e. besides widescreen computer game play and movie viewing, are the word processor display of two standard letter pages side by side, as well as CAD displays of large-size drawings and CAD application menus at the same time.[9][10] In 2008 16:10 became the most common sold aspect ratio for LCD monitors and the same year 16:10 was the mainstream standard for laptops and notebook computers.[11]

In 2010 the computer industry started to move over from 16:10 to 16:9 because 16:9 was chosen to be the standard high-definition television display size, and because they were cheaper to manufacture.

In 2011 non-widescreen displays with 4:3 aspect ratios were only being manufactured in small quantities. According to Samsung this was because the “Demand for the old ‘Square monitors’ has decreased rapidly over the last couple of years,” and “I predict that by the end of 2011, production on all 4:3 or similar panels will be halted due to a lack of demand.”[12]

Resolution[edit]

The resolution for computer monitors has increased over time. From 320×200 during the early 1980s, to 1024×768 during the late 1990s. Since 2009, the most commonly sold resolution for computer monitors is 1920×1080.[13] Before 2013 top-end consumer LCD monitors were limited to 2560×1600 at 30 in (76 cm), excluding Apple products and CRT monitors. Apple introduced 2880×1800 with Retina MacBook Pro at 15.4 in (39 cm) on June 12, 2012, and introduced a 5120×2880 Retina iMac at 27 in (69 cm) on October 16, 2014. By 2015 most major display manufacturers had released 3840×2160 resolution displays.

Gamut[edit]

Every RGB monitor has its own color gamut, bounded in chromaticity by a color triangle. Some of these triangles are smaller than the sRGB triangle, some are larger. Colors are typically encoded by 8 bits per primary color. The RGB value [255, 0, 0] represents red, but slightly different colors in different color spaces such as AdobeRGB and sRGB. Displaying sRGB-encoded data on wide-gamut devices can give an unrealistic result.[14] The gamut is a property of the monitor; the image color space can be forwarded as Exif metadata in the picture. As long as the monitor gamut is wider than the color space gamut, correct display is possible, if the monitor is calibrated. A picture that uses colors that are outside the sRGB color space will display on an sRGB color space monitor with limitations.[15] Still today, many monitors that can display the sRGB color space are not factory adjusted to display it correctly. Color management is needed both in electronic publishing (via the Internet for display in browsers) and in desktop publishing targeted to print.

Additional features[edit]

Power saving[edit]

Most modern monitors will switch to a power-saving mode if no video-input signal is received. This allows modern operating systems to turn off a monitor after a specified period of inactivity. This also extends the monitor’s service life. Some monitors will also switch themselves off after a time period on standby.

Most modern laptops provide a method of screen dimming after periods of inactivity or when the battery is in use. This extends battery life and reduces wear.

Integrated accessories[edit]

Many monitors have other accessories (or connections for them) integrated. This places standard ports within easy reach and eliminates the need for another separate hubcameramicrophone, or set of speakers. These monitors have advanced microprocessors which contain codec information, Windows Interface drivers and other small software which help in proper functioning of these functions.

Glossy screen[edit]

Some displays, especially newer LCD monitors, replace the traditional anti-glare matte finish with a glossy one. This increases color saturation and sharpness but reflections from lights and windows are very visible. Anti-reflective coatings are sometimes applied to help reduce reflections, although this only mitigates the effect.

Curved designs[edit]

In about 2009, NEC/Alienware together with Ostendo Technologies (based in Carlsbad, CA) were offering a curved (concave) 43-inch (110 cm) monitor that allows better viewing angles near the edges, covering 75% of peripheral vision in the horizontal direction. This monitor had 2880×900 resolution, LED backlight and was marketed as suitable both for gaming and office work, while for $6499 it was rather expensive.[16] While this particular monitor is no longer in production, most PC manufacturers now offer some sort of curved desktop display.

Directional screen[edit]

Narrow viewing angle screens are used in some security conscious applications.

3D[edit]

Newer monitors are able to display a different image for each eye, often with the help of special glasses, giving the perception of depth. An autostereoscopic screen can generate 3D images without headgear.

Touch screen[edit]

These monitors use touching of the screen as an input method. Items can be selected or moved with a finger, and finger gestures may be used to convey commands. The screen will need frequent cleaning due to image degradation from fingerprints.

Tablet screens[edit]

A combination of a monitor with a graphics tablet. Such devices are typically unresponsive to touch without the use of one or more special tools’ pressure. Newer models however are now able to detect touch from any pressure and often have the ability to detect tilt and rotation as well.

Touch and tablet screens are used on LCDs as a substitute for the light pen, which can only work on CRTs.

Ultrawide screens[edit]

Monitors that feature an aspect ratio of 21:9 as opposed to the more common 16:9.

Mounting[edit]

Computer monitors are provided with a variety of methods for mounting them depending on the application and environment.

Desktop[edit]

A desktop monitor is typically provided with a stand from the manufacturer which lifts the monitor up to a more ergonomic viewing height. The stand may be attached to the monitor using a proprietary method or may use, or be adaptable to, a Video Electronics Standards Association, VESA, standard mount. Using a VESA standard mount allows the monitor to be used with an after-market stand once the original stand is removed. Stands may be fixed or offer a variety of features such as height adjustment, horizontal swivel, and landscape or portrait screen orientation.

VESA mount[edit]

The Flat Display Mounting Interface (FDMI), also known as VESA Mounting Interface Standard (MIS) or colloquially as a VESA mount, is a family of standards defined by the Video Electronics Standards Association for mounting flat panel monitorsTVs, and other displays to stands or wall mounts.[17] It is implemented on most modern flat-panel monitors and TVs.

For Computer Monitors, the VESA Mount typically consists of four threaded holes on the rear of the display that will mate with an adapter bracket.

Rack mount[edit]

Rack mount computer monitors are available in two styles and are intended to be mounted into a 19-inch rack:

 

A fixed 19-inch (48 cm), 4:3 rack mount LCD monitor

Fixed

A fixed rack mount monitor is mounted directly to the rack with the LCD visible at all times. The height of the unit is measured in rack units (RU) and 8U or 9U are most common to fit 17-inch or 19-inch LCDs. The front sides of the unit are provided with flanges to mount to the rack, providing appropriately spaced holes or slots for the rack mounting screws. A 19-inch diagonal LCD is the largest size that will fit within the rails of a 19-inch rack. Larger LCDs may be accommodated but are ‘mount-on-rack’ and extend forward of the rack. There are smaller display units, typically used in broadcast environments, which fit multiple smaller LCDs side by side into one rack mount.

 

A 1U stowable clamshell 19-inch (48 cm), 4:3 rack mount LCD monitor with keyboard

Stowable

A stowable rack mount monitor is 1U, 2U or 3U high and is mounted on rack slides allowing the display to be folded down and the unit slid into the rack for storage. The display is visible only when the display is pulled out of the rack and deployed. These units may include only a display or may be equipped with a keyboard creating a KVM (Keyboard Video Monitor). Most common are systems with a single LCD but there are systems providing two or three displays in a single rack mount system.

 

A panel mount 19-inch (48 cm), 4:3 rack mount LCD monitor

Panel mount[edit]

A panel mount computer monitor is intended for mounting into a flat surface with the front of the display unit protruding just slightly. They may also be mounted to the rear of the panel. A flange is provided around the LCD, sides, top and bottom, to allow mounting. This contrasts with a rack mount display where the flanges are only on the sides. The flanges will be provided with holes for thru-bolts or may have studs welded to the rear surface to secure the unit in the hole in the panel. Often a gasket is provided to provide a water-tight seal to the panel and the front of the LCD will be sealed to the back of the front panel to prevent water and dirt contamination.

Open frame[edit]

An open frame monitor provides the LCD monitor and enough supporting structure to hold associated electronics and to minimally support the LCD. Provision will be made for attaching the unit to some external structure for support and protection. Open frame LCDs are intended to be built into some other piece of equipment. An arcade video game would be a good example with the display mounted inside the cabinet. There is usually an open frame display inside all end-use displays with the end-use display simply providing an attractive protective enclosure. Some rack mount LCD manufacturers will purchase desktop displays, take them apart, and discard the outer plastic parts, keeping the inner open-frame LCD for inclusion into their product.

Security vulnerabilities[edit]

According to an NSA document leaked to Der Spiegel, the NSA sometimes swaps the monitor cables on targeted computers with a bugged monitor cable in order to allow the NSA to remotely see what is being displayed on the targeted computer monitor.[18]

Van Eck phreaking is the process of remotely displaying the contents of a CRT or LCD by detecting its electromagnetic emissions. It is named after Dutch computer researcher Wim van Eck, who in 1985 published the first paper on it, including proof of concept. Phreaking more generally is the process of exploiting telephone networks.[19]

Electrically operated display devices have developed from electromechanical systems for display of text, up to all-electronic devices capable of full-motion 3D color graphic displays. Electromagnetic devices, using a solenoid coil to control a visible flag or flap, were the earliest type, and were used for text displays such as stock market prices and arrival/departure display times. The cathode ray tube was the workhorse of text and video display technology for several decades until being displaced by plasma, liquid crystal (LCD), and solid-state devices such as thin-film transistors (TFTs), LEDs and OLEDs. With the advent of metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), integrated circuit (IC) chips, microprocessors, and microelectronic devices, many more individual picture elements (“pixels“) could be incorporated into one display device, allowing graphic displays and video.

Cathode ray tube[edit]

One of the earliest electronic displays is the cathode ray tube (CRT), which was first demonstrated in 1897 and made commercial in 1922.[citation needed] The CRT consists of an electron gun that forms images by firing electrons onto a phosphor-coated screen. The earliest CRTs were monochrome and were used primarily in oscilloscopes and black and white televisions. The first commercial colour CRT was produced in 1954. CRTs were the single most popular display technology used in television sets and computer monitors for over half a century; it was not until the 2000s that LCDs began to gradually replace them.

A derivative of CRTs were storage tubes, which had the ability to retain information displayed on them, unlike standard CRTs which need to be refreshed periodically. In 1968, Tektronix introduced the Direct-View Bistable Storage Tube, which went on to be widely used in oscilloscopes and computer terminals.[1]

Monochrome CRT[edit]

1922 Monochrome cathode ray tube:

Dual trace, showing different time bases on each trace.

Color CRT[edit]

1954 Color cathode ray tube for the display of color television:[2]

Direct-View Bistable Storage Tube[edit]

1968[1] The Direct-View Bistable Storage Tube CRT retains static information displayed upon it, written using a steerable electron beam that can be turned off. In principle the DVBST is similar to an Etch-a-Sketch, and was used in vector displays of early computers and in oscilloscopes.

Tektronix 4014 with a “DVBST” storage display screen

Flip-flap/disc display[edit]

1957 Split-flap display:

 

Fallblattanzeigetafel ausschnitt ffm hbf.jpg

1961 Flip-disc display:

 
Flip-Dot-Display

Monochrome plasma display[edit]

1964 Monochrome plasma display:

Plasma displays were first used in PLATO computer terminals. This PLATO V model illustrates the display's monochromatic orange glow as seen in 1988.

LED display[edit]

1968 LED display:

LED destination displays on buses, one with a colored route number.
Outdoor 4 x 3 m large LED screen in Jelgava, Latvia.

Eggcrate display[edit]

1968 Eggcrate display

 

Vacuum fluorescent display[edit]

1967 Vacuum fluorescent display as used in consumer electronics.

Vacuum fluorescent display used in a videocassette recorder.
VFD raster display

Twisted nematic field effect LCD[edit]

1971 Twisted nematic field effect LCD [3] [4]

DTV-LCD-MOD.jpg

Super-twisted nematic LCD[edit]

flat-panel display (FPD) is an electronic viewing device used to enable people to see content (still images, moving images, text, or other visual material) in a range of entertainment, consumer electronics, personal computer, and mobile devices, and many types of medical, transportation and industrial equipment. They are far lighter and thinner than traditional cathode ray tube (CRT) television sets and are usually less than 10 centimetres (3.9 in) thick. Flat-panel displays can be divided into two display device categories: volatile and static. Volatile displays require that pixels be periodically electronically refreshed to retain their state (e.g. liquid-crystal displays (LCD)). A volatile display only shows an image when it has battery or AC mains power. Static flat-panel displays rely on materials whose color states are bistable (e.g., e-book reader tablets from Sony), and as such, flat-panel displays retain the text or images on the screen even when the power is off. As of 2016, flat-panel displays have almost completely replaced old CRT displays. In many 2010-era applications, specifically small portable devices such as laptops, mobile phones, smartphones, digital cameras, camcorders, point-and-shoot cameras, and pocket video cameras, any display disadvantages of flat-panels (as compared with CRTs) are made up for by portability advantages (low power consumption from batteries, thinness and lightweightness).

Most 2010s-era flat-panel displays use LCD and/or light emitting diode (LED) technologies. Most LCD screens are back-lit as color filters are used to display colors. Flat-panel displays are thin, lightweight, provide better linearity and are capable of higher resolution than typical consumer-grade TVs from earlier eras. The highest resolution for consumer-grade CRT TVs was 1080i; in contrast, many flat-panels can display 1080p or even 4K resolution. As of 2016, some devices that use flat-panels, such as tablet computers, smartphones and, less commonly, laptops, use touchscreens, a feature that enables users to select onscreen icons or trigger actions (e.g., playing a digital video) by touching the screen. Many touchscreen-enabled devices can display a virtual QWERTY or numeric keyboard on the screen, to enable the user to type words or numbers.

multifunctional monitor (MFM) is a flat-panel display that has additional video inputs (more than a typical LCD monitor) and is designed to be used with a variety of external video sources, such as VGA input, HDMI input from a VHS VCR or video game console and, in some cases, a USB input or card reader for viewing digital photos. In many instances, an MFM also includes a TV tuner, making it similar to a LCD TV that offers computer connectivity.

History[edit]

The first engineering proposal for a flat-panel TV was by General Electric in 1954 as a result of its work on radar monitors. The publication of their findings gave all the basics of future flat-panel TVs and monitors. But GE did not continue with the R&D required and never built a working flat panel at that time.[1] The first production flat-panel display was the Aiken tube, developed in the early 1950s and produced in limited numbers in 1958. This saw some use in military systems as a heads up display and as an oscilloscope monitor, but conventional technologies overtook its development. Attempts to commercialize the system for home television use ran into continued problems and the system was never released commercially.[2][3][4]

The Philco Predicta featured a relatively flat (for its day) cathode ray tube setup and would be the first commercially released “flat panel” upon its launch in 1958; the Predicta was a commercial failure. The plasma display panel was invented in 1964 at the University of Illinois, according to The History of Plasma Display Panels.[5]

LCD displays[edit]

The MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor, or MOS transistor) was invented by Mohamed M. Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in 1959,[6] and presented in 1960.[7] Building on their work, Paul K. Weimer at RCA developed the thin-film transistor (TFT) in 1962.[8] It was a type of MOSFET distinct from the standard bulk MOSFET.[9] The idea of a TFT-based LCD was conceived by Bernard J. Lechner of RCA Laboratories in 1968.[10] B.J. Lechner, F.J. Marlowe, E.O. Nester and J. Tults demonstrated the concept in 1968 with a dynamic scattering LCD that used standard discrete MOSFETs.[11]

The first active-matrix addressed electroluminescent display (ELD) was made using TFTs by T. Peter Brody‘s Thin-Film Devices department at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1968.[12] In 1973, Brody, J. A. Asars and G. D. Dixon at Westinghouse Research Laboratories demonstrated the first thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display (TFT LCD).[13][14] Brody and Fang-Chen Luo demonstrated the first flat active-matrix liquid-crystal display (AM LCD) using TFTs in 1974.[10]

By 1982, pocket LCD TVs based on LCD technology were developed in Japan.[15] The 2.1-inch Epson ET-10[16] Epson Elf was the first color LCD pocket TV, released in 1984.[17] In 1988, a Sharp research team led by engineer T. Nagayasu demonstrated a 14-inch full-color LCD display,[10][18] which convinced the electronics industry that LCD would eventually replace CRTs as the standard television display technology.[10] As of 2013, all modern high-resolution and high-quality electronic visual display devices use TFT-based active-matrix displays.[19]

LED displays[edit]

The first usable LED display was developed by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and introduced in 1968.[20] It was the result of research and development (R&D) on practical LED technology between 1962 and 1968, by a research team under Howard C. Borden, Gerald P. Pighini, and Mohamed M. Atalla, at HP Associates and HP Labs. In February 1969, they introduced the HP Model 5082-7000 Numeric Indicator.[21] It was the first alphanumeric LED display, and was a revolution in digital display technology, replacing the Nixie tube for numeric displays and becoming the basis for later LED displays.[22] In 1977, James P Mitchell prototyped and later demonstrated what was perhaps the earliest monochromatic flat panel LED television display.

Ching W. Tang and Steven Van Slyke at Eastman Kodak built the first practical organic LED (OLED) device in 1987.[23] In 2003, Hynix produced an organic EL driver capable of lighting in 4,096 colors.[24] In 2004, the Sony Qualia 005 was the first LED-backlit LCD display.[25] The Sony XEL-1, released in 2007, was the first OLED television.[26]

Common types[edit]

Liquid crystal display (LCD)[edit]

 

An LCD screen used as an information display for travellers.

LCDs are lightweight, compact, portable, cheap, more reliable, and easier on the eyes than CRT screens. LCD screens use a thin layer of liquid crystal, a liquid that exhibits crystalline properties. It is sandwiched between two electrically conducting plates. The top plate has transparent electrodes deposited on it, and the back plate is either fitted with a reflector or is illuminated from behind so that the viewer can see the images on the screen. By applying controlled electrical signals across the plates, various segments of the liquid crystal can be activated, causing changes in their light diffusing or polarizing properties. These segments can either transmit or block light. An image is produced by passing light through selected segments of the liquid crystal to the viewer. They are used in various electronics like watches, calculators, and notebook computers.

LCD with backlit light-emitting diode (LED)[edit]

Some LCD screens are back-lit with a number of LEDs. LEDs are two-lead semiconductor light sources. The image is still generated by the LCD. LED-backlit LCD displays are the most prevalent in the 2010s.

Plasma panel[edit]

A plasma display consists of two glass plates separated by a thin gap filled with a gas such as neon. Each of these plates has several parallel electrodes running across it. The electrodes on the two plates are at right angles to each other. A voltage applied between the two electrodes one on each plate causes a small segment of gas at the two electrodes to glow. The glow of gas segments is maintained by a lower voltage that is continuously applied to all electrodes. By 2010, consumer plasma displays had been discontinued by numerous manufacturers.

Electroluminescent panel[edit]

In an electroluminescent display (ELD), the image is created by applying electrical signals to the plates which makes the phosphor glow.

Organic light-emitting diode[edit]

An OLED (organic light-emitting diode) is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound which emits light in response to an electric current. This layer of organic semiconductor is situated between two electrodes; typically, at least one of these electrodes is transparent. OLEDs are used to create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, portable systems such as mobile phones, handheld game consoles and PDAs.

Quantum dot light emitting diode[edit]

QLED or quantum dot LED is a flat panel display technology introduced by Samsung under this trademark. Other television set manufacturers such as Sony have used the same technology to enhance the backlighting of LCD TVs already in 2013.[27][28] Quantum dots create their own unique light when illuminated by a light source of shorter wavelength such as blue LEDs. This type of LED TV enhances the color gamut of LCD panels, where the image is still generated by the LCD. In the view of Samsung, quantum dot displays for large-screen TVs are expected to become more popular than the OLED displays in the coming years; Firms like Nanoco and Nanosys compete to provide the QD materials. In the meantime, Samsung Galaxy devices such as smartphones are still equipped with OLED displays manufactured by Samsung as well. Samsung explain on their website that the QLED TV they produce can determine what part of the display needs more or less contrast. Samsung also announced a partnership with Microsoft that will promote the new Samsung QLED TV.

Volatile[edit]

 

A large LED display at the Taipei Arena displays commercials and movie trailers.

Volatile displays require that pixels be periodically refreshed to retain their state, even for a static image. As such, a volatile screen needs electrical power, either from mains electricity (being plugged into a wall socket) or a battery to maintain an image on the display or change the image. This refresh typically occurs many times a second. If this is not done, for example, if there is a power outage, the pixels will gradually lose their coherent state, and the image will “fade” from the screen.

Examples[edit]

The following flat-display technologies have been commercialized in 1990s to 2010s:

Technologies that were extensively researched, but their commercialization was limited or has been ultimately abandoned:

Static[edit]

 

Amazon’s Kindle Keyboard e-reader displaying a page of an e-book. The Kindle’s image of the book’s text will remain onscreen even if the battery runs out, as it is a static screen technology. Without power, however, the user cannot change to a new page.

Static flat-panel displays rely on materials whose color states are bistable. This means that the image they hold requires no energy to maintain, but instead requires energy to change. This results in a much more energy-efficient display, but with a tendency toward slow refresh rates which are undesirable in an interactive display. Bistable flat-panel displays are beginning deployment in limited applications (cholesteric liquid crystal displays, manufactured by Magink, in outdoor advertising; electrophoretic displays in e-book reader devices from Sony and iRex; anlabels; interferometric modulator displays in a smartwatch).

1984 Super-twisted nematic display (STN LCD) to improve passive-matrix LCDs, allowing for the first time higher resolution panels with 540×270 pixels.

Prototype Brown Boveri STN LCD with 540x270 pixels

Modern computer monitors are easily interchangeable with conventional television sets and viceversa. 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]