What is a CRT monitor and why we will no longer use them

Today’s technology is undoubtedly amazing. On the subject of monitors, these devices are an example of the gigantic leap we have taken; we went from devices that were innovative at the time (but with limitations) to devices with a tremendous advance and that are They adapt to all our specific needs. Everything has a beginning and it’s good to know, so we want you to know what a CRT monitor is and why we will never use it again.

CRT technology was very popular from the 1950s to the mid 2000s. It was used in televisions first and later in computer monitors. But with the rise of LCD and LED technology, they have fallen into disuse. We will explain all this in detail below.

What is a CRT monitor?

Let’s start by explaining what CRT is. They are the English acronym for Cathode Ray Tube or cathode ray tube. It is a controlled emission of electrons in a vacuum tube.. Scientists in the 1950s realized that this emission produced shadows; and if it produced shadow it would also produce images. So they added something that picked up the effect, turning out to be a glass screen coated with phosphor and lead. This is where the television was born, a collector of moving images created by an electron emitter (called an electron gun) in a vacuum tube. Years later, with computers, came the CRT monitor.

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To emit color images, they are three electron guns that generate three beams at the same time directed at a screen with three types of bright phosphors. This phosphor shines when it catches the corresponding ray and creates a color. With the combination of the three colors of the prism: red, green and blue, the color image is created.

CRT monitor

Of course a television or monitor is not just three electron guns and a screen, there are other components and circuits that help balance this process and also to the control of the emission of these cathode rays, which results in the adjustments that can be made to the intensity and color combination, in addition to the adjustment of brightness, contrast and sharpness.

Why don’t we go back to using monitors with «ass»?

The CRT monitor was widely used. The image emitted by CRT technology is the combination of horizontal lines on the screen, but this format, although improved in capacity and image quality and size, had a limit. With the emergence of more advanced technologies and current demands, LCD and LED screens came to light, based on tiny square digital images, the famous «pixels».

Then flat screen televisions appear which, combined with this digital technology, do allow many improvements in image quality and screen size. Its production is also cheaper, since it requires fewer components. Now the size and image quality of the screens have no limits. The CRT monitor became an obsolete device, although this is not entirely true.

television and CRT monitor

Uses of the CRT monitor today, in the XXI century

CRT monitor is used still on planes, since there are control modules for them that have not yet undergone the transition to digital technology. They are also still in force in medical equipment. But there is a broader use, even romantic, which justifies that they still exist and are rebuilt.

The video game industry had its boom years in the 1980s through the 1990s, where the CRT monitor was king of the picture. These games were adapted to this type of monitor and even they squeezed the image quality they could emit. This was achieved with a more effective combination of electron guns and the emergence of new components that helped generate images tailored to the high quality demanded by video game creators and users.

That image perfected through combined lines on the screen are not captured or achieved by the pixels. They look distorted and poorly combined. This is not to the taste of the «gamers» or fans of video games around the world (which are many, since it is a multi-million dollar industry). Much of those fans are loyal to old video games. Currently a CRT monitor is justified by nothing more than for the number of fans who do not let their passion die for these old games, but for many insurmountable.

We can neither leave airplanes without controller monitors nor can we eliminate the fans of old video games and their passion, so the CRT monitor will continue to exist and be used. We have no doubt that we will not use them anymore one day, when there are no longer generations of people faithful to old video games and airplanes move all their controls to new technologies, but for now that is not going to happen.


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