What is a crt computer monitor

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2024 by

When it comes to computer monitors, there are a variety of options available on the market. From LCD to LED to OLED, the choices can be overwhelming. However, one type of monitor that has been around for decades and is still used by some is the CRT computer monitor. In this article, we will explore what a CRT computer monitor is, how it works, and why it may still be relevant in today’s technology-driven world.

What is a CRT Computer Monitor?

A CRT (cathode ray tube) computer monitor is a type of display device that uses a cathode ray tube to display images. It was the standard type of monitor used for computers before the advent of LCD (liquid crystal display) and LED (light-emitting diode) monitors.

How Does a CRT Computer Monitor Work?

A CRT computer monitor works by using an electron gun to shoot a beam of electrons onto a phosphor-coated screen. The electron gun is located at the back of the monitor and is controlled by an electromagnet. The beam of electrons is directed by the electromagnet to different areas of the screen, creating images by illuminating the phosphor dots on the screen.

The electron gun shoots the beam of electrons in a series of horizontal lines, starting at the top of the screen and moving down to the bottom. This process is repeated multiple times per second, creating a continuous image on the screen. The speed at which the electron gun shoots the beam of electrons is known as the refresh rate, and it is measured in Hertz (Hz).

Why is it Called an Analog Monitor?

A CRT computer monitor is often referred to as an analog monitor because it uses an analog signal to display images. An analog signal is a continuous electrical signal that varies in strength and frequency. In contrast, digital signals are discrete and have a specific set of values.

In the case of a CRT computer monitor, the analog signal is created by the electron gun and is sent to the screen, where it is converted into an image. This process is different from LCD and LED monitors, which use digital signals to display images.

Why is a CRT Computer Monitor Still Relevant?

With the rise of LCD and LED monitors, one may wonder why a CRT computer monitor is still relevant. However, there are still some situations where a CRT monitor may be the preferred choice.


One of the main reasons why CRT monitors are still used is their cost. CRT monitors are significantly cheaper than LCD and LED monitors, making them a more affordable option for those on a budget. This is especially true for larger screen sizes, where CRT monitors can be significantly cheaper than their LCD and LED counterparts.

Analog Display

Another reason why CRT monitors are still relevant is their analog display. Some people prefer the look of an analog display over a digital one, as it can provide a more natural and warmer image. This is especially true for graphic designers and photographers who may need to see colors and details more accurately.


CRT monitors are also known for their durability. Unlike LCD and LED monitors, which can be easily damaged by pressure or impact, CRT monitors are more resistant to physical damage. This makes them a popular choice for industrial and commercial use, where monitors may be subject to harsh conditions.

How to Use a CRT Computer Monitor

If you have a CRT computer monitor and are unsure how to use it, here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Connect the monitor to your computer using a VGA or DVI cable.
  2. Plug the monitor into a power source.
  3. Turn on the monitor and adjust the brightness and contrast settings to your liking.
  4. If necessary, adjust the screen resolution in your computer’s display settings to match the native resolution of the monitor.
  5. Use the monitor as you would any other computer monitor.

How to Dispose of a CRT Computer Monitor

If you have a CRT computer monitor that you no longer need, it is essential to dispose of it properly. CRT monitors contain hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury, which can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of correctly.

The best way to dispose of a CRT monitor is to take it to an electronics recycling center. Many cities and towns have designated drop-off locations for electronic waste, including CRT monitors. You can also check with your local government for any specific guidelines or regulations for disposing of electronic waste.


In conclusion, a CRT computer monitor is a type of display device that uses a cathode ray tube to display images. It works by shooting a beam of electrons onto a phosphor-coated screen, creating images through a series of horizontal lines. While LCD and LED monitors have become the standard in recent years, CRT monitors are still relevant due to their cost, analog display, and durability. If you have a CRT monitor, be sure to dispose of it properly to protect the environment.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.