What Is A CRT Monitor: Is It Worth Buying One?

Are you wondering what is a CTR motor? We’ll cover everything you need to know in this article, so continue reading below.

These days, CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors are no longer as common as LCD monitors for personal computers. An electron gun creates images on these monitors. These monitors were once seen being cutting-edge for their time, but now they’ve been replaced by LCD monitors.

In this guide, I will discuss what is a CRT monitor, how it works, its advantages, and how to select one.

What Is A CRT Monitor: DefinitionSource

Before the advent of flat panel displays, CRTs were the display technology for computer monitors, televisions, calculators, and other electronic devices. Lower-resolution monitors may be worth less to resell or refurbish them.

An image is produced by a focused electron stream emitted from a cathode and an electron gun.


What Does CRT Mean?

A cathode ray tube (CRT) is a device that produces images using electrons. An electron gun has electrons in the device with high-voltage differences.

How Do CRT Monitors Work?

A CRT computer monitor displays graphics by shooting electrons at red, green, and blue phosphors coated inside the screen. This method lets you produce an image on your monitor.

What Are The Parts Of CRT Monitors?

The CRT monitor is composed of numerous elements that work together to provide the best performance possible.

  • The monitor’s casing, usually made of plastic or metal, contains the tube and plug-in boards, whose heart is the cabinet.
  • The electron gun in the tube produces the picture.
  • The glass screen on the front of the monitor displays the images produced by your computer.

What Is A CRT Monitor: A Brief History


The CRT was invented by the German scientist Karl Ferdinand Braun in 1897.

Through the mid-to-late 1900s, cathode-ray tubes were extensively utilized in televisions and computer monitors. Manufacturers constantly improved performance and resolution throughout that period. 

IBM’s Extended Graphics Array (XGA) display, released in 1990, displayed 16.8 million colors in 800 x 600 pixels. It was one of the few computer monitors of the 1970s that displayed green text on a black background.

Flat-panel displays became more accessible in the early 2000s due to technological advances. These newer display types (LCD, plasma, and OLED) are more energy efficient because they require less casing and consume less energy.

Flat-panel displays come in larger sizes than CRTs, and manufacturing costs are lower than those of CRTs. As a result, flat-panel displays are much more popular with consumers.

Why Don’t We Use Cathode Ray Monitors Anymore?


CRT monitors are losing favor as LCD and LED flat-panel displays become more popular, especially as CRTs become increasingly obsolete.

Due to its bulky size and high energy consumption, the old cathode ray tube monitor is being phased out of the market. The cathode ray tube is a very solid component of the monitor and therefore contributes to the monitor’s bulkiness.

CRT Monitors Are Analogue

CRT monitors cannot display all the colors that come with digital technology because they are analog. Moving images will also appear less smooth because CRT screens have a lower refresh rate than modern LCD screens.

Most computer labs or tech businesses still have CRT monitors, which are still adequate for basic monitor needs. In comparison to other computer displays, they are less expensive.

What Is A CRT Monitor: Features

There are certain specifications of CRT monitors that many gamers, graphic designers, etc., want to know about, and they are as follows:

  • CRTs are old and outdated display technologies since they use a cathode ray tube. They are large and bulky because LCDs are newer and more efficient. These monitors are both beginner-friendly and user-friendly, making them a good value.
  • CRT PC monitors have a high contrast ratio, making dark images stand out.

What Is A CRT Monitor: Pros & Cons

  • CRT monitors were an incredible innovation. They were both large and beautiful. However, they were rather large and produced a lot of noise after a while.
  • The main benefit of owning one of these monitors is that they are less expensive than other monitors currently on the market.
  • CRT monitors have excellent black levels, making up for their low brightness.
  • CRTs are simple to operate, so even beginners can utilize them quite effectively for work, play, etc. Even though they are simple to operate, they are utilize quite effectively by advanced users.
  • Modern monitors have supplanted the cathode ray tube monitor because of its shortcomings. CRTs are considerably heavier than contemporary portable monitors and have thick frames, making them unsuitable for travel.
  • A CRT monitor consumes four times as much energy as an LCD monitor. PC monitors of this type are big, taking up a lot of desk space. Their large size makes it difficult for you to fit anything else on top of it. With curved monitors, you can solve this problem now and have a more helpful screen and workspace.
  • Computer displays with glass tube screens have the potential to break, are more prone to overheating, and produce more heat than LCDs do.
  • The outdated technology can produce blurry text and distorted colors in CRTs. Buying an LCD monitor will help avoid these problems.
  • These monitors are not great for gaming or high-end photo editing, because they don’t have the refresh rates necessary to handle high-speed graphics without slowing down.

What Is A CRT Monitor: Picture Quality

An LCD monitor doesn’t produce the same quality picture as a CRT because the older technology has a low resolution and produces blurry and low-quality images.

Because of their low resolution of 640×480 pixels, CRTs are not the best option for watching videos, viewing streaming content, or playing games. Color distortion and slow response times often cause blurry images and afterimages on the screen.

What Is The Average Price Of CRT Monitors?

CRTs are less costly than other computer monitors, although the average price is $50. You can buy a CRT at a computer store, online, or at your local TV station, among other places.

Where To Find A CRT Monitor?

Finding and purchasing a CRT monitor is not difficult, but you must be patient. The fastest and perhaps the best way to buy a CRT monitor is via eBay or Etsy. In addition to fitting the requirements of this guide, hundreds of CRT monitors are available, including many for sale.

What Is The Energy Consumption Of CRT Monitors?

According to online power consumption calculators, a 17-inch CRT monitor consumes 75 watts daily. Higher energy consumption is one of the demerits of CRTs.

CRTs consume two to four times as much power as LCDs, while plasma TVs consume around twice as much energy.

What Is The Lifespan Of CRTs?

A CRT monitor will last 8-10 years if you use it eight hours a day. However, most CRT monitors sold recently have lifespans of 25,000 to 30,000 hours.

What Are The CRT Monitor Brands?

There are many CRT monitor brands, These include: 

  • IBM
  • Samsung
  • Viewsonic
  • Dell
  • Sony
  • Proview

CRTs are old technology, and many brands have stopped producing them.

What Are The Best CRT Monitors?


These are the finest CRTs still on the market. The CRTs listed here have rich colors. Some have an ergonomic design, some are compact screens to save desktop space, some have good resolution, and some have wide viewing angles of up to 160 degrees.

  • ViewSonic P95F+B 19″ CRT (P95F+B-2, Black)
  • Sony Trinitron Multiscan CPD-G200 * 17″ CRT Retro Gaming Vintage Display
  • ViewSonic PF790 Perfectly Flat 19″ CRT
  • Vintage Sony Trinitron Multiscan CPD-200ES 16″ Color CRT

How To Buy A CRT Monitor?


If you don’t know what to look for when purchasing a CRT, you may end up with one unsuitable for your needs. So, check these points before you buy a CRT monitor & choose the appropriate monitor whether you want it for work, gaming, or entertainment purposes.


Dot Pitch Of The Monitor

Please note that a CRT monitor shoots electrons at the front of the screen. A shadow mask or aperture grill has a dot pitch & the distance between wires is measured in mm. That’s what I will be talking about in a moment.

The shadow mask/aperture grill filters the electrons to create a color image. The presence of gaps in the shadow mask or aperture grill determines the level of image sharpness.


Monitor Size

It is essential to examine the dimensions of CRT monitors before buying one. 40-inch monitors are available, and most CRTs on the market have sizes ranging from 13 to 21 relatively tiny inches.

Bigger displays provide more visual information, reducing the need to scroll up and down web pages or work documents. 17 and 19 inches are the most popular sizes.


Refresh Rate

You should check the refresh rate if you use your gaming monitor. The refresh rate tells how quickly an image updates on the screen. The higher the hertz (Hz) number, the better your viewing experience.

Choose a CRT for gaming if you use it for video or gaming. A modern 120Hz or even 240Hz monitor significantly improves refresh rates, which are generally limited to 60 Hz or 75 Hz on a CRT monitor. A lower number signifies a slower screen update, which might make your images look blurry.


Resolution Of The CRT Monitor

Consider the resolution of your new monitor if you plan on using it for gaming, viewing videos, or graphic work of any kind. The higher the resolution, the better the picture quality will be.

The resolution of a CRT monitor is measured in pixels per inch. A CRT display can have a resolution ranging from 600 to 2550 pixels, both horizontally and vertically.

However, a CRT monitor’s sharpness gets determine by dot pitch, not resolution.

How To Install A CRT Monitor?

Setting up a new CRT is a simple procedure since all you have to do is to put it on desk and hook up the correct ports and cables to your computer. Just plug one cable end into your computer and the other directly into your monitor.

Your new monitor can be installed within ten minutes once your system is out of the box.

How To Clean A CRT Monitor?

A little monitor cleaning once or twice a month will keep it as good as new if the screen is covered with dust, fingerprints, and grime.

  • Before cleaning your computer, turn off the monitor & unplug the power cable. Even if your computer is off, some electrical current is still running through it; therefore, unplug its power cord before cleaning it.
  • Clean the monitor with a damp or plain water-dampened cloth.
  • Never spray or rinse the monitor with water. Never use dry clothes – they may scratch the monitor’s surface.

How To Turn A CRT Monitor Into TV?

You can convert your CRT monitor into a TV using a monitor to TV software or a cable TV box.

You can connect your monitor to your PC using VGA or HDMI cables. Connect your monitor to your TV using a cable box or TV software to display TV channels.

With this device, you can watch television on your monitor rather than on your old TV set, saving electricity costs and eliminating the need for cumbersome wires.

What Are The Common CRT Monitor Problems & Solutions?


Several CRT issues can cause monitors to show an image improperly. Cracks and spots, color discoloration, poor sound or no sound from the monitor, no picture, and so on are the most common.

Bad Sound Or No Sound

A computer monitor not producing sound or producing poor sound is usually due to faulty monitor speakers.

The speaker ports may become clogged with dust and hair, causing the speakers to burn out or become plugged if the monitor’s internal components get dirty. Clean the speakers to resolve the issue.

No Image On Screen

If your monitor displays a blank page or a dark screen, there is likely a problem with the monitor or video card input.

Make sure that all the cables are correctly connected. If your display is damaged, you must purchase a new one.


Before you purchase a CRT, check for signs of broken pixels or screen discoloration. If the monitor you choose has discoloration issues, return it immediately.

Are CRT Monitors Suitable For Gaming?

Sure, you can use a CRT computer monitor for gaming, but it is not the best. Some CRTs have a reasonable refresh rate of 60 Hz and 75 Hz, which are suitable for gaming. Monitors with this fast refresh rate will produce smoother output with less blur and jumping.

Higher-resolution CRTs are essential for gaming. The higher the resolution, the more clearly you can see things in games, like distant enemy activity. This makes games so interesting; all those smoke and fire effects.

Are CRT Monitors Suitable For Business?

Old-fashioned businesses work just fine with CRTs. However, they are bulkier and less eye-care-friendly, so if you are staring at the screen for long periods, you will need to get a flicker-free and anti-glare screen.

You may still choose to run your business on outdated models, but a CRT would be beneficial if you do.

What Is The Difference Between CRT & LCD Monitors?


When shopping for a new monitor, you will likely come across two types: CRT and LCD. Here is a list of their distinctions:

CRT Monitor

  • Affordable than LCDs
  • Easy to operate
  • Easily affect the color of objects displayed on the screen
  • More energy is needed to operate
  • Have good contrast
  • Weigh down your desk with their bulkiness

LCD Monitor

  • Thin & lightweight
  • It comes with great features such as high resolution, high refresh rate, wide viewing angles, wide color gamut
  • Great for use in high-end multimedia applications
  • Costly than CRT displays
  • Utilizes less power
  • Available in much smaller sizes than their predecessors
  • Lasts longer than their predecessors

What Is the Difference Between CRT & LED Monitors?

There is a strong concern that potential customers may need to be made aware of this latest technological breakthrough since most CRT users have upgraded to LED monitors.

CRT and LED monitors have several significant distinctions that will assist you in deciding which one is the best choice for you.

CRT monitor

  • Bulky and heavier than LEDs
  • Use an electronic gun to produce images
  • Affordable than LEDs
  • It consumes a lot of energy
  • Utilizes an old technology

LED monitor

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Costlier than CRTs
  • Produces vibrant colors
  • Utilizes Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to form images
  • Have a high resolution of up to 4k
  • Energy-efficient

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On What Is A CRT Monitor

1. What is CRT computer monitor?

A CRT is a vacuum tube that offers images when an electron beam strikes a phosphorescent surface. A computer display typically uses a CRT. The CRT in a computer display is comparable to the picture tube in a television receiver.

2. Do CRT monitors still exist?

CRT displays can still be found in many countries and are still in use. They still have many benefits described in other answers, but one of the most important is that they can produce a sharper image of a moving object than LCDs, OLEDs, or plasma displays.

3. What is the difference between LCD and CRT monitors?

CRT is known as Cathode Ray Tube, and LCD is known as Liquid Crystal Display. Although CRT is a standard display device, LCD is a more advanced technology.

4. What are CRT monitors good for?

CRTs still have advantages. Contrast ratios and refresh rates are typically better than modern LCD monitors, resulting in richer content. CRTs also provide a window into an era of media. First-person shooter fans who prefer to play FPS games on high-end CRT monitors are part of the subculture.

Summary: What Is A CRT Monitor


A cathode ray tube (CRT) is a device that produces images using electrons. An electron gun has electrons in the device with high-voltage differences.

A CRT computer monitor displays graphics by shooting electrons at red, green, and blue phosphors coated inside the screen. This method lets you produce an image on your monitor.

CRTs are old & outdated display technologies since they use a cathode ray tube. These monitors are beginner-friendly & user-friendly. 

CRT PC monitors have high contrast ratio, making dark images stand out.

CRTs are simple to operate, so even beginners can utilize them quite effectively for work, play, etc. Even though they are simple to operate, they can still be used quite effectively by advanced users.

CRTs are less costly than other computer monitors, although the average price is $50. You can buy a CRT at a computer store, online, or at your local TV station, among other places.

I hope this article on what is a CRT monitor sounds helpful!

Mark Dalio
Mark Dalio

Mark is a tech-obsessed serial entrepreneur who also enjoys reading and writing. He has a strong urge to keep learning and talking about technology, which led him to become an author. Mark has co-founded two successful startups, one of which was acquired in 2018.

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