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The computer monitor or visual display unit is the device that displays information that the computer program presents to you. It is your eye into the computer. You might ask how many types of computer monitor are there? Of course there are three types of monitors; the CRT (Cathode Ray Tube), the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), and the Plasma Display. The CRT is the oldest technology; it is your old large TV tube and is being replaced by the LCD and Plasma displays. The Plasma display is more expensive and heavier, therefore lending itself to situations that require larger displays. 

The LCD display is what you see when you look for cool computer monitors at the store. This is the most popular display technology nowadays. You will have to consider the specifications when selecting a monitor. The specs you should be concerned with are; the width, resolution, brightness, contrast ratio, response time, the interface, and the viewing angle.

The width
is the first item you look at when selecting a monitor. The first question you ask is; which one of the big computer monitors do you want? The width is measured diagonally from opposite corners. Also, think about the viewing area, sometimes there is an unused area at the edge of the display.

refers to the quality of the picture. How small are the details that you can see. This is determined by the pixel size, as well as the pixel pitch. A pixel is the smallest piece of information in an image. You will have better resolution with a smaller pixel size. The pixel pitch measures how many pixels per inch. Again, you will have better resolution with a larger number of pixels per inch.

is the amount of light that is emitted from the monitor. Think about viewing the monitor in a darkened room, and then viewing the monitor in bright sunlight. Where will you see the picture better? Which display works better in a well lighted room? You begin to see that the display with the greater brightness has the advantage. Brightness is measured in nits or candelas per square meter. Looking at the retail offerings you see that many monitors have 300 nits of brightness. This is good for most applications.

Contrast Ratio
is the ratio of the light emitted by the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black). The higher the ratio the clearer you see the image.

Response Time
is the amount of time a pixel in an LCD monitor takes to go from black to white and back to black again. It is measured in milliseconds (ms). Lower numbers mean faster transitions and less ghosting.

The Interface
is the connector and cable used to connect the computer monitor to the computer. The LCD display can use an analog VGA connection or a digital interface like DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort. DisplayPort is not readily available at this time.

The Viewing Angle
is the maximum angle at which a display can be viewed with acceptable visual performance.

With the information provided here, you should be able to go to your online computer parts store and select the monitor iconthat satisfies your requirements. Make sure you check the computer monitor ratings.

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