Picking the wrong monitor and video card can mean daily headaches if you're constantly in front of a computer. But what to look for? In this first part of chapter 15 of Scott Mueller's Upgrading and Repairing PCs (16th ed., Que, ISBN 0789731738), learn about everything video, starting with the most visible part of a PC, the monitor.
Along with the mouse and keyboard, the video display is a vital part of the user interface of any computer. Actually, it is a latecomer to computing; before CRT monitors came into general use, the teletypewriter was the standard computer interface—a large, loud device that printed the input and output characters on a roll of paper. The first CRT displays used on computers were primitive by today's standards; they displayed only text in a single color (usually green), but to users at the time they were a great improvement, allowing real-time display of input and output data. Over time, color displays were introduced, screen sizes increased, and LCD technologies moved from the portable computer to the desktop. The latest trends, large-screen plasma displays and LCD/DLP projectors, reflect the increasing convergence of entertainment and computer technologies exemplified by developments such as Windows XP Media Center PCs.
Today, PC video displays are much more sophisticated, but you must be careful when selecting video hardware for your computer. A slow video adapter or monitor can slow down even the fastest and most powerful PC. Incorrect monitor and video adapter combinations can also cause eyestrain or be unsuitable for the tasks you want to accomplish.
The video subsystem of a PC consists of two main components:
Monitor (or video display). The monitor can be a CRT or an LCD panel for desktop use, or a wide-screen LCD TV, plasma display, or projector using LCD or DLP technology.
Video adapter (also called the video card or graphics adapter). On many recent low-cost desktop systems and virtually all portable systems, video might be built into the motherboard or included as part of this motherboard's chipset.
This chapter explores the range of PC video adapters on the market today and the displays that work with them. The remainder of this section covers the various types of display technologies.
Note -The term video, as it is used in this context, does not necessarily imply the existence of a moving image, such as on a television screen. All adapters that feed signals to a monitor or other display are video adapters, regardless of whether they are used with applications that display moving images, such as multimedia or videoconferencing software.
This chapter is from Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 16th edition,by Scott Mueller. (Que Books, 2004, ISBN: 0789731738). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.
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