General Technology FAQ's

How do the terms VGA, SVGA ect. relate to screen resolution?
The following are the screen resolutions primarily associated with the most popular display mode acronyms:

Video mode / Screen resolution
CGA / 320 x 200
EGA / 640 x 350
VGA / 640 x 480
SVGA / 800 x 600
XGA / 1024 x 768
WXGA / 1280 x 768
SXGA / 1280 x 1024
UXGA / 1600 x 1200

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What are Flat Panel LCD monitors?
A flat panel LCD monitor is a complete, packaged informational display solution that's ready to operate out of the box. General features include operation from standard power sources world wide and direct analog connect video (VGA, SVGA, VESA) without special drivers or modifications
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How do flat panel LCD monitors differ from CRT ?
Size, weight and power are all reduced substantially with the use of a flat panel LCD monitor. Magnetic emissions and x-rays are also greatly reduced or eliminated. They are similar in that both operate from the standard video port on pc systems, draw power from standard line voltages and display a high resolution, bright clear flicker free image.
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Why do LCD monitors cost more than a similar desk top CRT monitor?
The primary reason of the cost delta is volume. World-wide CRT volume is measured in tons of glass used. Flat panel display volume is measured in single units sold. CRT monitors have been in volume production for several decades. The flat panel displays have only recently achieved any type of volume and, as such, similar economies of scale have not been achieved. There are many items effecting the overall cost of an LCD monitor but the single biggest contributor is the flat panel display element and its addressing electronics. The cost of these is decreasing due to advances in their manufacture and their volume usage in laptops. The outlook is still for a price premium for the flat panel LCD version, but, over time, the savings over a CRT monitor in reduced power, and maintenance should bring them close in the end.
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What are the different technologies available?
Monochrome passive LCD, color active matrix LCD are the primary types. Other types available are Electroluminescent (EL), and Plasma.
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Monochrome versus Color?
The choice between monochrome and color is usually a choice of economics. Monochrome displays are generally passive devices and are less expensive than Active Matrix TFT color displays. If there is a minimum of graphics, such as text only applications, and viewing angle is less important than cost, passive monochrome is an acceptable choice. Electroluminescent displays are "active" monochrome and thus offer little, if any, savings over AM-TFT color displays. Monochrome is a black and white or single color representation of the intended display image. This is achieved by using shades of gray to provide various contrasts to render a interpretation of the original image. This is the same as a black and white TV image in regard to "shading" colors. In data type applications on PC systems the number of shades is usually 16 but most applications can be created with fewer.
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Can a Flat Panel Monitor be used anywhere a CRT Monitor can? Vice-versa?
Yes a flat panel LCD monitor can be used in any environment that a CRT will operate in. But, without special modification or hardening of the CRT, the reverse is not true. . Examples of applications where a standard CRT will have difficulty operating are: High magnetic fields found around furnaces for melting metals where the magnetic fields from the furnace will render the CRT image useless. Dusty environments where the dust will enter the CRT housing heat vents and cause damage. Clean rooms, this is due to the electrostatic charge generated by a CRT attracts dust to the unit, not a desired effect in a clean room. Flat panel LCD monitors and terminals operate in these environment without special modifications.
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What is the difference between a monitor and a terminal?
Monitors require refreshing from the host computer's video system. This is a continuous signal at speeds in the radio frequency spectrum.. Because of this speed monitors are great for lots of graphics fast screen changes, video and animation images. Terminals operate via a data communication method where a command is sent to the terminal unit and there it is interpreted and displayed. Often this is a two way communication through the use of a keyboard or touch screen. The speed of the data can be very slow or fast depending on hardware , distance and environment noise. Most often terminals present text and simple graphics , but very complex images can be rendered on them as well.
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What is a touch screen?
A touch screen is a transparent device integrated into the monitor (or terminal) that allows the operator to interface with the computer by simply touching the image displayed on the screen. When the operator touches the screen a signal is generated that identifies the location of the touch relative to the screen image. This information can then be interpreted and acted on. Touch screen applications are very common on flat panel LCD monitors. StarPanel's standard touch screens use resistive touch overlays. Resistive touch technology is cost effective, rugged, and offers touch resolution down to the individual pixel.
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