computer monitors

monitoring history

Early days in computer moniters.

The video display terminal , or VDT were a big part of the early days off monitors. The VDTs included a screen and attached keyboard linked to a larger computer they were named the "dumb terminals". "Dumb terminals" showed text in two colours usually green and black. The apple II and first gaming machines used a television CRT.



  • In 1981, IBM introduced the first PC, also known as a "three-piece computer" because the monitor, keyboard and cpu were separate, rather than earlier computer terminals, which combined the monitor and keyboard. With the PC's introduction came the Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) from IBM, allowing for four colors. The CGA allowed 320 x 200 resolution. By 1984, IBM introduced the Enhanced Graphics Adapter permitting 16 colors and a 640 x 350-pixel display.


  • By 1987 IBM began offering the Video Graphics Array as part of its new PS/2 computer system. The display technology allowed for 256 different colours and 640 x 480 resolution. Despite the appearance of newer display techniques, VGA has become a computer monitor standard. Indeed, the VGA may have become the impetus for the modern computer gaming industry as the increased colour palette made graphics possible. Up to this point, computer displays were limited to text.

  • XGA and UXGA

    • In 1990 computer display capability took a quantum leap with the Enhanced Graphics Array, or XGA. XGA permitted 16.8 million colours (with 800 x 600 resolution), offering "true colour" that compared to human sight. The human eye can detect 10 million different colours. Current computer displays used Ultra Extended Graphics Array, or UXGA. UXGA (1600 x 1200 resolution) is commonly used in 21-inch and 22-inch CRTs and LCD monitors.

    • LCDs

    Although the CRT dominated computer monitor sales since 1980, the rise of Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) has nearly ruined the venerable CRT. More than 20 years after RCA first experimented with LCDs in 1968, the price of new monitors has fallen while size increased. First developed for calculators and other small device displays, LCDs now measure 21-inches or more. In 1990 the popularity of LCD computer displays began. By 1997 LCD monitors were competing with CRTs.

The computer moniters moving on through the years.