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TFT vs CRT monitor comparison

February 02, 2008 - 11:30

Quite a lot of our customers these days go for TFT monitors when they buy their computers. Most buy their TFTs because they look better than CRT monitors and because the price differentials are much lower than what they used to be. We try our best to convey to our customers the differences between CRTs and TFTs and the specific scenarios when one is better than the other. Some times we get through and some times we don't. Here we would like to bring out the differences between the two types of monitors and their pros and cons.

Traditionally all computer monitors used to be CRT monitors which are quite similar to the CRT televisions we have in our homes. LCD monitors were only used with laptops as the price differences were quite high. However as technology advanced and the price differences between CRTs and TFTs came down it became viable to sell computers with TFT (or LCD) monitors. The display device in a CRT monitor is a cathode ray tube which is inherently bulky and power-thirsty whereas the display device in a TFT monitor is a flat array of Thin Film Transistors which makes the TFT monitors much smaller in size and also less power consuming.

The major differences between the two are

1) CRT monitors are bulky and consume a lot of table space where as TFT monitors are thin and occupy less space.

2) TFT monitors are more easy on the eyes of the viewer than CRT monitors.

3) CRT monitors have much much faster response times than TFT monitors. Response time is the time interval taken by a pixel on the screen to transit from the on state to the off state or reverse.

4) TFT monitors consume less power than CRT monitors. A typical 15" CRT monitor consumes about 100W of power whereas a corresponding TFT monitor would only consume 30W of power.

5) TFT monitors looks more elegant than CRT monitors.

6) CRT monitors tend to have much better color responses than TFT monitors. In other words CRT monitors display colors much better than TFT monitors.

Based on the above differences we can easily make certain deductions about the scenario's where each of these types of monitors are ideal.

1) You save 70W when you use a 15" TFT monitor instead of a 15" CRT monitor. This would translate to around 1 unit of electricity every 14 hours of usage. So depending on your usage patter you can see how long it would take to break even on the cost differential through energy savings. Say 1 Unit of energy costs 8 Rupees (approx 20 cents) and the cost differential is Rs 4000 (approx 100$) and you use your monitor for 10 hours every day, you will break even in around 700 working days. The equation used is simple; No of days for breaking even = ((Cost Differential/Cost per unit)*14)/(Hours used per day). Based on your usage pattern and your budget you can use the above data to make an educated decision.

2) If you are a graphics artist and you require close to realistic representation of colors you will have to go for a CRT monitor irrespective of any other factors.

3) If you are a gamer then depending on the type of games you play you will have to choose between CRT and TFT monitors. If you play very fast moving games then response times of the monitors comes into play and you might end up having to buy a CRT monitor to get a smooth gaming experience. If however you play more strategy games than action or racing games then depending your other usage patterns you can decide between either a TFT or a CRT.

4) If you have to move your residence frequently as part of your job and you have to have a desktop, then a TFT monitor would make more sense. It should be noted that a laptop would make even more sense in such cases.

5) If you are running a software development center it might be wiser to select TFTs for your software developers and CRTs for your graphics guys. If you are running any other kind of office where your computers remain on most of the day then TFTs would pay for themselves in a few years and would be the ideal choice.

6) If you are running a retail outlet a TFT would give your POS counter a more professional look and also help you save on your electricity bills.

7) Small or restricted work areas also place a default preference of TFT monitors over CRT monitors.

If you need help in deciding between a TFT monitor or a CRT monitor, do get in touch with us using the comments form below and we will try to help you in making your decision.

Post your comments / questions

Its a good and accurate comparison. Thanks

I am looking to buy a new desktop with 19" TFT. I am confused as there are many TFTs. Some people say Samsung Myst is better and some say LG is better? Can any one suggest about the model I need to choose?

What are all the things we need to consider before making a decision ?

1) Customer service of the brand
2) Cost of the product
3) Your main use and correspondingly the response times
4) Market feedback about the brand.

i'd like to know that which monitor most suited i.e TFT or crt if i using a adobe photoshop software and i also owns a photo studio ,so pls sugest me about this

regards
prashanth

Dear Prasanth,
If you are primarily going to work on editing images or graphics design, I would recommend a CRT because the color representation on CRTs and LCDs still have lot of differences.
Anoop John
Team Zyxware

In my opinion, CRT monitors are better for any kind of Graphic work, including Photoshop. But the CRT monitor should be of a good company - eg Viewsonic Graphic series.

I am using a crt monitor for gaming and want to buy a TFT monitor in place of it ; i have heard that TFT monitors with high response time is good ; so would 16ms response time would be enough according to you people?if yes , than suggest any tft panels if you can , please.

16ms is too slow. There are TFTs that has response times even upto 2ms. Check out samsung TFTs.

If we convert The DVI port of graphic card to VGA port by suitable cables.The graphics quality would degrade or not?

Any conversion using cables normally would lead to degradation of quality as the cables are not normally load matched and unnecessary connectors in between inevitably lead to signal losses. High quality active converters might not have this problem though.
Anoop John
Team Zyxware

Thanks a lot for the article you have put up. I am hard core gamer and was planning for a TFT monitor. But ur comparison helped me to get back to the CRT for good. Thanks once again.

Dear sir.
Please provides me market prices of CRT Monitors with sizes and coulours also

Thanks & Best Refards,

Syed Irfan Zaidi.

i am working is GIS(Geographic Information Systems) and Remote sensing now because of space constrin i am forced buy 22"TFT monitor but when i took decision one of fried told me that you better buy 19" TFT instead of 22" inch.Why asked he said there lot color problem is there in 22" TFT but 19" will give very good color. So i just wanted to know whether i should change my decision to go for 19"TFT or i can buy the same 22" TFT. Please advise me

Dear Saji,
We have not heard about this issue. Theoretically I don't see any reason why 22 inch TFTs would have more color problems than 19 inch TFTs. TFTs inherently do not display colors exactly as you see them on paper. I did a basic google search and nothing really came up about this. Do get your feedback from somebody who actually used a 22 inch TFT and also check out the brand. It could just have been a defective piece, I would think.
Anoop John
Team Zyxware

I own a 15 inch CRT now, TV watching is good on this, but its too small for that, i am thinking abt an upgrade, which kind of monitor will be better for TV viewing? I prefer 19 inch type.

Thanks

usually it's better to purchase only from a retail store so you can check the monitor before you buy and open it in a store to see whether it's working fine(if u can), use the web for price comparison though.
before you choose a monitor you should check it's quality first.. *display performance and so on.. if u can read about a model u need, if u want to be sure, go to some store and check it there...
if u need to sit very close to the monitor/pc, perhaps u should buy 17-19" and not 22".. (too much light/radiation), consider every situation u'll use a monitor.
i use crt, i'm pretty sick of it, but it suits me.. i had tft, 15" once.. 2 much light, poor colors(well i bought it without checking it out first).
don't buy anything blindly, don't believe anyone because they all lie.
www.hardware.info (they show u some monitor *readings)
Many models have different panels, u should check for a panel type before you purchase a specific model with an expensive panel.
there are few panel types:
most popular: TN - pretty cheap fast refresh - poor angles - less colors
S-IPS: one of the best panels
S-PVA: samsung panel, pretty good but slow refresh
MVA: another panel - slow refresh
remember!!! if u sit close - don't buy a BIG screen especially if u like it bright, u will simply die, buy a SMALLER screen (it's better for your health)
and please don't use too much white color on screen as the screen gets very bright which means it radiates more(RADIATION is NOT good for you)

What is the difference in viewing angles of CRT and TFT monitors? We're thinking of replacing our PC at home. We have a CRT monitor which has 180 degree visibility, allowing 3-4 ppl to gather around the PC to view photos/home videos. Will a TFT monitor allow even the people at the periphery to see the entire screen clearly, or is it like LCD screen, where the sides become dark/blurred depending on where you sit? What kind of monitor should we should opt for?

Thanks.

Hi,
I am a graphic designer and usually sits on pc for 8-10 hrs daily. I have eyesight problem and no. of my eyes is increasing regularly. I am pretty tensed as at my age the no. usually gets stable but my doc said tat due to pc i am having this difficulty . Can anybody suggest me whic monitor to choose so as to hve less raditations that affect my eyes. If possible please mail me your reply at purvibaj at yahoo.co in also.

Thanks

I would say that you can take a few steps
1) Part of your work in terms of layout can be done on TFTs
2) When it comes to finetuning colors you can use CRTs
3) What ever you use, take break 5-10 minutes every hour or so
4) Do some eye exercises when you take break. Search online for some good eye exercises.

Dear sir,

I am looking to buy a new moniter only becoz my work is related to design & having new one cpu.but I am not sure why not buy TFT moniter as I have (since 1999) desc top moniter size 16" (screen width) (20"corner to corner) Please suggest what is main benefit to buy TFT like sesolution,color,impact on user,ecofriendly etc.

Hello,
I have spotted your post on the zyxware website and maybe you will find my advice usefull.

If you are asking in relation to graphical design then the answer usually depends on your budget.
It is nowadays easy and cheap to buy second hand state-of-the-art CRT monitor for professional purposes.
With great color reproduction equal over all the screen surface without distortions.

Regarding TFT monitors, the market is flooded with TN type panel based monitors, which are characterized with poor color reproduction, uneven luminance, poor black and near black shades, poor contrast ratio, disastrous view angles emerging as rapid contrast drop at non 90degree angle or color shifting (from left side monitor picture appears green and from right side red).
For graphical work though the VA or IPS panel is essential doubling the price of the TFT monitor (400 pounds+ for 24" monitor at least). But it still may not be enough for professional purposes and professional TFT monitors starts from 1000 pounds for 24".

So for professionals it is mainly matter of the price.

HELLO SIR ,I AM RIGHT NOW USING SAMSUNG SYNCMASTER 591S CRT MONITOR & IT'S AROUND 15' INCH AND I AM STUDING FOR SOFTWARE ENGENEERING AND MY MONITOR IS OCCUPING 90% OF TABLE AND THINKING TO BUY A 19' TFT MONITOR AND I LOVE TO WATCH MOVIES SO I WANTED TO ASK IF I BUY A TFT MONITOR IS THERE ANY WAY TO OPTIMIZE THE VIDEO OUTPUT QUALITY AS ONE OF MY FRIEND IS USING A BENQ 19' TFT MONITOR AND IT'S GOOD BUT WHILE WATCHING A MOVIE QUALITY IS NOT SATISFACTORY THAN THAT OF CRT AND MY FRIEND TOLD ME THAT THERE IS A DVI INPUT IN HIS TFT MONITOR WHICH WHILE CONNECTING IT'S CPY TO MONITOR WILL OPTIMIZE THE VIEO QUALITY ...IS THIS TRUE?AND WHAT DO U PREFER ME TO DO? THANK YOU.

My CRT monitor is about to go after serving for about 6 yrs. It changes colours and screen comes after longtime. So I m planning to buy a new monitor.
I see the queries posted here are of sometime back. So can anyone tell me what is best now, a CRT or TFT? I m a graphic person and after going through some articles over net I m zeroing on CRT. Will it be really a good buy in todays time? I m confused!

Hello!
How are you! I am fine and I hope you also fine!
I suggest you to buy TFT monitor according to your space.you are in graphics you feel very comfortable to work with TFT monitor.It taks less power in comparison to CRT monitor.

I'm about to upgrade my 14inch CRT to a 20/22 TFT...I've narrowed the choice down to HP or Samsung...

What's confusing is...Most HPs have a VGA input,...while Samsung favour DVI and HDMI... VGA would appear to be an older system...so why would a progressive company like Hewlett Packard use it in there current models....Should I be concerned that HP use VGA, does it have disadvantages ? Would I be better off with Samsung's choice of DVI / HDMI ?... Help ,please !

note : my computer is a HP xw4300. with MS. XP.prof.

Best regards, RR.

DVI and HDMI are the future. You will have better compatibilities with more devices. I would say you should stick to that instead of going for VGA.

I want to buy a computer monitor with min. 22" size and better resolution and also planning to reuse this monitor as TV, too.

Suggest me the available range and price & feature list !!!

Contact#: +91-9427163383

Thanks for this article. I am in the process of purchasing a new machine and was advised to go for TFT but after reading this I will be going down the CRT route as I will be working with graphics packages.

Many thanks for a very informative article.

This is a great breakdown between the two monitors.

Wow that's a fantastic way to break it down. LOL I actually Googled this arguement the other day to figure out what was better and I wish I got this!
Alex

Hi !!! I am working for an organisation where i recommended replacing all CRT monitors with TFT screens. However now I am asked to show a presentation as to why and how I intend to do this replacement. I am not able to understand how to go about it.
Please help....

Hi !!! I am working for an organisation where i recommended replacing all CRT monitors with TFT screens. However now I am asked to show a presentation as to why and how I intend to do this replacement. I am not able to understand how to go about it.
Please help....

Good show... understood clearly the difference.. can u help me out for following query...

What is difference between 65nm and 45 nm processor..

Hi,

I would like to buy TFT monitor So pls suggest me the prices for about 22"-24" size of monitor.My mobile is 9823068795.

Thanks,
Nitin Bhirud.

Hi,

I would like to buy TFT monitor So pls suggest me the available range, price & feature list for about 22"-24" size of monitor!!!

Our Sales Team will contact you soon.

Team Zyxware

I need to know the full form of TFT.
TFT & LCD is same or different. How?
Kindly help me in this matter.

With Regards

Niraj Kumar

TFT stands for Thin Film Transistor!

Dear Sir
Pls suggest me for deciding, should i go for TFT or continue with CRT monitor. Right now, i m having around 70 CRT monitors in my company. If i opt for TFT, what will be the pay back period.

Regards
Gurpreet Singh

Sir,
will u please tell me the full form of crt monitor. Thank u.
Regards,
dawar

cathode ray tube monitor

Dear sir,

i am looking for a replacement of crt monitors with LCD monitors of 9" and 12.2" for industrial atmosphere.is it advisable to go for lcd's.
can your team get in touch with me.my mob no is +91-9850553689

Dalvi

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