What is a Monitor?

Decades ago, only television was used as a source of entertainment. Later both devices, a TV and a monitor, underwent major innovations, procuring the features of one another and becoming more versatile. These transformations allowed monitors to be used for entertainment, previously whose sole purpose of creation was to do the processing. The tale does not sum up here; there is much more to the spotlight about what is a monitor. Various expressions are used to describe this PC element, like Video Display Terminal (VDT), Video Display Unit (VDU), and simply as a computer screen or display device.

Its names appropriately indicate the function the element is doomed to perform. This screen works as an output device that qualifies the computer to display its functions in a visual form that users can see, read or write. This format will be in video, audio, pictures, and text form. The overall structural composition of a monitor includes circuitry, buttons to adjust display aspects, a power supply, and a visual display packed inside a case. Modern sets of monitors and television are now multiskilled and allow convertible use. However, you may require additional components like speakers and TV Tuners while using a monitor as a television.

Because, unlike a TV set, PC monitors do not come with these preconfigured tools. Some preceding technologies used to manufacture earlier computer monitors and TVs included Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT), gas plasma, and fluorescent displays. But in today’s arena, these methods are behind the times and replaced by more charismatic and sophisticated apparel. Modern monitors have shed off the cloak of Cold-Cathode fluorescent lamp backlighting and garbed the flat-panel display attire supplemented with Light-Emitting Diodes (LED). Substantial changes in a monitor aspect ratio have also been part of product improvements which started from 4:3 and now have settled over 16:9.

When was the first computer monitor invented?

The formerly named Visual Display Units (VDP) have remarkably progressed since the inception of the first computer monitor back in 1973, March 1. It was introduced as an ingredient of the Xerox Alto computer system.

What are the different types of monitors?

Variations in technology create a clear line of difference among monitors and classify them into distinct categories. The primitive type of monitors relies on the same Cathode-Ray Tube technology employed in earlier TV sets. It uses a gun to spit out a beam of electrons and carve an image on the screen. On the other end, the modern class known as flat-panel monitors is more efficient than CRTs, requiring less work space and power. They do not indulge in producing harmful radiation and are costly options to buy. Further, two types of technologies are used to compose flat-panel monitors: Liquid-Crystal Display (LCD) and Gas Plasma Display.

Why is a monitor an output device?

We label monitor an output device as its sole purpose is to procure inputs from other PC modules and exhibit the information as output. It is not preloaded with a single feature that you can use to insert any input advice. However, a trend shift has transformed how we have looked at monitors for so long. The latest operating systems with touch screens like laptops, smartphones, PCs, and tablets, have marked monitors as both input and output devices. The reason is that touch screens allow you to input instructions using fingers. However, a monitor with no such capabilities is merely an output device and nothing else.

Can a computer work without a monitor?

Yes. It can. But you would not get to know what activities your computer is performing as there would be no component to display them. The computer comprises many elements besides a monitor, including input devices, a processor, memory, and storage gadgets sufficient to bid instructions and process them. However, without an output device that could be a monitor or any other tool, users can not interconnect with the operating interface. A display screen is a mandatory tool to pass on to users what is happening inside a computer, though the language and format are different yet understandable.

Types of monitor connections

PC monitors employ different connectors to interlink with a computer. These include DVI, VGA, HDMI, USB-C, Thunderbolt, and Display port. However, you can avail video adapters that can metamorphose one connector type to the other. Which type of connector you must use to link a monitor with the computer is subject to the duties you wish to accomplish.


Now that we better understand what is a monitor let’s conclude this discussion. The designation of a monitor is not new to computer operators since the product has been an intrinsic part of a PC for a long time. It obtains orders from the input devices such as the keyboard and displays the processing results of a CPU on the display screen. As the gadget depicts results in pictures and text format and does not bid orders to other elements, it is called an output device. It requires two connections to be part of a personal computer, one to the power supplying unit and the other with a motherboard using one of the available connectors.