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"Standard Monitor technology is based around a single tube in the back of the monitor dubbed the Cathode Ray Tube..."

How it all works

Standard Monitor technology is based around a single tube in the back of the monitor dubbed the Cathode Ray Tube, or CRT. Almost all monitors use this tube, with the exception of flat-screen monitors, commonly found on laptops. The Cathode heats up intensely, and begins to defoliate electrons. The CRT is lined with a phosphorous material that emits light when it is struck with electrons. The material is arranged in the form of millions of tiny cells, or dots if you will. If you were to look very closely at your monitor with some magnification involved, you could see all these dots. Towards the back of the monitor sit three electron guns, which shoot streams of electrons at the screen. These guns start at the very top of the screen and quickly scan from left to right. Once they reach the right end of the monitor, they drop down one row and repeat the operation. This is repeated until the whole screen is drawn. While sounding somewhat slow, this operation draws the whole screen in a fraction of a second. Each of the three electron guns controls the display of a color, red, green, and blue. This way, the full rainbow of colors is available. The CRT surface only glows for a split second before it begins to fade, requiring the screen to be constantly redrawn many times per second to avoid having the screen flicker as it fades and is redrawn.

The electron guns shoot the streams through a lens dubbed the Elliptical Aperture lens. Like the lens of a camera, it can be focused to make a sharper image. Even though monitors ship focused for sharpness, aging of the monitor can cause the lens to move slightly and become out of focus. This is what causes a monitor to become blurry, and lose its original crisp look.


Opening your monitor can be potentially dangerous to the monitor, as well as to you. Monitors have strong electric current running through them and can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly. We do not recommend opening your monitor casing, and changing the settings inside. Only professionals who have experience in monitor repair should touch the inside of a monitor. This article is for informational purposes only, if you do decide to open your case, please be extreme careful, as we are not responsible for any damages caused by not heeding this warning.

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