Which LED screen is good


Monitor: definition and explanation of terms

In simple terms, a monitor is a screen that is primarily intended for use on a personal computer (PC). In the course of time, numerous terms for a display have been used in everyday language. Mainly, additional information was appended to the noun monitor to determine the type of device. The following terms are common for the term monitor: Computer, PC, CRT, tube, TFT, LED monitor, screen or flat screen. The English terms display or flat screen have also established themselves in the German vocabulary.

Contemporary history: from computer terminal to 8K monitor

At the beginning of the 1970s, the first computer terminals such as the IBM-3270 or VT-100 appeared, which made punch cards and tapes disappear from the market. As a rule, monochrome screens with a resolution between 240 and 350 characters and a frame rate of 50 or 60 Hz were used. The pioneers Wozniak and Felsenstein in this area installed such video terminals in computers (Apple I and Sol-20). In 1976 these were the first factory-made monitors.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the first composite video monitors made their way to the home desk. The highlight of the time was the Commodore 1702, which used the S-Video interface to connect the screen to the PC. With the beginning of the personal computer revolution, manufacturers such as Apple and Commodore began producing monochrome or color video display devices for home computer systems. These devices were considered to be particularly advantageous because most of these models could be used universally on different PC systems. In 1985, IBM introduced the first MultiSync monitor that supported different resolutions. In 1987, IBM made a big hit with the VGA standard. Almost every analog screen or interface is based on VGA and the 15-pin connection to this day.

By the mid-1990s, almost all CRT monitors were beige, and sizes were between 14 and 21 inches. Today, however, the color black dominates the optics. Around the turn of the millennium (2000) the triumph of flat screens began, which has continued to this day. Today, TFT monitors are considered the standard in the IT industry, which are available in almost every imaginable size and format such as 1: 1, 4: 3, 16: 9, 16:10 or 21: 9, to name just a few. are available. The resolution and thus the displayable image points (pixels) has also increased steadily. From HD to Full HD to Ultra HD 1 (4K) or even Ultra HD 2 (8K), the resolution is getting finer and finer and the performance demands on a graphics card ever greater.

Flat screen monitors and their terminology: What is the difference between LCD, TFT and LCD?

Terms such as TFT, LCD, LED, IPS, TN or MVA in combination with the word monitor can be found in articles or product descriptions. For many readers this is simply barely understandable, especially since several of these terms can apply equally to a single flat screen.

LCD stands for "Liquid Crystal Display" and is, so to speak, the umbrella term for various technologies. TFT means "Thin Film Transistor" and is the name for a special LCD technology. To put it simply, one can say that practically all flat screens currently available on the market, but also televisions, work with LCD TFT technology. The word creation LCD monitor is actually wrong, as the word includes both display and monitor. LC display would be the correct spelling here.

Current flat screens are also often referred to as LED monitors. However, this only means that these displays use light-emitting diodes (LED) as background lighting. LEDs have the advantage of being energy-saving, generating less heat and allowing the models to be built more flat. Today, the majority of all displays on the market are likely to be equipped with LED technology. The CCFL lighting fixtures (fluorescent tubes) used before LED technology are disappearing from the market and are in fact no longer relevant. So, in simple terms, it can be said that almost every screen is an LCD-TFT-LED monitor. The only exception here are the models with OLED technology, which do not have a backlight. However, so far there have only been initial attempts to establish displays with organic light-emitting diodes, which have failed mercilessly. OLED has to struggle with burn-in effects, and at least at the moment this is still a knockout criterion for the introduction of flat screens with OLED technology on the market.

The terms IPS, MVA and TN monitors already mentioned above refer to the currently most widespread panel technologies and represent actual differences in the image display on a screen. These technologies differ, for example, in terms of price, contrast values, viewing angle and Response times. The design and display type of an LC display are referred to as a panel.

The right monitor for the right application

Depending on the application, a suitable flat screen must be selected. With a gaming display, the main focus is on the image build-up time in connection with a sharp and smooth display thanks to a high frame rate in combination with technologies such as FreeSync or G-Sync. A curved solution can improve the immersive gaming experience. For an office monitor, on the other hand, the focus is on image display with stable viewing angles in combination with extensive ergonomic functions. A graphics monitor has the right to display an absolutely color-stable image, even in an extended color space, and can usually be hardware-calibrated. A display from this area is fully suitable for electronic image processing (EBV) and prepress. With a video display, in addition to a high-contrast panel, the signal processing is particularly important, so that these models can also display half images (1080i) or the standard format for cinema films (24p) perfectly and without judder. An all-round screen, on the other hand, covers all areas without being considered an expert in any one discipline. As a rule, one has to decide on image quality or speed when choosing a display. A flat screen that is an expert in all sub-areas has unfortunately not yet been presented.

For some years now, another decision has been made, because the current flat screens are flat or curved. The curved version is called a curved monitor. The wider a display, the more sense a curved solution makes.


The different terms that are used to describe a screen should no longer cause you a question mark. You can find out which display is right for you and which panel technology, which resolution or which image format is most suitable for you in our monitor purchase advice. The best screens with recommendations from the editors can be found in our Monitor Top10 best lists. In any case, satisfaction only arises when you have selected a model that also fits the purpose for which you have purchased a monitor.

PRAD has been dealing with flat screens since 2002 and has tested numerous models in recent years. You can find our extensive monitor test reports in the Test & Purchase Advice section. For individual purchase advice when purchasing a display, use our monitor purchase advice in our forum.

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... is the managing director of PRAD ProAdviser GmbH & Co. KG and also editor-in-chief of PRAD. In March 2002 he put the website Prad.de online with a focus on display technology. In his private life he is an absolute serial junkie and Netflix fan.