The technology behind the Electronic visual display

You may not know it, but the screen you are reading this from is a type of electronic visual display. An electronic visual display, more popularly known as a screen, is basically a device used to display or present materials in the form of texts, images, or videos that are transmitted electronically.

Digital Signage Infoterminal l Photo by Kriesten objekt design GmbH

The materials displayed on electronic visual displays do not produce a permanent record. This means that everything that’s displayed on an electronic visual display can be changed into anything anytime. Because of so, electronic visual displays has become the ultimate tool for modern advertising, signages, and entertainment.

As technologies continue to progress, different forms of electronic visual displays have started to appear. Interestingly enough, with each new form comes better-looking displays. Some of the most updated electronic visual displays even offer realistic videos and images that can fool the human eye.

Below, we will briefly learn about the various technologies behind each type of electronic visual display available today. By knowing about such technologies, you will be able to gain a firmer grasp as to what type of electronic visual display is best used for certain situations.

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Types of Electronic Visual Displays

As of today, the most common types of electronic visual displays include LCD, LED, and OLED screens. Each provides spectacular displays that turn smoother and more high definition every year. But how exactly did these pieces of technology come about? To find out, let us go and learn about the earlier forms of electronic visual displays before we get into the technology behind the high definition screens we know today.

  1. Cathode Ray Tube

During the 1990s, most electronic visual displays in the form of computer monitors and television sets used a piece of technology called a cathode-ray tube. The cathode-ray tube is a thick tube made out of glass. Its one end is flattened and contains phosphor coating inside. It produces images with a beam of electrons triggered by a hot metal filament that causes the phosphors at the flat end of the tube to glow.

An electronic mechanism then bends the beam and causes the glowing color to scatter across the screen. As a result, a series of visible images get “painted” on the screen. Today, Cathode Ray Tubes are considered outdated. Though they produce high-quality images, they just aren’t as efficient as LCD and LED screens.

  1. Plasma

Another type of electronic visual display that predates today’s screens is the Plasma display. It works by using a grid of tiny gas capsules that make up a screen. When triggered with electricity, the gas inside the capsules starts to glow just like an old-fashioned neon sign.

What’s great about plasma technology is that it allows for vivid colors and darker blacks. Because of its vivid display, it is deemed better than LCD screens in terms of picture quality. On the downside, plasma displays tend to be much less energy-efficient than LCD screens. Because of so, plasma screens weren’t able to succeed in current markets.

  1. Liquid Crystal Displays

Liquid Crystal Displays, or LCDs, uses crystal technology. The entire display is made of liquid crystals that can either block or transmit light. The light source, called the backlight, is placed behind the liquid crystals. When light is transmitted through the liquid crystals, thousands of colored dots start to appear in the form of an image or video. In simpler terms, the backlight is being filtered by the LCD panel to make images or videos appear on the screen.

  1. Fluorescent LCD

Fluorescent LCDs works the same way as liquid crystal displays do. The only difference is that the backlight is comprised of a fluorescent lamp. What’s great about this technological innovation is that it made LCD screens lighter and thinner. Fluorescent backlights are also less expensive and much brighter. However, it does have its fair share of cons. You see, this type of LCD screen uses mercury. Though mercury isn’t really considered a problem for household settings, people have deemed its environmental consequences quite significant. Because of so, Fluorescent LCDs lost the chance to become today’s norm.

  1. LED Displays

The LED backlight is a new technology for LCD displays. This is probably the newest innovation for the LCD screen since the fluorescent backlight. LED backlights use light-emitting diodes that are able to produce bright white light without the use of any mercury. As of today, LED displays are often used as outdoor digital signage for commercial settings.

  1. OLED Displays

As of today, OLED displays are the latest innovation to electronic visual displays since LED screens. Though the OLED display works similar to LCD displays, it doesn’t require the use of a backlight. Instead, it’s able to produce its own light. Because of so, OLED screens can be designed to be thinner than LCD screens. Moreover, since backlights consume lots of energy, its absence in OLED displays make OLED screens improve battery life in certain devices.

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