I was at college this evening and our lecturer mentioned he was after buying a new monitor which he’d mainly use for gaming. I suggested he go with at least a 19″ TFT with a response time of less than 12ms (or I would have, if I could have got a word in edge-ways). Someone else in the class said that any type of CRT, preferably iiyama, was the way to go and that TFT’s were inferior. Full stop.

Now I have to say I’m biased. The majority of machines I use now have TFT’s. My home setup consists of 19″ Benq FP937s and an oldish 17″ Samsung CRT, which acts as a second display. At work I use a laptop connected to a 17″ Dell TFT. All our other workstations are laptops or have TFT’s attached.

The above person continued that they could easily tell the difference between a CRT and TFT when playing games. Now I suspect I play a lot more computer games than they do and I can’t tell the difference. Quake et al are excellent and World of Warcraft looks superb. In fact I think they look better on a TFT. If you use a DVI output on a TFT (which I do at home) the picture looks even better. They cited ghosting as a problem, but thats a thing of a past. You can get TFT’s now with single figure response times and any with a 12ms or less response time doesn’t suffer from it. 

If you’re a graphic designer or someone who needs an incredibly detailed display then a CRT is still best, but for anything else I can’t see the logic in buying a CRT anymore. Thats about the only plus point a CRT has, a sharper picture and slightly better colours. The latter point of which is debatable!

TFT’s are a damn sight smaller, consume less power, don’t suffer from glare, have brighter pictures and cause less, if any, eye strain. I know several people who switched from CRT to TFT, who previously would get headaches after sitting in front of CRT’s for long periods, due to the way the screen refreshes, and now no longer have any problems.

With a TFT you also get more screen real estate. A 17″ TFT really is 17″ diagonally across, where as a 19″ CRT is approximately 17.7″. You actually lose space with a CRT! Oh and whilst I’m venting, its totally pointless mentioning viewing angles. Yes, a CRT is better than a TFT for this, but who the hell sits at an angle to their monitor anyway? I mean, really…</rant over>

I think what annoyed me most was the said persons stubbornness. In no shape or form did TFT’s have any better qualities than a CRT as far they were concerned. Oh well, someone people you just can’t talk to, I guess they enjoy replacing the valves in their steam powered computer.

By Paul

One thought on “Odd discussion about TFT vs CRT”
  1. My hobby is digital Imaging & use a Belinea 10 30 52 which I run @ 1600X1200 res, & @ 75 Hz refresh rate. No TFT can match this as even a 19″ can only display 1.3Mb res. With 6Mp photos. You would need to do a lot of scrolling with a TFT to display @ 100% which every Photo needs to be able to see all defects. The CRT display is rock steady with 32 bit colour. If TFTs are that good why did Microsoft invent `Clearfonts` to aid visibility. Download a few printer test files to compare colours & sharpness.

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