CRTs have plenty of shortcomings, and they're certainly not getting as much
good press as newer display technologies, but overall they remain the most
versatile and high quality imaging display devices available.
This article outlines their major pros and cons arranged in order of importance.
For a more detailed discussion see
What Makes a Great CRT
Testing and Evaluating CRTs.
Click Here for a Detailed Comparison of CRT, LCD, Plasma, DLP and LCoS Display Technologies
1. Resolution and Aspect Ratio
They operate at any resolution, geometry and aspect ratio without
the need for rescaling the image.
2. Highest Resolutions
CRTs run at the highest pixel resolutions generally available.
3. Black-Level and Contrast
Produce a very dark black and the highest contrast levels normally available.
Suitable for use even in dimly lit or dark environments.
4. Color and Gray-Scale Accuracy
CRTs produce the very best color and gray-scale and are the reference
standard for all professional calibrations.
They have a perfectly smooth gray-scale with an infinite number of
Other display technologies are expected to reproduce the natural
power-law Gamma curve of a CRT, but can only do so approximately.
5. Motion Artifacts
CRTs have fast response times and no motion artifacts.
Best for rapidly moving or changing images.
CRTs are less expensive than comparable displays using other
Principal CRT Disadvantages
The CRT's Gaussian beam profile produces images with softer edges that
are not as sharp as an LCD at its native resolution.
Imperfect focus and color registration also reduce sharpness.
Generally sharper than LCDs at other than native resolutions.
All color CRTs produce annoying Moiré
patterns. Many monitors include Moiré reduction, which normally
doesn't eliminate the Moiré interference patterns entirely.
3. Geometric Distortion
Subject to geometric distortion and screen regulation problems.
Also affected by magnetic fields from other equipment including other CRTs.
Relatively bright but not as bright as LCDs.
Not suitable for very brightly lit environments.
5. Screen Shape
Some CRTs have a rounded spherical or cylindrical shape screen.
Newer CRTs are flat.
CRTs give off electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields.
There is considerable controversy as to whether any of these pose
a health hazard, particularly magnetic fields.
The most authoritative scientific studies conclude that they are not
harmful but some people remain unconvinced.
They are large, heavy, and bulky.
They consume a lot of electricity and produce a lot of heat.