Comparison of display technology

Comparison of display technology

This is a comparison of various properties of different display technologies.


General characteristics

Comparison of various properties of different display technologies
Display technology Screen shape Largest known diagonal Typical use Usable in
bright room
(in) (cm)
Eidophor front projection Flat (limited only by brightness) TV No
Shadow mask CRT Spherical curve or Flat 42[1] 107 Computer monitor, TV Yes
Aperture grille CRT Cylindrical curve or Flat 42[2] 107 Computer monitor, TV Yes
Monochrome CRT Spherical curve or Flat 30[3] 76 Computer monitor, TV,
Radar display, Oscilloscope
Direct view Charactron CRT Spherical curve 24 61 Computer monitor,
Radar display
CRT self-contained rear-projection Flat lenticular 80[4] 203 TV Yes
CRT front projection Flat (limited only by brightness) TV or presentation No
Plasma display panel (PDP) Flat 152[5] 386 TV Yes
Direct view LCD Flat 108[6] 274 Computer monitor, TV Yes
LCD self-contained rear-projection Flat lenticular 70[7] 178 TV Yes
LCD front-projection Flat (limited only by brightness) TV or presentation Yes
DLP self-contained rear-projection Flat lenticular 120[8] 305 TV Yes
DLP front-projection Flat (limited only by brightness) TV or presentation Yes
LCoS self-contained rear-projection Flat 110[9] 279 TV Yes
LCoS front-projection Flat (limited only by brightness) TV or presentation Yes
Laser self-contained Rear Projection Flat lenticular 75[10] 191 TV Yes
SED Flat 55[11] 140 Computer monitor, TV Yes
FED Flat ? ? Computer monitor, TV Yes
EPD (e-paper) Flat (flexible) ? ? Electronic paper Yes
OLED Flat 40[12] 102 Computer monitor, TV, Mobile phone Yes
QDLED[13][14][15][16] N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes
IMOD Flat 1.2[17] 3 Mobile phone[18] Yes
Laser Phosphor Display (LPD) Flat / Box ? ? Computer monitor Yes
Virtual retinal display Any shape N/A N/A Experimental, possibly
virtual reality
on system
Display technology Screen shape Largest known diagonal Typical use Usable in
bright room
(in) (cm)

Temporal characteristics

Different display technologies have vastly different temporal characteristics, leading to claimed perceptual differences for motion, flicker, etc.

Sketch of some common display technologies' temporal behaviour

The figure shows a sketch of how different technologies present a single white/grey frame. Time and intensity is not to scale. Notice that some have a fixed intensity, while the illuminated period is variable. This is a kind of pulse-width modulation. Others can vary the actual intensity in response to the input signal.

  • Single-chip DLPs use a kind of "chromatic multiplexing" in which each color is presented serially. The intensity is varied by modulating the "on" time of each pixel within the time-span of one color. Multi-chip DLPs are not represented in this sketch, but would have a curve identical to the plasma display.
  • LCDs have a constant (backlit) image, where the intensity is varied by blocking the light shining through the panel.
  • CRTs use an electron beam, scanning the display, flashing a lit image. If interlacing is used, a single full-resolution image results in two "flashes". The physical properties of the phosphor are responsible for the rise and decay curves.
  • Plasma displays modulate the "on" time of each sub-pixel, similar to DLP.
  • Movie theaters use a mechanical shutter to illuminate the same frame 2 or 3 times, increasing the flicker frequency to make it less perceptible to the human eye.

See also


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