What is a CRT?

CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube.

CRT is the traditional technology used for televisions and computer monitors. It preceded the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and plasma technologies that are now being used on new models.

Technically speaking, CRTs are vacuum tubes. Images are created when a beam of electrons scans back and forth across the back of a phosphor-coated screen.

LCD and plasma screens are slimmer and usually lighter than a CRT.

But will never be as good for uniform picture brightness and colour. The resolution (horizontally anyway) will never but that of a CRT.

The cathode ray tube (CRT) is an evacuated glass envelope containing an electron gun (a source of electrons) and a fluorescent screen, usually with internal or external means to accelerate and deflect the electrons. When electrons strike the fluorescent screen, light is emitted.

The electron beam is deflected and modulated in a way which causes it to display an image on the screen. The image may represent electrical waveforms (oscilloscope), pictures (television, computer monitor), echoes of aircraft detected by radar, etc.

The single electron beam can be processed in such a way as to display moving pictures in natural colors.

The generation of an image on a CRT by deflecting an electron beam requires the use of an evacuated glass envelope which is large, deep, heavy, and relatively fragile (this has earned it the nickname "Fishbowl"). The development of imaging technologies without these disadvantages has caused CRTs to be largely displaced by flat plasma screens, liquid crystal displays, DLP, OLED displays, and other technologies.

An exception to the typical bowl-shaped CRT would be the flat CRTs used by Sony in their Watchman series (the FD-210 was introduced in 1982). One of the last flat-CRT models was the FD-10A. The CRT in these units was flat with the electron gun located roughly at right angles below the display surface thus requiring sophisticated electronics to create an undistorted picture free from keystoning and the like.