Difference Between LCD and CRT

In today’s world, most of the information is accessed by people by displaying it on screen. And whatever is displayed on the screen takes the help of display devices. Display devices are devices that are output sources and present the information in visual form. 

In the market, there are plenty of display devices are available. They are mainly differentiated based on working mechanisms and materials used while their construction. LCD and CRT are two of the common display devices. 


The main difference between LCD and CRT is that their primary components such as liquid crystals are used in LCD whereas a vacuum tube is used in CRT. In terms of consumption of power, LCD consumes less power than CRT. Shutter effect is used in LCD or to display image use twisting of light. While CRT uses beam penetration and methods of shadow masking.


LCD is an abbreviation of liquid crystal display. It uses liquid crystals to display information and when electricity passes through it and becomes visible on screen. The display quality is better because images do not flicker and the display is much thinner. LCD can be used for both purposes including business and consumer. Smartphones, computer monitors, and televisions are common examples. 

CRT is an abbreviation of cathode ray tube. It uses a vacuum tube to produce images. Image is generated when phosphorescent surface strikes with an electron beam. The color on the screen is generated with the help of a blend of RGB (Red, Green, and Blue). In terms of size, they are much heavier and takes up a lot of space. This technology is used in traditional television and camps. 

Comparison Table Between LCD and CRT 

Parameters of ComparisonLCDCRT
InventorGeorge H. HeilmeierKarl Ferdinand Braun
Year of invention19681897
Screen sizeRange from 13 to 65 inchesLimited to 40-inches
ExpenseMore expensive than CRTLess expensive than LCD

What is LCD? 

LCD or liquid crystal display is a sort of flat panel display, and while its operation at the primary level uses liquid crystals. To produce color or monochrome images, liquid crystals use a backlight or reflector instead of emitting light directly. The LCD is energy efficient and consumes low electrical power. As a result, it can be used in electronic equipment which is powered by a battery. 

LCDs can be majorly classified into Twisted Nematic or TN, In Panel Switching displays or IPS Panels, Vertical Alignment Panels (VA Panels), and Advanced Fringe Field Switching (AFFS). Four of them are different in terms of specialty. Viewing angles, contrast ratios, and color contrasts are the basis on which they are classified. 

Several applications in the market use LCDs such as computer monitors, aircraft cockpit displays, LCD televisions, and many more. For consumer devices, LCD screens are used in watches, smartphones, and digital cameras, etc. For electronic products, it is used in video games devices and DVD players. LCD projectors use small LCD screens. 

LCDs are popular in the market due to their features including no geometric distortion, magnetic fields do not affect it, during operation it emits a small amount of heat and it is very light, compact, and thin. It also has limitations too such as more electricity consumption, loss of contrast in high temperature, motion artifacts, and white saturation. 

What is CRT? 

CRT or cathode ray tube is a specified vacuum tube that generates images. Images are generated with the help of a phosphorescent surface when an electron beam strikes it. CRTs can be color (uses three electron guns) or monochrome (uses one electron gun). There are several display modes of CRTs such as VGA, CGA, SVGA, and XGA. Among them, SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array) is the most common. 

There are majorly two types of CRT displays: random scan display and raster scan display. In which random scan display draws lines and images too in any order but shaded realistic scenes cannot be displayed. On the other hand, the raster screen display plots the prints and drawings in a particular order. Realistic displays can be seen in it. 

CRT consists of many basic elements such as anodes in which electrons are accelerated. An electron gun, an arrow beam of electrons is generated. Deflection coils produce electromagnetic fields at very low frequencies and allow adjustment of electron beam’s direction. Deflecting coils consist of two sets mainly horizontal and vertical. 

CRT has several advantages such as it is less expensive, more colors are produced, no motion artifacts, fast response time, by reflecting the light monitor’s brightness increases and high pixel resolution. It also has some limitations including consumption of a large amount of electricity, takes up space, geometrical error, and its heaviness and bulkiness. 

Main Differences Between LCD and CRT 

  1. Major components which are included in LCD are nematic liquid crystals, internal light sources, and glass plates. On the other hand, CRT consists of a phosphor screen, deflection plated, electron gun, and vacuum glass tube.  
  2. LCD lasts for 30,000 to 60,000 hours due to its backlight but the backlight is replaceable and quite expensive. CRT lasts for more than 80,000 hours which is more than LCD and Plasma
  3. In terms of display quality, images of LCD do not flicker as a result better display quality can be seen in LCD. Whereas CRT does not offer better display quality due to its image flickering problem. 
  4. LCD and CRT both can be affected by many measures. The operation of LCD can be affected in the case of extreme temperature levels whether high or low. But due to external magnetic field CRT can be affected. 
  5. When it comes to usage, LCD can be used in flat screens such as laptops, cellular phones, etc. On the flip side, CRT is used on old computer monitors and televisions. 


So, it can be concluded that LCD and CRT have one common function, which is to display on electronic devices. They both are good on their terms due to their advantages and disadvantages. But in the contemporary world LCD replaced CRT due to its dominant features.  

LCD and CRT are display devices but the only difference is that LCD is modern technology and uses liquid crystals. While CRT is an old one and uses vacuum tubes. Image flickering is common in CRT than LCD which makes display quality worse as compared to LCD. LCD consumes less power than CRT but in terms of response rate CRT is much better than LCD. 


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040609098015193
  2. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.743120
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