Display Screen

A display screen is a visual output device that presents information in a visible form. It can be an image, text, or graphics. Read on to learn more about what a display screen is and the different types and their use cases.

What Is a Display Screen?

The term “display” means to show something on a screen, which is also called a monitor. Display screens are used for many purposes and are included with many devices, such as computer monitors, televisions, and instrument panels. They are available in different sizes and shapes depending upon their use and application requirements.

Types of Display Screens

CRT (Cathode-Ray Tube) 

A cathode-ray tube (CRT) display is a type of monitor that uses a focused beam of electrons to draw images on the screen. The image can be created by either using an electron gun or a laser, depending on the model. CRTs are used in television sets, computer monitors, and other devices that require video output.

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

A liquid crystal display (LCD) is a flat panel display that uses liquid crystal technology to produce images. The term “liquid crystal” refers to the way in which light passes through the crystals, or molecules, of a substance called nematic liquid crystals. 

These substances are composed of rod-shaped molecules that can be aligned by applying an electric field. When no voltage is applied, the molecules are randomly oriented and light cannot pass through them; when voltage is applied, they align themselves with the voltage and allow light to pass through them. This property makes it possible for pixels on an LCD screen to either block or transmit light depending on whether they have been given one electrical charge or another.

Compare: All About Monitors: CRT vs. LCD

LED (Light Emitting Diode) 

A light emitting diode (LED) display is a flat panel display that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as pixels to create images and text.

The most common form of LED displays are thin, lightweight panels made up of rows and columns of LEDs. These lights can be turned on or off by applying different voltage levels across an array in order to produce desired colors at each pixel location. This allows for more control over individual pixels, resulting in higher resolution and better image quality than other types of displays, such as LCDs.

OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) 

An organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display is a flat panel display that uses organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) as pixels. The technology allows for thinner, lighter displays with higher contrast and color accuracy than LCD screens. It’s also more power-efficient and can be made flexible or transparent. OLED displays are most commonly used in smartphones, tablets, TVs, laptops, and digital cameras.


A plasma display is a flat panel display that uses small cells containing electrically charged ionized gases, or plasmas. The gas in each cell is heated to the point where it becomes ionized and glows brightly when an electric field is applied across the cell. 

This technology was first developed by researchers at Westinghouse Electric Corporation’s Pittsburgh labs in 1964, but it wasn’t until 1972 that a viable commercial product was introduced under the trademarked name “Plasma Display Panel” (PDP). In 1973, RCA released its own version of this technology under the title “Chromatron.” By 1976, all major television manufacturers had added plasma displays to their product lines.


A projection display is a type of flat panel display that projects an image onto a surface rather than displaying it on the screen. The projected image can be viewed from multiple angles and distances without any loss in quality. Projection displays are used for applications such as digital signage, video walls, and home theater systems.


A touchscreen display is a computer monitor that uses touch input, typically responding to either human finger or stylus input. Touchscreens are common on portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, but they’re also used in interactive kiosks, point of sale systems, and industrial control panels. 

The touchscreen allows users to interact directly with what’s displayed on the screen by touching it instead of using a mouse or keyboard. This makes touchscreens ideal for mobile computing because users can enter data quickly without having to take their hands off the device.

VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display) 

A VFD display is a type of flat panel display that uses an array of cold-cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) to illuminate the screen. The VFD acronym stands for “vacuum fluorescent display” and was first coined by Philips in 1962 when it introduced the first of these devices. Today, the term refers to any flat panel display that employs this technology. 

In contrast with liquid crystal displays, which are backlit with white light from a lamp or LED, VFDs use red, green, and blue phosphors on each pixel to create color images. This allows them to be thinner than LCDs while still offering high resolution and brightness levels comparable to conventional CRT monitors.

Read next: A Review of Today’s Best Monitors

Shelby Hiter
Shelby Hiter
Shelby Hiter is a writer with more than five years of experience in writing and editing, focusing on healthcare, technology, data, enterprise IT, and technology marketing. She currently writes for four different digital publications in the technology industry: Datamation, Enterprise Networking Planet, CIO Insight, and Webopedia. When she’s not writing, Shelby loves finding group trivia events with friends, cross stitching decorations for her home, reading too many novels, and turning her puppy into a social media influencer.
Get the Free Newsletter
Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends & analysis
This email address is invalid.
Get the Free Newsletter
Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends & analysis
This email address is invalid.

Related Articles

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts a device's Internet access through a secure server. It is most frequently used for remote employees accessing a...

Gantt Chart

A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule and shows the dependency between tasks and the current schedule...

Input Sanitization

Input sanitization is a cybersecurity measure of checking, cleaning, and filtering data inputs from users, APIs, and web services of any unwanted characters and...

IT Asset Management Software

IT asset management software (ITAM software) is an application for organizing, recording, and tracking all of an organization s hardware and software assets throughout...


ScalaHosting is a leading managed hosting provider that offers secure, scalable, and affordable...


Human resources information system (HRIS) solutions help businesses manage multiple facets of their...

Best Managed Service Providers...

In today's business world, managed services are more critical than ever. They can...