History of display technology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Electrically operated display devices have developed from electromechanical systems for display of text, up to all-electronic devices capable of full-motion 3D color graphic displays. Electromagnetic devices, using a solenoid coil to control a visible flag or flap, were the earliest type, and were used for text displays such as stock market prices and arrival/departure display times. The cathode ray tube was the workhorse of text and video display technology for several decades until being displaced by plasma, liquid crystal (LCD) and solid-state devices such as LEDs and OLEDs. With the advent of microprocessors and microelectronic devices, many more individual picture elements ("pixels") could be incorporated into one display device, allowing graphic displays and video.

History[edit]

One of the earliest electronic displays is the cathode ray tube (CRT), which was made commercial in 1922. The CRT consists of an electron gun that forms images by firing electrons onto a phosphor-coated screen. The earliest CRTs were monochrome and were used primarily in oscilloscopes and black and white televisions. The first commercial colour CRT was produced in 1954.[1] CRTs were the single most popular display technology used in television sets and computer monitors for over half a century; it was not until the 2000s that LCDs began to gradually replace them.

A derivative of CRTs were storage tubes, which had the ability to retain information displayed on them, unlike standard CRTs which need to be refreshed periodically. In 1968, Tektronix introduced the Direct-View Bistable Storage Tube, which went on to be widely used in oscilloscopes and computer terminals.[2]

Cathode ray tube[edit]

Main article: Cathode ray tube

Monochrome CRT[edit]

1922 Monochrome cathode ray tube:

Dual trace, showing different time bases on each trace.

Color CRT[edit]

1954 Color cathode ray tube for the display of color television:[1]

19" inch (48.3 cm tube, 45.9 cm viewable) ViewSonic CRT computer monitor.

Direct-View Bistable Storage Tube[edit]

1968[2] The Direct-View Bistable Storage Tube CRT retains static information displayed upon it, written using a steerable electron beam that can be turned off. In principle the DVBST is similar to an Etch-a-Sketch, and was used in vector displays of early computers and in oscilloscopes.

Tektronix 4014 with a "DVBST" storage display screen

Flip-flap/disc display[edit]

1957 Split-flap display:
Fallblattanzeigetafel ausschnitt ffm hbf.jpg

1961 Flip-disc display:

Flip-Dot-Display

Monochrome plasma display[edit]

1964 Monochrome plasma display:

Plasma displays were first used in PLATO computer terminals. This PLATO V model illustrates the display's monochromatic orange glow as seen in 1988.

Light-emitting diode[edit]

1968 Light-emitting diode:

LED destination displays on buses, one with a colored route number.
Outdoor 4 x 3 m large LED screen in Jelgava, Latvia.

Eggcrate display[edit]

1968 Eggcrate display

Vacuum fluorescent display[edit]

1967 Vacuum fluorescent display as used in consumer electronics.

Vacuum fluorescent display used in a videocassette recorder.
VFD raster display

Twisted nematic field effect LCD[edit]

1971 Twisted nematic field effect LCD [3] [4]

DTV-LCD-MOD.jpg

Super-twisted nematic LCD[edit]

1984 Super-twisted nematic display (STN LCD) to improve passive-matrix LCDs, allowing for the first time higher resolution panels with 540x270 pixels.

Prototype Brown Boveri STN LCD with 540x270 pixels

Pin screen[edit]

Pin screen:

Pin art, Flickr.jpg

1969 Braille display:[5]
Refreshable Braille display

Thin film transistor LCD[edit]

1986 Color Thin film transistor liquid crystal display:[6]

An ASUS Eee PC netbook.

Full-color plasma display[edit]

1995 Full-color plasma display:[7]

A Samsung PN50B450 50-inch Plasma HDTV, an example of a modern Plasma television.

Organic light-emitting diode[edit]

2003 Organic light-emitting diode display (OLED) [8]

Sony XEL-1, the world's first OLED TV

2003 Active-matrix OLED (AMOLED):[9]

Electronic paper[edit]

2004 Electronic paper:[10]

iLiad E-book reader equipped with e-paper display
iLiad in sunlight

Electroluminescent display[edit]

1974 Electroluminescent display (ELD):[11]

Stroboscopic display[edit]

1960s Stroboscopic display:[12][13] In the 1960s RASA Calculator (Russian), a small motor spins a cylinder that has rings of transparent numerals. Each ring makes one digit of the calculator's display. The numbers from zero to nine are in each ring. To display a numeral, the calculator briefly flashes a light behind it.

See also[edit]

References[edit]