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The most important component in the monitor is the picture tube, also called a cathode ray tube or CRT. The CRT is what makes the image that you see on the screen, and its characteristics primarily determine the quality of the image you see. A good monitor will always have a good CRT; no amount of fancy controls and other features can make up for a bad tube. In fact, the CRT defines the whole monitor so much that often the monitor is just called "the CRT".
The discussion of monitor construction and operation covers how the CRT works in general terms. This section looks at various parts and characteristics of the CRT, and also discusses some of the quality factors that manufacturers unfortunately often don't talk about.
Next: Analog and Digital CRTs