A brief history of computer displays

From blinking lights and punch cards to LCDs and 3D flat panels, we trace the 70-year history of the tech that users rely on to see what a computer is doing.

A brief history of computer displays prev next


A Monitor Already in Every Home

With video outputs came the ability to use ordinary television sets as computer monitors. Enterprising businesspeople manufactured "RF modulator" boxes for the Apple II that converted composite video into a signal that simulated an over-the-air broadcast--something a TV set could understand. The Atari 800 (1979), like video game consoles of the time, included an RF modulator in the computer itself, and others followed. However, bandwidth constraints limited the useful output to low resolutions, so "serious" computers eschewed TVs for dedicated monitors.

Photo: Apple

Prev Next 12/20

Comments on this image

Show Comments

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?