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.

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Early IBM PC Displays

In 1981, the IBM PC shipped with a directly attached monochrome video display standard (MDA) that rivaled a video terminal in sharpness. For color graphics, IBM designed the CGA adapter, which hooked to a composite-video monitor or the IBM 5153 display (which used a special RGB connection). In 1984, IBM introduced EGA, which brought with it higher resolutions, more colors, and, of course, new monitors. Various third-party IBM PC video standards competed with these in the 1980s -- but none won out as IBM's did.

Photos: IBM (left), Steven Stengel

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