Common LCD Monitor Issues

In recent years the type of computer monitor you have on your desk has undergone a sea change. CRT monitors used to be the most common monitors everyone had, and only those who were on the cutting edge, had flat screen or LCD monitors.

What exactly is an LCD monitor? LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. When you apply an electrical charge to a liquid crystal you are changing the molecular structure of the crystal. Take away the electrical charge, the crystal returns to its original state.

To produce and image on an LCD screen, you have hundreds of thousands of these crystals sandwiched between a backlight, and a thin film containing millions of translucent dots of red, green and blue. Press on an LCD screen (gently please) and you can see evidence of this thin film.

LCD monitors do have the occasional issue. One would be stuck pixels, and dead pixels. You are working away at your computer, and you happen to notice a small black spot on your monitor. You refresh your screen, and it is still there. What is happening here is that either one pixel, or a series of pixels had reverted to the “off” state. This is a considered a dead pixel.

If you have a spot that is red, blue or green, and does not change, this is an example of a stuck pixel. What has happened is that one of the sub elements has failed and is left in the “on” state. If the stuck pixel is white, then all sub elements have failed.

There is a school of thought that you can “revive” a stuck or dead pixel by placing a cloth over the area in question and taking the tip of a pen or a stylus from a PDA, and either gently rubbing or tapping it. Proceed with this fixe at your own risk, and only if your warranty is expired.

Another issue with LCD monitors is the viewing angle. If you are sitting right in front of the monitor, you will likely enjoy a great picture on the monitor. However if you are not in a good direct line of sight, such as viewing from the side the color can wash out, or look a bit faded.

LCD Monitors have a plastic film on the surface, and as such can become scratched. If you have a scratched LCD screen, one method that has been reported as having limited success is to first make sure to clean your LCD screen with a microfiber cloth, and then to apply a bit of Vaseline on the screen. Wipe off the excess with the microfiber cloth, and the scratch should not be as noticeable.

One last potential issue that should be discussed regarding LCD monitors is the old problem that those who have been around computers for any length of time will remember is image burn in. While this issue was more common with CRT screens, image burn in can happen with LCD screens that have static graphics on display for long periods of time.

Unlike the CRT screens, there may be a solution to the problem with LCD screens. If you have noticed an image burn in, try turning off the screen for several hours, and perhaps even a day or two if possible. The image should disappear.

The best solution however, is to prevent burn in from occurring in the first place. Set your monitor to shut down after the computer is idle for a certain period of time.

LCD Monitors do have some issues, but in the long run save you space on your desktop, and with care can last a long time.


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