Topic Content

Output Devices
  • Monitors
  • Printers
  • Plotters
  • Voice Output Devices
  • Modems
Computer Display (Monitors)A computer display is also called a display screen or video display terminal (VDT). A monitor is a screen used to display the output. Images are represented on monitors by individual dots called pixels. A pixel is the smallest unit on the screen that can be turned on and off or made different shades. The density of the dots determines the clarity of the images, the resolution.
  • Screen resolution: This is the degree of sharpness of a displayed character or image. The screen resolution is usually expressed as the number of columns by the number rows. A 1024x768 resolution means that it has 1024 dots in a line and 768 lines. A smaller screen looks sharper on the same resolution. Another measure of display resolution is a dot pitch.
  • Interlaced/Non-interlaced: An interlaced technique refreshes the lines of the screen by exposing all odd lines first then all even lines next. Anon-interlaced technology that is developed later refreshes all the lines on the screen form top to bottom. The non- interlaced method gives more stable video display than interlaced method. It also requires twice as much signal information as interlaced technology.
There are two forms of display: cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) and flat-panel display.CRT is a vacuum tube used as a display screen for a computer output device. Although the CRT means only a tube, it usually refers to all monitors. IBM and IBM compatible microcomputers operate two modes unlike Macintosh based entirely on graphics mode. They are a text mode and a graphics mode. Application programs switch computers into appropriate display mode.A monochrome monitor has two colors, one for foreground and the other for background. The colors can be white, amber or green on a dark (black) background. The monochrome monitors display both text and graphics modes.Color MonitorsA color monitor is a display peripheral that displays more than two colors. Color monitors have been developed through the following paths.
  • CGA: This stands for Color Graphics Adapter. It is a circuit board introduced by IBM and the first graphics standard for the IBM PC. With a CGA monitor, it is harder to read than with a monochrome monitor, because the CGA (320 X 200) has much fewer pixels than the monochrome monitor (640 X 350). It supports 4 colors.
  • EGA: It stands for Enhanced Graphics Adapter. EGA is a video display standard that has a resolution of 640 by 350 pixels and supports 16 colors. EGA supports previous display modes and requires a new monitor.
  • VGA: VGA stands for Video Graphics Array. This is a video display standard that provides medium to high resolution. In a text mode, the resolution of this board is 720 by 400 pixels. It supports 16 colors with a higher resolution of 640 by 480 pixels and 256 colors with 320 X 200 pixels.
  • Super VGA: This is a very high resolution standard that displays up to 65,536 colors. Super VGA can support a 16.8 million colors at 800 by 600 pixels and 256 colors at 1024 by 768 pixels. A high-priced super VGA allows 1280 by 1024 pixels. Larger monitors (17" or 21" and larger) with a high resolution of 1600 by 1280 pixels are available. VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) has set a standard for super VGA.
Flat Panel DisplaysPortable computers such as a lap top use flat panel displays, because they are more compact and consume less power than CRTs. Portable computers use several kinds of flat panel screens:A display technology that creates characters by means of reflected light and is commonly used in digital watches and laptop computers. LCDs replaced LEDs (light emitting diodes) because LCDs use less power. LCDs are difficult to read in a strong light, because they do not emit their own light. Portable computers wanted to have brighter and easier to read displays.Backlit LCDs are used for the purpose now.
  • Backlit LCDs: This is a type of LCD display having its own light source provided from the back of the screen. The backlit makes the background brighter and clear, as a result the texts and images appear sharper. However, this still is much less clear than CRTs. Thus, better technology is needed.
  • Active Matrix LCDs: This is an LCD display technique in which every dot on the screen has a transistor to control it more accurately. This uses a transistor for each monochrome or each red, green and blue dot. It provides better contrast, speeds up screen refresh and reduces motion smearing.
Electroluminescent (EL) DisplaysA flat panel display technology that actively emits light at each pixel when it is electronic charged. This provides a sharp, clear image and wide viewing angle. The EL display type of flat panel is better than LCD.Gas Plasma DisplaysThis is also called a gas panel or a plasma panel and is another flat screen technology. A plasma panel contains a grid of electrodes in a flat, gas filled panel. The image can persist for a long time without refreshing in this panel. The disadvantages of the gas plasma displays are that they must use AC power and cannot show sharp contrast.PrintersA printer is an output device that produces a hard copy of data. The resolution of printer output is expressed as DPI. Printers can be classified into different types in several ways. First, the printers can be divided into three categories by the way they print.
  • Serial Printers: Also called a character printer. Print a single character at a time. They are usually inexpensive and slow.
  • Line Printers: Print a line at a time. They are expensive and very fast. Line printers use a band, a chain, etc.
  • Page Printers: Also called a laser printer. Print a page at a time. They usually use a laser to produce page images. Quality is best. This is a little bit expensive, but the price of the personal laser printer is decreasing. The price range of the personal laser printer is around $400, today.
Second, printers can be classified into two forms according to the use of a hammer.
  • Impact Printers: Hammer hits ribbons, papers or print head. Dot-matrix and daisy-wheel printers are the example. Noisy.
  • Nonimpact Printers: They do not have the hammer and do not hit. An example is an ink-jet and laser printer.
Another classification can be made by the way they form characters.
  • Bit-Mapped Printers: Images are formed from groups of dots and can be placed anywhere on the page. They have many printing options and good printing quality. They use PostScript as a standard language for instructing a microcomputer.
  • Character-based Printers: Printer print characters into the lines and columns of a page. These printers use predefined set of characters and are restricted in position of characters.
Microcomputers use five kinds of printers. They are daisy wheel printers, chain printers, dot-matrix printers, ink-jet printers, and laser printers.Daisy-Wheel is a printer mechanism that uses any kind of hub (wheel) having a set of spokes at the margin of the hub. The wheel can be removed to use a different character set. The end of each spoke is a raised image of a type character. When the wheel is turned and the required character is aligned to the print hammer, the character is then struck into a ribbon and onto a paper with the hammer.Daisy-Wheel Printer prints typewriter-like very high quality characters. However, they are slower and less reliable than dot-matrix printers. Microcomputer users seldom use this printer, because the better dot-matrix printers and inexpensive laser printers are available today.Chain Printerchain printer uses a printing mechanism that uses character typefaces linked together in a chain. The chain spins horizontally around a set of hammers aligned with each position. When the required character is in front of the selected print position, hammer in that position hits the paper into the ribbon against the character in the chain.This printer is not commonly found around microcomputers, because it is a very expensive, high-speed machine designed originally for mainframes and minicomputers. Chain printers are very reliable and can speed up to 3000 lines per minute.Dot-Matrix PrinterDot-matrix printers are printers that write characters and form graphic images using one or two columns of tiny dots on a print head. The dot hammer moving serially across the paper strikes an inked-ribbon and creates images on paper.Dot matrix printers are popular printers used with microcomputers, because the printers are highly reliable and inexpensive. They are used for tasks where a high-quality image is not essential. Many users, however, move from dot printers to laser printers, because the price of laser printers is falling down. Several kinds of dot matrix printers are available with print heads that have 7, 9, 18, or 24 pins.Ink-Jet PrinterInk-jet is a printer mechanism that sprays one or more color of ink at high speed onto the paper and produces high-quality printing. This printer also produces color printing as well as high-quality image. That is, ink-jet printers can be used for variety of color printing at a relatively low cost. Ink-jet printing has two methods: Continuous stream method and drop-on- demand method.Laser Printerlaser printer is a printer that uses the electrophotograpic method used in a copy machine. The printer uses a laser beam light source to create images on a photographic drum. Then the images on the drum are treated with a magnetically charged toner and then are transferred onto a paper. A heat source is usually applied to make the images adhere.In 1984, Hewlett-Packard introduced the first desktop laser printer, called the LaserJet. The laser printer revolutionized personal computer printing and has spawned desktop publishing.The laser printer produces high-resolution letters and graphics quality images, so it is adopted in applications requiring high-quality output. Although a high-priced color laser printer is also available in the market, a less expensive, desktop gray scale laser printer is widely used. Recently, the laser printer is gaining its market share dramatically, mainly because the lowered price and the quality.Plottersplotter is a special-purpose output device that draws images with ink pens. That is, the plotter is a graphics printer for making sophisticated graphs, charts, maps, and three-dimensional graphics as well as high-quality colored documents. It can also produce larger size of documents.Plotters require data in a vector graphics format that can produce images with a series of lines. There are two main types of plotters:
  • Drum Plotter: This is a plotter that has a drum. A paper wraps the drum that rotates to produce plots. Pens in a drum plotter move across the paper while the drum is turning. A drum plotter is usually used to produce smaller drawings.
  • Flatbed Plotter: This is a plotter that has a bed. This is also called a table plotter. The plotter draws graphics on the paper placed on the bed. There are several size of beds. This plotter is usually used for producing large drawings.
Voice-Output DevicesThis device produces a human speech like sound, but actually is prerecorded vocalized sounds. Voice output is used in the telephone information system, where the requested number is reported using a voice output system.For example, when a student enrolls courses using a telephone registration system, he or she hears voice output upon your request. Voice output is becoming common in voice messaging systems.ModemAnother form of the output device is a modem. A modem is short for "MOdulator-DEModulator." Modulation is the process of converting from digital to analog. Demodulation is the process of converting from analog to digital. The modem enables digital microcomputers to send output through analog telephone lines. Both voice and data can be carried over through the modem. The modem is not only an output device but also an input device that receives data and voice through a communication channel.An output device is any peripheral device that converts machine-readable information into people-readable form such as a monitor, printer, plotter and voice output device.

Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT)

Monochrome Monitors

Liquid-Crystal Displays (LCDs)

Daisy-Wheel Printer


No comments: