Softcopy output devices produce visual or sound output which can be viewed or heard through different devices. There are three main types of softcopy output devices, which are:

  • Monitors
  • Multimedia projectors 
  • Multimedia speaker
Monitors Commonly called a visual display unit (VDU), are the main output device of a computer. It forms images from tiny dots called pixels that are arranged in a rectangular form. The sharpness of the images depends upon the number of pixels.

Ther are two main kinds of viewing screen used for monitors.

  • Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT)
  • Flat-panel Display

Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT) Monitors

The CRT display is made up of small picture elements called pixels. The smaller the pixels, the better the image clarity, or resolution. It takes many illuminated pixels to form a character on the screen. A limited number of characters can be displayed on a screen at once.

The screen can be divided into a series of character boxes ( fixed location on the screen where a standard character can be placed). The resolution of the screen depends upon the size of the screen. Bigger screen has more screen resolution. CRT display screens have now outdated and are no longer produced as new technology monitor has prevailed in the market.

There are some disadvantages to CRT:

  • Large in size and heavyweight.
  • High power consumption.

Flat-panel display monitor

The flat-panel display is thin and light-weight display devices that have reduced volume and power comparison than CRT monitors. They can be produced in much larger sizes and very small sizes so that you can wear them on your wrists. Current uses of Flat-Panel Displays include calculation, Video games, Monitors, Laptop computer, Graphics display.

The flat-panel display is divided into two categories:
  • Emissive displays
  • Non-emissive displays
Emissive displays

The  Emissive displays emit the light patterns which reduce images.

Non-emissive displays

The Non-emissive displays produce images in a layer of liquid molecules.