Graphics monitors put on masks for crisper color

Setting their sights on producing brighter and clearer images, a few manufacturers have
introduced unique mask technologies that combine characteristics of conventional CRT
technologies, such as Invar shadow mask and flat square, with aperture grille

To get the richest, most saturated color for use in high-end computer-aided design,
manufacturing and engineering, graphics and desktop publishing applications, monitor
makers recommend aperture grille technologies such as Sony’s Trinitron and
Mitsubishi’s DiamondTron tubes.

If you’re working with computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering
applications, a shadow mask technology and the resulting sharper image may be the right
choice. But several new tube technologies don’t quite fit conventional
definitions of shadow mask or aperture grille.

Microfilter from Toshiba Computer Systems Division of Irvine, Calif., combines shadow
mask and filter technologies. During manufacturing, a microscopic, thin-filter layer is
applied to the tube before each phosphor layer.

Toshiba said the company’s Microfilter technology increases brightness by 30
percent and improves color purity by 10 percent compared with conventional monitors.

This 17-inch monitor has a street price of $649. If your purse is a bit capacious,
the monitor warrants a second look, especially considering its resolution, refresh rates,
multimedia features and software controls.

NEC Technologies Inc. of Itasca, Ill., delivers improved screen performance with its
CromaClear CRT technology. It displays images that are sharper and crisper than those
on conventional CRTs via illuminated elliptical-shaped phosphors. The company’s
OptiClear surface reduces, by almost 75 percent, glaring ambient light reflected from the

ViewSonic Corp. of Walnut, Calif., recently introduced SuperClear, an antiglare screen
treatment that filters out extraneous light from individual phosphors.

According to the company, SuperClear combines “an enhanced phosphor treatment and
optimized glass” to deliver images that are up to 30 percent brighter and with an
improvement of up to 10 percent in color fidelity compared with images on conventional CRT
monitors. Princeton Graphics Systems of Santa Ana, Calif., has antireflection
technology that combines filtering and CRT surface coating techniques, minimizing
reflective light while maintaining image brightness and color accuracy.

Princeton’s Coloright hardware feature provides control over the firing of each
electronic gun to adjust the screen’s color temperature.  

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