Remote IT Support

Computer Monitors – The different types of connecting display monitors


A computer monitor is an essential piece of equipment if you need to view the output from a computer.

There are three main types of computer monitor, which all vary considerably in size and shape.

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors & Light Emitting Diode (LED) displays.

In addition to there being a choice in computer monitor type, there is also a choice in how you connect the computer to the monitor.

The three main types of connection can be seen pictured below



From left to right : – DVI, HDMI, VGA

DVI is designed for the digital transmission of display. There are several variants of DVI, the one shown above being the most common DVI-D.

HDMI. This is the newest type of connection and is gaining in popularity due to the ability to transmit High Density graphics and audio.

VGA – Video graphics Array. These carry an analog display as oppose to digital and the quality can vary considerably based on the quality of the cable. This is the most common typ of connection used.


Recognising the types of display connections and the leads which connect a computer to a display could be useful to know if you have a broken laptop screen.

If you have broken your laptop screen and have an urgent deadline, so need to carry out some work before being able to get the screen repaired, you can connect your laptop to your computer monitor, or even your TV by using a display connector cable and switching the display output on your laptop.

To switch the display output on your laptop requires a combination of keystrokes, most often the Fn key and an F key at the same time.  On my Sony Vaio laptop, the combination is the Fn key and the F7 key to switch the display from the laptop screen to the display adapter.

This is also useful for displaying information on large screens for a wider audience.