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In chronological order of roughly1 increasing total pixel count (world record style), please list progressive scan raster CRT monitors (not vector monitors) that were in production (not prototypes). Neither bit-addressable graphics nor color are required, only the maximum raw resolution of the screen. Special-purpose monitors (such as for medical or military applications) and computers with built-in monitors are allowed. Direct-view, front projection, and rear projection displays are allowed. This list is community wiki so anyone can edit it.

If a single year sets two world records, let's distinguish the two records by month and day, if available.


1 But if a newer monitor has fewer total pixels but is better in some significant way than an older monitor, keep both monitors in the list. For example, if the newer monitor supports color but the older one doesn't, or if the newer monitor supports a higher vertical resolution than the older one.

locked by wizzwizz4 Jul 1 '17 at 9:01

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    Because CRTs are analogue devices the horizontal resolution of a CRT monitor isn't fixed, even for non-multi sync monitors. A CRT monitor can accept any horizontal resolution from 1 to infinity, though the upper limit of what can be effectively shown on the screen will be limited the overall bandwidth of the monitor and cables. Also, while the number horizontal lines is fixed for any given set of timings, most CRT displays will be able to display a few more lines than those timings are meant to display. – Ross Ridge Jun 19 '17 at 21:32
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    It's more of an issue of monitors not being able to effectively display the horizontal resolution they're meant to display. I remember a lot of cheap CGA and VGA monitors back in the day that were pretty blurry and probably couldn't display 640 and 720 distinct horizontal pixels respectively, but I never tested them. It would be hard to verify today how well any given monitor in the past how displayed the horizontal resolution it claimed. Some of the 1600x1200 workstation displays I've seen seemed to be pushed past their limits, but it also wasn't something I tested. – Ross Ridge Jun 19 '17 at 22:20
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    @traal You should specify if you accept also TV sets, since they significantly predate any computer monitors (or even computers), and their use as cheap monitors began only in the late 1970s. – Radovan Garabík Jun 20 '17 at 12:04
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    Ignoring monochrome monitors, where you could simply rely on vector display for "infinite" resolution, doesn't the evolution of the resolution of color CRT monitors coincide with improvements in shadow mask and aperture grille technology? – Brian H Jun 20 '17 at 14:43
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    @traal several computers from the 80's abused the CRT horizontal resolutions all the time. For example, the C64 could display 320 pixels horizontally with sprites, different colors, etc. However, NTSC standards (PAL is not much different) could really only display about 160 color clocks per line. But that didn't stop computers from displaying more. The effect was higher resolutions that "sometimes" work. For example, checkerboard patterns of white/black are bad because of NTSC color bleed. Checkerboards with black/dark-grey are better and work as expected. – cbmeeks Jun 21 '17 at 20:27
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    The 2250 beats the Sun-2 on overall pixels, but I left it in because it has a higher horizontal resolution. There were very high resolution CRTs in the 90s, for CAD and medical purposes, but chronological information is hard to find... I’m pretty sure the 510 wasn’t the first 3MP CRT. – Stephen Kitt Jun 20 '17 at 5:04
  • RCA 630-TS is disqualified by the "screen that a computer of the day could support", unless you know of mainframes that interfaced with the TVs of the day. It's also interlaced, not progressive (though it most likely can display progressive input), and it's not the first commercially available TV set anyway. IBM 2250 is also not progressive, but a vector display. – Radovan Garabík Jun 20 '17 at 7:49
  • @Radovan indeed, thanks for clarifying that; the Tektronix 4014 (which I’d mentioned in a previous edit) was also a vector display. High-resolution raster displays only came into being in the early 80s on workstations. – Stephen Kitt Jun 20 '17 at 10:47
  • @RadovanGarabík 480i is achieved by writing 262 lines in 1/30s, shifting the vertical start point by 1 scan line, then writing the next 262 lines in 1/30s. 240p works the same way but without shifting the vertical start point, so you get 60 full progressive frames per second at half resolution. – snips-n-snails Jun 20 '17 at 16:57
  • I've removed the "screen that a computer of the day could support" requirement. – snips-n-snails Jun 20 '17 at 17:54
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1941 : about 320x262 (depending on contrast and including overscan) - Any early NTSC-1 B&W television, as abused by video games consoles to display in a non-interlaced, thus progressive format.

  • I've added the RCA 630-TS (first mass-produced TV) to the wiki answer. Thanks! – snips-n-snails Jun 20 '17 at 3:53
  • France started 737i broadcasts in 1949; that'd be 368 progressive. They switched to a lower resolution when colour was introduced. – Tommy Jun 20 '17 at 11:41

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