It's time to go flat -- with display panels

ITworld.com |  Hardware

So, when did you stop buying CRT based monitors for your company? What? You are
still buying those flickering heavyweights? You can't resist the bargain of getting a
nineteen-inch monitor for less than the cost of your first postage-sized screen?

If you are still buying CRT monitors, let's talk. Sure the price of flat-panel displays
(FPD) still sends most people into sticker shock. But before you let price stop your
company dead in its tracks, consider the total cost of ownership and the value received
with these lighter, more flexible units.

Look at the big picture from several angles -- energy consumption, the ability to keep
units going during a power outage, the use of desktop real estate, the visual comfort
of your corporate colleagues (especially aging baby boomers) -- flat-panel monitors
could pay their way into your organization.

Here are a few reasons that you should be looking at flat panels:

ENERGY SAVINGS

When it comes to energy savings, flat panel monitors are much easier on the electric
and cooling bill. While energy economy isn't a goal of the IT manager, it is important
to an organization.

Studies have found a 67 percent to 75 percent reduction in energy consumption by flat
panel monitors when compared to CRTs.

Here's a specific example. The typical 19-inch CRT monitor uses about 130 watts of
power. A flat panel of equivalent size uses only 50 watts, or about 38 percent the
energy of the CRT. And, when placed in standby status, some flat panel screens use as
little as 8 watts.

Granted, the IT manager isn't responsible for the corporation's power bill, so
sometimes power efficiency falls on deaf ears. But, what about uptime if everything
else goes down? If the workstation happens to be important enough to protect with an
uninterruptible power supply, the flat panel just buys you extra minutes.

IT managers need to consider every trick when it comes to keeping things up when the
power goes out. Anyone who experiences power outages knows that a monitor will cut the
throat of the UPS faster than anything else. Yet, it doesn't do anyone any good to keep
a 19-inch monitor humming while your data is dumped during a prolonged power outage.

And while heat output from CRTs may keep everyone a little warmer in the winter, it
plays havoc with cooling requirements throughout the rest of the year. Studies have
shown a 20 percent decrease in cooling requirements for each FPD that replaces a CRT.

WEIGHT AND FLEXIBILITY

Weight is an additional consideration. CRT monitors weight considerably more than their
LCD counterpart. An average 19-inch CRT monitor weighs about 55 pounds. The comparable
18-inch LCD monitor, on the other hand, weighs in around 20 pounds.

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