Vector Display

What Does Vector Display Mean?

A vector display is a type of display in which an electron gun is used to draw patterns on the monitor. Unlike standard cathode ray tube (CRT) technology used in televisions, in which horizontal lines are drawn in sequence, a vector display only creates images on the screen where necessary, and skips over blank areas.


A vector display is also known as a vector monitor.

Techopedia Explains Vector Display

In vector displays, the lines are directly drawn without any predefined grid or pattern. The electron gun producing the beam of light is controlled by a command which signals it when to turn on or off. Lines are smooth and follow the patterns of pure mathematical models. Shapes like polygons and bitmaps are not possible to be drawn by vector graphics. Displaying artifacts like aliasing and pixelation are absent in vector graphics, but colors are usually limited in CRT vector monitors.

Vector displays were commonly used in early video games such as Asteroids and Tempest, as well as the Vectrex home system.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…