When it comes to how a CRT monitor displays, there are two popular approaches. Those approaches are the Beam Penetration Method and the Shadow Mask Method. In this post, we are going to cover why the Shadow Mask Method is more effective and a better method at producing a wider arrange of colors for CRT monitors.

What is the Shadow Mask Method?

To understand the Shadow Mask Method, one must first understand exactly what is a shadow mask. A shadow mask is perforated metal sheet inside a color monitor. Most color monitor screens use what is called a cathode-ray tube, or CRT, technology in which electrons are fired from an electron gun onto a phosphor coating on the screen’s faceplate. The phosphor converts the kinetic energy of the electrons into light and it illuminated in tiny red, green, and blue dots; these dots make up the image that one sees when looking at a screen.

Before the electron beam reaches the phosphor dots, it passes through the shadow mask. The shadow mask ensures that the electron beam hits only the correctly colored dots. Basically, the shadow mask “masks” the electron beam, thereby forming a smaller and more rounded point that can hit individual phosphor dots. The shadow mask absorbs electrons that are directed at the wrong color phosphor.

The Shadow Mask Method

The Shadow Mask Method is commonly used in Raster-Scan System because it allows for the production of a much wider range of colors when compared to the beam-penetration method. Shadow Masks are used in the majority of TV sets and computer monitors.

A shadow mask CRT has 3 phosphor color dots in each pixel. One dot emits a red light, one green, and one blue. The Shadow Mask, placed right in front of a screen with RGB phosphor dots, filters the color(s) to their correct pixel, thus producing the intended image.

Advantages of Shadow Masks in CRT Monitors

The Shadow Mask Method has multiple advantages when used in CRT Monitor systems. The first, and arguably most important, advantage is that the shadow mask produces a more realistic image than when compared to other RGB filtering methods. A more realistic image is possible with shadow masking because shadow masks allow for millions of colors to be generated on the monitor.

In the past, producing shadow masks at scale for production was potentially cost prohibitive. But with recent advancements in micromachining technology and methods, shadow masks can now be built at scale, customized, and are relatively inexpensive. Click here to learn more about custom shadow mask manufacturing.

shadow mask

Citrogene: Leading Shadow Mask Manufacturer

As one can see, Shadow Masks are a vital component in today’s monitors and television screens. When it comes to producing the ideal shadow mask for your specific needs, there’s only one shadow mask partner to consider: Citrogene. Our proprietary process allows us to create precise, customized, state-of-the-art shadow masks based on your needs. Contact us today to learn more.