Apple displays

Apple Inc. currently sells only LCD computer displays; a wide variety of CRT computer displays have been sold in the past.

CRT displays

In the very beginning (throughout the 1970s), Apple did not manufacture or sell displays of any kind, instead recommending users plug-into their television sets or (then) expensive third party monochrome monitors. However, in order to offer complete systems through it's dealers, Apple began to offer various third party manufactured 9" monochrome monitors, re-badged as the "Monitor II". Apple's manufacture history of CRT displays began in 1980, starting with the Monitor /// that was introduced alongside and matched the Apple III business computer. It was a 12" monochrome (green) screen that could display 80x24 text characters and any type of graphics, however suffered from a very slow phosphor refresh that resulted in a "ghosting" video effect. So it could be shared with Apple II computers, a plastic stand was made available to accommodate the larger footprint of the monitor.

Roughly 4 years later came the introduction of the Apple manufactured Monitor //, which as the name implies, was more suited in look and style for the Apple II line and at the same time added improvements in features and visual quality. In 1984 a miniature 9" screen, called the Monitor IIc, was introduced for the Apple IIc computer to help complement its compact size. This monitor was also the first to use the brand new design style for Apple's products called "Snow White", as well as being the first monitor not released in a beige color, but rather a bright, creamy off-white. By early 1985 came the first color CRT's, starting with the Monitor 100, a digital RGB display for the Apple III and Apple IIe (with appropriate card), followed shortly by the 14" ColorMonitor IIe (later renamed to AppleColor Composite Monitor IIe) and ColorMonitor IIc (later renamed to AppleColor Composite Monitor IIc), composite video displays for those respective models.

In 1986 came the introduction of the AppleColor RGB, a 12" analog RGB display designed specifically for the Apple IIGS computer. It supported a resolution of 640x400 interlaced (640x200 non-interlaced) and could be used by the Macintosh II, in a limited fashion, with the Apple High Resolution Display Video Card. Also introduced that year was the Apple Monochrome Monitor, which cosmetically was identical to the former screen but was a black and white composite display suitable in external appearance for the Apple IIGS, Apple IIc or Apple IIc Plus.

The second generation of displays were built into the Apple Macintosh line of computers. Back then the Macintosh had a high resolution 9-inch monochrome monitor that could display 512x342 pixels. All future models of the Classic style Macintosh later featured this exact display. New external Apple Displays were introduced in 1987 with the Macintosh II. The Macintosh II had a PC-style expandable case which required an external monitor, it was also able to run up to six external displays simultaneously using multiple video cards. The desktop spanned multiple monitors and windows could be dragged from monitor to monitor, or even straddle two or more. The Color 12", 16" and 21" displays were introduced with resolutions of 512x384 (560x384 for compatibility with Apple IIe Card), 832x624 and 1152x870. Also monochrome displays were introduced mainly for the publishing industry, like the Macintosh Two Page Monochrome Monitor which was able to display pages next to each other with identical resolution to the 21" color one. Also the Macintosh Portrait Display was introduced which had a vertical aligment of the screen and was able to display one page. A 12" monochrome version was also introduced at the low end.

returned to Apple and consolidated the product lines. Only 17" and 20" models were left in the product line.

The fourth generation of displays were introduced simultaneously with the Blue & White Power Macintosh G3 which included the translucent plastics (initially white and blue, then white and grey upon the introduction of the Power Mac G4) of the iMac. The displays were also designed with same translucent look. The Apple Studio Display series of CRT displays were available in 17" and 21" models, both using Diamondtron CRTs driven by an LG-Manufactured chassis. These displays were notorious for faulty flybacks. The last Apple CRT was introduced in 2000 along with the Power Mac G4 Cube. It featured clear plastics to match the Cube and LCD Studio Displays, a flat screened Diamondtron CRT, and the new Apple Display Connector, which provided power, USB, and video signals to the monitor through a single cable.

LCD displays

The history of Apple LCD displays started back in 1984 when the Apple Flat Panel Display was introduced for the Apple IIc computer. This monochrome display had an odd aspect ratio (making images look vertically squished) and required a very strong external light source, such as a desk lamp or direct sunlight to be used. Even then it had a very poor contrast overall and was quite expensive, contributing to its poor sales and consequently it dropping from the market not long after its introduction. An estimated 10,000 IIc LCD monitors were produced.

The next flat-panel was introduced on March 17 1998 with the 15" Apple Studio Display which had a resolution of 1024x768. After the eMate, it was one of the first Apple products to feature translucent plastics, two months before the unveiling of the iMac. It had a DA-15 input as well as S-video, composite video, ADB and audio connectors, though no onboard speakers. In January 1999 the coloring was changed to match the blue and white of the new Power Macintosh G3s, and the connector changed to VGA.

The 22" widescreen Apple Cinema Display was introduced in August 1999, simultaneously with the Power Mac G4 and in the beginning was sold only as an option to the Power Mac G4, selling for US$3,999. It had a native resolution of 1600x1024 and used a DVI connector. The display had a striped look on the bezel, similar to previous Studio Displays and iMacs. In December, the colors of the 15" display were changed to match the new Power Mac G4s, and the input was changed from VGA to DVI, the audio and video features dropped, and the ADB functionality replaced by a two-port USB hub.

In 2000 the 22" Cinema Displays switched to the ADC interface, and the 15" Studio Display was remodeled to match the Cinema Display's easel-like form factor and also featured the Apple Display Connector. In 2001 an LCD-based 17" Studio Display was introduced, with a resolution of 1280x1024. In 2002 Apple introduced the Cinema Display HD which had a 23" widescreen display with a resolution of 1920x1200. In 2003 Apple introduced the 20" Cinema Display to replace the now discontinued 22" display and it had a resolution of 1680x1050.

In 2004 a new line was introduced, utilizing the same 20" and 23" panels alongside a new 30" model, for $3,299. The displays had a sleek aluminum enclosure with a much narrower bezel than their predecessors. The 20" model has a 1680x1050 resolution, the 23" has 1920x1200, and the 30" has 2560x1600. The 30" version requires a dual-link interface, because a single-link DVI connection (the most common type) doesn't have enough bandwidth to provide a picture to a display of this resolution. Apple sold the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 as an option to the Power Mac G5. The card included two dual-link DVI connectors which allowed a Power Mac G5 to run two 30" Cinema Displays simultaneously with the total number of pixels working out at 8.2 million.

In 2006 along with the introduction of the Mac Pro, Apple lowered the price of the 30" Cinema Display to US$1999. The Mac Pro features an NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT as the graphics card in its base model which is capable of running a 30" Cinema Display and another 23" Display simultaneously. The Mac Pro is also available with both the ATI Radeon X1900XT card and the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 as Build-To-Order options. Each of these cards are is capable of driving two 30" Cinema Displays.


Apple has employed a large number of display connector designs over the years:

*Original DA-15 (commonly but incorrectly known as a DB-15) used on all desktop Macs without a built in monitor up until the 1999 Blue and White Power Macintosh G3.
*A 13W3 connector (as on Sun Microsystems machines) used on the Macintosh Portrait Display
*A non-standard "mini-15" connector used on early PowerBooks which allowed an Apple monitor to be attached via a short adaptor cable.
*Apple MultiMedia Display connector (HDI-45) used on some "AV" model Centris, Quadra and the first-generation (NuBus) Power Macintosh machines.
*Standard 15-pin high-density DE-15 VGA connector, first included on some Power Macintosh 9600 models and available on all current Macintoshes either directly or via a short adaptor cable.
*Standard DVI connector, which can also provide VGA via a short adaptor cable, and composite and S-Video in the Power Mac G5 and Mac mini.
*Apple Display Connector, which carries DVI, VGA, USB and power in one connector.
*A mini-VGA connector, which can provide VGA via a short adaptor cable. It appears on the white iBook, eMac, iMac G4 and G5, and first generation 12-inch PowerBook G4. Later models also support a composite and S-video adapter attached to this port.
*A micro-DVI connector is used in the Macbook Air to accommodate its small form factor.
*A mini-DVI connector used on the 12" PowerBook G4 (except first generation,) Intel based iMacs, and MacBooks.
* A DVI connector is available for Intel based MacBook Pros.

Additionally, various Apple computers have been able to output:
*S-video via standard 4-pin mini-DIN connector
*Composite video, via:
**S-video port and use of short adaptor cable (PowerBooks)
**Standard phono connector (AV Macs)
**Phono connector video out on the Apple II, II+, IIe, IIc, IIc+, IIGS, III, and III+. While not technically NTSC or PAL compatible, a suitable image would display on NTSC/PAL television monitors
**A non-standard 3.5 mm jack that functions as either a headphone jack, or stereo audio and composite video out via an adaptor cable (FireWire Special Edition Clamshell iBooks and early "Dual USB" iBooks with external reset button)
*S-video, Composite video, or VGA, via:
**Mini-VGA when using an Apple Video Output Adapter (S-video & Composite or VGA)

*The Apple Video Adapter was specially designed to allow users to connect to S-video or composite video devices. The video adapter cable plugs into the video output port (Mini-VGA) built into the back of certain Macintosh computers. The video output port supports VGA, S-Video and Composite video out. The Apple Video Adapter is for S-Video or Composite video output only, use a separate Apple VGA Adapter for VGA video output options. With the Apple Video Adapter you can connect to your TV, VCR, or overhead projector via S-Video or Composite cables.

:Compatible with: iBook without an external reset button, 12-inch PowerBook G4, Mac Mini, eMac, iMac G5, or 17-inch iMac (1 GHz) with Mini-VGA port.

*The Apple VGA Display Adapter was specially designed to allow users to connect certain Macintosh computers to an extra VGA monitor or external projector (equipped with VGA) for 24-bit video-mirroring. The VGA cable from your external monitor or projector cable plugs into the Mini-VGA video port built into your Macintosh via the Apple VGA Display Adapter.

:Compatible with: eMac, iMac G5, iMac G4 flat-panel, 12-inch PowerBook G4, or iBooks having a Mini-VGA port. Most Macintosh computers with the Mini-VGA port can also use the Apple Video Adapter for S-video & Composite output options.

*12-inch PowerBook G4 (first generation) models supported video-mirroring and extended video desktop modes through a mini-VGA port. All 15 and 17 inch PowerBook G4 models have a DVI port as well as an S-Video out port. The mini-VGA port on the 12-inch PowerBook was replaced by a mini-DVI port starting with the second revision of the machine.

External links

* [ Apple: Displays]
* [ Apple Displays]
* [ Apple displays video connectors]
* [ Video Adapter for Macs with Mini-VGA]
* [ VGA Display Adapter for Macs with Mini-VGA]
* [ List of Apple Video connectors]

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