What would we call the device that is used to deliver the computer's image on the bigger electronic screen (like a PC monitor)? It is about the actual device that provides a visual output of every other device connected to it.

So literally it is an external monitor that commonly called a monitor, a TV, a screen or a display.

I believe that the word monitor stands for the part of the computer equipment that is connected to it with wires.
The word TV stands for the device that is used only for telecasting receiving.
A display is the part of a device that has a function of displaying the image. While a screen is the glass part of the display.

So what is the proper word for such a device?

  • 2
    The first sentence is unclear, and the distinctions between monitor and display aren't clear either. Are you perhaps talking about a projector, a small box that projects light in a cone onto a five- or ten-foot hanging screen? Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 10:08
  • It's worth noting that the terms are blurring. 30 years ago, everyone knew what a TV did, and what a monitor did. Today, however, in the era of Hulu, Xbox, and Apple TV, the boundary lines are getting fuzzy. People can "watch TV" on their iPhone.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 10:27
  • A computer display is a device which provides a visual output. A monitor is a type of display, so is a TV set. In the past, early computers used a printer as a display. Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 10:32
  • @NathanTuggy I meant not the projector but the monitor, though I am not sure whether English speaker would understand me properly if I will call that monitor.
    – Gamilato
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 11:32
  • 2
    " I am talking about the hardware that provides a visual output of every device connected to it." You also used the verb deliver. Your description of the device is not very clear. Do you have multiple video-signal inputs (so the display screen would be divided into display areas) or a single input with multiple video-signal outputs to multiple displays (multiple screens all displaying the same image)?
    – TimR
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 11:49

2 Answers 2


As electronics engineer I would say that those 3 words (Monitor, Display and Screen) sometimes could be used for the whole device in a non-tech context. For example, someone could say to you: "Look at the monitor/screen/display" in order to check some information.

But if you are in a tech level I think "Monitor" has a different meaning as follows:

  • Monitor: Any device composed by a (screen/display) and its case (plastic case, embedded in a panel), as a peripheral.
  • Screen/Display: Electronic device for showing images. The one which has resolution parameters (HD, FHD, etc), technology used (LCD, LED, AMOLED). I think screen could be used more in software and streaming context (logical) while display could be used in hardware context (physical).

A screen is more like a flat area that is showing some content. Think about a cinema, you would call it screen there, but not display. Examples: Laptop screen, cinema screen, windscreen, protective screen.

Display is more a functional description of a monitor. It is showing something. A calculator has also a display (and you would not call it monitor).

A monitor is a dedicated (and physically isolated) display that is connected to a computer. It has a screen and a display.

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