| The sharpness and
clarity of the picture on the screen is determined by a projector's
resolution. Resolution is simply the number of pixels (or "picture
elements") the projector uses to create the image. The more pixels
it uses, the "higher" the resolution.
Resolution is usually quoted in two numbers, such as "800 x 600,"
where the first number refers to the number of pixels from side to
side across the screen, and the second number refers to the number
of pixels vertically from top to bottom.
True Resolution/Native Resolution
When speaking of a projector's resolution, it is common to refer to
"true" or "native" resolution. If a projector's
native resolution is 1024 x 768 (XGA), that means that the actual
number of physical pixels on the display device is 1024 x 768. In
some projector models, specifications show compatibility with higher
resolutions. This is achieved through the use of compression technology.
Compression technology displays a perfectly acceptable image, but
is not matched pixel for pixel from computer to projector to screen.
of Higher Resolution
High resolution projectors are able to show more picture details
than low resolution projectors. Also, since there are more pixels
used to make the image, each individual pixel is smaller, so the pixels
themselves become less visible on the screen.
1024 x 768 Resolution
800 x 600 Resolution
|Advantage of Lower
Lower resolution projectors are much less expensive, and they can
produce images that are just as bright and attractive as higher resolution
machines. Unless you really have a need to display fine details, lower
resolution products will be your best bet from a cost perspective.
Your basic choices for native, or true resolution are the following:
Which Resolution is Right for You?
- SVGA, or "800 x 600" - This is a very
popular resolution today, because of its attractive prices and
- XGA, or "1,024 x 768" - XGA projectors
are generally more expensive, and are an equally popular resolution
format to SVGA. They have become more popular as XGA resolution
computers have become more plentiful.
One of the key factors in choosing the right resolution is your typical
application. Do you have a need for very accurate display of small
visual details, or not?
If your primary use of the system is for "Powerpoint" style
graphics, pie charts, graphs, and general business presentation, you
don’t need to pay extra for high resolution equipment. SVGA
resolution is perfect for this kind of work, and the best solution
for the money.
On the other hand, if you are often presenting materials like Excel
spreadsheets with a lot of numeric data on the screen, you will probably
be happier with XGA resolution. This format is able to produce a clearer
and more legible image of small numbers and other data.
Matching Your Computer to Your Projector
Keep in mind that the best resolution for your projector is the resolution
of the computer you intend to use with it. If you typically use a
notebook computer with SVGA resolution, you will want a projector
with the same native SVGA resolution in order to get the sharpest
and cleanest image. Similarly, if you normally use a computer with
XGA output, you will get the best picture from a projector that has
XGA as its native resolution.
Native (True) Resolution
Computer and projector are
at the same resolution.
(Simulated Image, Enlarged 300%)
Computer is at a higher resolution
than the projector (compression).
(Simulated Image, Enlarged 300%)
are capable of projecting input signals other than their native resolutions.
For example, you can usually hook up an XGA computer to an SVGA projector.
The projector will automatically convert the incoming 1,024 x 768
signal to its native 800 x 600 output. However, there is always a
loss of sharpness and detail in the process, so you will end up with
a picture that is not quite as sharp as if the incoming signal had
been the same format as the projector's native resolution.
This loss of sharpness also happens if you plug an SVGA computer into
a higher-resolution XGA projector. You will usually get a decent image,
but the conversion from the 800 x 600 input to a 1,024 x 768 output
will produce some fuzziness that you may not appreciate after having
spent the money for an XGA projector.
The projector's process of converting a different input format to
its native output format is called "scaling." Projectors
are very good at scaling, so any resulting image fuzziness, is relatively
minor, and the image is very adequate no matter what the source.
Courtesy of ProjectorCentral,
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