What is Display Resolution? Demystified.

A screen’s resolution is by far one of the first things people look at when buying a new television set. And as everyone knows, a higher resolution is always better. But what exactly is the display resolution and how does it improve your TV watching experience?

In television, the display resolution refers to the number of pixel-lines present in each dimension and is written as width x height. For example, the Full HD resolution of 1920×1080 means that the display shows 1920 horizontal lines of pixels and 1080 vertical lines. Comparatively, older CRT screens had a resolution of 720×576. Since it is pixels which provide detail to an image on a screen, an HDTV is able to show more detailed visuals that a standard TV because it has a higher resolution (consequently, more pixels).

We suggest you to read our latest LCD/LED TV reviews if you like this article about display resolution:

Should I go for HD-ready or Full-HD?

If a TV is marked as HD ready, it means that it has a resolution of 720p – twice the standard definition. A Full HD television, on the other hand, can display content in 1080p. There is no discernable difference between Full HD and HD ready if the TV is smaller than 32inches. For larger television sets, 1080p is recommended since it is much clearer and shows more detail.

Why is there a ‘p’ or ‘i’ in the resolution – like 720p or 1080i?

If you have bought an HDTV, you may notice a ‘p’ or an ‘i’ in the resolution which basically refers to the type of scan used by the television. Here, the ‘p’ stands for progressive while the ‘i’ stands for interlaced. Progressive scan (p) is always better than interlaced scan (i) because it allows the TV to process images twice as fast. A higher scan rate means that the on-screen image will have better color and clarity. In fact, the video quality managed by a 720p HDTV is comparable to that of a 1080i HDTV, even though the former has a lower resolution.

So. A Full-HD TV is 1080p. But what is 4K, then?

4K TVs are the latest buzzword in the television industry and all major manufacturers have a number of 4K models in the market. Basically, a 4K TV has twice the resolution of a Full HD screen – which quadruples the number of pixels in the display. More pixels (almost 8 million more) mean sharper visuals and richer colors – always a good thing.

What is the future of display resolutions?

As it stands, 4K is poised to be the resolution of the future. But, wide-spread use will take a bit of time because of the sheer size of the content. And there are even larger resolutions in the horizon. 4K is the lower limit of what is called Ultra-HD with the step-up being 8K (which doubles the resolution of 4K and has around 32 million pixels more). Don’t expect 8K television screens to pop up anytime soon though – the technology is way too expensive and doesn’t make sense for the screen sizes we have now.