what is native resolution and contrast ratio [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-10-2006, 05:33 PM
what does it mean if a lcd tv has a resolution of 1366x768,1024x768xga,1280x720hdtv...which is better out of these and why? contrast ratio 3000:1, 4000:1, 1,200:1 how is this rated and what makes one better then the other one?
also how about brightness- is the higher number always better?700,500,400, etc.
thanks in advance thanks

05-10-2006, 07:09 PM
My answer to this might be different than what most would say. Alot of people focus on these numbers as a way to choose quality, but that is certainly debatable. The best thing is to choose a TV that you like and have compared to others. Typically the higher the contrast ratio the better the picture looks, but it also depends on the manufacturer and other factors. I would also insist that you play around and try to calibrate the TV in the store/shop a bit yourself because they are hardly ever calibrated well. I know others can give you more detailed responses as far as the numbers, but it's not all about the numbers.

05-11-2006, 03:59 AM
The native resolution of a microdisplay is the number of horizontal pixels multiplied by the number of vertical pixels--for example, 1366x768, etc. All of the material shown on this display must, in one way or another, achieve that pixel count. The display itself will always upscale or downscale to its native resolution, unless some other device, like a DVD player or external processor, does the job first and/or better. To qualify as HD, a display has to be capable of 1080 lines of pixels interlaced (1080i) or 720 lines progressive (720p). Technically, HD also entails 1920 lines of horizontal pixels, but since relatively few displays came out of the chute so well endowed, that particular spec was waived. Truth be told, because the eye is more sensitive to what happens in the vertical domain, the horizontal one doesn't matter as much.

SuperP is right that no particular native resolution is necessarily "better" than another. Too many variables, from color rendition to gray scale, perceived sharpness, signal processing, and even environmental/seating factors, intervene to permit any such pat judgment. However, native resolutions have evolved to the point where 1920x1080p displays have become fairly common. Their advantage doesn't really show up unless room size and size of display can support it. Nonetheless, it does confer bragging rights on the purchaser and arguably increases detail if the viewer is situated appropriately.

Contrast is also a mixed bag. It would stand to reason that the higher the contrast, the better the dynamic range of the display from dark to light. However, measurement of contrast is a little like measuremnt of the power ratings of most mainstream receivers; it's capable of abuse by manufacturers looking for an edge. Inflated numbers are usually a sign of manipulation under artificial conditions. You'll see a lot of high contrast numbers on LCD displays, for example, but they are skewed toward searing brightness rather than the kind of deep black levels that a CRT can achieve. These contrast numbers also measure the range of full on/full off, that is, a screen fully bright vs. one fully dark, but real-world contrast is more accurately measured when bright and dark have to share the same space, In that case, these inflated contrast numbers go way, way down.

So, take native resolution and contrast with a grain of salt. Don't necessarily ignore them, but use them as a portal to more comprehensive research. A good video reviewer will get behind the stated measurements and provide context for them. This information will be at least as valuable, when you can find it, as any naked viewing that you do in a bright store guided by a salesman.