Why is high resolution so desireable?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

I keep on seeing posts with comments that imply that such-and-such
(monitor, card, whatever) is better because it can display at a higher
resolution, etc.

I can accept that there are situations where the higher resolutions,
which result in smaller content on the screen, are an advantage in that
one is then able to fit more on the screen, and this is definitely
useful at times (but this has nothing to do with quality). But other
than that, what is the big deal about higher resolutions?

This leads me to wonder about the following: is there any difference
between viewing an image/DVD at a resolution of a x b, and viewing the
same image at a higher resolution and magnifying it using the
application's zoom software so that the size is now the same as that
under a x b? I have been unable to see any obvious difference, but then
again I haven't been able to do side-by-side tests (single monitor).

Thanks for any response.
30 answers Last reply
More about high resolution desireable
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Wow, that is a lot of information, Bob, and, to tell you the truth, I
    will have to re-read it slowly if I'm going to digest all the details.
    I will do that, at my pace.

    Let me say here that I almost included the word "misnomer" in my
    original post, with reference to the term "resolution", but I refrained
    from doing so because in a way we ARE talking about resolution. i.e. we
    are changing the number of pixels within fixed screen dimensions,
    hence we are changing resolution. I am questioning the benfits of doing
    so.

    You make reference to what the eye can resolve, under some conditions.
    What I fail to see (sorry) is this: taking a specific image, say a 5cm
    square on a given monitor at a specific resolution setting, what is
    the benefit of displaying that image at a higher resolution if the
    result is going to be smaller? Are we going to be able to discern more
    detail? This is not the same as a photographic lens being capable of
    greater resolution, because the benefits of this higher resolution
    would show up in larger prints, otherwise there is no point. If you
    are going to make small prints you don't need a lens that can resolve
    minute detail. Yes, the hardware is providing us with more pixels per
    cm/inch, but the IMAGE is not being displayed using more pixels. Not
    only that, but the image is now smaller, possibly to the point of being
    too small to view comfortably.

    I can't help but suspect that everybody is chasing "higher resolution"
    without knowing why they are doing so.

    Thanks for your response.

    Bill
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Many gamers usually strive to
    run at 1600x1200 because it creates a cleaner edge around objects
    without resorting to anti-aliasing.

    Not being a gamer, I'd have no appreciation for this, but fair enough.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    I think the more mainstream way you're seeing it involved higher
    resolutions that involve a cleaner edge. Many gamers usually strive to
    run at 1600x1200 because it creates a cleaner edge around objects
    without resorting to anti-aliasing.

    --
    Cory "Shinnokxz" Hansen - http://www.coryhansen.com
    Life is journey, not a destination. So stop running.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "bxf" <bill@topman.net> wrote in message
    news:1118848795.170276.266490@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > I keep on seeing posts with comments that imply that such-and-such
    > (monitor, card, whatever) is better because it can display at a higher
    > resolution, etc.
    >
    > I can accept that there are situations where the higher resolutions,
    > which result in smaller content on the screen, are an advantage in that
    > one is then able to fit more on the screen, and this is definitely
    > useful at times (but this has nothing to do with quality). But other
    > than that, what is the big deal about higher resolutions?

    You've hit on a very good point, but to cover it adequately I'm
    first going to have to (once again) clarify exactly what we mean
    by the often-misused word "resolution."

    In the proper usage of the word (and, by the way, how you
    most often see it used with respect to such things as printers
    and scanners), "resolution" is that spec which tells you how
    much detail you can resolve per unit distance - in other
    words, if we're really talking about "resolution," you should
    be seeing numbers like "dots per inch" or "pixels per visual
    degree" or some such. Simply having more pixels is not always
    a good thing - you have to first be able to actually resolve them
    on the display in question (not generally a problem for fixed-
    format displays such as LCDs, if run in their native mode) AND
    you need to be able to resolve them visually. That last bit
    means that the number of pixels you really need depends on
    how big the display (or more correctly, the image itself) will
    be, and how far away you'll be when you're viewing it.

    The human eye can resolve up to about 50 or 60 cycles
    per visual degree - meaning for each degree of angular
    distance as measured from the viewing point, you can't
    distinguish more than about 100-120 pixels (assuming
    those pixels are being used to present parallel black-and
    -white lines, which would make for 50-60 line pairs or
    "cycles"). Actually, human vision isn't quite this good
    under many circumstances (and is definitely not this good
    in terms of color, as opposed to just black-and-white
    details), but assuming that you can see details down to
    a level of about one cycle per minute of angle is often used
    as a rule-of-thumb limit.

    This says that to see how much resolution you need, and
    therefore how many pixels in the image, you figure the
    display size, what visual angle that appears to be within
    the visual field at the desired distance, and apply this
    limit. Let's say you have a 27" TV that you're watching
    from 8 feet away. A 27" TV presents an image that's
    about 15.5" tall, and if you're 8 feet (96 inches) away,
    then the visual angle this represents is:

    2 x inv. tan (7.75/96) = 9.2 degrees

    At the 60 cycles/degree limit, you can therefore visually
    resolve not more than about 576 line pairs, or 1152
    pixels. Anything more than this would be wasted, and
    even this, again, should be viewed as an upper limit -
    your "color resolution" (the spatial acuity of the eye in
    terms of color differences) is nowhere near this good.
    In terms of pixel formats, then, an image using
    the standard 1280 x 1024 format would be just about as
    good as you'd ever need to be at this size and distance.
    Note that a 15.5" image height is also what you get from
    roughly a 32" 16:9 screen, so the HDTV standard
    1920 x 1080 format is just about ideal for that size and
    distance (and an 8' distance may be a little close for
    a lot of TV viewing).

    However, this again is the absolute upper limit imposed by
    vision. A more reasonable, practical goal, in terms of
    creating an image that appears to be "high resolution" (and
    beyond which we start to see diminishing returns in terms of
    added pixels) is about half the 60 cycles/degree figure, or
    somewhere around 30. This means that for the above-mentioned
    27" TV at 8', the standard 480- or 576-line TV formats,
    IF fully resolved (which many TV sets do not do), are actually
    pretty good matches to the "practical" goal, and the higher-
    resolution HDTV formats probably don't make a lot of
    sense until you're dealing with larger screens.

    At typical desktop monitor sizes and distances, of course,
    you can resolve a much greater number of pixels; from perhaps
    2' or so from the screen, you might want up to about 300
    pixels per inch before you'd say that you really couldn't use
    any more. That's comfortably beyond the capability of most
    current displays (which are right around 100-120 ppi), but
    again, this is the absolute upper limit. Shooting for around
    150-200 ppi is probably a very reasonable goal in terms of
    how much resolution we could actually use in practice on
    most desktop displays. More than this, and it simply won't
    be worth the cost and complexity of adding the extra pixels.


    > This leads me to wonder about the following: is there any difference
    > between viewing an image/DVD at a resolution of a x b, and viewing the
    > same image at a higher resolution and magnifying it using the
    > application's zoom software so that the size is now the same as that
    > under a x b?

    No, no difference. In terms of resolution (in the proper sense
    per the above, pixels per inch) the two are absolutely identical.

    Bob M.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    bxf wrote:

    > Wow, that is a lot of information, Bob, and, to tell you the truth, I
    > will have to re-read it slowly if I'm going to digest all the details.
    > I will do that, at my pace.
    >
    > Let me say here that I almost included the word "misnomer" in my
    > original post, with reference to the term "resolution", but I refrained
    > from doing so because in a way we ARE talking about resolution. i.e. we
    > are changing the number of pixels within fixed screen dimensions,
    > hence we are changing resolution. I am questioning the benfits of doing
    > so.
    >
    > You make reference to what the eye can resolve, under some conditions.
    > What I fail to see (sorry) is this: taking a specific image, say a 5cm
    > square on a given monitor at a specific resolution setting, what is
    > the benefit of displaying that image at a higher resolution if the
    > result is going to be smaller?

    One adjusts other settings so that feature size is the same. This can cause
    other difficulties however.

    > Are we going to be able to discern more
    > detail? This is not the same as a photographic lens being capable of
    > greater resolution, because the benefits of this higher resolution
    > would show up in larger prints, otherwise there is no point. If you
    > are going to make small prints you don't need a lens that can resolve
    > minute detail. Yes, the hardware is providing us with more pixels per
    > cm/inch, but the IMAGE is not being displayed using more pixels. Not
    > only that, but the image is now smaller, possibly to the point of being
    > too small to view comfortably.
    >
    > I can't help but suspect that everybody is chasing "higher resolution"
    > without knowing why they are doing so.
    >
    > Thanks for your response.
    >
    > Bill

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    J. Clarke wrote:
    > bxf wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > You make reference to what the eye can resolve, under some conditions.
    > > What I fail to see (sorry) is this: taking a specific image, say a 5cm
    > > square on a given monitor at a specific resolution setting, what is
    > > the benefit of displaying that image at a higher resolution if the
    > > result is going to be smaller?
    >
    > One adjusts other settings so that feature size is the same. This can cause
    > other difficulties however.

    Hence my last question in the original post: what is the difference
    between an image of a certain viewing size (dictated by the monitor
    resolution), and the same image, viewed under higher resolution
    settings and therefore a smaller image on the screen, all other things
    being equal), but magnified by the application (or "other settings", as
    you put it)?

    Simplistically, this is how I see the situation: we have an image of A
    x B pixels. If we view it under monitor resolution settings of say, 800
    x 600, we will see an image of a certain size, which depends on the
    monitor in use. If we change the resolution to 1600 x 1200, we are
    halving the size of each monitor pixel, and the image will be half the
    size that it was at 800 x 600. If we now tell the application to double
    the size of the image, the application must interpolate, so that each
    pixel in the original image will now be represented by four monitor
    pixels. This would not result in increased image quality, and it
    requires that the application do some CPU work which it didn't have
    to do when the monitor was at the lower resolution setting.

    So the question becomes one of comparing the quality obtained with
    large monitor pixels vs the quality when using smaller pixels plus
    interpolation. And, we can throw in the fact that, by having it
    interpolate, we are forcing the CPU to do more work.

    Any thoughts on this? Am I failing to take something into
    consideration?
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    J. Clarke wrote:
    > bxf wrote:
    >

    > Not magnified. Font size, icon size, etc adjusted at the system level, so
    > things are the same size but sharper.

    How do these apply if I'm viewing an image with a graphics program or
    watching a DVD?
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Bob Myers wrote:
    > "bxf" <bill@topman.net> wrote in message
    > news:1118925982.351383.175100@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > > Hence my last question in the original post: what is the difference
    > > between an image of a certain viewing size (dictated by the monitor
    > > resolution), and the same image, viewed under higher resolution
    > > settings and therefore a smaller image on the screen, all other things
    > > being equal), but magnified by the application (or "other settings", as
    > > you put it)?
    >
    > Here we again run into confusion problems between "resolution"
    > as is commonly used here and the term in its technically proper
    > sense - but the bottom line is that a given object rendered at
    > a specific resolution (in terms of PPI) looks the same no matter
    > how many pixels are in the complete image (i.e., the full screen)
    > or how large that screen is. In other words, if you have an image
    > of, say, an apple appearing on your display, and that apple appears
    > 3" tall and at 100 ppi resolution (meaning the the apple itself is
    > about 300 pixels tall), nothing else matters.

    It's funny. Although I understand what you say and can clearly see its
    obvious validity, I still find myself failing to understand how it
    relates to the following:

    If I have an image obtained from a digital camera, for example, that
    image consists of a fixed number of pixels. If I want to see that image
    on my screen at some convenient size, I can accomplish that in two
    ways: I can set my monitor's "resolution" to values which more-or-less
    yield that convenient size, or I can tell the application to manipulate
    the image so that it is now displayed at this size.

    If I use the latter technique, the application must discard pixels if
    it is to make the image smaller, or, using some form of interpolation,
    add pixels in order to make it larger. In either case there is image
    degradation (never mind whether or not we can discern that
    degradation), and hence my attempt to understand how this degradation
    compares to the effect of viewing an unmanipulated image using larger
    monitor pixels.

    To tell you the truth, I can't help but feel that I'm confusing issues
    here, but I don't know what they are. For example, I cannot imagine any
    video player interpolating stuff on the fly in order to obey a given
    zoom request.

    Where is my thinking going off?
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    bxf wrote:

    >
    > J. Clarke wrote:
    >> bxf wrote:
    >>
    >> >
    >> > You make reference to what the eye can resolve, under some conditions.
    >> > What I fail to see (sorry) is this: taking a specific image, say a 5cm
    >> > square on a given monitor at a specific resolution setting, what is
    >> > the benefit of displaying that image at a higher resolution if the
    >> > result is going to be smaller?
    >>
    >> One adjusts other settings so that feature size is the same. This can
    >> cause other difficulties however.
    >
    > Hence my last question in the original post: what is the difference
    > between an image of a certain viewing size (dictated by the monitor
    > resolution), and the same image, viewed under higher resolution
    > settings and therefore a smaller image on the screen, all other things
    > being equal), but magnified by the application (or "other settings", as
    > you put it)?

    Not magnified. Font size, icon size, etc adjusted at the system level, so
    things are the same size but sharper.

    > Simplistically, this is how I see the situation: we have an image of A
    > x B pixels. If we view it under monitor resolution settings of say, 800
    > x 600, we will see an image of a certain size, which depends on the
    > monitor in use. If we change the resolution to 1600 x 1200, we are
    > halving the size of each monitor pixel, and the image will be half the
    > size that it was at 800 x 600. If we now tell the application to double
    > the size of the image, the application must interpolate, so that each
    > pixel in the original image will now be represented by four monitor
    > pixels. This would not result in increased image quality, and it
    > requires that the application do some CPU work which it didn't have
    > to do when the monitor was at the lower resolution setting.
    >
    > So the question becomes one of comparing the quality obtained with
    > large monitor pixels vs the quality when using smaller pixels plus
    > interpolation. And, we can throw in the fact that, by having it
    > interpolate, we are forcing the CPU to do more work.
    >
    > Any thoughts on this? Am I failing to take something into
    > consideration?

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    As far as monitors are concerned -as long as the display quality is
    there- then for viewing digital photos, I would say the higher
    resolution the better. You are display more pixels per inch when the
    desktop resolution is increased which your eyes/brain can easily
    resolve.

    Just consider that a monitor might display an average of 72dpi, where
    as the guidelines for printing a 4"x6" digital photo recommends a dpi
    value of around 300.
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Terence wrote:
    > As far as monitors are concerned -as long as the display quality is
    > there- then for viewing digital photos, I would say the higher
    > resolution the better. You are display more pixels per inch when the
    > desktop resolution is increased which your eyes/brain can easily
    > resolve.

    You are confusing issues, Terence. The more pixels you have in an
    image, the better quality you can obtain when printing the image. But
    this has nothing to do with monitor "resolution", where the image gets
    smaller as you increase the "resolution" value.
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    The point I was trying to make was that you can view a larger portion
    of an image (viewed at full size) when increasing monitor resolution -
    which is usually more desirable when performing image-editing work. I
    do understand that whatever the desktop resolution may be set at has
    nothing to do with the original quality of the image.
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    chrisv wrote:
    > bxf wrote:
    >
    > >Many gamers usually strive to
    > >run at 1600x1200 because it creates a cleaner edge around objects
    > >without resorting to anti-aliasing.
    > >
    > >Not being a gamer, I'd have no appreciation for this, but fair enough.
    >
    > No offense, but you really need to learn how to quote properly. You
    > last post should have looked something like the below:
    >
    >
    >
    > Shinnokxz wrote:
    >
    > >I think the more mainstream way you're seeing it involved higher
    > >resolutions that involve a cleaner edge. Many gamers usually strive to
    > >run at 1600x1200 because it creates a cleaner edge around objects
    > >without resorting to anti-aliasing.
    >
    > Not being a gamer, I'd have no appreciation for this, but fair enough.

    So How's this? In fact, I was just told (after enquiring) how this is
    done in another post.

    Cheers.
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Terence wrote:
    > The point I was trying to make was that you can view a larger portion
    > of an image (viewed at full size) when increasing monitor resolution -
    > which is usually more desirable when performing image-editing work. I
    > do understand that whatever the desktop resolution may be set at has
    > nothing to do with the original quality of the image.

    OK, I understand you better now. In fact I make this point in my
    original post. Of course, this does not precdlude the need to magnify
    the image sometimes simply so that one can deal with areas that are not
    so small that they become impossible to edit with any precision.
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    bxf wrote:

    >Many gamers usually strive to
    >run at 1600x1200 because it creates a cleaner edge around objects
    >without resorting to anti-aliasing.
    >
    >Not being a gamer, I'd have no appreciation for this, but fair enough.

    No offense, but you really need to learn how to quote properly. You
    last post should have looked something like the below:


    Shinnokxz wrote:

    >I think the more mainstream way you're seeing it involved higher
    >resolutions that involve a cleaner edge. Many gamers usually strive to
    >run at 1600x1200 because it creates a cleaner edge around objects
    >without resorting to anti-aliasing.

    Not being a gamer, I'd have no appreciation for this, but fair enough.
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    bxf wrote:

    >chrisv wrote:
    >>
    >> No offense, but you really need to learn how to quote properly. You
    >> last post should have looked something like the below:
    >
    >So How's this? In fact, I was just told (after enquiring) how this is
    >done in another post.
    >
    >Cheers.

    Much better. 8)
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    ....
    > How do these apply if I'm viewing an image with a graphics program or
    > watching a DVD?
    >

    As long as the number of pixels in the source image is less than the number
    being displayed, increased resolution doesn't buy you anything when viewing
    the image. If the number of pixels in the source image is greater than the
    current display setting, then a higher display "resolution" will improve the
    picture because more of the source pixels can be represented.

    For example:
    Your screen is set at 800x600 = 480,000 pixels = 0.48MegaPixels.
    You have a digital camera that take a 2MegaPixel picture = 1600x1200.
    You will only be able to see about 1/2 of the detail in the picture if you
    display the picture full screen. However, you buddy has a "high resolution"
    monitor capable of 1600x1200 pixels. When he views the picture full
    screen, he will see it in all it's glory. }:) Now given that 4, 5, 6, and even
    8 MP cameras are common today, you can see why higher resolutions
    can be convenient for displaying and working with digital images.

    In the case of a DVD, the picture is something like 852x480 (16:9 widescreen).
    Your 800x600 display will display nearly all the information in every
    frame of the DVD. On your buddy's system, either the picture will be smaller,
    or interpolated to a larger size (likely causing a small amount of degredation).
    You might argue that a screen setting just large enough to display a complete
    852x480 window give the best results for watching a movie.

    That's fine for DVD, but what if you want to watch your HD antenna/dish/cable
    feed? Then you might want 1278x720, or even 1980x1080 to see all the detail
    in the picture.

    And this doesn't even begin to consider issue of viewing multiple images/windows/
    etc at a time.

    In summary, you are probably correct that "high resolution" isn't necessary for
    DVD watching, but it certainly is useful for a lot of other things.


    --
    Dan (Woj...) [dmaster](no space)[at](no space)[lucent](no space)[dot](no
    space)[com]
    ===============================
    "I play the piano no more running honey
    This time to the sky I'll sing if clouds don't hear me
    To the sun I'll cry and even if I'm blinded
    I'll try moon gazer because with you I'm stronger"
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "bxf" <bill@topman.net> wrote in message
    news:1118925982.351383.175100@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > Hence my last question in the original post: what is the difference
    > between an image of a certain viewing size (dictated by the monitor
    > resolution), and the same image, viewed under higher resolution
    > settings and therefore a smaller image on the screen, all other things
    > being equal), but magnified by the application (or "other settings", as
    > you put it)?

    Here we again run into confusion problems between "resolution"
    as is commonly used here and the term in its technically proper
    sense - but the bottom line is that a given object rendered at
    a specific resolution (in terms of PPI) looks the same no matter
    how many pixels are in the complete image (i.e., the full screen)
    or how large that screen is. In other words, if you have an image
    of, say, an apple appearing on your display, and that apple appears
    3" tall and at 100 ppi resolution (meaning the the apple itself is
    about 300 pixels tall), nothing else matters.

    In the example you are talking about, though, the apple's image is NOT
    necessarily "at a higer resolution" in a perceptual sense of the term. You
    have more pixels in the entire display, but the same number in
    the apple - making the apple smaller. Whether or not this LOOKS
    better depends on just where the two cases were in terms of the spatial
    acuity curve of the eye. If the smaller-but-same-number-of-pixels-version
    now has the pixels sufficiently smaller such that you're past the acuity
    limit,
    all the detail might still be there but it's useless - your eye can't
    resolve it,
    and so you do not perceive it as being at the same level of "detail" or
    "quality". This is why, for instance, it would be pretty silly to be
    talking
    about something like a 2048 x 1536 display on a PDA - you can't
    possibly, in normal use, be seeing such a thing from a small enough
    distance to really make use of all those pixels.

    > Simplistically, this is how I see the situation: we have an image of A
    > x B pixels. If we view it under monitor resolution settings of say, 800
    > x 600, we will see an image of a certain size, which depends on the
    > monitor in use. If we change the resolution to 1600 x 1200, we are
    > halving the size of each monitor pixel, and the image will be half the
    > size that it was at 800 x 600. If we now tell the application to double
    > the size of the image, the application must interpolate, so that each
    > pixel in the original image will now be represented by four monitor
    > pixels. This would not result in increased image quality, and it
    > requires that the application do some CPU work which it didn't have
    > to do when the monitor was at the lower resolution setting.

    And this is the problem with rendering images in terms of a fixed
    number of pixels, rather than adapting to the available display
    resolution (in terms of pixels per inch) and holding the image
    physical size constant. Systems which do this are just fine as long
    as all displays tend to have the same resolution (again in ppi, which
    has been true for computer monitors for some time - right around
    100 ppi has been the norm), but as we see more different display
    technologies and sizes in the market, offering a much wider
    range of resolutions (50 - 300 ppi is certainly possible already),
    this model breaks.


    Bob M.
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    bxf wrote:

    >
    > J. Clarke wrote:
    >> bxf wrote:
    >>
    >
    >> Not magnified. Font size, icon size, etc adjusted at the system level,
    >> so things are the same size but sharper.
    >
    > How do these apply if I'm viewing an image with a graphics program or
    > watching a DVD?

    Depends on the image. If it's 100x100 then you don't gain anything, if it's
    3000x3000 then you can see more of it at full size or have to reduce it
    less to see the entire image.

    For DVD there's not any practical benefit if the display resolution is
    higher than the DVD standard, which is 720x480.

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Dan Wojciechowski wrote:
    > ...
    > > How do these apply if I'm viewing an image with a graphics program or
    > > watching a DVD?
    > >
    >
    > As long as the number of pixels in the source image is less than the number
    > being displayed, increased resolution doesn't buy you anything when viewing
    > the image. If the number of pixels in the source image is greater than the
    > current display setting, then a higher display "resolution" will improve the
    > picture because more of the source pixels can be represented.
    >
    > For example:
    > Your screen is set at 800x600 = 480,000 pixels = 0.48MegaPixels.
    > You have a digital camera that take a 2MegaPixel picture = 1600x1200.
    > You will only be able to see about 1/2 of the detail in the picture if you
    > display the picture full screen. However, you buddy has a "high resolution"
    > monitor capable of 1600x1200 pixels. When he views the picture full
    > screen, he will see it in all it's glory. }:) Now given that 4, 5, 6, and even
    > 8 MP cameras are common today, you can see why higher resolutions
    > can be convenient for displaying and working with digital images.

    Sorry Dan, the above is incorrect.

    If you view a large image on a screen set to 800x600, you will see only
    a portion of the image. If you view the same image with a 1600x1200
    setting, the image will be smaller and you will see a larger portion of
    it. That's all. There's nothing here that implies better detail. The
    image may appear SHARPER at 1600x1200, but that is simply because the
    detail is smaller, just like small TV screens look sharper than large
    ones.

    > In the case of a DVD, the picture is something like 852x480 (16:9 widescreen).
    > Your 800x600 display will display nearly all the information in every
    > frame of the DVD. On your buddy's system, either the picture will be smaller,
    > or interpolated to a larger size (likely causing a small amount of degredation).
    > You might argue that a screen setting just large enough to display a complete
    > 852x480 window give the best results for watching a movie.

    Well, this makes sense to me, and I'm trying to confirm that I'm
    understanding things correctly. In addition to less degradation, there
    should also be less CPU overhead, due to the absence of interpolation.

    > That's fine for DVD, but what if you want to watch your HD antenna/dish/cable
    > feed? Then you might want 1278x720, or even 1980x1080 to see all the detail
    > in the picture.

    Once again, the monitor setting does not improve the detail you can
    see. If your IMAGE is larger (e.g. 1980x1080 vs 1278x720), THEN you are
    able to see more detail. But this is not related to your MONITOR
    setting, which is only going to determine the size of the image and
    hence what portion of it you can see.
  21. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    J. Clarke wrote:
    > bxf wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > J. Clarke wrote:
    > >> bxf wrote:
    > >>
    > >
    > >> Not magnified. Font size, icon size, etc adjusted at the system level,
    > >> so things are the same size but sharper.
    > >
    > > How do these apply if I'm viewing an image with a graphics program or
    > > watching a DVD?
    >
    > Depends on the image. If it's 100x100 then you don't gain anything, if it's
    > 3000x3000 then you can see more of it at full size or have to reduce it
    > less to see the entire image.

    OK, but this is not a quality issue. You view the image at a size that
    is appropriate for your purposes.

    If I'm photoediting an image, I need to see a certain level of detail
    in order to work. That means that, on any given monitor, I must have
    the image presented to me at a size that is convenient for my intended
    editing function. Does it matter whether this convenient size is
    achieved by adjusting monitor "resolution" or by interpolation (either
    by the video system or by the application)? If the "resolution" setting
    is low, then I would ask the application to magnify the image, say,
    20x, whereas at a higher "resolution" setting I may find it appropriate
    to have the application magnify the image 40x (my numbers are
    arbitrary). Is there a difference in the end result?
  22. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    In addition to the above we have the question of the larger pixels, but
    I don't know how to fit that into the equation.
  23. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    J. Clarke wrote:

    > If the feature size on
    > the image is at 40x still smaller than the pixel size then you gain from
    > the higher res. If not then you don't.

    I believe this statement is relevant, but I need to know what you mean
    by "feature size". Also, by "pixel size" do you mean the physical size
    of the pixel on the monitor?

    > If you're used to low resolution and you change to high resolution then you
    > may not notice much difference. But when you go back to low-res you almost
    > certainly will.

    While I'm writing as if I believe that "resolution" setting makes no
    difference to the image we see, I am in fact aware that this is not the
    case. I know that at low settings the image looks course.
  24. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    bxf wrote:

    >
    > J. Clarke wrote:
    >> bxf wrote:
    >>
    >> >
    >> > J. Clarke wrote:
    >> >> bxf wrote:
    >> >>
    >> >
    >> >> Not magnified. Font size, icon size, etc adjusted at the system
    >> >> level, so things are the same size but sharper.
    >> >
    >> > How do these apply if I'm viewing an image with a graphics program or
    >> > watching a DVD?
    >>
    >> Depends on the image. If it's 100x100 then you don't gain anything, if
    >> it's 3000x3000 then you can see more of it at full size or have to reduce
    >> it less to see the entire image.
    >
    > OK, but this is not a quality issue. You view the image at a size that
    > is appropriate for your purposes.
    >
    > If I'm photoediting an image, I need to see a certain level of detail
    > in order to work. That means that, on any given monitor, I must have
    > the image presented to me at a size that is convenient for my intended
    > editing function. Does it matter whether this convenient size is
    > achieved by adjusting monitor "resolution" or by interpolation (either
    > by the video system or by the application)? If the "resolution" setting
    > is low, then I would ask the application to magnify the image, say,
    > 20x, whereas at a higher "resolution" setting I may find it appropriate
    > to have the application magnify the image 40x (my numbers are
    > arbitrary). Is there a difference in the end result?

    Suppose your monitor could display one pixel? How much more useful to you
    would a monitor that can display two pixels be? How about four? See where
    I'm going?

    If the application magnifies 40x, whether you get a benefit from higher
    resolution or not depends again on the image size. If the feature size on
    the image is at 40x still smaller than the pixel size then you gain from
    the higher res. If not then you don't. One thing you do gain if you use
    the default settings for font size and whatnot is that there is more
    available screen area to display your image and less of it taken up by
    menus and the like.

    If you're used to low resolution and you change to high resolution then you
    may not notice much difference. But when you go back to low-res you almost
    certainly will.

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  25. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    bxf wrote:

    >
    > J. Clarke wrote:
    >
    >> If the feature size on
    >> the image is at 40x still smaller than the pixel size then you gain from
    >> the higher res. If not then you don't.
    >
    > I believe this statement is relevant, but I need to know what you mean
    > by "feature size".

    The size of a single pixel of the raw image.

    > Also, by "pixel size" do you mean the physical size
    > of the pixel on the monitor?

    Yes.

    >> If you're used to low resolution and you change to high resolution then
    >> you
    >> may not notice much difference. But when you go back to low-res you
    >> almost certainly will.
    >
    > While I'm writing as if I believe that "resolution" setting makes no
    > difference to the image we see, I am in fact aware that this is not the
    > case. I know that at low settings the image looks course.

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  26. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "bxf" <bill@topman.net> wrote in message
    news:1119006258.326842.169360@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > If I'm photoediting an image, I need to see a certain level of detail
    > in order to work. That means that, on any given monitor, I must have
    > the image presented to me at a size that is convenient for my intended
    > editing function. Does it matter whether this convenient size is
    > achieved by adjusting monitor "resolution" or by interpolation (either
    > by the video system or by the application)? If the "resolution" setting
    > is low, then I would ask the application to magnify the image, say,
    > 20x, whereas at a higher "resolution" setting I may find it appropriate
    > to have the application magnify the image 40x (my numbers are
    > arbitrary). Is there a difference in the end result?

    OK - I think I see what the basic question really is, now, and
    also let me apologize for not having been able to keep up with the
    conversation the last couple of days due to some business travel.

    Unfortunately, the answer to the above is going to have to be "it
    depends." Let's consider an original image with a pixel format
    far beyond anything that could reasonably be accomodated, in
    total, on any current monitor - say, something like a 4k x 3k image.
    And all you have to view (and edit) this image on is a 1024 x 768
    display. Clearly, SOMETHING has to give if you're going to
    work with this image on that display.

    You can, as noted, scale the full image down to the 1024 x 768
    format of the display - which is effectively a combination of
    resampling and filtering the high-resolution information available
    in the original down to this lower format. Obviously, you
    unavoidably lose information in presenting the image this way, since
    you only have about 1/16 of the original pixels to deal with.
    The other way is to treat the display as a 1024 x 768 "window"
    into the original 4k x 3k space, which preserves all of the original
    information but which means that you can't possibly see everything
    at once. (We'll ignore intermediate combinations of these for the
    moment.)

    If you go with the latter approach, you can examine all of the detail
    the original has to offer, but if you're trying to gauge qualities of
    the original image which can't be observed by only looking at a
    small part (the overall color balance or composition, say), then clearly
    this isn't the way to go. Looking at the scaled-down image, on the
    other hand, lets you see these "overall" qualities at the cost of not
    being able to examine the fine details. So the answer to the question of
    which one is "best" depends almost entirely on just what you're trying
    to do with the image. For a lot of image-editing or creation work,
    the optimum answer is going to be a combination of these two
    approaches - showing a scaled-down but "complete" image for
    doing color adjustments and so forth, and working with the raw
    "full-resolution" version to observe and tweak the full details. As
    long as you preserve the original 4k x 3k DATA somewhere, no
    matter how you VIEW it, nothing is really lost either way.

    Did that help more than the previous takes on this?

    Bob M.
  27. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "J. Clarke" <jclarke.usenet@snet.net.invalid> wrote in message
    news:d8v4rq011ue@news4.newsguy.com...
    > > I believe this statement is relevant, but I need to know what you mean
    > > by "feature size".
    >
    > The size of a single pixel of the raw image.

    OK, but this gets into another often-overlooked aspect of
    digital imaging, or rather the spatial sampling of images.
    While you can speak of the pixel "pitch" of the raw image
    (in terms of pixels per inch or cycles per degree or whatever),
    the "pixels" of that image technically do not have ANY physical
    size. Sampling theory requires that we consider them as
    dimensionless point samples; in other words, ideally we have
    a set of "pixels" which represent luminance and color information
    taken at zero-size sampling points across the image. When
    DISPLAYING this information, we then have to deal with various
    forms of filtering that are then imposed upon this array of sampled
    values (the most basic being just a "rectangular" or "block" filter,
    i.e., the values of that sample are considered as applying equally
    over the full width and height of a given physical area), but it is
    this process which then introduces error/noise into the representation
    of the image. (Now, it may be that the original image information
    was produced by a device which does, in fact, employ physical
    "pixels" of a given size - but when dealing with samples images
    from a theoretical or mathematical perspective, it's still important
    to understand why a "pixel" in the image data is to be considered
    as a point sample.)

    Dr. Alvy Ray Smith, who was the first Graphics Fellow at
    Microsoft and one of the cofounders of Pixar, wrote a very readable paper
    explaining which this is an important distinction to make; it can be
    found at:

    ftp://ftp.alvyray.com/acrobat/6_pixel.pdf


    Bob M.
  28. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Firstly, my apologies for the delay in responding. As I work away from
    home, I have no web access over the weekend. Also, I am in a European
    time zone.

    Rather than make specific quotes from the last few posts, let me say
    that all the provided info is useful and appreciated. I do find that
    the questions in my own mind have been redefining themselves somewhat
    as the thread progresses.

    Bob, I'm glad you had comments to make about John's statement
    "The size of a single pixel of the raw image", because I would not
    have known how to tackle that. I was not able to associate the term
    "size" with a pixel of an image. To me, it has no size. At least
    not until I print it or display it on a monitor.

    And yet, paradoxically, I can't help but feel that this statement is
    relevant to the one issue that I feel still has not been fully answered
    here. Specifically, what is the significance of large monitor pixels,
    as opposed to small ones? I can see that if image pixels did in fact
    have size, then one could express a relationship between image pixel
    size and monitor pixel size. But, as Bob explains, image pixels have no
    size of their own.

    So, at the risk of repeating myself, let's see if the following will
    help us pinpoint the question (my current question) more precisely: if
    we have an image of 100x100 pixels, what is the difference, if any,
    between displaying it at 200% magnification on a monitor set to
    1600x1200, and displaying it at 100% magnification on a monitor set to
    800x600? There is no issue here with resolution or detail, as in either
    case all the pixels are visible in their entirety, nor is there an
    issue with image size, as in either case the displayed image will be
    exactly the same size. Are small pixels "better" than large ones?

    If the answer to the above is "no real difference", then I would
    have to wonder why not run at a lower monitor "resolution" setting
    and relieve the video system of some of the hard work it must do when
    coping with high "resolution" settings (ignoring, of course, the
    need for a high setting when it is required in order to view the
    desired portion of the image). I believe this question is valid for
    those situation where one in fact has control over everything that is
    displayed. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. We can control
    the size of an image or a video clip, but we cannot usually control the
    size of the application's user interface. Nor the size of the
    desktop, explorer, or whatever. Because of this, it seems to me that my
    questions have no potential practical benefit. Perhaps one day we will
    have scalable GUIs, etc, at which time my points will have more
    significance.
  29. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Bob Myers wrote:
    > "bxf" <bill@topman.net> wrote in message
    > news:1119267838.963019.244460@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
    >

    > On the other hand, having more (but
    > smaller) pixels with which you can play also opens up the
    > possibility of certain tricks you could play with the original
    > imaging data (like "smoothing" or "anti-aliasing" things a little
    > better) which may make the image LOOK better, even though
    > they are not in any way increasing the objective accuracy of its
    > presentation. So it comes down to what you (or the particular
    > viewer in question) are most concerned about, and nothing more.
    > If it's just looking at the original data in an accurate presentation,
    > warts and all, and doing this in the most efficient manner possible,
    > you'd probably want to choose the "lower res" display setting.
    > If you want to play games to make it "look good" (and aren't
    > worried about what's actually in the original data), you may have
    > some reason to go with the "higher-res" setting.
    >
    > Bob M.

    I believe you've covered just about everything that could be said on
    the subject (certainly at my level, and then some). The last paragraph
    spells out some of the practical benefits of small pixels, which should
    have been rather obvious, yet were not details that I had considered
    while formulating the questions posed in this thread.

    Thanks for the conversation and all contributions.

    Bill
  30. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "bxf" <bill@topman.net> wrote in message
    news:1119267838.963019.244460@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

    > Bob, I'm glad you had comments to make about John's statement
    > "The size of a single pixel of the raw image", because I would not
    > have known how to tackle that. I was not able to associate the term
    > "size" with a pixel of an image. To me, it has no size. At least
    > not until I print it or display it on a monitor.

    Right - it has no size at all. What it DOES have, though - or rather,
    what the entire set of image data represents - is a certain spatial
    sampling frequency (or usually a pair of such frequencies, along
    orthogonal axes, even though they are often the same value).
    Nyquist's sampling theorem applies to image capture just as well
    as to anything else - anything within the original which represents
    a spatial frequency greater than 1/2 the sampling rate (in terms of
    cycles per degree or however you choose to measure it) CANNOT
    be captured in the sampled data, or worse results in undesirable
    artifacts through an "aliasing" process (which is precisely what the
    infamous "Moire distortion" really is).

    >
    > And yet, paradoxically, I can't help but feel that this statement is
    > relevant to the one issue that I feel still has not been fully answered
    > here. Specifically, what is the significance of large monitor pixels,
    > as opposed to small ones?

    And if it's in those terms - "large" vs. "small" pixels, with no other
    considerations - then there is no significance at all. You must know
    the size of the image in question, and the distance from which it
    will be observed, to make any meaningful comments about what
    differences will result from different "pixel sizes." Concerns over
    the "pixel size of the original image" are really bringing up a related
    but distinct topic, which is the effect of resampling the image
    data (if "scaling" is done) in order to fit it to the display's pixel
    array. And as long as you are UPscaling (i.e., going to a higher
    effective sampling frequency), this process can be done with
    zero loss of actual information (which is not the same thing, of
    course, as saying that the resulting upscaled image LOOKS the
    same). Downscaling (downsampling) must always result in a
    loss of information - it's unavoidable.


    >
    > So, at the risk of repeating myself, let's see if the following will
    > help us pinpoint the question (my current question) more precisely: if
    > we have an image of 100x100 pixels, what is the difference, if any,
    > between displaying it at 200% magnification on a monitor set to
    > 1600x1200, and displaying it at 100% magnification on a monitor set to
    > 800x600?

    Assuming that the display "pixels" are the same shape in both case,
    and that the image winds up the same size in both cases, then there is
    virtually no difference between these two (assuming they have been done
    properly, which is also not always the case).

    > There is no issue here with resolution or detail, as in either
    > case all the pixels are visible in their entirety, nor is there an
    > issue with image size, as in either case the displayed image will be
    > exactly the same size. Are small pixels "better" than large ones?

    Ah, but the problem here is that you've brought an undefined (and
    highly subjective!) term into the picture (no pun intended :-)) - just
    what does "better" mean? More or less expensive? Having a
    certain "look" that a given user finds pleasing? Being the most
    accurate representation possible? Having the best color and
    luminance uniformity, or the brightest overall image. Again, there
    is exactly ZERO difference between these two cases in the amount
    of information (in the objective, quantifiable sense) that is available
    or being presented to the viewer. But that does not mean that all
    viewers will "like" the result equally well.

    > If the answer to the above is "no real difference", then I would
    > have to wonder why not run at a lower monitor "resolution" setting
    > and relieve the video system of some of the hard work it must do when
    > coping with high "resolution" settings (ignoring, of course, the
    > need for a high setting when it is required in order to view the
    > desired portion of the image).

    And you're right, that would be the sensible thing to do IF this
    were all there was to it. On the other hand, having more (but
    smaller) pixels with which you can play also opens up the
    possibility of certain tricks you could play with the original
    imaging data (like "smoothing" or "anti-aliasing" things a little
    better) which may make the image LOOK better, even though
    they are not in any way increasing the objective accuracy of its
    presentation. So it comes down to what you (or the particular
    viewer in question) are most concerned about, and nothing more.
    If it's just looking at the original data in an accurate presentation,
    warts and all, and doing this in the most efficient manner possible,
    you'd probably want to choose the "lower res" display setting.
    If you want to play games to make it "look good" (and aren't
    worried about what's actually in the original data), you may have
    some reason to go with the "higher-res" setting.

    Bob M.
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