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PC Resolution vs. TV Resolution (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Jan 11, 2004
I was wondering if the same resolution apply for both a PC display and an HDTV. I have my PC resolution set at 1280x768. Is this the same if not more than a TV set at 720P? I was looking into a projector, but some varied in connection and resolution.

Is a projector with a resolution of 800x600 better than an EDTV?

Are all computer resolutions progressive?

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Nov 1, 1998
PC and TV resolutions are different for the most part.

Both the horizontal and vertical pixel count used by every digital stage in the video signal path all the way to the monitor or projector must be equal or greater to that of the source in order to have any chance of showing all the picture detail.

720p HDTV is 1280 x 720. The PC operating at 1280 x 768 and processing HDTV (if it can) will scale the 720p to become 768p although the picture detail is still 720 lines of resolution vertically.

Although some TV's, mainly CRT projectors, will work with PC resolutions, automatically synchronizing themselves, most of the time you need a scaler in between to tgive the TV exactly the number of scan lines pre second it wants. That is, you generally cannot just take a 720p feed from an HDTV tuner box and plug it into a 1280 x 768 data projector.

All common computer resolutions these days are progressive. You do have to be aware of the frame rate, too. Usually you can get the PC to output 60 fps, close enough to the TV frame rate of 59.94 fps.

800 x 600 does not do justice to HDTV. Used for DVD you don't get any more than 720 x 480 pixels worth of source material detail anyway. Also, if you use an anamorphic lens all the time the 16:9 picture after scaling is 800 x 600 but the 4:3 picture is 600 x 600, the latter less than DVD resolution. If you don't use an anamorphic lens at all, the 16:9 picture after scaling is 800 x 450, again less than DVD resolution.

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