[kwlug-disc] meaningful display resolutions for netbooks?

Paul Gallaway pgallaway at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 12:30:44 EDT 2009

On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 11:04 AM, Robert P. J. Day<rpjday at crashcourse.ca> wrote:
>  i'm reading up on the rationale for the increasingly available
> 1366x768 resolutions on netbooks, but then i stumbled across this:
> http://hd1080i.blogspot.com/2006/12/1080i-on-1366x768-resolution-problems.html

Interesting take on the 'whys' of 1366x768

>  in any event, given that common netbook displays are 1024x600 or
> 1024x576, the next logical step that *would* make sense is going to a
> true HD resolution of 1280x720 -- clearly not as good as 1366x768 but
> noticeably better than the two lower ones.  and apparently at least
> acer and lenovo will be releasing (if they haven't already) netbooks
> with 1280x720 displays.

True, many 1366x768 panels won't take that resolution or will stretch
1280x720 or 1024x768 to fill the screen on the VGA or HDMI inputs from
computers What the article doesn't say is that some panels /will/ do
1:1 pixel. For a netbook that means more desktop real estate. So if
you have a panel that will properly announce (EDID) and accept the
resolution that's probably not a bad thing. And yes, given the
processing power of most netbooks it means lots of processing required
to correctly display/scale a 720p video. Which begs the question, is a
netbook be capable of playing a 720p video without some sort of
acceleration such as VDPAU anyway? Should be some Ion netbooks hitting
the market soon I would think. They certainly can't do Flash video at
that resolution.

My 37" 1366x768 TV will do 1:1 pixel mapping but actually reduces the
resolution to 1360x768 leaving a bar on either side at 3 pixels per
side. It has a mode to stretch and fill those extra 6 pixels but looks
better without doing that. I bought this TV because it did a better
job than others available at the time for SD TV which is still
predominately what I watch. Does look quite nice for 720p content I
have tested and DVDs look good to my eyes as well. With a recent
hardware upgrade, the SD recordings from MythTV scale as well/better
than the TVs internal scaler.

Last I checked there were still a number "True" HD panels (1920x1080)
that wouldn't do 1:1 pixels from PCs over HDMI so definitely a buyer
beware scenario out there when using TVs as monitors.

>  so is that the next logical step?  if one accepts that 1366x768
> doesn't represent a video standard of any kind?

Seems to me that 1920x1080 is inevitable. TVs of all sizes - even the
sub 30" are starting to come in at this resolution. Just a year ago
1680x1050 was the standard for 22" monitors but it seems most newer
models are coming with 1920x1080. I suppose it's just a matter of time
before the sub 12" screens on netbooks will cram enough pixels for
1080p video. I guess it depends on what time scale we're talking about

30" and 24" monitors can already be had at resolutions >1920x1080. I
think the resolutions will continue to grow for the next couple years
and then we may start to see some stabilization as other technologies
permeate the market. Other features such as 120Hz displays (I think
this would be good for monitors) and lots of other gimmicks too
indicate to me that there may be a slow down in the pixel count race
(for TVs anyway) and manufactures are looking for new ways to sell
product to unsuspecting buyers. That should help new technologies come
to market and compete (competitively priced I hope) on technical
merits rather than resolution alone (e.g. OLED, 3D etc).

Getting a little off-topic and into a rant but, when the hell did it
become acceptable to rely on an external tuner (e.g digital TV)
instead of being able to use the QAM tuners built-into newer TVs these

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