Displaying Devices

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Displaying Devices

Post  admin on Tue 20 Jul 2010, 8:31 am

A pixel is a single picture (pix) element (el) that can be displayed on a graphics screen. It is the smallest controllable element able to be displayed, and in most graphic systems, is controlled by data stored in the systems video RAM or frame buffer. The computer sets the colour and brightness of every individual pixel to create the image that is displayed. Thousands of pixels of varying hues and tones are placed together in order to form an image. A typical VDU screen for a home PC has between 500,000 to over 1,000,000 individual pixels.
The resolution of an image represents the quality or detail present in the displayed image. It is a measurement that is usually described as the number of pixels across the screen to the number of pixels vertical to the screen. An example would be 1024x800.
Two common terms used to describe the quality of graphic images and their display systems are High Resolution (HIRES) and Low Resolution (LORES). However, due to the rapid speed of technological advancements, it is difficult to determine what exactly is regarded as HIRES and what is regarded as LORES. A screen with resolution 640x480 was considered HIRES in the early 1990s, however now it is regarded as LORES.
The difference between HIRES and LORES images can be seen here:

The quality of the image is determined by the resolution. In the lower resolution image, blocky areas of similarly coloured pixels can be seen. In the higher resolution however, the quality is better and provides a more realistic image. More pixels in the high resolution image mean that each pixel is smaller and that more information detail can be shown. This comes at a cost however, and that is more storage space (a bigger frame buffer) and processing power for display.
As a result of this, display devices have increased in resolution to keep up with demands of the detail that the images they are displaying need. It is useless to have a high resolution image with great quality to be displayed on a low resolution VDU with low quality. Therefore, display devices have rapidly increased in resolution over the past few years as the data that they display has, and is shown to be a continuing trend. New and improved devices are constantly being discovered and used, such as Plasma screens and LCDs, which were not around in the late 20th century.


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