do we really need higher resolutions?

Nowadays, when people buy tv’s, they always want to have the biggest resolution possible for their viewing pleasure.
But is a higher resolution always better? Is the difference between 1080p and 720p always noticeable?

A higher resolutions takes care of the ability to deliver more detail to the picture and make it sharper.
There are a few factors that take part in making the viewer able to distinguish between image resolutions:
the resolution of the screen, the size of the screen, and the viewing distance. To be able to detect differences between resolutions, the screen must be large enough and the viewer must sit close enough.

The human eye (for people with perfect vision) can resolve 1/60 of a degree of an arc. With this knowledge, it is possible to estimate when the differences between resolutions will become apparent. On the following picture you can see when a certain resolution becomes noticeably better than a lower one.

For example, we take a 50 inch screen (127 cm).
The benefits of 720p vs 480p only start to become noticeable at viewing distances closer than 14,6 feet (4,45m) and become fully apparent at 9.8 feet (3m). For the same screen the benefits of 1080p vs 720p start to become noticeable at distances closer than 9,8 feet (3m) and are fully apparent at 6,5 feet (2m).

So we can conclude that for smaller screens, there isn’t much difference between 1080p and 720p, but for bigger screens like in the cinema it’s a massive improvement.


Alexander & Tom



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