As the Internet becomes the standard means to distribute video and graphic content, the demand for better video quality has increased. A device’s screen resolution will display the video or graphic content well or horribly.
While every video capable device is manufactured with a preset screen resolution, practically every video capable device allows users to change their device’s screen resolution to support the varied video content. For example, the popularity of high definition (HD) video and 16:9 aspect ratio video may require an older device’s screen resolution to be changed.
HD standard videos require a resolution of more than 480 scan lines; nowadays, HD standard screen resolution is 720 scan lines. 16:9 refers to widescreen videos, how wide the picture is in correlation to its height. These days, all newly manufactured computer monitors and televisions are only available in widescreen. With a higher screen resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio videos will not have to be cropped to fit the screen. The most common numbers associated with screen resolution are 720p, 1080p and 1080i. The letters “p” and “i” tell a user how the video is scanned on the screen, progressive or interlaced.
Progressive scanning redraws all of an image’s lines the first time; interlaced scanning draws the odd numbered lines first then the remaining even numbered lines. The numbers, 720 and 1080, refer to the amount of lines displayed horizontally on the screen. In comparison, progressive scanning is better than interlaced scanning because progressive scanning provides the most detail for a video image. As for the numbers, a 1080 resolution displays more detail than a 720 resolution because 1080 displays more pixels across the screen. The ability of the human eye to discern between 720p and 1080p depends on four factors: eyesight, the size of the screen, the resolution of the screen, and how far away you sit from the screen. With all these factors in mind, 1080p resolution is better, especially when sitting about 6.5 feet away from your screen.