1080i on 1366x768 resolution problems
click for full 1920 x 1080 image
Your New Years Resolution should be 1080..
but if not... then read on. .1366 x 768 is not a broadcast standard in any way shape or form. It is a flatpanel plasma and LCD resolution offered for 16:9 displays Note ... this image above is not intended to show that 1366x768 cuts off a broadcast image, It is just to represent the pixel area differences of various resolutions. 1080i content is scaled down from 1920 wide to 1366 wide by the display. Read on.. Scaling matters.
1366 x 768 Native Resolution in fixed pixel flat panel displays:
There are 2 resolutions for HD broadcasts
1) 720p = resolution of 1280 x720 pixels ~ 1 megapixel
2) 1080i -= resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels ~ 2 megapixels
There is no 3rd resolution of 1366 x 768 in any HD source.
If you own a 1366 x 768 display then your image has been mashed about and re-scaled to fit your screen. Period. Meaning: you will not ever get a pixel for pixel rendering of anything coming into your display, so all this talk of "pristine 720p" from my 720p plasma display is bunk usually unless your display has an exact 1280 mode. Its no longer the video frame that the producer saw. Instead you actually are seeing an upscaled version created by the pixel scaler firmware with quality that the display manufacturer wanted to put into the HDTV.
WHY does 1366 x 768 exist?
This has to do with a 1 megapixel processing boundary of easily available chipsets for VRAM ( video memory ) and video processing display drivers. Its a standard memory size of importance to chip makers. Makes for cost productive configurations where the Input / Output systems are built off of already available OEM devices, so basically the Manufacturer is more in the business of flatpanel Glass making and bezel/speaker situations on a large display. The functional basic math:
1024 x 1024 = 1048576 pixels
1366 x 768 = 1049088 pixels 16 by 9 image
720p = 1280 x 720 = 921600 pixels. 16 by 9 HD standard .
720p is just under 1 megapixel of data per screen.
If they really wanted to make a 720p specific display, it would be 1280 x 720 pixels, but they decided to get every last bit they could into the viewable pixel space and that is what makes for 16 by 9 numbers to become 1366 across and 768 vertically. In fact 768 is a common vertical resolution memory boundary. Why get more pixels up into the glass and use 1366 x 768? ... because more pixels is better image resolution.
A 1366 x 768 image is ALWAYS SCALED
To Get HD from this means your image is at the mercy of scaling that makes 720 or 1080 source practically irrelevent to you, since whatever you see is processed and spit out by something you have almost no control over after your purchase. I trust Sony and Westinghouse digital, LG on some units. You must see it in the store in my opinion. Asking about scaler technology from most sales people will get you nowhere.
1366x768 is where the industry has not properly explained itself.
Why? I dont know , because i think they should, especially when the news is good, some displays have scalers that are superb and they should be claiming credit for that, since a huge amount of processing has to happen to make 720 into 768 or 1080 down to 768. In a Good display with a great processing chipset, the 1080 incoming resoultion is 2 times what the display can show, and since it has twice the information it needs, the 1366 display can really do a great job.
STORES AND MARKETING PEOPLE...
Ignoring this basic fact that people recognize the 1366 is not 1080 or 720, leaving out info about about scaler processing, is flawed reasoning at a fundamental level, and the google search hits i get about that are ample proof. People are smarter than that, and that intellect should be respected.
People DO want to know whats up with that. I think you need to see this nearly hidden piece : http://www.lge.com/products/tv/XDEngine/index.htm (flash) is not technical, but shows how LG handles the mutlitude of problems caused by resolution scaling and color. This is all done in chipsets that are in the display. By the way, LG does a great job and you will be happy to own a 1366x768 if the price-point is right for you.
why? Because many people looking at what they are told is the NEW HD are being exposed to 1 megapixel quality spread out over a large bright surface and they do not see the benefits of greater accuracy = HD in the display, because for the most part, that difference is not as dramatic, and stuff is still a bit fuzzy. Plasma displays at eye level in stores are the worst culprit. As a result some people see HDTV as a format / shape change from roughly square images to Wide Screen theater type displays that are flat. And the words HIGH and Definition are not being trusted as well. As a result you will see "FULL HD 1080" in marketing to put the HIGH back into the Definition.
THIS COLUMN written by some old guy in Baltimore sums it up pretty well, a huge 1366 x 768 screen was probably what he saw. Perhaps he would fail the 5 foot test With an eye chart of sorts here.
People that buy an HDTV also have worked with a computer... they see 1024 x 768 on a smaller screen without knowing that 768 is the display's pixel resolution ... some have seen a DVD on the computer screen. They seem to accept and relate that HD WideScreen TV is not going to be as sharp and detailed an image as thier computer has, & in my mind that is totally wrong... i blame the 1366 x 768 large flatpanel display makers for this misunderstanding.
A lot of personal computer laptop screens are actually higher in resolution , mine is 1440 x 960 and it and has enough VRAM for a secondary display, so there is a vga port in the back of it. The problems arise when you try to connect it up to a computer, which is by and large the next thing a wide screen HD display owner tries to do.
HOOKING IT UP?
here is another term you have to live with regardless..
This is a real hassle, its the handshake between devices that sets the allowable resolution options you can select in the resolution menus of graphics systems.
This causes unavailable resolution to be grayed out and unselectable, even when the real truth would prove that the selection would be just fine, and should be allowed. The only way around this is to use a display driver for that monitor, which may be very hard to find.
There are codes for resolution.
They have the name EDID's and they are standards that exist across the globe, everywhere, but not always implemented in the same way and rarely include the 1366 x 768 resolution option.
WUXGA = 1920 x 1080 = HD1080 16:9 ATSC
WXGA = 1280 x 768/720 = HD720 16:9 generic PC
& by way of example; VGA = 640 x 480.
Standard EDID codes dont exist for 1366 x 768 resolution ...
causing lots of angst when people buy a 1366x768 panel and try to hook it up with VGA connector to a PC or a game machine, to find that 1280x768 is really the only clean resolution they get, and pushed to 1366, everything is rather blocky/blurry... doesnt look right. I'll bet you didnt know that, or if you just bought a 1366x768 HDTV you just found this out and you are seriously pissed about it. For DVI connections its a bit different and you really need the display card MFG and the monitor to behave properly, but not a lot of systems have DVI, you need to get that as an upgrade to your PC. The best solution i have for you is to replace your Graphics card with an nVdia 7600 GT or 7800 series graphics card. At this moment, nVidia does it best. For the technically adventure-centric DIY guy, a shareware program called PowerStrip 3 will attempt to control your graphics card, download it here: http://www.entechtaiwan.com/util/ps.shtm
Be careful though, and have an alternate display available to see what is happening in case you set your system to something unworkable by accident.
You will need perhaps a DVI to HDMI connector cable. Get that here: http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/dvi/index.htm
There isnt a future for 1366x768. Its just what is available due to chipsets and mfg, and is typical for low end LCD and many displays in Plasma. The plasma crowd is worried about this and producing all kinds of studies about the way people perceive color and motion at whatever viewing distance. If you never hook up a computer display, game machine or networked device, plasma 1366 may be right for you. If not, then this resolution is just Bigger wider brighter and flatter, with fat pixels you can see at 6 feet distance.
The over-whelming fact is.. people are hooking up their laptops and PC's to thier wide screen HDTVs, and this connects more and more people to HD and the web. I have found that people who get 1080p LCD displays have no issues, and those with 1366 displays have to fiddle a bit with the properties panel in the PC. Also, this seems to be one case where Apple does do well, many notebooks of theirs have DVI ports that seem to work out a full screen display.
is a word used by gamers and videopholes.
Basically what can happen is the graphics card/ memory refresh cycle is not completed in the displays refresh time, causing a loss of smooth motion or only getting halfway updated frames.
For 1280x768 this is usually not too much of a problem in a quick computer, but older 1.8 ghz systems with insufficient VRAM resources in memory will fail to produce a useable experience.
CYBERLINK PowerDVD software players...
Some systems will lock up or simply not display, especially when the extended desktop display is the HD screen, and the software wants to display on screen 1... forcing it to the secondary screen 2 while it is in use can crash some machines. In some cases you cannot change the properties in the PC display control to make the external screen become screen 1, and you can actually cause hard problems by doing so.... The best way for that case is is to start the DVD player -- pause it. -- drag the player window to the HD screen, and then restart the player not in full screen mode. pause it , set full screen , play.
There is a fellow on CNet that says he cant always tell the difference between a 1080p and a 1366 display when looking at HD content... AND states several times that the difference between Standard Definition TV and and 1366 HD display is more dramatic than the difference between 1366 and 1920 resolution displays. This is actually true, for him. If a person wears glasses and/or is near sighted, then perhaps the added cost of going from 1366 to 1920 pixel resolution is better spent on other things, so for some people its all good.
However, the difference between Standard Def 480 TV and HD 1080 is really what HD is all about, and in my time in front of displays, the 1080 stuff is preferred.
When the guitar on the wall next to the HDTV and a video or photo of that guitar on the HD screen look identical in detail, then HD becomes the accuracy of reality, it just feels right.