All about screen resolutions
Today, there are many types of television screens with different resolutions and video qualities. In this sense, it can be a bit complicated to understand this whole world and know what the best screen resolution is for each one, so it is necessary to understand what resolution is and which are the most common.
When talking about screen resolutions, it is common to come across a huge variety of names and abbreviations. UXGA, SD, HD or 1920×1080, each term has a different meaning, so it is important to know what each of them means. Only in this way is it possible to know what the ideal resolution is for each use of the television, whether it is to watch your series and movies, or to play video games with the best video qualities.
In this sense, all these nomenclatures can become very confusing, so we will try to explain what they mean in the simplest and most summarized way possible.
Screen resolution, what is it?
On modern TVs, when we talk about screen resolution, we mean the total pixels displayed on the device. This term is not only used for television screens, but also applies to computer monitors, tablets and mobile phones. In reality, any screen of any device has a resolution, and the quality that the images can achieve will depend on it.
In this sense, the term resolution is also often used with videos and works in the same way. This is important, since a screen with HD resolution will not take advantage of the full quality of a 4K video, since the resolution of the video will adapt to that of the screen , which in this case is lower.
Furthermore, in addition to abbreviations, resolutions are also displayed in numbers. These figures indicate the maximum number of active pixels on the screen. For example, when we talk about a Full HD resolution of 1920 × 1080, what we are saying is that the screen has 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels.
Surely you have noticed that many times only one of the two figures is shown. This is because, usually to save space in product labeling, only the number of vertical pixels is used. In this sense, it is normal that, when buying a television, you come across something like “1080p resolution”, which means that the monitor is 1920×1080 pixels or, what is the same, that it has a Full HD or FHD resolution..
Finally, it is important to point out that the best resolutions are those that show a greater number of pixels on the screen. This means that a 4K television will have more pixels on the screen than a FullHD. Basically, the higher the pixel density of the screen, the more details can be displayed . On the other hand, these screens will also need more power to run the hardware, so it is common for them to have a higher power consumption.
What are the main HD resolutions?
HD video resolutions are the most common format you will come across today. These are high resolution screens and it is important to learn to distinguish between them:
- SD (Standard Definition): This is a low resolution standard, 640x480p. It is also commonly labeled as VGA.
- QHD (Quarter High Definition): A format of quarter high definition, 960x540p.
- HD: The HD format is the first high-resolution standard of 1280x720p, also known as 720p.
- Full HD (Full High Definition): It is a true high definition format, 1920x1080p, also known as 1080p. It is also the usual mobile screen resolution.
- QHD (Quad High Definition): 2560x1440p format, also known as 2K or 1440p is common in high-end mobile phones.
- UHD (Ultra High Definition): This is the famous 4K format of 3840x2160p. It is a format superior to Full HD and common in mid-range and high-end televisions.
- UHD 8K (Ultra High Definition 8K): From 7680x4320p a new format, which exceeds 4K.
VGA video resolutions were the most common before the arrival of HD. It is also the type of screen resolution of an old computer. In this sense, there are a large number and many of these are no longer used. However, it is important to know some of them, to understand them:
- VGA (Video Graphics Array): One of the oldest video formats, common in older televisions and computer monitors, 640x480p.
- SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array): Considered as the previous step to HD monitors, it is a video resolution of 800x600p.
- XGA (Extended Graphics Array): 1024x768p, it is a standard that came as an evolution of the Super VGA system.
- XGA+ (Extended Graphics Array Plus): A 1,152x864p format, common in CRT (tube) monitors, common before the appearance of LCDs.
- SXGA (Super Extended Graphics Array): It is an evolution of the XGA format, with 1280x1024p. It is a system halfway to Full HD.
Beyond the resolution, the format of the screen is another concept that must be taken into account, since it will affect the measurements of the content that will be seen on it. This is the ratio of the horizontal and vertical pixels.
The most common are the 4:3, 16:10 and 3:2 formats. In this sense, the more difference there is between the two numbers (width and height), the more flattened and stretched the image that is seen on the screen will be. For example, 16:9 resolutions will be for a wide, largely horizontal screen, on the other hand, 4:3 resolutions will be for a more proportionate screen.