Monday, March 19, 2007


So you bought your 1080p hdtv and kick back knowing that you have a high resolution display. Well you're right, you do. We won't be seeing broadcast or media content over 1080i or 1080p anytime soon. But the facts remain that high end monitors have been able to display past this resolutions for some time now. Resolutions of 2048×1536 are not uncommon amongst 19" or 21" CRT computer monitors. But what about beyond that?

Sony have this $43,000 broadcast monitor which they use when they're actually shooting and editing the movies we watch. In film production and post-production, they can't rely on other display types for perfect replication of film and digital sources. Outside of film production, Apple's 30-inch Cinema HD display ($1,999) can display a resolution of 2560 x 1600. IBM have the T221 monitor 22.2" monitor that can display a 3840x2400 resolution (yours for around $7999). Because of their size, we can hardly use them in our home theatre, but really, what's all this about then? The standard is called QXGA, or Quad/Quantum eXtended Graphics Array. Most displays that carry these types of resolutions are CRT based. But as CRT's don't have native resolutions, these resolutions are the "optimal" settings for these displays. A small handful of LCD's have emerged that are edging into these resolutions, apples 30" is one of them. But most of the pro's and cons of LCD's still stand, even at this price point. To better understand this high resolution standard, check out this table using 1080p as a comparison:
QXGA <><><>2048×1536<><4:3<> 3.1M
QSXGA <><><2560×2048>>>5:4<>>5.2M
QUXGA <><><3200×2400<><4:3<>7.7M
WQUXGA <><>3840×2400<>16:10<9.2m

Those aspect ratio's are correct by the way. But I'm not finished here. There's more. In Japan, they already have the "Ultra High Definition Video" standard with a resolution of 7,680 × 4,320. Truly off the charts! Two hours of footage needs approximately 25 Terabytes of data! By comparison, 2 hours of 1920x1080p (1080P) footage takes up 15-50 Gigabytes depending on the compression used (1000GB= 1TB). For this very reason, UHD is so far away that by the time it comes out, drywall, brick and plaster in your house, will have been replaced by reinforced 200" flat panels. The diagram above shows various resolutions measured against UHD. Also, resolutions above 1080p are not supported by movie companies for commercial distribution. You won't see content in these resolutions for quite some time. By the time we do, you'll already be in the mindset that 1080p looks old school!


Phillip White said...

Wow good luck putting a 25 million MB movie on your computer!!! :P

Anonymous said...

good luck downloading one

Anonymous said...

good luck finding a connection that can download it too.

walterH said...

I would love to have higher than 1080p for my 30" desk monitor. The more I can see at once. The better.