Android Guy Weekly: Do We Really Need 720P Smartphone Screens?

Many of us grew up with relatively small, low-resolution televisions as the primary — perhaps the only — screen in the home. We didn’t think about it at the time, but these displays had a resolution of roughly 480i. That’s the number of horizontal lines that are drawn across the screen. The “i” means “interlaced”: only half of those lines are changed at a time.

Back in the day, that was the best we had. As screens started getting bigger, the lines became more obvious — and the picture got worse. The industry has standardized on two primary television resolutions: 720 and 1080.

While the TV resolution battles were being fought, something interesting happened: screens became smaller and ended up in our pockets. Let’s take a look at HD screens and see how they’ll influence smartphones, tablets, and TVs.

0:22 History: television resolutions

1:45 What is “interlacing”?

2:30 Technical limitations of broadcast TV

4:37 Big-screen TVs

5:20 What is “High Definition”?

6:40 How does this apply to smartphones and Tablets

8:28 Pros and Cons of HD screens

15:00 Predictions

16:25 Your turn!

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.