Originally Posted by Budget_HT
Native resolution usually describes the horizontal and vertical pixel counts on a fixed pixel display, like a plasma, DLP, or LCD. CRT HDTVs like this one do not really have a screen-based native resolution, but they often do convert inputs to one or two resolutions for display. For example, my RP CRT HDTV displays 1080i, 480i and 480p directly. It does not display--nor accept an input of--720p.
Since there are a fixed number of phosphor dots on the CRT, doesn't that set the "native resolution"?
For example, if there are only 800 red phosphors horizontally and 600 red phosphors vertically, wouldn't the maximum - hence native - resolution be 800x600? (on a 4:3 tube, of course)
We may be into semantics here. Also, my interpretation of "native resolution" may be a bit warped.
I agree with the maximums you describe, but I think of native resolution as being synchronized between signals, electronics and display pixels. In other words, a 1920 x 1080 native resolution capability would mean that a 1920 x 1080 source signal (digital) would be processed and displayed with individual pixel-level integrity. Each individual pixel displayed is discrete, and it accurately renders the color and intensity exactly as "specified" by the input signal.
On a direct-view CRT, there are clusters of phosphor dots/slots/stripes that work together to display a single color hue for a theoretical single pixel. But that is driven by three parallel R, G & B analog color signals that vary in amplitude over time. Because of physical, magnetic and electrical adjustments available to control the placement of the electron beam(s) on the face of the display, i.e., for raster positioning and convergence, it is highly unlikely that pixel-level integrity could be maintained from source signal through to physical phosphors on the screen. This is not necessarily bad, because some pretty decent picture quality is possible in this environment. But I don't perceive the direct-view CRT and its associated signal processing and control circuits as having a native resolution. JUST my perception and opinion, no more. RPTV CRTs differ in that their individual signals are combined optically on a single point on a screen, but achieving perfect focus and convergence (comparable to a fixed-pixel display) is not economically justifiable for we consumers.
Compare the direct-view CRT scenario to the ideal purely digital signal path and fixed-pixel display, where every pixel is discrete throughout the process. How many HDTV technologiess are capable of this ideal? There are a few that seem like they could, such as flat panel and projection LCDs (where each physical pixel displays the full range of colors) and DLPs. BUT, in some cases, there are internal D/A and A/D conversions so that user and service menu controls and adjustments can be managed more simply in the analog domain. I am NOT an expert in this area, but I have read accounts of this approach in HDTVs that the consumers perceive to be "100% digital."
Now, some newer LCD displays provide separate physical "pixels" each for R, G & B, as do plasma displays. So how do we determine native resolution for these devices, in clusters of 3 (R+G+B)?
So now you have heard my low-tech perceptions and opinions on native resolution. The bottom line is really, "So what?" If it looks good, buy it and watch it. Sometimes we can get too hung up on complex specification and performance details that eventually have little bearing on the final result. For example, sometimes an accurate, pixel-perfect picture looks a bit harsh when compared to a slightly softer analog display. I have seen DLP sets where deliberate softening has been added to overcome the otherwise "gritty" picture.
So, as always, buy video displays that are pleasing to your own eyes, regardless of the 3 pages of spec's that attempt to prove that product A is technically superior to product B.