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What Is Native Resolution vs. Supported Resolution When Buying A Projector for Your Home Theatre?

Resolution When Buying-A Projector for Your Home Theatre

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Having the best pair of hi-fi headphones or speaker system is one thing, but using it properly is entirely another.

When I started on my road toward becoming an audiophile, I focused solely on songs and short videos. Of course, I would occasionally watch a movie here and there, too, but I wasn’t as focused on the “hi-fi home theatre experience.” 

The projector you buy will determine not only the quality of sound (sounds a bit strange, I know) but also the video quality, naturally. Of course, you need to pair the best quality and video resolution with your expensive sound system for the best experience. 

In this article, I will discuss the difference that projectors can make in your viewing and listening experience.

I’ll go over what native and supported resolutions are, the difference between the two, the effects on image quality, and several other important elements you should consider when buying a projector for your home theatre. 

What is Projector Resolution?

Projector resolution is the number of pixels that make up the image on the screen. Higher pixels in a projector usually mean a much clearer and crisp image quality as well.

However, higher-resolution video on a lower-resolution projector doesn’t always offer the best viewing experience.

Projector for your home theater
Vintage Projector | JumpStrory

There are two types of projector resolutions: native and supported. 

Native resolution is the fixed number of pixels that a projector is designed to use. For example, a 1080p projector has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This means that it will always display an image with 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels. 

Supported resolutions are lower than the native resolution and are used when playing lower-quality video sources.

For example, a 1080p projector may have a supported resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. This means that it can display an image with 640 horizontal pixels and 480 vertical pixels, but the image will not be as clear as it would be at the projector’s native resolution. 

The Difference Between Native Resolution and Supported Resolution

The primary difference between native resolution and supported resolution is that native resolution is fixed and cannot be changed, while supported resolution can be changed.

This means that you can use a lower-quality video source on a projector with a higher native resolution, but the image will not be as clear as it would be on a projector with a lower native resolution. 

For example, if you have a 1080p projector with a supported resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, you can watch a DVD on it, but the image will not be as clear as it would be on a projector with a native resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. 

The reason for this is that the projector with the higher native resolution will have more pixels to work with, so the image will be clearer. On the other hand, the projector with the lower native resolution will have fewer pixels to work with, so the image will not be as clear. 

It’s also important to note that not all projectors support all resolutions.

For example, a 1080p projector may only support resolutions up to 720p. This means that you won’t be able to watch a 1080p Blu-ray movie on it because the projector doesn’t have enough pixels to display the image properly.

Native Resolution Projector
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Projector | JumpStory

Choosing The Best Resolution for a Projector

The best resolution for a projector depends on the quality of the video sources you’re going to be watching. If you only watch standard definition (SD) sources, such as DVDs, then you don’t need a projector with a very high native resolution. 

On the other hand, if you watch high-definition (HD) sources, such as Blu-ray movies, then you’ll want a projector with a higher native resolution. This is because HD video sources have more pixels than SD video sources, so you’ll need a projector with more pixels to display the image properly. 

It’s also important to consider the size of the screen you’re going to be using. The bigger the screen, the more pixels you’ll need to fill it. For example, if you’re using a 100-inch screen, you’ll need a projector with a native resolution of at least 1080p. 

If you’re using a smaller screen, such as an 80-inch screen, you can get away with a lower native resolution, such as 720p. 

Difference Between Different Projector Resolutions

What is the Difference Between 4K and Ultra HD Resolution?

4K and Ultra HD are two terms that are often used interchangeably, however, technically the terms aren’t interchangeable.4K resolution, as the name suggests, offers 4096 x 2160 pixels on a screen. Ultra HD, on the other hand, offers 3840 x 2160 pixels on the screen. 

The difference may seem small, but it’s actually quite significant. A 4K projector has twice as many pixels as an Ultra HD projector, which means that the image will be much sharper and more detailed. 

Most projectors on the market today are Ultra HD projectors, but there are a few 4K projectors available. If you’re looking for the best possible image quality, you should look for a 4K projector.

Supported resolution projector
Source: JumpStory

What is the Difference Between 1080p and 1080i Resolution?

The primary difference between 1080p and 1080i resolutions is that the “p” in 1080p stands for progressive scan format, while the “i” in 1080i stands for interlaced scan format. This means that the 1080p video has all of the horizontal lines drawn at once, while the 1080i video has the even lines drawn first and then the odd lines drawn second. 

The advantage of 1080p over 1080i is that it eliminates interlace artifacts, such as jagged edges on moving objects. This makes 1080p video look much smoother and more realistic than 1080i video. 

Most projectors on the market today are 1080p projectors, but there are a few 1080i projectors available. 1080i is mostly preferred in professional presentations, not home theatres. I haven’t really seen many people enjoy a movie in their home theatres in 1080i resolution. 

What is DLP Resolution?

DLP resolution is a term that is used to describe the native resolution of DLP projectors. DLP projectors are a type of projector that uses an array of tiny mirrors to reflect light onto the screen.

The projectors are available in a variety of resolutions, but the most common is 1080p. In these resolutions, each mirror in the projector is responsible for displaying one pixel of the image. That’s a lot of mirrors, right?

The advantage of DLP over other projector technologies is that it can produce a very sharp and detailed image. In fact, many people believe that DLP projectors have the best image quality of any type of projector. However, these projectors are relatively fragile, as well.

I personally believe that with the best hi-fi speaker system, you need the best projector resolution as well. However, the perfect one isn’t always the highest resolution out there. For instance, if you try to run a 4K video on a 1080p or 1080i projector, it will end up giving you a “scaling effect.”

This is when the projector will take the 4K video signal and try to display it on a 1080p or 1080i screen. The result is that the image will appear to be stretched or have black bars on the sides. 

To avoid this, you should always make sure that your projector has the same resolution as your video source. For example, if you’re watching a 4K Blu-ray movie, you should use a 4K projector. 

This moves to show that the best resolution for your projector is a native one. When buying a projector for your home theatre, you should keep this nativity in mind and choose a resolution that you are sure to enjoy for years to come!

A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.


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