Evolution of Resolution


While we didn't always have such high resolutions as we do today. In the early days of computing, we had glass teletypes which hooked up to computers through a cable that transmitted code only for text. No colour, no graphics, only text. In 1984, IBM introduced EGA, which brought with it higher resolutions, more colors, and, of course, new monitors. We were able to get resolutions of up to 640×350. In 1987, IBM introduced the VGA video standard and the first VGA monitors, in league with IBM's PS/2 line of computers. Almost every analog video standard since then has built off of VGA. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, LCD technology continued to improve, driven by a market boom in laptop computers. Computer companies had experimented with desktop LCD monitors since the 1980s in small numbers, but those monitors tended to cost a lot and offer horrible performance in comparison with the more prevalent CRTs. I will be using YouTube as a benchmark as it is one of the most viewed website that have resolution selection available. Back in 2007, YouTube started in 240p (320x240), 2008 it rose to 360p (480x360) which is slightly more tolerable by today's standards, and then later in that year 720 aka HD (1280x720) came around (which for desktops is pretty rubbish but most Iphones have a lower resolution than this), and later 1080p aka FHD (1920x1080). This is the current standart for monitors but it doesn't stop here. 1440p aka QHD came soon after (2560x1440). 1440p is what high end android phones use with examples being the LG V20, Galaxy S7, Google Pixel. Now that those are out of the way, we can get into the larger resolutions not that many people have access to. Starting with the most famous resolution, 4K. 4K or UHD (3840x2160) is what people strive to be able to use in their televisions and computers as it delivers the most detail commercially available. The big boy of resolutions is yet to make commercially available. 8k UHD (7680x4320) televisions are already being made but no consumer systems are currently able to run it. It is a very high resolution but is currently not used very often. However, that doesn't mean we never use it as it was used in televisions during the Rio Olympics. All the resolutions shown are 16:9

Uses and future plans

In the near future, we will be able to obtain higher and higher resolutions which could help in the medical field. Doctors could take more detailed photos inside the human body which could in turn lead to easier detectability of tumours and other things as well. Uses for high resolutions do not end there. Higher resolutions images can be used for space exploration. In the recent years we have gotten higher and higher quality images from Nasa. Those Images of planets would not be possible without high resolution images and could improve even more to give us a more detailed perspective on our universe.

An older photo of a nebula
A newer photo of Mars
A 4K computer made image that demonstrates the possibility of future Photos taken from satellites.

It is quite noticeable that the photo of mars is much better than the photo of the nebula, but still has a far way to go until it reaches the image made by the computer. This technology is not out of reach though. Cameras such as the RED Weapon with it's 8K censor.

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