Display Technologies, Part 3: Desktop Display Resolutions

HDTVs are only important due to the content they display.

The desktop display space is the strangest of all display technology spaces since it has been around for the longest and the fragmentation of technologies is most evident. The standard for all intents and purposes is the LCD technologies discussed in previous installments of this series, recently converting to LED backlighting due to the power saving features inherent to light emitting diodes. Resolutions have always been the important differentiator between monitors, as video graphics cards in computers got more powerful over the years. Where the conversation gets interesting is when televisions are counted as desktop displays. Samsung is known for creating these television/computer hybrid displays by placing high definition television tuners into their computer monitors (see SyncMaster line on Google Products). However, the resolution known as 1080p (1920x1080 pixels per inch with the p” standing for progressive scan), is actually fairly low resolution in comparison to other monitors on the market.

Well known in the computer world for humorous technology commentary, xkcd.com publishes stick figure cartoons based on current technology happenings with a twist that normally only tech people will understand and find funny. Earlier this year, one xkcd comic hit the display argument on the head: http://www.xkcd.com/732/. In it, one consumer is lauding their new HDTV that is able to represent full resolution 1080p video. Meanwhile, the other user states that his cell phone has almost as many pixels and his monitor from 2004 was able to show resolutions higher than that of this HDTV. The point is valid and not due to the ways in which people utilize these displays. On the one hand, the point is valid because the normal computer user tends to have his/her computer resolution at its maximum, around 1600x1200, although some who have difficulty with smaller text may change that for comfortability. On the other hand, the reason why HDTVs are important is not because of their displays but the content which they display. For instance, until recently high definition video was impossible over the air due to the bandwidth concerns of the medium. Hollywood has since released every movie they can via high definition mediums, which is high definition” only in comparison to the things that came before it. Digital media is to blame for the confusion surrounding resolutions.

In a world where the mobile landscape is much more important than desktop display technologies, desktop displays can only be as good as the content that is displayed on them. Computers are only as good as the content that they have the ability to play. The argument surrounding resolution is moot due to the idea that a 1600x1200ppi display is only worth the 1080p images that can be displayed on it. At some point, computers and television studios will be able to produce and distribute the content that will take advantage of the resolutions that monitors can show and higher. That technology is referred to as 4K and will blow away the majority of current video implementations in terms of color representation, clarity, and detail.


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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.