Monitor resolution refers to the level of image detail that can be reproduced. Figure 1 is a chart of common monitor resolutions. Higher resolution settings produce better image quality. Several factors are involved in monitor resolution:
- Pixel - The term pixel is an abbreviation for picture element. Pixels are the tiny dots that comprise a screen. Each pixel consists of red, green, and blue.
- Dot pitch - Dot pitch is the distance between pixels on the screen. A lower dot pitch number produces a better image.
- Contrast ratio - The contrast ratio is a measurement of the difference in intensity of light between the brightest point (white) and the darkest point (black). A 10,000:1 contrast ratio shows dimmer whites and lighter blacks than a monitor with a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.
- Refresh rate - The refresh rate is how often per second the image is rebuilt. A higher refresh rate produces a better image and reduces the level of flicker.
- Interlace/Non-Interlace - Interlaced monitors create the image by scanning the screen two times. The first scan covers the odd lines, top to bottom, and the second scan covers the even lines. Non-interlaced monitors create the image by scanning the screen, one line at a time from top to bottom. Most CRT monitors today are non-interlaced.
- Horizontal, vertical, and color resolution - The number of pixels in a line is the horizontal resolution. The number of lines in a screen is the vertical resolution. The number of colors that can be reproduced is the color resolution.
- Aspect ratio - Aspect ratio is the horizontal to vertical measurement of the viewing area of a monitor. For example, a 4:3 aspect ratio applies to a viewing area that is 16 inches wide by 12 inches high. A 4:3 aspect radio also applies to a viewing area that is 24 inches wide by 18 inches high. A viewing area that is 22 inches wide by 12 inches high has an aspect ratio of 11:6.
- Native resolution - Native resolution is the number of pixels that a monitor has. A monitor with a resolution of 1280x1024 has 1280 horizontal pixels and 1024 vertical pixels. Native mode is when the image sent to the monitor matches the native resolution of the monitor.
Monitors have controls for adjusting the quality of the image. Here are some common monitor settings:
- Brightness - Intensity of the image
- Contrast - Ratio of light to dark
- Position - Vertical and horizontal location of the image on the screen
- Reset - Returns the monitor settings to factory settings
Adding additional monitors can increase work efficiency. The added monitors allow you to expand the size of the desktop so you can view more open windows. Many computers have built-in support for multiple monitors. See Figure 2 for more information about configuring multiple monitors.