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What is a High Definition PC Monitor?

Learn the Ins and Outs of HD Entertainment on Your Computer Screen

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Acer V223-WBD 22-inch LCD Monitor

The Acer V223-WBD 22-inch LCD Monitor

Courtesy of Acer

By now, everyone's heard of HDTV. It's what comes with those flat panel plasma and LCD screens that we suddenly started seeing in people's living rooms, and it makes sports, movies, and even The Weather Channel look amazing.

Similarly, most people have an idea of what high definition, or "HD," means, such as beautiful, crystal clear picture and vibrant colors. But what does it mean to have an HD monitor attached to your computer. Is there any point to it? Does it make computing that much better?

In brief, it depends on what you with your computer. To be even more brief, yes, it is better.

Definition of High Definition

High Definition is largely a fluid term, taking the shape of a lot of different containers, with the only real meaning being something with a significantly increased picture quality and clarity based on the resolution of the monitor in question. For this reason, High Definition is, in reality, a synonym for high resolution.

High resolution means more pixels in your screen, which leads to a remarkably more clear picture. There are some standards now that allow a more concrete resolution of what it means to have an "official" HD display monitor, even for your PC.

The following are the standard definitions for HD video, which is able to be displayed on monitors of slightly varying native resolutions, some being standard for computer screens, other for TV screens, but they are to a large degree interchangeable because they all work to display these resolutions of video:

  • 1280x720 - aka 720p
  • 1920x1080 - aka 1080i
  • 1920x1080 Progressive - aka 1080p

The "p" and "i" after the resolution denotes either Progressive or Interlaced scanning, respectively. Progressive has been proven to the the faster, clearer picture, less prone to blurring, and therefore has won the title of the "standardized" best possible resolution for HD broadcasting at 1080p.

For your PC, high definition means taking your computer to the next level when it comes to playing video games, watching movies, and watching HD online video. HD means that the screen will be 'widescreen,' so you'll be watching it as it was originally intended to be seen, uncropped, in the theater.

Since HDTV caught fire, video game studios and online entertainment companies have been focusing more and more on HD programming for a high resolution screen. So really, what it ultimately means is, if you don't have an HD monitor, you're missing out on a big part of the picture.

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