Jul 062012
a quick guide to common technical terms to help you understand your mobile & TV DISPLAY capabilities better.

It is often confusing to compare DISPLAYS of common electronics devices like TVs, Media Players, Mobiles, Tablets etc. due to “hard to understand” technical terms. Here is a quick guide to common technical terms to understand your device DISPLAY capabilities better.

We are presenting a series of posts to explain such common technical terms related to different facets like Display, Sound, Connectivity etc. of your gadgets. We have divided the technology terms in different sections for better clarity and easy reading. Most of the definitions are compiled from around the web (mostly Wikipedia) to give you the most lucid and clear understanding.

 Today we present Part I of this series explaining DISPLAY technology terms.

Understand Common Display Technology Terms

DISPLAYS of common consumer electronics devices like TVs, Media Players, Mobiles, Tablets etc.

Resolution : The display resolution of a digital television or display device is the number of distinct pixels (or lines) in each dimension that can be displayed. For E.g., a 1920 x 1080p (Width x Height) Full HD TV can show 1080 lines across the TV height. Typically higher the resolution crispier and sharper the picture or display.

Contrast Ratio : The contrast ratio is a property of a display system, defined as the ratio of the luminance of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the system is capable of producing. Acceptable range for a LCD is 1000:1 to 3000:1 minimum.

3d Movie : A 3D (three-dimensionalfilm is a picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception. That means you see the objects and characters as you would see them in real life with perception of depth. Movies originally shot in 3D are better than those converted from 2D to 3D using software. Many TVs comes with capability of showing 3D content as well as ability to convert movies to 3D in real time.

Refresh Rate : “Most movie projectors advance from one frame to the next one 24 times each second. But each frame is illuminated two or three times before the next frame is projected using a shutter in front of its lamp. As a result, the movie projector runs at 24 frames per second, but has a 48 or 72 Hz refresh rate.”  Higher refresh rates decreases eye strain. Acceptable range of Refresh Rate is 100 to 250.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) & LED TV : An LED-backlit LCD (commonly known as LED TV) is a flat panel display that uses LED backlighting instead of the cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlighting used in most other LCDs. The use of LED backlighting allows for a thinner panel, lower power consumption, better heat dissipation, a brighter image, and better contrast levels. In that sense LED TV is better than LCD TV.

Plasma TV : This TV  utilizes small cells containing electrically charged ionized gases, or what are in essence chambers more commonly known as fluorescent lamps to display images. Better than LED and LCD but susceptible to shorter life.

Organic LED display : OLED display works without a backlight. Thus, it can show deep black levels and can be thinner and lighter than a LCD. In low ambient light conditions such as a dark room an OLED screen can achieve a higher contrast ratio than an LCD.

Resistive Touch Screen : A resistive touchscreen panel comprises several layers, the most important of which are two thin, transparent electrically-resistive layers separated by a thin space. When you touch the screen the two layers touch each other making a connection point which helps it sense the position of touch and respond accordingly. It works with any object including stylus and gloves. However response is slightly sluggish as compared to a Capacitive touch screen.

Capacitive Touch Screen : A capacitive touchscreen panel consists of an insulator such as glass, coated with a transparent conductor such as indium tin oxide (ITO).As the human body is also an electrical conductor, touching the surface of the screen results in a distortion of the screen’s electrostatic field, measurable as a change in capacitance. This helps the screen to respond to commands. Response is quick but it has limitations with electrically insulated materials like gloves. For smartphones, Capacitive Touch screen is the preferred choice.

OSD : This acronym stands for “On Screen Display“. Pressing OSD button on your device or remote shall show information/menu etc. on your display.

UI : UI stands for “User Interface“. A user interface is the system by which people (users) interact with a machine. The user interface includes hardware (physical) and software (logical) components. Simply speaking, User Interface on your device specially smart phones decides how easy and smoothly you can get things done on your device. This will include file navigation, process handling and overall user experience. Phones like iPhone are popular and famous for intuitive well designed UIs.

If you have any other query regarding device displays feel free to ask though comments form below or send us a message on twitter @indigic.

 Stay tuned for other parts of this series explaining common technical terms related to Sound, Connectivity, Memory etc.

This post was originally published on Indigic.com