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Where Are All the High-Resolution Desktop Displays?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the doubtless-killed-by-big-oil dept.

Displays 565

MrSeb writes "Ever since the release of the iPhone 4 with its 326 pixels-per-inch (PPI) Retina display, people have wondered about the lack of high-PPI desktop displays. The fact is, high-resolution desktop displays do exist, but they're incredibly expensive and usually only used for medical applications. Here, ExtremeTech dives into the world of desktop displays and tries to work out why consumer-oriented desktop displays seem to be stuck at 1920x1080, and whether future technologies like IGZO and OLED might finally spur manufacturers to make reasonably-priced models with a PPI over 100."

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Happy Friday from The Golden Girls! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265613)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Friday from The Golden Girls! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265793)

..forgot to use mycleanpc did we?

Re:Happy Friday from The Golden Girls! (0)

Vegemeister (1259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265817)

It's confidante!!!1!1!

A tad longer than that (5, Insightful)

Xaduurv (1685700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265621)

"Ever since the release of the iPhone 4 with its 326 pixels-per-inch (PPI) Retina display, people have wondered about the lack of high-PPI desktop displays" I'm pretty sure gamers have been wondering about this a heck of a lot longer than that!

Re:A tad longer than that (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265859)

I've been wondering this since about 1999...long before iphuckery was anything but a fruit colored gimmick for little girls and homosexual males.

Re:A tad longer than that (5, Insightful)

fredgiblet (1063752) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265875)

Not me. I'd rather have current resolution and anti-aliasing than a slightly higher resolution. Also I like not needing to have Quad-SLI to run last-gen games at low settings.

I'm currently running a 19" monitor at 1440x900, when the next-gen graphics cards come out I'll probably upgrade to 1920x1200 (or 1080 if I have to) in the 20-22" range, and that will be good enough for me.

Re:A tad longer than that (2, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266055)

"Ever since the release of the iPhone 4 with its 326 pixels-per-inch (PPI) Retina display, people have wondered about the lack of high-PPI desktop displays"

I'm pretty sure gamers have been wondering about this a heck of a lot longer than that!

I don't know if gamers in recent years care as much about this.

If you're sitting on a couch 6+ feet from a TV or you're sitting a couple feet from a 27" monitor, I think putting more pixels per inch has diminishing returns relatively quickly.

Personally, I'd be very interested in higher resolutions for larger displays, but the PPI issue is not as important to me.

Re:A tad longer than that (5, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266095)

High resolution without AA > low res with AA.

Easy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265639)

It's because of 2 reasons.

1) It's currently "good enough" for most people
2) Because of the 1080 standard which has a large advantage due to economy of volume sales which would be lost with constant incremental improvements

Basically, the cost is not justified for it's marketability (in most manufacturer's eyes).

Re:Easy (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265751)

You'd be happy with a keyboard with two apostrophe keys since you like using them so much.

Re:Easy (5, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265787)

You can actually get 16:10 displays with 1920x1200 resolution to a decent price. Those few extra pixels actually helps quite a bit.

But if you are willing to go up to a larger screen, 27" or above then you can get a size of 2560x1440. But you have to pay for it.

What we really need to do is to blame the HDTV format which forces us to get those letterbox size screens.

Re:Easy (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265887)

If you are willing to drop $1200 you can get a 2560 x 1600

Re:Easy (5, Interesting)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265941)

But if you are willing to go up to a larger screen, 27" or above then you can get a size of 2560x1440. But you have to pay for it.

Not as much as you might think, if you don't care about name brands. Search for "Yamakasi Catleap" on eBay. These are South Korean-made 27" monitors with 2560x1440 resolution. They cost $300-$320 including shipping. I don't own one myself, but they seem to be fairly well regarded by those who do. The panels are probably made by the same companies as the name brand monitors anyway, since there aren't that many panel vendors out there.

What we really need to do is to blame the HDTV format which forces us to get those letterbox size screens.

The designers of ATSC chose a 16:9 aspect ratio because it matches many theatrical films and offers a better viewing experience than 4:3 on movies and TV shows. It wasn't their intent to create a de facto standard for computer monitors; that is due to cost-cutting on the part of the consumer electronics industry.

Re:Easy (1)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266111)

+1 I have two of these - they are really nice ips monitors, and I don't have any dead pixels on mine.

My only complaint was that I had to frig around in xorg.conf to get them working. But they are sweet monitors.

Re:Easy (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266113)

Wow, that Engrish in the auction listings seems to have no bounds.

Re:Easy (0)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266185)

"Catleap" WTH? Themention of a monitor with the name Catleap on eBay and all of the sudden I have puke in my mouth.

You Don't Need eBay: 2560 x 1440 IPS, $400, Retail (5, Informative)

meehawl (73285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266191)

Yeah, this article's assumptions about pricing already seem like some quaint notions around three years out of date. These higher-res monitors are now appearing in retail:

EQ276W 27" LED Monitor [microcenter.com]

Re:Easy (5, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266165)

How you got modded Informative is beyond me. Repeat after me: 1080p is a resolution, not a density, and you need to standardize on a density to achieve economy of scale.

Manufacturers make panels with specific pixel densities. They can then cut those panels to a number of different sizes in order to achieve a number of different resolutions. If I cut a high-density panel at a small size, I can get 1080p, or I could cut a low-density display at a large size to also achieve 1080p. 1080p just means that there are 1920 pixels across the display and 1080 pixels down the display, but it gives no indication of how you got there. And because there are dozens or hundreds of different density panels to choose from, you cannot achieve economies of scale unless you standardize on specific densities.

As for "good enough", it's all a matter of what we can see. The iPhone 4's display was called a "Retina Display" because it had passed the threshold at which the human eye could distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal viewing distance (12" was what they said, I believe). Similarly, the new iPad has a Retina Display even though it had a lower pixel density, because they consider a normal viewing distance for it to be slightly further away. "Good enough" for most people will be at the point when they can no longer distinguish pixels. At that point, the pixel density race will likely become about as moot as the dpi race between printer manufacturers was, and as the megapixel race between camera manufacturers is quickly becoming (note: there are benefits to more megapixels, but they're already past the point where the normal user cares since most of them aren't blowing up their images afterwards).

Of course, there are benefits to going even higher in density than "retina" levels, since Vernier acuity [wikipedia.org] allows us to still distinguish slight variations in lines, even if we are not able to distinguish the individual pixels making them up. As a result, you can still make curves look smoother or straighter by increasing the pixel density further.

SGI 1600SW (2)

jmd (14060) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265645)

In 1998 SGI was ahead of the pack. @ 110dpi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SGI_1600SW

IBM T221 (5, Informative)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265799)

That might have been high dpi, but the resolution was nothing special. In 2001 IBM blew that out of the water @ 204dpi covering a full 22", and nothing sine has come close. It's the only piece of computer hardware where "I wish they made 'em like they used to" comes to mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_T221 [wikipedia.org]

Re:IBM T221 (1)

Jason Smith (3310) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266031)

Hear, hear. A colleague at IBM Research had one of these on his desk, and it was nothing short of phenomenal.

Re:IBM T221 (2)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266079)

We bought out the last 15 from IBM's stockpile a few years ago and now everyone at the office is using one. It's spectacular.

Re:IBM T221 (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266117)

I have 2 of them on my desk. :) They're regularly available on eBay, often refurbished.

No OS support. (5, Informative)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265649)

Neither of the most popular desktop operating systems (Windows, OS X) work very well at arbitrary DPI. Windows is surprisingly ahead of OS X at the OS level, but lots of windows applications misbehave if you change the DPI settings. For example hard-coded interface layouts can mean that controls will be displayed outside the window area and are therefore inaccessible.

Re:No OS support. (5, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265759)

If we have to wait for "proper" OS support, they'll never come - the OS support won't be fully fixed until there is a demand for it. And the higher cost/lower yield for high PPI display production means it's a risky, difficult task to try boostraping the market from the manufacturing side.

I'm hoping a hybrid approach might be workable - at SIGGRAPH a few years ago, Microsoft was presenting work on technology for splitting a display signal up over multiple screens. If a way could be found to mount multiple iPhone-type screens into a monitor configuration and translate input over them, that might offer a viable way forward.

High density PPI displays are extremely expensive to produce because of the zero-defect-over-large-surface-area manufacturing issues. Since iPhone screens are smaller and already being produced in large numbers, it might be more practical to splice a bunch of those together. Edge visibility when "stacked" is probably the greatest physical hurdle - I'd guess it's a toss up between that and the inability of current graphics cards to drive such a monitor for "biggest practical hurdle."

Still, if one manufacturing process could turn out vast numbers of small screens that can either be used for phones or assembled into monitors... that seems to me like the only viable approach to the "too expensive to manufacture" problem you face with things like the IBM T221.

Re:No OS support. (4, Interesting)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265835)

Edge visibility when "stacked" is probably the greatest physical hurdle

I dunno - people *loved* the old Sony Trinitron CRTs, even though they had painfully obvious shadows from the stabilizing wires on the aperture grille.

Re:No OS support. (1)

atisss (1661313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265953)

They don't need to be zero-defect, as you won't be able to see defects unless they are over some threshold.
When LCDs first appeared, it was considered normal to have up to 3 or 5 bad pixels from factory.

Re:No OS support. (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265975)

Depends on whether they are stuck on or off. One stuck-on pixel is completely unacceptable and very, very obvious even at a glance. Several stuck-off pixels are often unnoticeable unless they are near one another.

Re:No OS support. (5, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265961)

High density PPI displays are extremely expensive to produce because of the zero-defect-over-large-surface-area manufacturing issues.

This. The failure rate for a panel equals the subpixel failure rate times the number of subpixels. A 2x increase in DPI means at minimum a 4x increase in the percentage of defective panels, and that's if you managed to keep the subpixel failure rate constant as you doubled the density. In practice, I'd expect it to be worse than 4x. And even at current DPIs, I've read that large LCD panels still have about a 10% reject rate as of a couple of years ago, which means you'd probably have to toss about half of them if you doubled the DPI....

On the other hand, if they did it right, they could ostensibly build the panels in such a way that a defective panel could be remanufactured into a dozen smaller panels for mobile phone use (discarding the one with the bad subpixel), and then they could cut their waste to near zero. I wonder if anybody has attempted such a design....

Re:No OS support. (4, Insightful)

Endymion (12816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266203)

http://www.antigrain.com/research/font_rasterization/index.html [antigrain.com]

It's even worse than that: the horrible legacy of hacks that windows uses pretty much guarantees that apps will always render horribly in anything by the default PPI. Their rounding "tricks" cause the text to scale inconsistently, as it's snapping individual letters to horizontal pixel boundaries. (err, it's more complicated than that; see the above link for a very well written discussion of the problem, and a very nice discussion of font rendering issues in general)

As long as windows apps scale badly, there's a strong incentive to *not* produce a high-PPI display; customers would likely blame the monitor for "screwing up windows".

Re:No OS support. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265777)

Honestly, even in the land of tight hardware control and contempt for legacy applications that is Apple's little post-PC-playground, the challenges of resolution changes are on display(literally)...

Why is the 'retina display' 960x640? Because that's exactly twice as many pixels in each dimension as the 3GS's display, so trivial 1->4 pixel scaling wouldn't look like total suck. The same thing occurred when the iPad display received a resolution boost.

Arbitrary DPI is a nontrivial problem, especially if you aren't willing to abandon all the legacy crap at the same time, and cherry-picked DPI increases that carefully match trivial special cases in scaling aren't cheap.

Re:No OS support. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265969)

So, let's hope for a 3840x2160 display. Then it'll be 16:9 video compatible and still be a nice high res for things that support it.

Heck, the iPad 3 is 2048x1536 for the same reason and it looks pretty amazing. I really think manufactures have just standardized because of HD content for now this should be a good progression strategy.

Re:No OS support. (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265807)

Solution: Enjoy lots of high-density information onscreen, without "OS support".

Re:No OS support. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265939)

I call BS. Apple had a 30" monitor with massive resolution, Dell brought it too, then Apple decided to pull the plug. But I'm sure many people here has a 30" monitor on their desk. Apple's came out at 1800, went down to 1500. When Dell put theirs out, was 1200, and the price hasn't come down.

2560x1600? (0)

gatzke (2977) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265661)

What are you talking about? I have been using a 2560x1600 30" for years. It runs 1080p in a little window.

IBM had a super hi-res (3kx2k?) a decade ago, but they pulled it. Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_T220/T221_LCD_monitors [wikipedia.org]

Re:2560x1600? (5, Insightful)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265701)

2560x1600 30" is 100.63dpi. This is exactly what the article writer was complaining about; stagnent DPI.

If that resolution was on a 9" screen then you would have roughly the equivalent DPI as an iPhone.

Re:2560x1600? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40266123)

2560x1600 30" is 100.63dpi. This is exactly what the article writer was complaining about; stagnent DPI.

If that resolution was on a 9" screen then you would have roughly the equivalent DPI as an iPhone.

Actually, closer to a 10" screen, a la the iPad 3.

distance to image (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266193)

You forgot to factor in distance to the screen. 100dpi on a monitor 24" away is like 300dpi on a phone 8" away.

Re:2560x1600? (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265825)

What are you talking about? I have been using a 2560x1600 30" for years. It runs 1080p in a little window.

IBM had a super hi-res (3kx2k?) a decade ago, but they pulled it. Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_T220/T221_LCD_monitors [wikipedia.org]

You mean THIS [extremetech.com] one? It is The (sadly discontinued) 3840×2400, 22-inch IBM T221 -- 204 PPI!

I got the picture from TFA. The description above was the caption of the photo. Rather than looking up the monitor in Wikipedia, you could have just said, "TFA".

Re:2560x1600? (1)

atisss (1661313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265991)

It's connection information reveals response to TFA. Such resolutions with meaningful refresh rate means at least 3 DVI connectors. You basically can't push more data through wires.

Re:2560x1600? (0)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265851)

I had the good fortune to see a T221 when they had one on display at Epcot many years back. Still haven't seen anything to match it.

This isn't complicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265663)

Desktops and laptops are farther away from your face in typical usage, therefore the dpi can be lower. Also, televisions are usually farther away, which is why the dpi for even hd sets is low if they are large enough.

Re:This isn't complicated (3, Interesting)

phluid61 (2501032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265839)

TFA actually addresses that explicitly. In fact, it's the thrust of the entire article. "As I type this, I’m sitting ~32 inches away from a 27-inch monitor with a resolution of 1920×1080, or 81.59 PPI. At that distance, my monitor would need to pack at least 107 PPI (pixels per inch) in order to qualify as a Retina display."

Re:This isn't complicated (2)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265967)

TFA actually addresses that explicitly. In fact, it's the thrust of the entire article. "As I type this, I’m sitting ~32 inches away from a 27-inch monitor with a resolution of 1920×1080, or 81.59 PPI. At that distance, my monitor would need to pack at least 107 PPI (pixels per inch) in order to qualify as a Retina display."

TFA is whining about nothing. It claims

we need to first acknowledge that higher PPI displays do exist. Newegg stocks multiple 27-inch displays with a 2560×1440 resolution in the $850-$1600 range. At 108 PPI, that’s high enough to qualify as a Retina display at a nominal 32-inch (80cm) viewing distance.

And then he has has a little sad about them being too expensive, but the fact is that you can buy brand new 27-inch 2560x1440 ips displays for around $300 if you are just willing to look around a little [ebay.com.au] .

These give a retina display at the nominal distance he quotes. The dude needs to google around a little more.

comparing retail with ebay (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266201)

You're comparing a commonly available retail product with something off ebay where you need to ship it back to Korea if anything goes wrong?

Software support (0)

boshi (612264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265669)

The reason we don't have easily available high resolution desktop displays is very simple: software support. Current popular operating systems have so many hard-coded UI elements that do not scale easily or reliably that if a 20" 326dpi monitor were available you would not be able to use it with Windows, OSX, or Linux ( maybe linux with massive tweaking ) unless it came with a huge magnifying glass so you could see the UI elements that refuse to scale.

Re:Software support (3, Insightful)

brusk (135896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265683)

Chicken-and-egg: if such monitors were cheap and widespread, OS makers would quickly adjust.

Re:Software support (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265753)

Such monitors better become available soon. I'm annoyed that my 24" monitor has a fraction of the resolution of the iPad 3.

Re:Software support (4, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265863)

Good news: the 4k television standard is going to break this egg by delivering a working chicken, and computers will then promptly figure out how to adjust.

Re:Software support (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265901)

Bad news: There will never be a 4K television standard

Re:Software support (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265987)

Bad news: There will never be a 4K television standard

Sure there will. Having sold us the same films first in DVD and then in HD Blu-Ray, the only remaining step for the studios (aside from crappy 3D conversions that few are buying) is to sell them again in 4K. There are currently talks between Sony and other studios and manufacturers to come up with a 4K Blu-Ray specification.

Re:Software support (1)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265995)

Sure there will. I can even tell you exactly when. Febuary 23rd at 5:44am during the year of the linux desktop.

Re:Software support (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265709)

Build it and they will come.

There's no incentive for developers to make their software 'scale' if said developers don't themselves have access to high dpi screens on which to test and develop.

Re:Software support (1)

atisss (1661313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266009)

Just use GTK+ and it will scale

It's because of LCD TV's (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265689)

Manufacturers took the easy way out and consolidated everything based on TV specs.

My 10+ year old LCD monitors are better than what you can buy today. I have four 1600x1200 20" monitors and my laptop from 2002 has a 15" 1600x1200 screen. Think about that ten year old laptop screen, it's 130 DPI. Where is my 24" 130 DPI screen?

We had the technology and it was lost due to stupidity.

Re:It's because of LCD TV's (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266177)

Probably truer than anything else, since there's only 3-4 panel makers in the world these days. Then again about the time CRT was on the way out you were able to get 0.10 which was pretty nice. My old 22" Phillips 0.12 still looks crisper than my current Samsung E2220.

Good enough (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265691)

8 brazillian DPI is a marketing ploy. 1920x1080 is good enough unless you're using a 40 inch screen. Deal.

Re:Good enough (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265823)

8 brazillian DPI is a marketing ploy

Anything kinky is a marketing ploy, but they're effective ploys. Lots of people will buy the video.

Oh, wait...

Re:Good enough (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265829)

That is only true for watching full-screen images, like movies or games. Put desktop applications on there, and the extra elbow room you get from more pixels in the same area running in high density is a great reward.

Re:Good enough (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265877)

1920x1080 is good enough unless you're using a 40 inch screen. Deal.

You're old and blind. Most likely senile, too.

Deal.

Re:Good enough (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265881)

Those of us that have better- than-average vision beg to differ.

IBM T221 @ 3840 x 2400 From 2001 - 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265695)

They still don't build them like they used to, but then again when I show off my T221, most people don't care; they won't pay for the quality. That's just reality.

Dell inspirons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265699)

Find an old P3-class Inspiron 8x00, 1600x1200 on a 15" LCD... seems newer is not always better

Re:Dell inspirons (1)

akeeneye (1788292) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265873)

I've got 1900x1200 on my Inspiron 6400. I'll do everything I can to keep this thing alive, put up with the speed and lack of memory, just to have this native resolution. I code, and vertical resolution is very important.

You can get 4096x2160 (5, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265703)

The DuraVision FDH3601 [eizo.com] from EIZO is one example.

Expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars for it, though - these are targeted at oil companies and government.

Conveniently, the latest Intel chipsets can apparently handle such "4K" resolutions.

Re:You can get 4096x2160 (1)

Pandur77 (1172799) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265747)

Apparently Nvidia's 670/680/690 Geforce cards also support 4Kx2K output through the DisplayPort output. At least that's what it say on the box, I don't have a 4Kx2K display available to test it.

Re:You can get 4096x2160 (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265837)

If you don't bother with puny details like 'color' you can go a bit higher still [eizo.com] ...

Don't expect much change from $30k, though...

Real 4k (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265843)

It's nice to see a "4k" display that's actually 4096 pixels across. That term is unfortunately also used for 4x 1080p, or 3840x2160.

Re:You can get 4096x2160 (1)

QQBoss (2527196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265847)

I won't complain about 127 DPI on a 92cm diagonal monitor (if you sold me one for a price I could afford). If they had even 1/2 the DPI of the iPhone, though, it would only be a ~64cm diagonal monitor and I would have a lot better chance of being able to afford it- assuming screen real estate is more expensive than more drivers in a smaller space.

Given the usage model of a computer monitor versus a smart phone, 1/2 the DPI of an iPhone seems quite reasonable to me (at least until next year).

cost? (2)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265721)

sure you can build a 10" display with mega dpi, but imagine the hardware required to drive a 20" or 30" version, 4 or 9 times the VRAM and bandwidth. Not to mention the manufacturing issues associated with producing zero dead pixels at high dpi values on large display panels.

Re:cost? (4, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265867)

That's why we need dirty-rectangle updates, instead of this retarded continually full-refresh holdover from CRTs. For games and movies, the monitor should do the full-screen scaling, thus not needing some uber-bandwidth sci-fi connector.

Focus Circle (2, Informative)

Anna Merikin (529843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265725)

A pad or phone is usually held closer to the eye than a screen on a laptop or desktop is placed. At normal distances, (say, two feet) a 20-inch 1080x1920 monitor's dot pitch is barely visible. A 5-inch monitor held 6-inches from the eye will need exactly the same resolution to appear as clear.

On the larger end, the lack of computer sales volume seems to have led manufacturers to limit cheaper large-screen offerings to HD -sized playback; one can still find professional large-screen monitors with enormous resolutions for photo- and video editing at very high prices. ,

Patentocracy (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265729)

why consumer-oriented desktop displays seem to be stuck at 1920x1080, and whether future technologies like IGZO and OLED might finally spur manufacturers to make reasonably-priced models with a PPI over 100."

Doesn't matter. In this country, like many others who have adopted the principle of "intellectual property", technological progress is constrained by the length of time it takes for patents to expire, and the willingness of any new entrants into the market to bear the excessive legal costs of fighting off legal attacks based on patents. In other words, even if the technology became available tomorrow, and had all of the prerequisites met for low cost, high yield industrial processing... it would not enter the market for several years while the incumbent market players played out all possible legal scenarios. At least in the United States, the appeals process is nearly limitless. in Europe, the European Union provides a similar capacity for limitless administrative delay.

As Always... Money (0)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265735)

If they created monitors that had a resolution high enough that the eye couldn't register any further improvement, then the manufacturers wouldn't have anywhere else to go from there. Once you're at the top, you're at the top. And then the prices would start to come down as the market became saturated. But now they can make up some bullshit marketing ploy that really doesn't do much in terms of improved resolution, and jack the price up whenever a "generation" of displays starts losing market value.

It's easy (2)

fredgiblet (1063752) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265745)

1. It's a lot more expensive 2. The vast majority of people won't notice, at all.

dynamic range? (2)

phluid61 (2501032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265763)

What about bit depth? A bazillion pixels is all well and good, but I still find it frustrating that those pixels are limited to 256 grey levels. What would it take to bump displays up an extra couple of bits per channel? Or even doubling them? I think the visual improvement from HDR would trump that of higher pixel density, at least in the things that matter to me (games and movies).

Re:dynamic range? (3, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265911)

I'm not sure this means what you think it means. HDR is a *scanning* feature, not a display feature, the benefit being that you can extract very minute intensity transitions and expand them out clearly.

You'd only need HDR in a physical display if you can regularly see the banding between consecutive shades of those 256 levels on the display (and if you can, your display is most likely not calibrated). Also, if monitors got backlights twice as bright, and blacks significantly darker, that would exaggerate the range and require more levels of control. Neither of these cases are quite likely, nor are they IMO as important as getting past the commonplace 1080p "barrier".

Because nobody cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265765)

Seriously, just because Apple is doing something, everyone starts to think it's a necessity. Can you see the pixels on your 1080p screen? No? THEN WHY THE FUCK DO YOU NEED MORE DPI?!

Fucking trendwhores.

Re:Because nobody cares? (1, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265833)

Can you really not see the pixels? I suspect something to be wrong with your eyes.

Re:Because nobody cares? (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265883)

Can you see the pixels on your 1080p screen?

Yes?

Re:Because nobody cares? (1)

QQBoss (2527196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266017)

English characters on a 1080p screen at a reasonable distance for the usage model aren't too bad (ex. 23" diagonal @ arms length or a bit further, 12-14 point fonts). Many Chinese characters are still jaggy as hell to me at similar font sizes, though. Age has taken away my post-lasik 20/15 vision, so I don't think I am a corner case. Maybe it is time for a touch-up job.

Meh (1, Informative)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265773)

I don't care about DPI, I care about resolution. Laptop standards have degraded. A high powered laptop now has a 1920x1080 screen where as 18 months ago they has 1920x1200. Lovely downgrade. Hurray progress?

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265983)

How about 15" laptops at 1366x768? You'll find them when shopping around. I wish I was kidding.

Re:Meh (2)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266161)

DPI is resolution.

Dots Per Inch = resolution quality, aka, how refined and precise the display is.

What you care about is the total number of pixels on the screen.

Not For Long (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265811)

Things are about to change. In a couple of days, Apple will refresh all of their laptop and desktop machines with Retina displays. Once they do this, it won't be long before PC manufacturers start moving to higher-res displays, in order to keep up. Exactly the same happened with the MacBook Air and Intel's Ultrabook initiative.

Re:Not For Long (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265933)

And thank fucking god. As usual, Apple has to step in and raise the bar. God forbid some other company did anything. We'd be stuck with 1920x1080 and 1366x768 til the end of times if not for Apple doing what we expect them to do at WWDC.

Ask Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265827)

Why on earth would you want a high resolution display?

Everyone knows 100ppi is the optimum resolution for both text and images [archive.org]

Apple and new TV developments offer hope (4, Interesting)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265855)

As I've suggested before, the existence of ill-behaved applications is one major reason why we don't have high-DPI monitors. (And as others have pointed out, the low cost of 1080p TV panels is another.) Windows 7 scales DPI pretty well, but some applications go out of their way to break it.

There have been strong rumors for a while that Apple is preparing a Retina Display for the new MacBook Pro. If they keep the price point to $999 (and they did a good job of maintaining existing price points on the new iPad), it might be a good deal even for those of us who don't care for OSX – just blow off the default image and install Windows 7. The ultrabook market, like the tablet market, is one area where Apple is actually competitive in price.

Also, at the most recent consumer electronics shows, many TV manufacturers have demonstrated quad-HD (3840x2160) sets. While these will be very expensive at first, they will be heavily pushed as the next big thing, and prices will go down to reasonable levels eventually. I currently use a 32" 1080p TV as my monitor; it works great, but you can see a tiny bit of pixelation if you lean in close. A Quad HD 32" TV would be a retina display in all but name.

Maybe hope but not Affordable (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266001)

"Apple is preparing a Retina Display for the new MacBook Pro. If they keep the price point to $999"

A) the cheapest Macbook Pro is currectly $1200, and now they are going to be adding a super advanced low produce screen that no other manu is using.

B) expect the Retina Macbooks to be in the $2000-2500 range.

Half (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266109)

B) expect the Retina Macbooks to be in the $2000-2500 range.

Since I correctly halved the consensus guess of the original iPad at $500, I'll also guess we'll see a retina Macbook Air for $999.

Apple doesn't like changing prices, up or down. The only precident for such is the Mac mini, which did have a price jump for the lowest model.

Re:Apple and new TV developments offer hope (1)

fredgiblet (1063752) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266115)

While these will be very expensive at first, they will be heavily pushed as the next big thing

So was 3D, I suspect the new standard will fail. Most people won't see the difference, the screens will be very expensive and with the switch to streaming the bandwidth requirements will be sky-high and unusable for many people.

Less necessary (4, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266029)

I'd like to see high resolution displays as much as the next guy, but it's much less necessary on desktop displays and television sets.

I'm sure someone will freak out about me saying that, but here's the thing: it's not just about DPI, but about the viewing distance. The reason the retina display is called "retina" is that (we can argue about the validity of the claim, but...) it's roughly the maximum resolution discernible by the human eye at the distance you're expected to view a smartphone. That is, approximately a foot away from your eyes.

Your desktop display should be about 3 feet from your eyes. My TV at home sits... I don't know, somewhere around 12 feet from my eyes. Though it might be really cool to get a 300 dpi television, I'm not sure it makes sense to worry about it when you're talking about a television that's 12 feet away.

Get over it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40266047)

Do you know how much those suckers cost per square inch? A screen for a portable will cost a bunch more and this weekend you will see how much more when Apple releases a 15" laptop with "retina" display. They have supreme supply chain and capital investment advantages so the commodity PC market should cost about 20-30% more since they buy displays on the spot market. Too bad, so sad.

JJ

It's the pipe (0)

bmacs27 (1314285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266053)

It isn't clear to me that at least old standards, e.g. DVI, are fast enough to push that many pixels through at frame rate. At least when I was buying specialty projectors that was a problem. You had to go Dual-link, etc. That already puts it out of the scope as typical consumer use, and adds to the cost. Even if you are talking about thunderbolt, at 10Gbit/s, call em 10 bit channels, so 1Gpix/s, drive it at 60Hz, and the square root of your pixels is only about 4082.

Still using 1920x1440 CRT (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40266067)

No idea how old it is but I'm using a 1920x1440, 23" CRT. It's basically irreplaceable. I got it off a relative about 5 years ago.

Yes it weighs 90lbs but I care more about actual function than formfactor. Why am I the only one?

Re:Still using 1920x1440 CRT (1)

fredgiblet (1063752) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266125)

I wouldn't mind having a CRT if I had a larger desk. There are definitely nice things about them. However pure digital video is nice too.

Hazro anybody? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40266069)

I'm the owner of a 27" IPS monitor from Hazro which has a resolution of 2560x1440. I paid £450 for it. The panel in it is the exact panel that is put in the Apple Cinema Displays (which cost £900). Best monitor I've ever used - my productivity increased dramatically when I got it. It doesn't even need much in the way of horsepower to run it either. I was using an Nvidia GTX 470 however that died when my PSU blew and I'm temporarily using a very old 8800GT which handles it perfectly, even with numerous applications on numerous desktops with compiz on.

Moore's law(should) also apply for displays... (1)

RandomStr (2116782) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266119)

There is no reason why Moore's law shouldn't also apply for displays, but there are/where a few stumbling blocks along the way:

-Manufacture collusion - for far too long a good portion of the manufactures where artificially controlling the price, and in turn holding back innovation and competition...
-Cable standards - Getting a sufficient amount of data to the screen is still a problem, current DisplayPort cable are barely capable of 4K...
-OS support - Better that is was a few years ago, but there still seems to be a prevailing view that high-PPI means small text rather than crisp text...
-Changing Markets - Computer where once the realm of tech. heads(who knew what was good and not), but times have changed, computer are largely consumer devices, bought by people who don't realise that FullHD is all probability a lower rez./PPI monitor than the CRT they had ten years ago...
-A change of tides in the management of the IT - Most IT company both hardware and software, are now run by non-technical management types seeking shot term goals to satisfying their myopic bonus objectives, rather than the tradition model of perusing long-term technical-research-development objectives...

As to the article, nice that they mentioned the IBM T220, I don't subscribe to their conclusions(obviously); chances are its just apple astroturfing...

It's not so easy and It's not needed so much (1)

pisarevsky (2654333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266121)

I suppose it's not so easy to create cheap retina display. Let's remember that only iPhone and iPad have it even in the niche of smartphones. And another reason is that we use smartphone or tablet much closer to our eyes than usual monitor, so higher dpi is more noticeable

HD (4, Insightful)

Conspire (102879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266163)

HD killed the mass market for higher and high definition displays. All the notebooks, even desktop displays no longer had to fight over resolutions, they all just went "HD". and hence the mass market settled on 'HD". The display makers were pleased, they could finally stop building new production lines every time DPI went up every 6 months before they got their capex back. The laptop makers were pleased, they could stop worrying about competing on display resolution in the mass market and spam out "HD" or even "HD Ready" on everything (HD Ready was SD with HDMI input...what a scam in itself". There are some interesting articles about how this phenomena killed the race for higher DPI displays in the mass market. Its been going on for years, the longest stagnation in the display mass market since the introduction of the PC to the masses............
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