LCD Screen Jargon explained

Jargon Buster

How to decipher the most common terms that manufacturers use to describe their LCDs
Look for
Screen size Usually measured in inches across the diagonal Bigger is better: A 14-inch screen is twice as big as a ten-inch screen, which is twice as big as a seven-inch screen.
Screen resolution Strictly speaking, the number of pixels per inch, but usually expressed as the number of pixels in the whole screen The bigger the numbers, the better the picture quality is likely to be.
Screen brightness The brightness of the screen, usually expressed in units called “nits.” 1 Nit = 1 candela per square meter Ways of measuring brightness vary, so direct comparisons are difficult, but generally big numbers are best.
Contrast ratio The ratio between the amount of light coming out of a white area on the screen and the amount of light coming from a black area Ways of measuring contrast vary, so direct comparisons are difficult. But large ratios are generally best.
Viewing angle The angle over which the picture is visible.

Different manufacturers have different definitions of what is “visible,” and some of them may not agree with yours. Best to check for yourself at a boat show.

This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.