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Helm Screens - Resolution

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Resolution: Go Native

Pixels are the tiny specks of light that make up a digital image. Resolution is a measure of pixels expressed in width and height and described by the same terminology used in television sales. Thus, at the small end of the market, a Raymarine A50D multi-function display is 640 by 480 pixels, a measurement designated as VGA (for Video Graphics Array). Simrad’s NSS8 is 800 by 600 pixels or SVGA (for Super Video Graphics Array). Furuno’s TZtouch 14 is 1,280 by 800 or WXGA (for Wide Extended Graphics Array). And a 19-inch marine monitor from VEI is 1,600 by 1,200 or UXGA (for Ultra Extended Graphics Array). And you can go bigger still. Indeed, you might be tempted to say that these designations are just another way to brag about size.

Know-How: Optimize your system by choosing a display with a resolution that best matches images generated by the various components you’re using.

The fact is that screen shoppers need to consider screen resolution in terms of the other devices onboard that will feed images to that display. If, for example, you have a high-definition radar, it will probably display just fine on a big screen because it will match (or come close to matching) the “native resolution” of the radar image. A smaller display would take the same image and “crunch it down” to fit, a scaling process that removes pixels and therefore provides less detailed information.