Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Oct 2012 23:20 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft's applied sciences department manager Stevie Bathich explains why the 1366x768 Surface RT screen is actually better than the iPad's Retina display - fancy display technology talk. Conclusion? "Doing a side by side with the new iPad in a consistently lit room, we have had many people see more detail on Surface RT than on the iPad with more resolution." I'm sure there's some truth behind the sciency talk, but I highly doubt that the Surface's display bests the iPad's. Seeing is believing, but since The Netherlands is not important, I won't get the opportunity to compare for a long time to come.
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StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Hey this is Stevie. Screen resolution is one component of perceived detail. The true measure of resolvability of a screen called Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), not Pixels. MTF is a combination of both contrast and resolution. There are over a dozen subsystems that effect this MTF number.. Most folks just focus on one number out of dozens that effect perceived detail. Without good contrast resolution decreases.


(Bold mine)

No, resolution is resolution. It doesn't increase or decrease with contrast. Your ability to see details obviously diminishes as contrast goes down, but the resolution stays the same.
"

It is possible that, rather than display resolution, he's actually talking about optical resolution (the capability of an optical system to distinguish, find, or record details) - which is effected by contrast. And given that he talks about "perceived detail" and "resolvability" early in the paragraph, I think it's fairly likely that it's optical resolution he's talking about.

I would still fault "Stevie" for using imprecise wording, though.

Reply Parent Score: 3

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

It is possible that, rather than display resolution, he's actually talking about optical resolution (the capability of an optical system to distinguish, find, or record details) - which is effected by contrast.


That would still be a no -- the optical resolution doesn't change when contrast changes, the resolution still stays the same. The ability to tell one colour from another obviously is affected by contrast, but that doesn't change resolution at all, contrast is literally all about telling one colour from another. Of course you will be able to more easily tell details the better contrast you have, but just as well if you were given two displays with the exact same brightness, colour gamut and contrast you'd be more easily tell details on the one with higher DPI.

And given that he talks about "perceived detail" and "resolvability" early in the paragraph, I think it's fairly likely that it's optical resolution he's talking about.


No, he is talking about colour gamut and contrast.

Reply Parent Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

That would still be a no -- the optical resolution doesn't change when contrast changes, the resolution still stays the same. The ability to tell one colour from another obviously is affected by contrast, but that doesn't change resolution at all, contrast is literally all about telling one colour from another.


I'm no expert on optics, but every source I can find indicates that contrast does effect optical resolution. E.g.

"The concept of resolution is inseparable from contrast, and is defined as the minimum separation between two points that results in a certain level of contrast between them."
- http://www.olympusconfocal.com/theory/resolutionintro.html

"Savants talk about resolution and contrast being the same thing. Ultimately, they do go hand-in-hand, because you can't distinguish contrast without resolution and you can't distinguish resolution without contrast."
- http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/le...

Of course you will be able to more easily tell details the better contrast you have


In other words, you will be able to better resolve details the better the contrast you have.

but just as well if you were given two displays with the exact same brightness, colour gamut and contrast you'd be more easily tell details on the one with higher DPI.


Oh, I'm not saying his larger conclusions have any actual validity.

"And given that he talks about "perceived detail" and "resolvability" early in the paragraph, I think it's fairly likely that it's optical resolution he's talking about.

No, he is talking about colour gamut and contrast.
"

Yes, he is talking about colour gamut and contrast... specifically, how they relate to resolution.

Reply Parent Score: 3