Computer screens ahead of the times

Do you think computer screens, web sites and their video content will be eventually in HD too?

Curiously enough, your computer may already be high-definition-capable. An HDTV picture has varying picture resolutions starting at 1280×720 pixels and going all the way up to 1920 x 1040 pixels. Resolution is a measurement of the amount of information in a picture. A pixel is a dot of color. So the higher the resolution, the more dots of color in a picture and so the crisper it is.

Older computer screens had resolutions of 640×480 pixels or 800×600 pixels. Most computers today use 1024×768 pixels (or better). My Dell XPS m1330 laptop, for example, displays picture information up to 1280×800 pixels, which meets the threshold of an HD display.

The content you view on your computer may or may not be HD-compliant. When you download videos from the Internet (or YouTube), they may have a resolution of 640×480 pixels of picture information (analogous to standard-definition TV) or lower if they were designed to be seen on a smaller screen (such an iPod) or were designed to take very little space. Still, some content creators on the Internet product high-resolution video that is HDTV compatible. The limitation is HD content contains up to seven times the amount data. HD video files take up more hard drive space and take longer to download. But moving forward into the next decade, most content you get from the Internet will be HD-quality. And one final note: web site designers create web sites for the most common resolution used by end users. The designers I know currently design for screens that have a 1024×768 resolution.