3 Misinterpreted Terms Related to Display Technology

As technology continues to advance at the speed of light, an increasing number of new and innovative products continue to saturate the market, while product predecessors become obsolete. This constant evolution can inevitably lead to the misuse and misinterpretation of common technological terms and applications, which causes a great deal of confusion for people who are wholly unfamiliar with their true meanings.

Below is a list of three display technology terms that are most commonly misused and misunderstood by laypeople.

Aspect Ratio vs. Contrast Ratio

When it comes to LCD or LED displays, there’s a major difference between aspect and contrast ratio. However, because they’re so similar in terms of definition and functionality, many people tend to mistakenly use these phrases interchangeably without completely understanding what they mean. Aspect ratio refers to the image sizes and clarity that a device is capable of depicting (usually either 4:3 or 16:9). Contrast ratio, on the other hand, refers to the visual contrast in brightness that a screen is capable of creating; it ranges from the brightest and whitest whites to the darkest and blackest black colour schemes.

Pixels Per Inch (PPI)

PPI is arguable one of the most well known specifications when it comes to display technology. It rose to prominence when Apple Inc. introduced the revolutionary concept of retina display in its devices. Most rack-mounted displays boast having a high PPI, but the ratio of number of pixels to screen size is irrelevant if the user has poor eyesight as this will hinder their individual experience with using the device. While a higher PPI produces a sharper and clearer image for people within close proximity who happen to have perfect vision it doesn’t make much of a difference to people watching from a far distance who suffer from visual impairment. This feature is a good selling point for handheld devices such as tablets or cellphones, but it’s not necessarily an asset for larger wall mounted screens.

Bit Depth

There are two distinctly different types of bit depth—audio and colour—and it’s important to make sure that you understand their individual specifications before making any potentially expensive purchases. Digital audio is measured by what’s known as pulse-code modulation, which encompasses the total number of bits that are featured in each sound sample. This has a direct impact on the quality, sharpness, and resolution of the sound produced by the device. In contrast, colour depth corresponds to the number of bits that exist in a single visual pixel and this determines the colour each pixel produces. The confusion surrounding these two specs stems from the fact that most people simply refer to both of them as “bit specs” without elaborating on whether they’re referring to colour or audio features.

Nauticomp Inc. is one of the leading designers, manufacturers, and distributors of high-end commercial and industrial weatherproof, dustproof, and waterproof displays in Canada and the U.S. For over 20 years, we’ve been supplying consumers and corporations alike with state-of-the-art rugged displays that are built to withstand all sorts of environmental conditions. To learn more about our company and products, please feel free to contact us directly.