All modern projectors have a resolution of at least SVGA, 800x600, which makes them perfectly suited for projecting video signals coming from TVs, VCRs and DVD players. Furthermore all modern projectors are capable of projecting higher resolution images, such as XGA, 1024x768, without a problem, as they downsample the image to the projector’s native resolution. Because most projectors feature a 4:3 resolution for widescreen video signals only part of the vertical resolution is used. For example when projecting a widescreen, 16:9, movie which has a 720x576 resolution only part of the 600 vertical pixels will be used to project the image, unlike the horizontal resolution where almost all pixels are used.
Fig 3. Resolution comparison between two projectors, the left has a 800x600 resolution, the right 1280x960.
Projectors are naturally suited to project both interlaced and progressive scan signals. Interlaced signals are comprised of the image divided into even and uneven horizontal scanlines which are displayed one frame after the other, which means that after two frames the full image is formed. Progressive scan signals are generated by combining the two interlaced frames and only sending the full image, not the interlaced frames, which means that processing is needed to calculate the frames in between. Just keep in mind that the way a projector works the signal is always internally converted to a progressive scan signal. It is the quality of the internal processing which largely determines image quality with video playback and can make or break a projector' video playback.
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