Q My phone has a 118 mm display with 720p resolution. My TV is 720p too, but it’s 100 cm. Why don’t TVs have much higher resolutions?
A Here’s a quick back-of-the-napkin calculation: if a TV that size were as pixel-dense as a 720p smartphone, it would have a resolution of about 6 200 x 11 000 pixels – 6200p. Manufacturers are beginning to tease TVs with 4K displays (that’s 3 840 x 2 160 pixels), but Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, says that there isn’t much to gain from a resolution race. For direct-view HDTVs, it’s absolutely pointless to increase the resolution (beyond HD),” he says. “A phone is held at 25 or 30 cm, and a TV is typically viewed at least 2 metres away. At those distances the resolution, to your eye, is the same.” And then there’s the issue of price: the first 4K TVs will cost about R100 000.