resolution

Why does my VHS player produce such a dim image?

Episode 1478

Dan from Washington
VHS tape

Dan wants to get a VHS to DVD player. Leo says that analog VHS is really low in resolution. It's only standard definition at 480 lines, and it's interlaced. We're now at 10 times that. But on an LCD screen, they are dimmer and scan progressively. The DVD side is 480p. It's a little brighter and the LCD screen tries to upscale the resolution. It improves it, but there's only so much he can do. It's really just old technology and it's time to move on. The reality is that VHS and DVD are both going away as most people are preferring streaming media now.

Why is my streaming video quality so bad?

Episode 1467

Arthur from New Hampshire
YouTube

Arthur uses YouTube and he says that it's so compressed, it's absolutely unwatchable. Leo says that when he's streaming video, it's largely dependent on his bandwidth. The less bandwidth he has, the lower his resolution is going to be. He can adjust the quality he's getting in the settings, however, but at the end of the day, he may need to just get more bandwidth.

Why is my Mac's monitor so fuzzy?

Episode 1431

Carl from Goodland, IN
SwitchResX

Carl has a 2012 MacBook Pro Retina, and now when he connects it to his Vizio, he's noticed that the screen isn't as clear. The fonts are fuzzy and the image quality varies from app to app. Leo says that it could be that the native resolution of his Vizio screen may not be one that his MacBook understands and therefore, it runs the default resolution, which is generally half the native resolution of the screen. He'll need to figure out what the native resolution of the screen is, divide it by two and choose the best option based on that. Could updating to El Capitan also be a factor?

Why is my resolution so bad in Netflix?

Keith from New Hampshire

Episode 1334

Keith streams on Netflix and it looks terrible at the beginning. Leo says that Netflix uses an adaptive algorithm that starts off at its lowest resolution and then gets better once it guages his bandwidth. If it gets worse over time, though, that means that his bandwidth is inconsistent. Since Keith is using wireless, it could be the Wi-Fi dropping or pausing briefly, dropping packets. Keith needs to wire his router to the TV. If that doesn't fix it, he can look for the Quality of Service (QoS) setting that will enable him to set priority over what traffic he wants.

Can an HDMI signal degrade?

John from Kingsford, MI

Episode 1270

John has an HDMI switcher and is concerned that it will degrade the signal. Leo says it won't though. Digital signal either works or doesn't, and there's no degrading of the signal. What about juttering? Leo says that is likely coming from a bandwidth issue. It's likely the satellite connection. One issue could be distance. If he has a really long HDMI cable, it could cause weird artifacting and juttering. That's where a higher quality cable comes in handy.

Why can't I get a photo realistic print?

Ken from Filmore, CA

Episode 1248

Ken wants a good high resolution printer to print off images that have very high resolution prints, and the copy shop isn't getting it done. Leo says that printer is probably a better choice than a high volume copy center, which is likely a bit out of date and lower resolution. Consumer inkjet technology has really leapfrogged the average copy shop. Ken will want a printer that can output at least 600 DPI.

How can I share hi res images via text message?

Tom from Ohio

Episode 1202

Tom wants to know if there's any way to send images via text without degrading the quality. Leo says no. Texting compresses the image because of data limits via SMS. It's just a smaller pipe. He could email it and choose a larger size, or upload it to a website like Flickr or Google Photos and then send someone a link. Air Drop is another option if he's within proximity of the person he wants to share the image with. He can also double check the resolution of the images he shoots, or use an alternative messaging program like Google's.

Is there a noticeable difference between a 1080p computer monitor and a 720p monitor?

Richard from Sana Monica, CA

Episode 1180

Richard wants to know if there would be a big noticeable difference between a PC monitor that is 1920x1080 and a monitor that is 1366x768. Leo says it is, if Richard's daughter is really accustomed to a 1080p screen, but a 1366x768 monitor is still considered "HD." Leo doesn't like the lower resolution displays because he's used to higher resolutions, but as a student, Richard's daughter should be fine with it. Leo recommends just getting the PC with 1366x768.

Why can't YouTube play at a better resolution on my PS3?

Episode 1173

Dave from Venice Beach, CA
YouTube

Dave wants to know why he can't watch YouTube in higher resolutions through the PS3. He only gets 240. Leo says that's ugly. The issue could be bandwidth.

Dave may want to try using the YouTube app, and not the browser. He can download the YouTube App from the Sony Playstation store. That will always do better than the browser.