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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Using a smaller screen size to watch low resolution video
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nic007


Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 3200
Location: Cradle of Humankind

PostPosted: Tue 27 Mar 2018, 14:48    Post subject:  Using a smaller screen size to watch low resolution video  

What I'm going to say seems obvious but could be valuable information for some nevertheless. My laptop screen setting is generally set at the highest resolution for my screen ie. 1280 x 800 This makes for good viewing of HD videos ie. 720P and even higher. I generally download videos from youtube and if available, will download in 720P resolution. However, if you use youtube, you will know that most videos are only available in the very low 640 x 360 resolution. Watching these videos on a standard computer screen with 1280 x 800 size will either give you a very small picture (if you choose actual size) or a fuzzy picture if you blow it up. So, I have been experimenting a little and tried a screen resolution of 640 x 480 with the highest colour depth available (24 bit Puppy, 32 bit Windows). Surprisingly, the result has actually been very good. Not only is the size of the actual video large enough for proper viewing but it is also much sharper (well, as good as it is going to get with that low resolution). I've downloaded a lot of these low resolution videos before and it was just sitting on my harddrive as it really wasn't a pleasure to watch because of the quality. But after going the 640 x 480 route, these videos have become very watchable. Worth a try.
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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 3601
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Tue 27 Mar 2018, 16:30    Post subject:  

Try setting your screen to 640x400 and the picture should be even better.
It is always going to be better to use a screen size that is an EXACT fraction of the real resolution. That way you always get whole number pixel mapping rather than fractional mapping. In this case 2 for one in each dimension.

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nic007


Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 3200
Location: Cradle of Humankind

PostPosted: Tue 27 Mar 2018, 21:00    Post subject:  

Theoretically speaking, yes. However, the resolution you mention is uncommon and will only be available if your video card supports it (mine doesn't). 640 x 480 is very common and almost all video cards will support that resolution. Which brings us to the point - why would a machine with a default wide-screen resolution of 1280 x 800 (like mine) not support the resolution of exactly half that size? Seems a bit illogical, doesn't it?
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8Geee


Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 2097
Location: N.E. USA

PostPosted: Tue 27 Mar 2018, 22:37    Post subject:  

On the other side of viewing... the monitor.

On a newer iPhone you might have 250 pixels per inch (0.004" square or 0.1mm square.) Doing the math for the resolution indicates the physucal size of what you have selected (400x640 translates to 40x64mm). On most nebooks like I use its 133 per inch (0.19mm or 0.0075" square) that translates to 76x122mm size. Most video monitors of high quality are 100 pixels per inch, so the viewed image is even larger. TV sets are much worse, and use anti-aliasing algorithms.

After selecting the resolution, the monitor determines the actual viewed size of the image.

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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 3601
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar 2018, 05:08    Post subject:  

Quote:
Which brings us to the point - why would a machine with a default wide-screen resolution of 1280 x 800 (like mine) not support the resolution of exactly half that size? Seems a bit illogical, doesn't it?
It almost certainly will support it, it just isn't in the list of default sizes - which is traditional, not practical.
There will likely be an option to provide CUSTOM sizes, and if there isn't, you need to find out where the default list is held and change it.
Somewhere back in the archives (20+ years) there is a thread that I contributed to detailing where the list is and how to override it.

I can't remember the exact details right now.

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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 1435
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar 2018, 06:34    Post subject:  

I have a late '90s model CRT-TV that has VGA input. For years (up until 18months ago) it served as my main TV / Movie display. Anything I downloaded at low resolution looked great on the 78cm 640x480 screen.

I now have a higher def projector, and some of my old favourite movies look like crap because they are scaled up...
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nic007


Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 3200
Location: Cradle of Humankind

PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar 2018, 06:59    Post subject:  

Nope doesn't support that odd resolution. Checked the extended list in the advance menu of all listed for the adapter in Windows too..and neither in Puppy. Anyways, the difference will be neglectable (a slightly bigger picture). The actual quality of the picture is actually not affected by whatever higher screen resolution you may use (ie. if you select to view the actual size of the video within that screen size). It's just that the picture will be proportianally smaller. The benefit of using a smaller screen size is that you get a big enough video display by default. A practical solution.
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nic007


Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 3200
Location: Cradle of Humankind

PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar 2018, 07:03    Post subject:  

p310don wrote:
I have a late '90s model CRT-TV that has VGA input. For years (up until 18months ago) it served as my main TV / Movie display. Anything I downloaded at low resolution looked great on the 78cm 640x480 screen.

I now have a higher def projector, and some of my old favourite movies look like crap because they are scaled up...


Can you set the projector so that it does not scale up (I think one can do this with some new tv's)?
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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
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Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar 2018, 10:39    Post subject:  

As I said, do they not allow a custom size??
I always found that the graphics card itself will do what you tell it to do; it is just the list that does not have that size as one to choose from.
If you find the file that contains the list and ADD your size, it will use it when you select it.

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nic007


Joined: 13 Nov 2011
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Location: Cradle of Humankind

PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar 2018, 14:08    Post subject:  

Burn_IT wrote:
As I said, do they not allow a custom size??
I always found that the graphics card itself will do what you tell it to do; it is just the list that does not have that size as one to choose from.
If you find the file that contains the list and ADD your size, it will use it when you select it.

The advanced extended list lists ALL possible resolutions that the card can handle and there are no further customised options. So the answer is no...or you stand a chance of breaking the card if you somehow found a way to get it manipulated (not worth the chance).
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nic007


Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 3200
Location: Cradle of Humankind

PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr 2018, 00:56    Post subject:  

A tip if you are using VLC - The picture of low resolution videos tends to look fuzzy and dullish. This can be improved by enabling "sharpen" in video effects under the tools tab. Click the box to enable sharpen and move the slider ever so slightly to the right (about 1 to 3mm). The improvement is most effective when you are a fair distance from the screen.
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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5624
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr 2018, 07:29    Post subject: Re: Using a smaller screen size to watch low resolution video  

nic007 wrote:
But after going the 640 x 480 route, these videos have become very watchable. Worth a try.
What is your preferred method for switching resolutions? Do you create a new xorg.conf then restart X?

Any chance of a quick tutorial?

cheers!
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wiak

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 1842
Location: not Bulgaria

PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr 2018, 07:52    Post subject:  

On my 1200x800 resolution laptop, LXRandR (from lxde.org) works well for resolution changes. Machine is an HP Elitebook 2530p with Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics and the resolution choices given via LXRandR in 64bit XenialDog are:

EDIT:
1280x800
1024x768
640x480
640x400

I don't need to restart X - just need to press Apply button and accept the result.

wiak

Last edited by wiak on Thu 26 Apr 2018, 08:38; edited 2 times in total
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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 3601
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr 2018, 07:57    Post subject:  

Quote:
The advanced extended list lists ALL possible resolutions that the card can handle and there are no further customised options. So the answer is no...or you stand a chance of breaking the card if you somehow found a way to get it manipulated (not worth the chance).
Not always true.
If the list contains say
1920x1080x60
1920x900x60
and you need 1920x960x60 then you are not going to break it.
It is only if you ask for resolutions and speeds OUTSIDE the ranges it supports that you are likely to damage it

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wiak

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 1842
Location: not Bulgaria

PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr 2018, 08:24    Post subject:  

By the way, though I can get 640x480 or 640x400 via LXRandR on 64bit XenialDog, on 32bit Slacko Pup 6.3.2 using xrandr (Start menu -> Setup -> Xorg Video Wizard, I only get offered (i.e. no lower resolutions offered):

1280x800
1024x768
800x600

No idea why the difference. It's the same laptop, same graphics card, so I can only assume a different driver at this stage.

wiak

Last edited by wiak on Thu 26 Apr 2018, 08:39; edited 2 times in total
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