Monitors/1440 x 900 resolution on 1920 x 1200 monitor
QUESTION: I recently installed a security system with a dvr that has a maximum video resolution output of 1440 x 900. I have it connected to my Viewsonic monitor via the D-Sub connector. The Viewsonic has a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 and is not very good at displaying resolutions lower than it's native resolution.
Therefore, the output from the Security System's DVR doesn't look very good on my monitor screen.
I considered buying an old monitor with a native resolution of 1440x900, but my computer office is jam-crammed full and it would require some MAJOR re-arranging to add another monitor to the space. Note that I didn't say it's impossible, just not altogether desireable.
Is there any way to improve the image on my Viewsonic monitor or is a secondary monitor with native resolution the same as the DVR output my only alternative?
ANSWER: If the ViewSonic offers image quality adjustments through its menus (especially an "Auto" feature), you may be able to improve the viewing quality to some extent, but it is not likely that you can do very much if the image scaling in the ViewSonic is not of high quality. A newer display would likely have better scaling capabilities; alternately you could purchase a different resolution monitor that is supported by the DVR (for example, does it support 1280x1024?).
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QUESTION: The DVR does support 1280 x 1024, but if I have to buy a monitor to maximize display quality, why not buy one with a native resolution of 1440 x 900 (the highest resolution the DVR can display)?
The actual display resolution will be larger on the 1280x1024 (SXGA) display:
1280*1024 = 1310720
1440*900 = 1296000
Additionally, 1280x1024 displays are readily available from a number of manufacturers, due to their continuing popularity for business applications. For example these models:
They're also generally fairly easy to find as used hardware, when businesses upgrade or replace their equipment.
While 1440x900 displays have largely been replaced in the marketplace by 16:9 displays with higher resolutions. As far as viewable area, the 19" 1280x1024 monitor will give you the biggest display (which will make it somewhat easier to view from a distance), while the 17" will give you the finest pixel density. The widescreen monitor will be in the middle in both respects. Simulation:
Having said that, there is no reason to avoid a 1440x900 display - it would likely be just as suitable for your needs. It's just that there is no reason to avoid an SXGA monitor either. If you need a very big display, however, something like a 32" HDTV with a VGA input may be more appropriate - set the DVR to output something around 720p and let the TV scale it (if it even needs to; many smaller or less expensive HDTVs are 720p).