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Most projectors I have available display fine at 1024x768, except that resolution is very low. If I up the resolution to 1280x1024 the image is still displayed, however the text quality drops.

Is there any solution to having a high resolution on a projector while maintaining quality of the image? Besides the obvious solution of buying a better projector ;)

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You might get better answers if you explained why you want to use a resolution higher than the native resolution. Is it because the app you're using won't fit? Or is it some other reason? –  AnonJr May 21 '09 at 17:59

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Not really, it's sounds rather impossible to fit more information into less space when it's just fixed pixels. The image is simply down-scaled by the projector, leaving out details.

Sure, there are neat algorithms to give the appearance of more detail but there's a limit to what you can do with it especially when we're talking about small-size text. Consider that displaying a lower resolution on a higher resolution projector is basically a science in itself when it's not evenly dividable and the opposite becomes rather hard to do good.

An external scaler or trying to make the graphics card rescale the output instead could possibly result in a slightly better image, depending on how it is doing this. But an external scaler of good quality might cost you what a new projector would anyway ^^

What you could do is try to increase the text-size with the DPI setting in say Windows - it will still be fuzzy though - but might make it more readable. In the end, it's a bit silly, use the native resolution of the projector and adapt the user interface instead - like making the text smaller, window borders thinner and so on...

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I would imagine that a lot of it depends upon the native resolution of the projector, and perhaps the technology it uses (LCD vs DLP). If it's LCD, the projector has a small LCD panel internally, and you are bound by the limitation of the display's native resolution for picture sharpness and clarity. CRT projectors don't have this problem.

For color, it's best to calibrate the projector using a test pattern / display calibration wizard (by eye), or using a colorimeter like a Spyder.

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+1 for bringing in the different type of projectors (and having a paper mario character as an avatar) –  Robert MacLean May 22 '09 at 10:56

Not really. If you set the resolution higher than the native resolution of the projector it will blur the image to some extent to make it fit the native resolution.

Why do you need the higher resolution?

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Ok, you'll need a candle, some gaff tape, a fresnel lens, and two squirrels...

aw, i've got nothing: you'll have probably already tried this - increase the font size? (in windows it's on the Appearance tab in Display properties)

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There isn't really a solution to the problem you're asking (getting more pixels on the display than are physically available), but you could try different color settings on your projector. Lots of projectors have a "true color" mode which, when switched on, sacrifices some image brightness for more faithful color reproduction. You could try switching this mode on or off and seeing if that makes any difference. You should note that photos of people's faces, in particular, can look pretty bad in non-true color mode.

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