Isn't everything a Retina Display when you view it far enough?

iAppleseed

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 11, 2011
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The definition of Retina Display I know means you can't distinguish the individual pixels of a display at the average viewing distance. But when you go a lot farther than the average viewing distance of an ordinary display, won't it appear retina?

And what's with retina display, anyway? I'm sitting on a monitor and I can't distinguish the individual pixels already. Why would one want retina?
 

MacReloaded

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2007
407
0
Canada
The definition of Retina Display I know means you can't distinguish the individual pixels of a display at the average viewing distance. But when you go a lot farther than the average viewing distance of an ordinary display, won't it appear retina?

And what's with retina display, anyway? I'm sitting on a monitor and I can't distinguish the individual pixels already. Why would one want retina?
Retina makes more sense on a notebook monitor than a desktop monitor, in my opinion, since you're closer to the notebook. I'm using the 24" iMac which has pixels that are less dense than on the 27" iMac and Thunderbolt Display and it looks fine.
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
Sure.
You might also ask what is the point of full HD on a 37" TV. At the distance I usually view it standard PAL 576p looks just fine. You see a little difference to 720p stuff but when you go to 1080p that is practically indistinguishable.
Than again I sit more than 3 m away.

The 23" 1080p external screen is much smaller but I am really close. Like 40-50cm. Therefore a 720p is a huge difference and 1080p still helps a lot.
Something better than 1080p would also help. I can read the text of a word document zoomed out to fit three pages next to each other but it is really fuzzy. Retina would obviously still add quite a lot.
More DPI wouldn't hurt.

It just depends on the distance you want to use it. For a TV it is also a measure of size vs distance. I think they say you should sit at about 1.5 times the display diagonal for the perfect movie THX cert experience. At that distance 1080p matters. With 3D and even more immersive or bigger screens like a projector more pixel still are great like 4k resolution. You reach the there is no better resolution when you cannot distinguish a picture from watching out a window.
I wonder how long it takes until they film with 4k res in the movies. In cinemas there is still room for improvement with those huge screens.
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
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And what's with retina display, anyway? I'm sitting on a monitor and I can't distinguish the individual pixels already. Why would one want retina?
It's not really about "not seeing pixels". It's about your eye getting as much information as it can get. On a display with normal contrast, according to NHK study, your eyes can see all the detail even at angular resolution of 310 (pixels/degree). With your current display you're not even close to that. iPad (3rd gen.) has angular resolution of 75 pixels/degree at normal viewing distance of 16''. So not even iPad is close to that.
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
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As I said the benchmark should be a Window. If you can make a picture and display it on a screen so sharp that a viewer can not distinguish it as a picture (as opposed to looking through a window) anymore, than you got all there can be. It may look like a dirty or tinted Window with some color distortion but the sharpness matters.

Understanding what human eyes see and what really matters is an entire field of science.
 

cmChimera

macrumors 68040
Feb 12, 2010
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You realize you're just asking "Why would you want a better looking screen?" right? Ask yourself if that seems like a reasonable question.
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
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You realize you're just asking "Why would you want a better looking screen?" right? Ask yourself if that seems like a reasonable question.
I believe he's asking "What's the point if this display is already classified as "Retina" at this viewing distance?".

And like I have explained - it's definitively not even close to 120 pixels per degree (average minimum separable acuity) and far away from 310 pixels per degree (noticeable quality improvement from 120 pixels per degree).
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
0
agreed anyone who thinks that current mbp are pixelated have robot eyes or are just looking at a crappy quality image
Well, the sooner you realize it's not about if something is pixelated or not, the better for you. It's about displaying as much information your eyes can handle thus giving you greater experience by allowing you to see detail you couldn't see before because you were limited by resolution.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,065
804
Pennsylvania
You realize you're just asking "Why would you want a better looking screen?" right? Ask yourself if that seems like a reasonable question.
I blieve you're confusing "better" with pixel density. On higher-end cameras, for example, better actually means less pixels. Likewise, on high-end monitors, pixel density has nothing to do with quality. For example, old-school CRT's have better color reproduction than the majority of LCD screens. Likewise, viewing angle has a lot to do with the "betterness" of a screen, while making my laptop's screen high-density, wouldn't really do anything for me.
 

cmChimera

macrumors 68040
Feb 12, 2010
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I blieve you're confusing "better" with pixel density. On higher-end cameras, for example, better actually means less pixels. Likewise, on high-end monitors, pixel density has nothing to do with quality. For example, old-school CRT's have better color reproduction than the majority of LCD screens. Likewise, viewing angle has a lot to do with the "betterness" of a screen, while making my laptop's screen high-density, wouldn't really do anything for me.
I didn't state it was the only way to make a screen better, just that improving the pixel density and providing a sharper image would improve the Macbook Pro's display.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,498
9
Hamilton, Ontario
Well, the sooner you realize it's not about if something is pixelated or not, the better for you. It's about displaying as much information your eyes can handle thus giving you greater experience by allowing you to see detail you couldn't see before because you were limited by resolution.
ahh i see so "more than meets the eye" so you do have robot eyes
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
0
On higher-end cameras, for example, better actually means less pixels. Likewise, on high-end monitors, pixel density has nothing to do with quality.
It has a lot to do with quality, but it is not only factor. Quality of the image won't go down in any way because of extra pixels. Only thing I can think of is if you had high PPI display with small pixels (like 3rd gen. iPad) but with weak backlight, you'd have dim display. However, that simply doesn't happen.

Likewise, viewing angle has a lot to do with the "betterness" of a screen, while making my laptop's screen high-density, wouldn't really do anything for me.
When you say "viewing angle", do you mean "how many degrees of field of view your display occupies"?
 

SDAVE

macrumors 68040
Jun 16, 2007
3,381
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Nowhere
Retina makes more sense on a notebook monitor than a desktop monitor, in my opinion, since you're closer to the notebook. I'm using the 24" iMac which has pixels that are less dense than on the 27" iMac and Thunderbolt Display and it looks fine.
I'd argue with that.

I wouldn't mind a high-dpi display on a 30" Apple Cinema Display.

I have the 30" ACD and things like fonts, etc don't look sharp enough on a 2560x1600 resolution display.
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
0
That was my answer. What is the average? That is what I'm using now.
Oh.
Really, there's no average.

Everything from 25 to even 60 degrees of horizontal field of view (that your display ocupies) is acceptable. That is, anywhere from ~57 to ~22 inches.

I thought you know exactly. Anyway, at 37.75 inches that display has same perceivable quality as iPhone 4/4S at 12 inches.
 

SDAVE

macrumors 68040
Jun 16, 2007
3,381
443
Nowhere
Oh.
Really, there's no average.

Everything from 25 to even 60 degrees of horizontal field of view (that your display ocupies) is acceptable. That is, anywhere from ~57 to ~22 inches.

I thought you know exactly. Anyway, at 37.75 inches that display has same perceivable quality as iPhone 4/4S at 12 inches.
The point of an Apple Cinema Display is for it to be on your desk, with the viewer at a sitting position.

To be exact, it is about 12 inches away from my eyes. That is a good average.

I like the pixel density of the hi-res 15" MPB. When I switch to the 30" ACD, it's a huge difference. Everything's a bit bigger.

I think Apple is trying to unify the pixel densities across all devices, so there isn't a huge jump between categories of Macs. Hence why they removed all ACD's and left only the 27".
 

Randomoneh

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2011
142
0
I think Apple is trying to unify the pixel densities across all devices, so there isn't a huge jump between categories of Macs.
Yeah, that would be a logical thing to do.
To be exact, it is about 12 inches away from my eyes.
12 inches? Are you sure? If yes, wow. It occupies 92.8 degrees of your horizontal field of view which is huge! At that distance you get angular resolution of 2560/92.8 = only 27.6 pixels per degree.

iPhone has angular resolution of 69.38 pixels per degree at viewing distance of 12''. Huge difference.
 

Dangerous Theory

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2011
1,982
28
UK
The definition of Retina Display I know means you can't distinguish the individual pixels of a display at the average viewing distance. But when you go a lot farther than the average viewing distance of an ordinary display, won't it appear retina?

And what's with retina display, anyway? I'm sitting on a monitor and I can't distinguish the individual pixels already. Why would one want retina?
Sitting further back is all well and good if you just don't want to see pixels, but as at the same time you are limiting how much detail you can actually see. "Retina" adds 4x the detail for any given distance. Obviously it's not realistic to expect pixel quadrupling at this stage.
 
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