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6D. Technical Infrastructure:

Key Concepts

  image quality



If storage devices are among the most rapidly evolving technologies, monitors are among the slowest. Though the price/performance ratio of monitors has greatly improved, even the most technically advanced products still require significant compromises.

A monitor will serve as the user's window into your digital image collection. As in the case of networks, sometimes that monitor is under your control, sometimes not. When it is, the opportunity is there to minimize the compromises inherent in current monitor technology. Beyond choosing a quality product, characteristics such as resolution setting, calibration, external lighting, and even how often the screen is dusted can all affect perceived image quality.

When the user is off-site, you can provide recommended settings, but the image confronting the user may still be a far cry from your expectations. Delivering images off-site may require accommodation. If most users have 640 x 480 size displays, images sized for comfortable display on a 1280 x 1024 display will not have the intended impact.

Table: Common Desktop Settings (PCs)


640 x 480
800 x 600
1024 x 768
1280 x 1024
1600 x 1200

However, not all monitor deficiencies can be corrected by buying the right product or adjusting your display settings. Limitations related to color fidelity, image completeness, and dimensional fidelity have to be addressed during file processing. These issues are considered in Presentation.

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