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[Q] Screen resolution / why is pixel ratio not 1:1? (stretched / squashed)

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nielshtc
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Default [Q] Screen resolution / why is pixel ratio not 1:1? (stretched / squashed)

I received my Archos 101 two days ago and (especially with the price in mind) am very pleased with the device so far. Currently itís still running the stock ROM with firmware update 2.3.26.

First of all, I donít know if this applies to other gen 8 devices as well, but the first thing I noticed when using the device was that pixel ratio in relation to the screenís resolution wasnít 1:1. This is probably most noticeable in the icons. Take for example the calculator icon, which is designed to be a perfect square. In landscape mode the icon is stretched out a bit, in portrait mode itís squashed in a bit. The browser (world) icon is supposed to be a perfect circle but looks like an oval on the 101. You can also see it clearly inside the browser on webpages, especially if youíre used to what certain font faces are supposed to look like. In landscape mode the fonts are stretched (they look low and wide), in portrait mode they look squashed (they look high and narrow). If you flip it around a few times to compare Iím sure youíll see what I mean.

Iím a bit surprised that I havenít come across any notion of this on the forum at all so far. I know itís not just my device because I see the same thing happening in all the screenshots Iíve seen around on the forum. I suspect the Archos framework with the softkeys might have something to do with it. That the screen real estate is transformed to make room for the soft keys (even though Iíve seen screenshots of the soft keys being put in the notification bar and still show the same problem). Or that Archos is compensating for the fact that 1024x600 is not a true 16:9 ratio (which would be 1024x576) but that the focus is put on having fullscreen video play the best way possible and that therefore the Android 1024x600 UI is forced into a different ratio.

These are just speculations on my part obviously. What Iím really curious for is if somebody came across something to compensate this (or de-compensate for that matter), or even better; got this whole thing fixed. Did anyone every play around with certain properties and found that it changed the ratio (even if it looked overly stretched out or anything, at least that would indicate you can do something with it) Could it have something to do with the ro.sf.lcd_density property? To be honest I would much rather have a black bar on the bottom of a few pixels than have the whole UI being deformed. The best solution would obviously be to give the whole Android UI the exact same pixels as the screen has. Maybe Iím being a bit picky since I didnít find any threads on this yet, but being a visually oriented app developer itís really annoying to me to find interface elements I carefully created be deformed on the Archos while it doesnít on other Android devices.

Thanks in advance!
Nokia 3650 - Nokia 7710 - HTC Touch Cruise (P3650) (Polaris) - HTC HD2 (Leo) - Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000) - HTC One
 
msticninja
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(Last edited by msticninja; 6th June 2011 at 12:33 AM.)
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Interesting post, but I do not have that issue. The Video icon on the home screen measures exactly 5/16" by 5/16" in both landscape and portrait. I do not see any ellipsing of round icons or images, either. Obviously, widgets get resized, but if you're a dev, you already know how resizing and the Patch 9 system works.

I do see a slight kerning change in text in the stock Browser, but definitely no change to images.

I'll be interested to see what others say. Can you post some screens?
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nielshtc
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I took some screenshots and found that the deforming doesn’t happen when you take screenshots. I guess I was a bit too quick with judging the other screenshots around the forum and even started doubting myself, but looking at the screen again it was still clear to me.

Seeing this difference actually makes me think that the whole UI resolution is in fact 1024x600 (like the screenshots are, and what all the software uses for rendering) but that the resolution of the screen itself might actually be different, which could explain the stretching over the screen.

To try and proof my point I took some photos of screen details in both landscape and portrait. Granted, it’s not a pixel perfect way of testing things but I tried to take the pictures as level as possible and then measured the pixels of the width and height of the screen details inside these pictures to see if there was a significant difference in ratio between landscape and portrait and apart from my eyes the pictures also say there is.

I put some measurements with it to compare and used both an app icon (Quickpedia) in the default launcher and a square picture in a website on the browser. I get what you mean with the patch 9 smart resizing btw, but I’m actually seeing stretching of pixels happening here.







So: landscape seems to be stretched, portrait seems to be squashed. This kind of makes sense if you take into account that the “native” orientation of the Archos screen is landscape. And that portrait is basically landscape but with the UI element reorganized and the icons rotated 90 degrees. So in landscape the 1024x600 screen content (icons and websites alike) is stretched out a bit to match a slightly wider screen, and in portrait you’re looking at a landscape screen as well only you’re looking at it with a 90 degrees rotation (which makes it looks squashed but is actually stretched as well if you pitch your head 90 degrees to the side).

It’s like turning your widescreen laptop to an 800x600 resolution. Everything renders to 800x600 but it’s all stretched out over your screen because the native resolution of your display is actually different. And when you take a screenshot of the stretched out interface and look back at it in your normal widescreen resolution you’ll see a fine unstretched 1:1 800x600 screenshot. So the screenshots of the Archos show that there’s nothing wrong with the rendering, so it’s not the framework or softkeys but that in fact the native resolution of the screen might be different from 1024x600 and is actually wider. Maybe Archos decided to configure Android to 1024x600 instead of the native screen resolution because 1024x600 plays better with general apps, or maybe with video. No idea. I would still love to see the whole UI in an unstreched, screen fitting resolution though. I even think the whole screen experience might look a lot crisper and nicer without the stretching since this generally blurs things (think of the 800x600 example), even if the difference is just a few pixels (like it seems to be on the Archos).

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DVAsmrwdtQ :P)
Nokia 3650 - Nokia 7710 - HTC Touch Cruise (P3650) (Polaris) - HTC HD2 (Leo) - Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000) - HTC One
 
msticninja
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(Last edited by msticninja; 6th June 2011 at 09:44 AM.)
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They were certainly restrained to 1024x600, because it needs to be 16:9, and a multiple of 8, especially if it's ever going to be google-certified. Also, keep in mind that you must use a resolution supported by the video chipset, which will probably only support normal resolutions.

As far as the lcd itself, it's native resolution may not be 1024x600, but it's more likely it just doesn't have a square pixel ratio.

EDIT: I attached the manufacturer specs for the LCD. It shows the Pitch as 0.2175 (H) x 0.2088 (V) mm, meaning the screen itself is not 1:1, but the native resolution IS 1024x600, so there is nothing that can be done to sharpen it, or stop the resizing. The math says it should be less than a 4% difference between landscape and portrait though, so I'm not that surprised you're the first to really notice. I did notice a bit before, but I thought it was mostly my eyes.

Archos 101 LCD Panel PDF
Attached Files
File Type: rar 101mulTI-touch-lcdspec.rar - [Click for QR Code] (514.4 KB, 26 views)
Samsung Galaxy S3 running something close to Stock.
US HTC HD2 Running NexusHD2-ICS-4.0.3-CM9 V1.5 on NAND.
Asus Transformer running Energy Nov. 20th + CWM Touch
Archos 101IT with 1 Watt Speakers Running openAOS Multiboot. OSes= Urukdroid, CM7, Bodhi, LXDE
HTC Diamond Running Gingercherry v3. (As a remote control )
The Following User Says Thank You to msticninja For This Useful Post: [ Click to Expand ]
 
nielshtc
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Thanks for the very detailed answer! I guess I wasn’t taking crazy pills then and if it’s hardware related I guess that’s it then. I can live with that. I’m still curious if it would be possible to compensate for the stretch by making the width 4% less (983 x 600, am I right?). But that might make things a mess. I don’t know. This answer is clear. Thanks again
Nokia 3650 - Nokia 7710 - HTC Touch Cruise (P3650) (Polaris) - HTC HD2 (Leo) - Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000) - HTC One
 
msticninja
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There's a small chance you could change the resolution to fix the scaling, but then the input/output will not be 1 to 1, and everything will be very fuzzy, like a flat panel that isn't at it's native resolution. (Because it WILL be a flat panel that isn't at it's native resolution anymore )
Samsung Galaxy S3 running something close to Stock.
US HTC HD2 Running NexusHD2-ICS-4.0.3-CM9 V1.5 on NAND.
Asus Transformer running Energy Nov. 20th + CWM Touch
Archos 101IT with 1 Watt Speakers Running openAOS Multiboot. OSes= Urukdroid, CM7, Bodhi, LXDE
HTC Diamond Running Gingercherry v3. (As a remote control )
 
ryusen
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Thanks for posting this. I thought maybe i was going crazy. I noticed, when i was reviewing some of my photos. My models looked rather unnaturally elongated .(

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interface, ratio, resolution, screen
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