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What are Differences between WXGA, XGA and SVGA?


“Why do my two projectors display images of the same size at different qualities?”

The answer you’re looking for is most probably their resolutions.

Resolution is an important detail for every display device. These days, there are TVs and projectors that display large scale images, so resolution is even more important.

Before purchasing a projector for movies, PowerPoint or for business, you must consider the resolution.

There are different projection resolutions available. Also, some are better suited to certain functions than others.

The resolution determines the clarity of projected images after they have been enlarged. Do they still maintain their sharp quality? Do they look grainy?

This article describes three very common projector resolutions. It also compares the SVGA vs XGA vs WXGA resolutions.

What is Image Resolution?

a rose picture with many pixels

Every image on your screen is made up of many tiny dots. These individual dots all contribute to make up the whole picture.

These tiny dots are called pixels. Our projectors put the light from these pixels together on the screen. They are ordered to create the desired image.

The more pixels you have to fill your screen, the better the quality of your image. This is why projectors with high resolutions deliver better quality.

The image resolution of your projector tells you how many pixels it employs in delivering detailed images.

You may see the resolution represented as an acronym. It can also be in figures showing the number of pixels it uses vertically and horizontally.

Some of the most popular resolutions on modern projectors are the SVGA, XGA, and WXGA. What do these acronyms mean? We’ll explain that in detail.

SVGA Image Resolution (800 x 600)

The SVGA resolution is the oldest one in the book. Advancing technology has come up with better resolutions for image quality, but the SVGA is still widely used.

SVGA means Super Video Graphics Array. The resolution has 800 x 600 pixels, and this gives a total of 480,000 pixels.

The SVGA resolution translates to a 4:3 aspect ratio. It gives a decent image on standard screens but is not recommended for widescreen displays.

SVGA projectors are compatible with many modern devices. Interestingly, some manufacturers build models that can display images of higher resolutions.

For instance, an SVGA projector may display a movie with a 1024 x 768 resolution. You will notice a reduction in quality due to scaling.

Here’s some good news: SVGA projectors generally cost less than those with higher resolutions.

XGA image resolution (1024 x 768)

The XGA resolution was introduced after SVGA. It gained popularity as newer computers emerged with the XGA native resolution.

XGA stands for Extended Graphics Array and it has a pixel count of 1024 x 768. This means that at any display time, it employs a total of 786,000 pixels.

XGA projectors are an advancement in image quality from the SVGA resolution.

They translate to a 4:3 aspect ratio. However, they have more pixels with which to create the image sharper and more detailed quality.

Most modern media devices are compatible with XGA projectors. They are better suited for movie projection than SVGA projectors.

If you are wondering, the answer is yes. Yes, XGA projectors can project images of SVGA resolution.

However, if you’re projecting images in any particular resolution, a projector with a matching resolution is best. Why?

You will not lose any image quality to scaling.

WXGA image resolution (1280 x 800)

Now, we will consider the WXGA (Wide Extended Graphics Array). It is the most advanced resolution of the three and is increasingly used by modern projectors.

WXGA features 1280 x 800 pixels, translating to a total of 1,024,000. It is well suited for wide-screen displays of 16:10 aspect ratios.

Is this unusual?

Well, unlike the 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, 16:10 isn’t common in TVs or computer screens. The 16:10 aspect ratio is mostly used by LCD screens.

The WXGA meets the increasing need for more detailed displays. This was especially to accommodate the gaming industry & gamers’ needs for image clarity.

WXGA projection displays images in near HD quality. They are best suited for gaming and movie projection than the others.

Which Resolution is Best For Projection?

Before we proceed, take some time to remind yourself that there are other resolutions. There’s the 1080p full HD resolution and the 4k resolution.

These two are of even higher qualities than SVGA, XGA and WXGA. Many movies come in the 1080p resolution.

However, among the three we have discussed, which is best? The answer to this depends on the intended use.

What do you want to use your projector for? Text projection? For tracing images? For playing games?

Let us take a look at the best applications for different resolutions.

Best Use of SVGA Projectors

man doing a Powerpoint presentation with SVGA Projector

These are often less expensive than the others. If you need a budget projector for simple tasks, then this is a good option.

SVGA resolution is good for projecting texts, charts and diagrams. It is good for classroom projections and PowerPoint presentations.

I mean, higher resolutions will do better jobs, however, if you are on a budget, anything more than the SVGA is quite unnecessary.

If you get a bright SVGA projector with great contrast, the difference is almost nonexistent.

Best Use of XGA Projector

girl playing game with XGA projector

If you want a display similar to HD, this is the best non-widescreen option to go for.

It is great for movie projections and gaming. The quality is not quite HD. However, if you pair it with sufficient brightness and contrast, the difference will be greatly reduced.

Most games are in 780p resolutions so the XGA is even better suited to display them. Higher resolutions like WXGA or HD may reduce their quality due to scaling.

Best Use of the WXGA Projectors

home theater with WXGA projector

These offer the best resolution quality of the three types. They are also the most expensive of the three.

WXGA projectors are best for watching HD movies on wide-screen. Their large number of pixels reproduce the image in clear and detailed quality.

WXGA projectors are better for playing high end games of more than 780p resolutions (i.e. Xbox and PlayStation). They are the best option for home theaters.

Comparison Between SVGA, XGA and WXGA Projectors

 SVGAXGAWXGA
Pixel number800 × 6001024 × 7681280 × 800
Image qualitySD display qualityGood qualityBest projection quality
Aspect ratio4:34:316:10
Best applicationIt is best used for projecting texts or diagrams (i.e. PowerPoint).It is best used to project games and movies of the same resolution.WXGA projectors are best used for projecting HD movies and modern games like PlayStation.

FAQs

1. What is the difference between WXGA, XGA and SVGA?

These are three different projector resolutions. The difference between them is in the number of pixels they use to project images.

SVGA projectors employ about 480,000 pixels. They fill 4:3 screen aspect ratios. They are the least powerful of the three and are not great for widescreen displays.

XGA is a higher resolution for a 4:3 screen aspect ratio. It has even more pixels than the SVGA and can project images in better quality.

The WXGA resolution is best suited to widescreen projection. With 1,024,000 pixels, it projects images in almost HD quality.

2. Which is better: WXGA or full HD?

Now, the WXGA resolution (1280 x 800) has an aspect ratio of 16:10. The full HD (1920 x 1080) on the other hand, has an aspect ratio of 16:9.

This means that full HD images are more rectangular than their WXGA counterparts. This is better for projection.

Most screens and display monitors have a 16:9 aspect ratio. Full HD resolution fills these screens out perfectly.

If you use a WXGA projector on such a screen, the image will turn out letterboxed on the sides.

Also, the Full HD resolution has the advantage of more pixels. It contains 2,073,600 pixels to WXGA’s 1,024,000 pixels.

This means the full HD resolution has more than double the amount of pixels of WXGA. More pixels means clearer and more defined pictures.

Conclusion

When trying to choose a projector, there are many details to look out for. Resolution is one of the most important details.

It greatly affects your viewing experience, so you have to find a projector resolution that fits your purpose.

Parting note: check out the brightness and color output of your projector too. This is often controlled by their projection technology.

Related post: 1080p Versus 1440p Versus 2160p: What Are They?


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