I'm looking at projectors and a lot of them are advertised as HD 1080p, however when looking at the actual specs, the native resolution is something ridiculously low as 640x320.
How can it possibly display HD video with such a relatively low number of pixels?

I'm guessing if I was to actually buy one and use it at the claimed 60" size, it wouldn't look anywhere near as clear as HD?

  • As far as I know projectors have two separate specifications for resolution: native and maximum ?
    – Malcolm
    Aug 1, 2014 at 22:36
  • 1
    That goes for all displays, naturally. It's basically tolerated fraud.
    – Daniel B
    Aug 1, 2014 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


You're right, the picture from the native 640x320 projector probably won't look HD.

Whenever a signal's resolution doesn't match a projector's native resolution, the signal must be scaled up or down to match the projector's native resolution before it can be projected. So, the 640x320 native resolution projector would need to scale the 1080p HD signal down to 640x320 before it could project it, and during that scaling process some sharpness would be lost. I'm guessing the comparative difference in quality would be pretty noticeable at a large size like 60".

Here are a couple sources for some of the above:



On a side note, the fact that the native 640x320 projector can still play a scaled-down 1080p signal is probably what entitles the projector manufacturer to say that the projector "supports" 1080p, even if the picture isn't as good as on a native 1080p projector. No doubt this is a source of confusion for projector shoppers everywhere...

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