From: (Anonymous)
Matthew almost certainly already knows this, as he's steeped in the many and various ways that consumer electronics manufacturers try and do things on the cheap, but for everyone else:

1366x768 comes from a quirk of at least one method for manufacturing LCD panels. At one stage in manufacture, they're made as a big sheet of pixels, much, much larger than you want as screens. This is then cut into individual screens, first by cutting into vertical chunks, then cutting the line of screens into single screens.

The trick comes in when you're cutting - defects tend to cluster in individual spots on the screen. Any finished screen with too many defects is a failure and has to be discarded. So, vertically, you want to cut into as small a number of sizes as possible, and cut horizontal chunks avoiding any defects.

There are no common 720 high 4:3 screen sizes - 960x720 is unusual. Lots of people still want 1024x768 4:3 screens for various applications. You may be seeing why 1366x768 is popular at this point - you can now cut your lots by 768 stage into a mix of 1024x768 4:3 and 1366x768 16:9 screens, and can therefore get more usable screens from the same vertical cut.

Plus, TV is all about samples of an idealised continuous function, not pixels, and we have well-understood "perfect" algorithms for scaling 1280x720 samples to 1366x768 samples, such that lighting up an LCD pixel will reproduce the "same" continuous function whether you're lighting up 1280x720 pixels, or 1366x768 pixels, or even 1920x1080 pixels. This is not so good for computers, which are pixel based, not sample based.
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Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Google. Member of the Free Software Foundation board of directors. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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