Jargon buster: 16-bit video

The processing of the data that makes up the computer screen display is done separately from the main processor either on a separate chip on the main processing motherboard or on a separate add-on board. The resolution and quality of the display depends on the power of the chip used. A basic 8-bit video processing chip will give only a limited range of colours and therefore a screen display of limited quality, 16-bit video gives a range of thousands of colours, while a 24-bit video card is needed to give the maxiumum 16.7 million colours.

Pixel: short for 'picture element', a discrete 'spot' on the grid of thousands of such elements which are individually coloured to make up an electronic image.