I'm trying to export a file (either InDesign or PowerPoint) that can be exported to a JPEG to be viewed on a 50" widescreen monitor off of a thumb drive. There is no computer attached, it is a smart TV. I have changed the export resolution in powerpoint and the final image still gets extremely degraded and pixelated. And I have created the largest format in InDesign and exported but coming back with the same results. Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
It is likely that you are exporting an image that is very small and it is getting scaled up by the TV and therefore looks terrible.
If the TV is HD (likely) then it is natively showing a 1920x1080 pixel image. So for best quality, you want to export a 1920x1080 image at 72 dpi (which means 1:1 pixel ratio — show 1 pixel of image in 1 pixel of TV screen.)
Before you export, change the size of the InDesign/PowerPoint canvas to 1920x1080 at 72 dpi. If in InDesign, make sure you are also in RGB color mode.
Look at the InDesign/PowerPoint canvas and make sure the image is composed in the way that you want. You may have to scale up the elements on the canvas to fit the canvas size. Hopefully any text is in text blocks (not bitmap images) so that when you scale it up, it scales gracefully.
When you have the image that you want to see on the TV, export as JPEG without scaling up or down.
Johannes is right, but give it a try and export as PNG24 set to sRGB, make sure to set the right resolution for the TV HDMI I suppose, 1920x1200px or 1920x1080px and try 96dpi instead of 72. If there is still JPG-moiree it's hardware based. If it's just blurred and streached it's the false resolution or aspect ratio.
Due to colormanagement-reasons it's often better to export as PDFX4 with ZIP Compression from InDesign and then to open it in Photoshop, convert to sRGB, rasterize and resize it in Photoshop without sharpening and export it as PNG24 including the sRGB Profile.
1) Real Screen resolution
It is a little dificult to answer becouse we dont know which software the tv has or inclusive the resolution.
At 50" it could be either Full HD or 4k.
There are a cuple of 4k sizes, but probably it is 3840 x 2160px. If it is full HD it is 1920 x 1080 px.
There is also a posibility it is a standard HD if it is a cheap TV. 1280 x 720 px.
So you need to read the real specs for your TV.
2) File format
Just try a rgb JPG file, with very low compression. Also try a png file.
3) The real problem
Is that we do not know what settings are you using to export.
a) Define your file size at the exact resolution of your monitor
I have created the largest format in InDesign
Thoose are not valid values!
Test your output file on a simple web browser, like firefox. Right click on it and see the image information. There you can read if the output size is correct.