Have you ever wondered what is Video Resolution? Or are you trying to figure out what 360p resolution, 480p resolution, 720p resolution or 1080p resolution stands for? Or are you looking for help, trying to figure out what the “basic” differences between 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p videos are and how to change the resolutions?
I hope this article will be able to help you with the Basics on Video Resolution and hopefully give you an idea of what the basic differences are.
Before we get into the details, first of all, you must be aware that all videos have a Frame Resolution, i.e frame height and frame width. Frame height tells us about the total number of vertical pixels and similarly, frame width tells us about the total number of horizontal pixels. Now let’s begin with the basic concepts.
What is Video resolution? Various types of Video resolutions
Now, in a digital video, Video resolution actually represents the lines of vertical resolution. In other words, we can say that Video resolution represents the total number of horizontal lines that the video has in each individual frame. This is why we have different types of Video resolutions like 360p resolution, 480p resolution, 720p resolution or 1080p resolution, etc. Once you understand the basic difference of video quality you can learn to improve your video quality and make it more appealing & presentable.
To put it in very simple terms and making it easier for you to understand, the different numbers in “360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p” stand for the number of horizontal lines that the video has from top to bottom and represent the corresponding Video resolutions for a particular Video. So, the 360 in the 360p stands for the total number of vertical pixels in the video.
While talking about pixels, please be aware that “p” in ”360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p” does not stand for “Pixel” as normal guesses would suggest. Most people make this simple mistake. It is important to remember and note that “p” here stands for Progressive Scan.
Although we are talking about videos, but the same concept applies to images as well and you can take a look at the picture below just to get an idea or gist about the differences between the different Video Resolutions (360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p):
Moving further, the term “Video resolution” is generally associated with the quality of the video, such that videos with higher resolution are of better quality and those with lesser resolution are of lesser quality and accordingly. For example, a video with 360p resolution would be of lower quality than that of a video with 1080p resolution.
The more pixels the image has, the more lifelike it will appear and the less work the hardware has to do to project the proper image.
Before we get into the differences, I would like to mention that this is a very broad and detailed topic and one that cannot be covered in one simple article. But for starters, if you’re looking for the basic differences, there is one important factor to note. When we speak of resolution we always consider the total number of pixels contained in each individual frame.
However, to be more precise or technically speaking there are two types of resolution:
- Spatial resolution: which is the total number of pixels contained in each individual frame. Or by definition, the width and height of the displayed image measured in pixels which is what we have been discussing so far. However, for your knowledge and better understanding, it is important to know that there is a second type of resolution, the temporal resolution. (This may come in handy while discussing the differences between them).
- Temporal resolution: which is the number of frames shown per second.
Unless otherwise stated, it’s safe to assume that the term resolution by itself means spatial resolution.
Differences between 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p resolution videos
Let us take a look at some of the Most Common Video Resolutions mentioned below:
- 858 x 480 (480p): The 480p Resolution has a total of 858 pixels going across the screen and 360 pixels going down the screen.
- 480 x 360 (360p): The 360p Resolution has a total of 480 pixels going across the screen and 360 pixels going down the screen.
- 1280 x 720 (720p) (Half HD): The 720 Resolution has a total of 1280 pixels going across the screen and 720 pixels going down the screen.
- 1920 x 1080 (1080p) (Full HD): The 1080p Resolution has a total of 1920p pixels going across the screen and 1080p pixels going down the screen.
1. 480 x 360 (360p Resolution)
A 360p resolution video is made up of 360 lines stacked one on top of another, with each line being 480 pixels wide and this is what it means when people say a video’s resolution is 480 x 360. It is the Current base resolution in YouTube, labelled as “360p”. It is the lowest and the least computationally demanding resolution supported by most hardware. Most of the video cameras don’t even support this resolution nowadays.
2. 858 x 480 (480p Resolution)
A 480p video is made up of 480 lines stacked one on top of another, with each line being 852 pixels wide. This resolution is commonly known as “DVD-quality”. The previous resolution which was the 360p resolution, as well as 480p resolution, both these video resolutions, are mostly used for mobile and other small screen devices since they do not have enough pixels or enough memory to support HD videos.
However, the 480p can still be used to view videos on both your laptop and desktop monitors since it is comparatively better than “360p” even though it isn’t quite HD.
3. 1280 x 720 (720p resolution) (Half HD)
True high-definition starts at 720p resolution. Accordingly, a 720p resolution video has 720 lines that are each 1,280 pixels wide, meaning that it is more than twice as sharp to the previous 480p Resolution video and can be viewed on a much larger screen. 720HD is an example of temporal resolution or containing more frames per second. 720p resolution is primarily used for sports because of how much movement is being done during airtime.
4. 1920 x 1080 (1080p resolution) (Full HD)
The term “HD” is commonly used in reference to 1080p or 1920 x 1080p. A 1080 HD resolution is an example of spatial resolution or containing more pixels and 1080p resolution is used for movies that move at a much slower pace and can emphasize more pixels per frame.
To help you understand better, here is a video that shows the differences between the different types of resolution. “Love Song” by Selena Gomez showing you the quality and difference between some of the most common Video Resolutions (360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p etc).
If you’re not a fan of this song choice, you can go to any video of your preference and follow the following steps:
Please make sure to click on the different video resolutions made available to you and notice the differences in the clarity and sharpness of the videos.
If you have anything to add to the story please let me know via comments. Enjoy!