Video Resolution

Video Resolution

In digital video, Resolution means the number of pixels displayed on screen. Technically speaking there are two types of resolution:

  1. Spatial resolution means the width and height of the displayed image. measured in pixels. In other words, the total number of pixels contained in each individual frame.
  2. Temporal resolution means the frame rate (number of frames shown per second), i.e. “resolution over time”.

Unless otherwise stated, it’s safe to assume that the term resolution by itself means spatial resolution.

Common resolutions

There are many different resolutions available for for video, television and cinemas—the table below shows some of them.

Name Pixels (width x height) Aspect Ratio Notes
Standard Definition (SD)
480p / 480i 720×480 (or 704×480) 4:3 (approx) NTSC
576p / 576i 720×576 (or 704×576) 4:3 (approx) PAL
High Definition (HDTV)
720p 1280×720 16:9
1080p / 1080i 1920×1080 16:9


image—whatever size that happens to be. Of course higher resolutions are generally suited to larger displays.

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This subject is related to the following article: DVR Basics