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Published Date: 20 January 2023

What is 480p?

A media or a device with a 480p resolution has a maximum of 480 pixels on its screen's vertical plane. The resolution of the display is denoted as 640 X 480. Resolution is the term used to describe the pixel density and the software or hardware arrangement. Different resolutions provide varying details and information based on the clarity and sharpness of the captured image.

We call 480p the Standard Definition Resolution (SD) in technical terminology.

Features of 480p

  • 480p does not require powerful hardware.
  • The video and the image quality of 480p are similar to that of early plasma TVs.
  • It runs on any low-spec device or even old personal computers. A 480p video can have a maximum of 60 frames per second.
  • 480p usually refers to 640 x 480 resolution with an aspect ratio of 4:3. The most recent update of 480p has an aspect ratio of 18:10.

Applications of 480p

480p finds its use based on its aspect ratio:

  • The most common aspect ratio of 480p (4:3) finds its application in video formats and cameras.
  • 480 (16:9) is the default setting used for YouTube videos that are played in widescreen mode

480p vs 720p (SD vs HD)

A minimum of 720p is required to call a resolution HD (High Definition). We must consider their application to determine which resolution is better, between 480p and 720p.

  • For instance, if the purpose is to store multiple episodes of a favorite TV show, 480p is better as it goes easy on storage space. However, if there are no restraints w.r.t. to resolution, 720p is the better option for a high-quality viewing experience.
  • For images, 720p is the better alternative as it provides sharpness and has better clarity.

480p vs 1080p (SD vs Full HD)

  • The 1080p resolution is popularly known as the Full HD resolution. Its pixel count is over 2 million, which means it is 8 times sharper than 480p.
  • 1080p is the standard video resolution for Blu-ray discs and most modern TV sets.
  • However, 1080p also has its shortcomings. 1080p at 60 fps is a major challenge for streaming videos online. To overcome this challenge, long videos are played at 30 fps.
  • A movie that runs on 1080p for 3 hours at 30 fps will occupy 23.4 GB without compressing video, which is massive. On the other hand, 480p streams videos at 60 fps without any hassles.
  • Hence, 480p is the better option for streaming online games and videos, and 1080p is better for better image quality, smoother frame rates, and offline storage.

Related Terms

Video Quality

In simple terms, video quality is the characteristic of a video that determines how clear, crisp, and detailed the video transmitted to the viewer is.

Video Watermark

A video watermark is a digital copyright tool used to identify the video's copyright owner or prevent illegal distribution.


1:1 is a commonly used aspect ratio in videography. It produces videos that are a perfect square; the width and height of the video image are the same.

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