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Published Date: 14 December 2022

What is SD?

SD—or Standard Definition represents the standard resolution level for streaming. 480p is the standard cut-off or base resolution for SD videos—with 480 referring to 480 pixels across a single image and "p" indicative of a progressive scan. While you can stream video at resolutions below 480p—for instance, 144p, 240p, and 360p—SD provides decent video quality and is considered an accepted standard in live streaming.

SD Pros:

  • 480p provides decent image quality without buffering or lags, even if you have a poor internet connection.
  • SD resolution ensures a smooth viewing experience without significant lags or buffering.
  • It is considered an ideal choice where network conditions are not favorable.
  • It doesn't require significant storage space when compared to HD formats.

SD Cons:

  • SD is unsuitable for large screens, given its poor resolution and video quality.
  • SD video quality further deteriorates based on the availability of bitrates.
  • It is not suitable for videos that have fast-action scenes.

SD vs. HD

SD resolution provides lower clarity and definition when compared to HD since high-definition videos have less pixelation. SD also falls short in terms of color reproduction and frame rate.

Read More: SD vs HD

SD Use-cases:

  • SD was widely used in early plasma TVs and is still used for TV broadcasts in areas where the NTSC system is used (America, Japan, etc.) to stream video of 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • It is also used in digital cameras and camcorders.

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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