What is Video Resolution
Video resolution represents the number of distinct pixels (the smallest individual element of an image) displayed on a given frame. The higher this number, the crisper and clearer an image will be—thereby giving you a higher-quality video.
Every video has a preset resolution and is measured in the form of pixels as the number of horizontal and vertical lines on a video. For instance, 1080 refers to a 1920×1080 video resolution where 1920 pixels are displayed horizontally and 1080 pixels are displayed vertically across the screen.
What is the meaning of "P" and "I" in resolution?
The “p” or “i” in resolution (e.g. 1080p and 1080i) refers to the manner in which an image is scanned. While “p” refers to “progressive scanning" and produces clearer video quality, “i” is indicative of an “interlaced" image which is considered to be easier to broadcast.
Types of Video Resolutions
There are four basic video resolutions:
- LD (Low Definition) — 360p
- SD (Standard Definition) — 480p
- HD (High Definition) — 720p
- Full HD (FHD) — 1080p
Display resolutions beyond 1080p are considered to be Ultra HD or 2160p or 4k. A higher resolution is indicative of a higher video quality.
Video Resolutions and their Use-Cases
- 360p: Best suited for playback on smartphones—especially if you are looking to save bandwidth. It is the lowest resolution at which you can stream a video without the picture quality being too unclear and blurry.
- 480p: It provides decent video quality and is used as a standard definition for cameras and video platforms.
- 720p: Best for streaming smaller web content but not preferred for full-screen playback. It provides HD video quality.
- 1080p and 1080i: Most suitable for HD streaming, Blu-ray players, and Xbox/PlayStation games whereas TV companies use 1080i. It provides optimal video quality but if your internet connection is slow, you'll experience buffering issues.
- 2160p (4k): Best for big TV screens since it provides ultra-high video quality and detail, but the majority of viewers lack favorable network conditions to stream at 4k.