What is Video Resolution

What is Video Resolution and How is It Different than Video Compression?

We love getting questions through Facebook, YouTube or Twitter asking us for help with topics ranging from business questions! Some of our favorite articles were written in response to reader questions like, “How can I make money with my video camera?” and the best types of microphones to use for specific applications.

Today we are answering a question from Jonathan White who asked us to better define what video resolution and video compression is and what it means to the quality of his videos. To do this, we got one of our favorite editors, Christie Matthews,  involved… 

What better way to start that discussion than with this phenomenal video from FilmakerIQ.com on the different frame rates throughout history…

Video Resolution

Video resolution in a display device refers to the number of distinct pixels that could be displayed in each dimension. It is usually quoted as width× height; for an example: “1024 × 768″. In this example 1024 indicates the width and 768 indicates the height that the display could be resolved in pixels.   A display resolution is controlled by factors like the cathode ray tube and flat panel display which are presented in digital televisions and computer monitors.

There are two types of video resolution: Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD). The most popular standard resolutions are 640×360 and 640×480 for video, and 720×480 and 720×576 for DVD. HD video usually has a resolution of 1280×720 (720p) or 1920×1080 (1080p, is also known as Full HD).

In video resolution, the need to resolve more or less might occur. For example, while uploading a video in a computer to your mobile phone, you might have to reduce video resolution. Increasing video resolution does not have a very good impact since even though the video resolution is increased the quality does not necessarily improve, however, the size of the video file will definitely grow. Nevertheless, sometimes these transformations may be essential. If you want to burn a low-resolution video (for example a 320×240 video shot on your cell phone) to a DVD, you will need to increase the resolution because DVD standards require the video to have a resolution of at least 720×480.

Video Compression

Video compression refers to reducing the amount of data in a certain video. It’s normally done by decreasing and removing unwanted data from the video. Data isn’t lost during this process. The importance of video compression is noticed when you can’t store a file with a video because it is too large or takes too much storage space or when large files become a burden since they are very heavy to transfer. This is a typical instance where video compression can be used. Compressing video files generates free space in the device.

The latest standard in video compressing is High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). This is said to double the amount of data compressed while retaining the same level of video quality. It supports 8K UHD resolution up to 8192 x4320 and can alternatively provide substantial video quality at the same bit rate. The latest version of HEVC was completed in July 2014 and is yet to be published in late 2014 with a range of extensions such as scalable coding extensions and multi-view extensions.

As you can see, both video resolution and video compression have their own individual importance as it relates to current and upcoming technology. We hope this helps to answer your question, Jon!

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christie matthewsChristie Matthews is a freelance video editor who often locks herself away in the editing bay for days and only surfaces to find inspiration and fuel. She loves to write about video editing topics and can be reached through Video Entrepreneur Magazine’s editor.

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