Video Resolutions Explained

When it comes to video, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation out there.

Most people don’t know the differences between different video formats and what they mean for resolution, but it’s something you really need to know before making your purchase!

What is Video Resolution?

TVs and monitors display pictures using a grid of pixels, which are little round dots that can light up to create the images we see on our screens. This is why you’ll often hear people say their TV has “1080p resolution”, for example – it means there are 1920 rows of pixels going across the screen horizontally, and another 1080 rows going across the screen vertically.

Resolution = Pixel width x Pixel height

  • 3840 x 2160 (or 2160p)
  • 2560 x 1440 (or 1440p)
  • 1920 x 1080 (or 1080p)
  • 1280 x 720 (or 720p)
  • 854 x 480 (or 480p)
  • 640 x 360 (or 360p)
  • 426 x 240 (or 240p)

A pixel is the smallest unit of measurement on a digital display. It represents one “dot” of color. Pixels are measured in width and height—so, for example, “480p” has 720 pixels across, but only 480 pixels up and down (and an aspect ratio of 16:9).

The number of pixels a screen has determines its resolution. The more pixels a screen has, the sharper its image will be.

If you want the text to be as sharp as possible, make sure your TV or monitor has as many pixels as possible horizontally and as few as possible vertically (1080p or similar).

If you want graphics or gaming to look smooth, you need the opposite – as many rows of pixels vertically as possible, and a few horizontally (4Kor similar).

List of Video Resolutions

We have different names for different video resolutions, including SD, HD, Full HD, Quad HD, UHD, 4K, DCI4K, and 8K. 

Resolution TypeCommon NameAspect RatioPixel Size
SD (Standard Definition)480p4:3640 x 480
HD (High Definition)720p16:91280 x 720
Full HD (FHD)1080p16:91920 x 1080
QHD (Quad HD)1440p16:92560 x 1440
2K video1080p1:1.772048 x 1080
4K video or Ultra HD (UHD)4K or 2160p1:1.93840 x 2160
8K video or Full Ultra HD8K or 4320p16∶97680 x 4320

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