A Quick Guide To Understanding Video Resolution

There are many things that you need to take into consideration if you want to achieve ultimate success in video marketing. Aside from consistency, creativity, and innovation, you must also be aware of video resolution. Having a complete understanding of how this works can make a big difference in your marketing success.

The video resolutions that you can usually see are 360p, 480p, 720p or 1,080p. As the resolution increases, the more high definition it becomes. The numbers represent the horizontal lines, starting from top to bottom, that a particular video has. Be sure to keep these guidelines for future reference:

Source: Best USB Powered Monitor


Resolution: 640 × 480

This is commonly used in producing DVD videos. The 480p resolution is ideal for playing the content on a DVD disc reader or burner. Eagle eyed viewers will notice the poorer quality of a 480P video, especially on high resolution devices like modern smartphones and computers with “retina” displays.

Try plugging an older gaming console like an N64 into your modern HD TV to get an idea of the quality of 480P content on today’s modern displays. If you’re making videos for business, skip 480P and choose a higher resolution for your content production. Using Lumen5? Upgrade to a paid plan to get at least 720P quality.


Resolution: 1280 x 720

A near doubling of 480P gets you to 720P. For businesses, this is the bare minimum you need when sharing content, even on social media. 720P content will look pretty good when scrolling through a feed on a mobile device or desktop computer.

However, users may notice a loss of quality when viewing the video full screen. Most premium cellphones and modern computers have at least 1080P quality displays. Though 720P content will look pretty good in most cases today, it may not be enough tomorrow. If you’re creating content that you’d like to use for a few years, choose 1080P or better.


Resolution: 1920 x 1080

The standard in online video today is 1080P. It is a resolution shared by many desktop displays and cellphones. Want to ensure your video looks great at full screen? You need 1080P.

4K and Beyond

Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels

4K (and its big brother, 8K) are undoubtedly the future. But its applications today are limited, at least in online streaming. Wired internet connection speeds in many parts of North America and elsewhere are still too slow to handle 4K video streaming well. And users are increasingly watching video on mobile devices (See the 2018 Video Marketing Statistics You Need to Know Guide).

So how should 4K fit into your video strategy?

If you’re filming content, capturing it in 4K has benefits. Not only are you future proofing yourself, you give yourself options in editing. You can crop/zoom 4K content by 2X to achieve multiple different 1080P angles, giving you greater flexibility when editing.

But as it stands today, nine times out of ten you’ll want to export your content to 1080P. In an increasingly mobile world, 1080P is about the maximum resolution you can comfortably stream on most mobile internet connections. While it is essential to focus on the storyline or concept for your videos, it is equally significant to learn how to use the proper video resolution.

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