Video Resolutions

Video sizes can be confusing especially with the new 4k and Ultra HD formats that are becoming available. Below is graphic to show the difference in resolution quality which has evolved from the Standard Definition (SD) tube televisions to the new Ultra HD. As you can see the size is based on the number of pixels with the higher the number, the better the quality.



When producing digital video content, it is important to know how this footage will be used when finished, before filming.  This will allow decisions to be made that will produce the best result for the completed video. If you were to deliver for portable devices such as iPhones, then super imposing slides with high details will not be legible. Aspect ratios are also important as you don't want to film 4:3 footage if you are delivering at 16:9 widescreen.


With so many different delivery methods available, you need to have an idea of which medium you will use, such as internet, DVD, Blu-ray, laptop, iPad, iPhone and android phones to name a few. Each device has specific compatible video formats, aspect ratio's and display resolutions, so an understanding of specific requirements will assist in your planning.

Here are a few of the common screen resolutions, but there are many more:

  Format & Aspect
iPad 2 1024 x 720 pixels   Quicktime MOV or MP4
iPad 3 2048 x 1536 pixels   Quicktime MOV or MP4
iPad Mini 1024 x 768 pixels   Quicktime MOV or MP4
iPhone 4/4S 960 x 640 pixels   Quicktime MOV or MP4
iPhone 5 1136 x 640 pixels   Quicktime MOV or MP4
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 1280 x 800 pixels   MPeg4 & WMV
Blackberry Curve 320 x 240 pixels   WMV
Blackberry Storm 480 x 360 pixels   WMV
Blackberry Bold 480 x 320 pixels   WMV
Standard def 4:3 PAL 720 x 576 pixels   1.33:1 (4:3) Apsect ratio
Standard def 16:9 PAL (DVD) 1024 x 576 pixels   1.78:1 (16:9) Apsect ratio
Enhanced def 16:9 PAL 1366 x 720 pixels   1.78:1 (16:9) Apsect ratio
True high def 16:9 PAL (1080P) 1920 x 1080 pixels   1.78:1 (16:9) Apsect ratio
2K 2048 x 1080 pixels   1.90:1 (17:9) Aspect ratio
4K 4096 x 2160 pixels   1.90:1 (17:9) Aspect ratio
Ultra HD TV 3840 x 2160 pixels   1.78 (16:9) Aspect ratio
Ultra HD Wide 5120 x 2160 pixels   2.37:1 (21:9) Aspect ratio