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Video Resolution is NOT Video Size

I found out there’s a lot of confusion regarding video resolution.  It seems that some of my colleagues actually mistake resolution for video size. I admit to making the same error before.  The problem is that since video size depends on the type of video compression, the responses are varied when video editors are asked about the “standard video resolution”.

First of all, video resolution and size are different. According to the book Digital Intermediates for Film and Video:

“In broad terms, resolution determines the level of detail in an image.  In video signals, the resolution is the measure of the number of horizontal lines used to build a picture.  The higher the number of lines, the higher the resolution, and the higher the level of detail that can be ‘resolved’, and hence, the greater the quality of the image.”

The resolution of a video image is determined by the standard: 525 for NTSC videos and 625 for PAL videos.  This is the proper response when asked about standard video resolution. On the other hand, standard video size may be 720×486 or 2:1 (NTSC). 🙂

Categories: video editing
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