Frame Size Matters

There are many frame sizes for video.

I’d like to dispel many misconceptions in the area of frame size. First, if someone is saying 720, they should be referring to HD 1280×720 and not 720×480 SD (that would be 480). The first number refers to the width and the second is the height. And let me get one more thing off my chest. Most computer screens are not made specifically to view video. Therefore, 1024×768, 1280×1024, and 1680×1050 for example will leave a video of 1920×1080 with black bars top and bottom. It’s OK.

4k resolution chart

Some common video frame sizes for SD 4:3 aspect are…
Frame size | Pixel aspect | Description
320×240 – used for web
640×480 – early analog to digital editing standard.
720×480 – NTSC DV & DVD. It’s better suited for compression since it’s divisible by 16 for macroblocks.
720×486 – NTSC professional digital format for tape. Note 6 extra pixels in the height.
720×576 – PAL digital format for some countries other than US and Japan.

A few frame sizes recorded at 4:3 anamorphic (stretched vertically) and played back at 16×9 for data rate savings…
960×720 – down-sampled frame size used for DVCPRO HD and HDV
1440×1080 – down-sampled sizes used for DVCPRO HD and HDV
1280×1080 – down-sampled sizes used for DVCPRO HD and HDV

Some common HD 16:9 aspect sizes are as follows…
640×360 – used for web
1280×720 – small HD frame size but can run at higher frame rates. Referred to as 720p.
1920×1080 – highest resolution for the HD standard.

Some UltraHD frame sizes are…
3840×2160 – known as 4k or 2160p with 4 times the pixels of 1080p
7680×4320 – known as 8k or 4320p with 16 times the pixels of 1080p which is close to the detail level of IMAX

Here are some HD aspect ratios with frame sizes.

1080p Resolutions:
1.333:1 = 1400 x 1080
1.666:1 = 1800 x 1080
1.777:1 = 1920 x 1080
1.839:1 = 1920 x 1044
1.846:1 = 1920 x 1040
1.853:1 = 1920 x 1036
2.341:1 = 1920 x 820
2.352:1 = 1920 x 816
2.364:1 = 1920 x 812
2.376:1 = 1920 x 808
2.388:1 = 1920 x 804
2.400:1 = 1920 x 800
2.412:1 = 1920 x 796
720p Resolutions:
1.333:1 = 960 x 720
1.666:1 = 1200 x 720
1.777:1 = 1280 x 720
1.839:1 = 1280 x 696
1.849:1 = 1280 x 692
1.860:1 = 1280 x 688
2.335:1 = 1280 x 548
2.352:1 = 1280 x 544
2.370:1 = 1280 x 540
2.388:1 = 1280 x 536
2.406:1 = 1280 x 532
2.424:1 = 1280 x 528

 

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