Full Introduction to 480p Resolution and Why You Need It [MiniTool Wiki]

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When you watch videos or when you want to buy a new display, then you may notice that there are a number of resolutions (480p, 720p, 1080p, 1440p and 4K) you can choose. And this post from MiniTool Solution will give you a full introduction to 480p resolution.

What Is Resolution?

To begin with, what is resolution? Resolution is the total number of pixels that can be displayed on the monitor. And the pixel is the smallest square point on a monitor screen that emits a specific color.

When we talk about image or video clarity, the number of pixels are very important. More pixels in the image produces a sharper image. If the image has more pixels, it is easy to see the details of the image even if you zoom in a lot.

Usually, we use two numbers to represent the resolution. The number of pixels displayed horizontally x the number of pixels displayed vertically. For instance, now my screen resolution is 2560 x 1440.

About 480p Resolution

What resolution is 480p? 480p is an image display format. The letter p represents a progressive scan, that is, non-interlaced scanning. And the number 480 represents its vertical resolution, that is, there are 480 horizontal scanning lines in the vertical direction; and each horizontal line has a resolution of 640 pixels and an aspect ratio of 4:3, commonly known as standard-definition television (SDTV).

480p was used in many early plasma TVs. The standard definition is always 4: 3 aspect ratio and the pixel resolution is 640 × 480 pixels. 480p is usually used in areas where NTSC is used, such as North America, Japan, and Taiwan.

And there are different resolutions of 480p:

Standard Resolution Aspect Ratio
480p 640 × 480p 4:3 (Most common 480p Aspect Ratio)
480p (1.85:1) 888 × 480p 1.85:1 (unscaled/Academy format)
480p (16:9) Approx. 854 × 480p or 848 x 480p 16:9 (854×480 is used when 480p is selected on a widescreen YouTube video)
480p (3:2) 720 × 480p 3:2 (same aspect ratio used on the iPod Touch 4, also used on NTSC DVD video)
480p (5:3) 800 × 480p 5:3

480p24 and 480p30

The ATSC digital television standards define pixel resolutions of 480P and 640 × 480P (4:3) at p24, p30, or p60 frames per second.

480p24 and 480p30 are more ubiquitous in countries that use or have used an interlaced NTSC system, such as North America and Japan (these formats are somewhat compatible with the system when used to broadcast progressive movie content).

480p vs 720p

As you know, in most cases, 480p stands for 640 x 480p video/image resolution with an aspect ratio of 4:3 and it contains about 307,200 pixels for graphics information. And 720p has a resolution of 1280 x 720, which is the minimal requirement for HD. 720p contains 921,600 pixels in total.

There is an equation that can explain them: 720p = 3 * 480p.

If you are thinking about buying a new TV, but you don’t know whether to buy a 480p resolution TV or a 720p resolution TV, then it depends on the screen size and the distance between you and the TV screen.

If you want to buy a new TV just for watching news channels and so on, then you can buy a 480p resolution TV, but you need to make sure that the TV screen 32 inches and the distance between you and the TV screen is at least 5 meters.

If you want to buy a 720p resolution TV, then buy a larger screen as high as 60 inches. And the optimal viewing distance depends on the screen size because the larger the screen size, the farther you should be to have a clearer view.

If you want to make a video, then it is highly recommended to adopt 720p resolution because the more pixels are used for image information, the sharper picture quality is. Clarity, color and detail are all stored in these mini pixels.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this post has given you a detailed introduction to 480p resolution. It possesses several resolutions and the common resolution is 640 x 480.

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