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What is Resolution?

Display Resolutions

Display Resolution is the clarity or fineness of detail that can be distinguished in an image, often measured as the number or density that compose it. TV resolutions are measured in pixels and listed by horizontal pixels x vertical pixels (640x480).



A pixel is the smallest controllable element of a picture represented on the screen. One Pixel contains Red, Green, and Blue sub pixels which create the color of the image that is displayed.



The more pixels there are in a display, the higher the resolution.


Current Standards

The important measurement is the vertical count of pixels. This is the count of complete horizontal rows of pixels on the screen, most of the time when you see resolutions they are listed as 720, 1080, etc. That number is the vertical count of pixels.

Below are some examples of different resolutions in each standard:

Standard Definition (SDTV) – 480

Resolution Examples: 640x480, 704x480, 720x480

High Definition (HDTV) – 720, 1080 (FHD)

Resolution Examples: 1280x720, 1920x1080

Ultra-High Definition (UHDTV/4KTV) – 2160

Resolution Examples: 3840x2160, 4096x2160


Frequently Asked Questions

If I get a bigger screen does that mean the resolution is better?

  • No, the resolution of a 55” and a 32” are the same if they are both 1080 TVs. The bigger screen has bigger pixels.

If my TV has a resolution of 1080 and I play content that is 480 does the TV change the resolution to 1080?

  • The TV will upscale the image to fit on the screen. Some TVs have software that creates “extra” pixels in the image to enhance the resolution, but it will still look blurry because the source resolution is standard definition instead of high definition.

What does the p stand for in 1080p?

  • The p is for progressive scan. This means that the whole image is sent to the TV at one time instead of being split into even and odd lines like interlaced does.

What is the best resolution for my TV?

  • 1080 is currently the most used resolution for content. It mainly depends on where the TV is going to be and how far away you are going to be viewing media. For larger screens that you will be closer to UHD will give a clear picture when closer to the screen.

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