May 15, 2024
Min Read

720p Versus 1080p Video Quality: What’s the Difference?

Wondering about the difference between 720p versus 1080p video quality? Learn the distinctions of these resolutions to enhance your content creation process.

Image divided by a line, showing 1080p quality on one side and 720p on the other

Resolution plays a critical role in video quality — the higher the level, the clearer the details and sharper the image. Creating an optimal viewing experience typically involves choosing between two common video resolutions: 720p versus 1080p. 

Although both options provide high-quality video, they differ in image clarity, pixel density, and storage space. If you make video content that sharpens followers’ impressions and eagerness to engage, start by understanding the differences between these standard levels. 

What’s 720p Resolution?

Also known as high definition (HD) or “HD Ready,” 720p is a display resolution measuring 1280 x 720 pixels. There are 720 horizontal scan lines in the display resolution, and the letter “p” stands for progressive scan — a sequential scanning format that displays and stores pixels simultaneously. 

A display’s resolution depends on its pixel count. For example, in HD, the display measures 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels high, meaning it has 921,600 total pixels per frame. 

HD video replaced standard definition (SD) in the early 2000s because 720p provided clearer images, smoother frame rates, and brighter colors. This resolution level is still popular today across most modern devices, like cameras, TVs, and smartphones.

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What’s 1080p Resolution?

This resolution level is also known as “Full HD” (FHD) and measures 1920 x 1080 pixels, or 2,073,600 total. It’s more than twice as detailed as 720p and gets its name from the vertical measurement and scanning format. 

1080p is the standard resolution across modern computer monitors and HDTVs. Other devices also support the level, such as smartphones, video game consoles, and online streaming services.

An image boxed inside another one showing the difference in size between Full HD and HD

6 Differences Between 720p and 1080p

For a comparison of HD versus FHD in your videos and technology, check out these six differences.

1. Resolution

The main difference between 720p and 1080p is video resolution. HD displays contain 1280 x 720 pixels, while FHD contains 1920 x 1080 pixels. FHD’s higher resolution means more pixels fit on the screen, resulting in clearer images compared to HD. 

2. Video Quality

Video quality refers to image or pixel quality, which involves elements like color accuracy, brightness, and contrast. Both resolution options qualify as high-definition, but 1080p delivers better quality overall.

The differences between 720p and 1080p become more apparent on screens 42 inches and up. On larger screens, 720p signals appear slightly fuzzy and muted, while 1080p signals look sharper and more vibrant. 

3. Pixel Density

Pixel density means the number of pixels on a screen, typically measured in pixels-per-inch (PPI) or pixels-per-centimeter. Higher pixel densities mean individual pixels appear less apparent, resulting in sharper images and more precise details. 

FHD displays contain higher pixel density than HD displays. This higher density means 1080p video looks less pixelated than 720p, especially when viewed from closer distances. 

4. File Size and Storage

Usually, the higher a video’s resolution, the larger the file size. Higher-resolution videos take up more storage space and need faster internet signals to stream. So recording, downloading, and streaming video in 720p requires less storage space than 1080p, saving memory on your device. 

5. Device Compatibility

Although most devices today support 720p and 1080p signals, some older 720p TVs and phones can’t support 1080p signals. If you try to force an FHD signal through older technology, you’ll simply get a blank screen. 

Viewers and content creators want top-notch video quality, so many manufacturers tailor devices for FHD and higher resolutions. This trend will likely continue gaining momentum as technology advances, resulting in 720p resolution’s eventual obsolescence.

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6. Price 

720p devices offering basic features usually cost less than 1080p. If you prioritize affordability over image quality, consider purchasing HD rather than FHD displays. 

Which Format Is Better for Video?

Choosing between 720p and 1080p depends on your goals, equipment, and preferences. 

Although 1080p provides higher video quality than 720p, most viewers can’t tell the two apart on smaller screeners. If you mostly design content for mobile phones, HD is a better choice. On the other hand, prioritize 1080p if you create content for computer monitors and TV displays. 

Selecting a resolution level comes down to a matter of choice. You don’t have to buy the most expensive equipment just to provide better image quality. HD cameras perform comparably to FHD cameras, particularly in indoor, well-lit spaces. Unless you want to make high-quality videos at night or capture detailed shots in wide-open spaces, you don’t need to splurge on an FHD camera. 

These two resolutions work best in different situations, making flexibility in your video editing software critical. Captions lets you export videos in HD and 4K, so you can adapt your content for various devices. Choose HD for mobile-friendly video formats, such as TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels, and 4K for long-form content optimized for modern computer monitors and 4K TVs. 

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Source: Captions[Alt text: Screenshot of Captions exporting interface.]

Enhance Every Frame With Captions

Great videos are about more than just the content, video quality and clarity matter. Using the right editing software not only makes this possible, but also enhances your content. This is where Captions comes in. 

Captions’ AI-powered tools make creating crystal-clear videos simple. With the app, you can export HD and 4K videos and adjust frames per second (FPS). Automatically add zooms, enhance audio, remove background noise, and emphasize certain words in just a few clicks. 

Sign up today and boost your video quality with Captions’ creative studio. 


Which Is Better for Gaming: FHD or HD?

Most gamers prefer FHD over HD since many modern games feature rich imagery and visual details, making higher resolution essential. FHD displays detailed environments and textures better than HD, enhancing the gaming experience.

Can a 720p TV Display 1080p?

Feeding a 1080p signal to a 720p TV will cause the signal to downscale to HD because the device won’t possess enough pixels to display FHD images. While most newer 720p TVs can handle the conversion, some older models can’t downscale higher signals. These models will display a blank screen if you feed them a 1080p signal.

Is a 720p or a 1080p Camera Better?

While 720p and 1080p devices both take high-quality pictures, 1080p cameras typically perform better in low light or wide outdoor areas. But 1080p cameras typically cost more, so choosing often comes down to how much you’re willing to pay and what your goals are. 

May 15, 2024
Min Read
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