Video resolution comparison chart

This page was written by Steven J. DeRose around 1998, and was last updated on 2003-04-23.

With all the new video formats coming out, it's getting really confusing. So I decided to try and track the important ones down, and get some simple comparison information.

Tracking this information down turned out to be fairly hard. There are lots of sites that mention a few of them, always phrased as if they's absolutely no doubt they're right; but many contradict each other. Anyway, here's what I've been able to gather so far:

Format name Horizontal lines/pixels Vertical lines/pixels Frames per second Aspect ratio h:v Notes and descriptions
Composite video formats
NTSC (tv) 525?   30    
VHS 240? 250?        
VHS-C 240 250?       Tape thin and fragile
8mm 260 250/280?        
3/4" Umatic 280       Basically obsolete
3/4" SP Umatic 330       Sony version of Umatic
3/4" D-2 440        
1/2" D-3 440       Panasonic version of D-2
1" type C         Obsolete
S-video formats (color + brightness)
SVHS 410        
HI-8 410/440       Sensitive to dust
Component video formats (three color channels)
1/2" Betacam 300       Sony
1/2" BetaSP 360        
1/2" MII 440       Panasonic; never caught on
3/4" D-1 460       4 CD-quality audio channels
Miscellaneous video formats
HDTV <=1920 <=1080     18 formats
LaserDisc 425        
LD-XR 480 <=480 16:9  
PAL 720 576      
PAL-M 525   30   Brazil only
DVD 720 480/576      
VCD 352 240/288      
SVCD 480 480/576      
miniDVD 720 480/576      
Digital8 ~500     Sony, uses 8mm or Hi-8 cartridge

Some related links

Back to home page of Steve DeRose or The Bible Technologies Group. or The Bible Technologies Group Working Groups. Or, contact me via email (fix the punctuation).