Video resolution in a display device refers to the number of distinct pixels that could be displayed in each dimension. HD or high definition resolution is the standard for streaming resolution and refers to a pixel height of 720 or 1080 pixels. HD provides more detail per pixel, and hence the image is sharper, clear and real. HD has two different levels – 720 (HD Ready) or 1080 (Full HD) pixels, each with a corresponding display resolution. Although it is available for both progressive and interlaced, the progressive produces a higher quality picture than interlace, which is not much different from SD. 1080p, the progressive 1080 format, is widely used in internet content, especially on platforms such as YouTube and Netflix.
4K or Ultra HD is a new streaming level in the world of video shooting. So 4K is actually 2160 X 3840 pixels, but by “4K”, we don’t mean the height of the pixels, but the width of the pixels (3840p, from which the name “4K” is derived).
There are two 4K options:
- 3840 x 2160 pixels (mainly used by TV broadcasters and online media channels such as YouTube)
- 4096 x 2160 pixels (mainly used in the film industry)
The higher the resolution, the better is the quality of viewing experience on any given platform. However, as already mentioned earlier, higher resolution also requires higher bandwidth to stream the video effectively.
The two most preferred resolution settings for live streaming are HD ready at 720 x 1080 pixels (720p) and Full HD at 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p).
It is best to either match your original video source or scale it down. For example, you can capture at HD 720 and stream at either HD 720 or 480p.
Scaling up and streaming at a higher resolution than your original video source is never a good option as there will be no gain in quality. In turn, you will be losing more bandwidth than what is necessary for you and your viewers—that’s why you should shoot video that provides a high quality video source file from the video camera. Regardless of whether you are filming using a sports video camera or endzone camera system, it is recommending to film in HD for best video quality results.