Standard data resolutions

The following figures are the industry accepted digital equivalents for various analogue formats, and the standard formats for several native digital formats. These are typically derived from the average resolving power of each format, as well as using a number that is easy for computers to work with (any number that is a power of two: 256, 2048, 4096, etc.)

Format Picture aspect ratio Standard pixel resolution Pixel aspect ratio
Apple iPod video 1.33 320×240 1.0
Apple iPhone video 1.5 480×320 1.0
Sony PlayStationPortable 1.76 480×272 1.0
SD video (PAL, DV) 1.33 720×576 1.067
SD video (NTSC, DV) 1.33 720×486 0.9
SD video (PAL, square pixels) 1.33 768×576 1.0
SD video (NTSC, square pixels) 1.33 648×486 1.0
DVD video (NTSC, 4:3) 1.33 720×480 0.9
DVD video (PAL, 4:3) 1.33 720×576 1.067
DVD video (NTSC, 16:9) 1.78 720×480 1.185
DVD video (PAL, 16:9) 1.78 720×576 1.69
Blu-ray 1.78 1920×1080 1.0
HD video @720* 1.78 1280×720 1.0
HD video @1080 (certain types**) 1.78 1440×1080 1.33
HD video @1080 1.78 1920×1080 1.0
DVC Pro HD @59.94i 1.78 1280×1080 1.5
16mm 1.37 1712×1240 1.00
Super-16 1.65 2048×1240 1.00
“Academy” aperture (2k) 1.37 1828×1332 1.00
“Academy” aperture (4k) 1.37 3656×2664 1.00
Cinemascope (Squeezed, 2k) 2.35 1828×1556 2.00
Cinemascope (Squeezed, 4k) 2.35 3656×2664 2.00
Cinemascope (Unsqueezed, 2k) 2.35 2048×872 1.00
Cinemascope (Unsqueezed, 4k) 2.35 3656×1556 1.00
Full Aperture (2k) 1.33 2048×1556 1.00
Full Aperture (4k) 1.33 4096×3112 1.00
8-perf “VistaVision” (3k) 1.5 3072×2048 1.00
8-perf “VistaVision” (6k) 1.5 6144×4096 1.00
Red (16:9, 4k) 1.78 4096×2304 1.00
Red (2:1, 4k) 2.0 4096×2048 1.00
Digital Cinema (4k) 1.9*** 4096×2160 1.00
Digital Cinema (2k) 1.9*** 2048×1080 1.00
SHV (UHDTV-2) 1.78 7860×4320 1.00

*DVCPRO HD (at 720p60) is actually 960×720, with a pixel aspect ratio of 1.33

**These include DVCPRO HD100 (at 50i), HDCAM, and 1080i HDV formats

***Digital Cinema specifications allow for a variety of aspect ratios, but footage must be letterboxed to fit the standard area

 

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Posted: May 26th, 2005
Categories: Articles
Tags: , , , , ,
Comment from Fred - 10/4/2005 at 3:38 am

What is 21k (background plates) in pxels?

Comment from Jack - 10/11/2005 at 11:08 am

it’s not an “official” format per se, but an image of around 21,000 pixels by some other number, e.g. 21,000 by 21,000 (which means the image contains around 450 million pixels in total). Thankfully, images of this size are very rare, and the example you’re quoting was a satellite image of the Earth

Comment from Robert Lund - 10/14/2005 at 7:32 am

Hi,

Great resource. But I must point out, for SD (NTSC) you give its correct aspect ratio 1.33 (4/3), but the pixel counts you list as 720×486 must be non-square to produce a 4×3 image. As you did above for PAL, you need to differentiate between the DV 720-pixel format and the square-pixeled 648×486. The pixel aspect ratio for your SD (NTSC-DV) 720×484 entry should be 1.11… Wouldn’t want anyone to be misled or confused.

Thanks,

RL

Comment from Xavier Paredes - 10/14/2005 at 2:26 pm

The name of this posting is “Standard Data Resolutions”????

I thought SD meant Standard Definition.

What gives?

xp

Comment from Jack - 10/27/2005 at 3:47 pm

Robert, thanks for the correction, I will update the table.

Comment from Jack - 10/27/2005 at 3:50 pm

Xavier, sorry about the confusing overlapping terminology. SD does mean Standard Definition. The title refers to the typical pixel resolutions for different formats, which in turn encompasses Standard Definition (video). Hope this clears things up.

Comment from Robert Lund - 10/27/2005 at 9:52 pm

Thanks for indicating a distinction. However, there is still a discrepancy.

Look at PAL – image size is 768×576 for square-pixels (pixel aspect ratio = 1); PAL DV image size is 720×576 (fewer samples/line, wider pixels, pixel aspect ratio = 1.067 = 768/720).

NTSC image size for square pixels is 648×486 (not shown!?); NTSC has MORE pixels/line, 720×486, so pixels are narrower than their height – so pixel aspect ratio is 648/720 = 0.9.

Comment from Jack - 10/30/2005 at 12:01 pm

Yes, that is correct. I will also include the square pixel dimensions to avoid further confusion.

Comment from David - 2/17/2006 at 11:25 pm

The resolution for Super 16 should be 2048×1240 and is a 1.65:1 aspect ratio.

2.35:1 = 2048×871 (most people round it to 872), 1828×778, 3656×1556

Keep in mind that 2.35 is not what you have on your negative. The scope image is actually 1.174:1 aspect ratio usually 1828×1556.

Comment from Mike Jennings - 2/18/2006 at 12:01 am

1440×1080, PAR 1.33 is also the dimension for Sony and Canon’s 1080i HDV formats.

DVCPRO HD is 1440×1080 at 50i, but actually 1280×1080 at 59.94i. Its 720p60 resolution is 960×720.

–Mike Jennings
–Adobe Systems

Comment from Jack - 2/23/2006 at 5:55 pm

Mike, thanks for the additions. I’ve corrected the table

Comment from Jack - 2/23/2006 at 6:06 pm

David, I’ve corrected the Super 16mm entry. The C-Scope values assumed a digital squeeze. I’ve added separate values for the resolutions of images with a pixel aspect ratio of 1.0

Comment from Zoltan - 3/22/2006 at 6:05 pm

Hello!
A question: How can be the pixel aspect 1:1 and the image 1:1.33333 with the resolution 2048 by 1556. Either pixel is not square or image has 1:1.3162 aspect. An other thing for PAL: The true 4:3 contains only 702×576 pixel, and the pixel aspect is 1.094. The 720×576 image has 1.367521 aspect. See: http://www.uwasa.fi/~f76998/video/conversion/

Comment from Jack - 3/22/2006 at 6:27 pm

An interesting point. The aspect ratios quoted are the effective image aspect ratio
I’ll quote the BBC on this:

Digital pictures are effectively wider than analogue pictures by 18 pixels but the 4:3 image sits inside the 720 by 576 area. The additional 18 pixels are required for digital processing and it would be perfectly acceptable to leave them black – but if the image is shrunk via a digital DVE, two 9 pixel wide black stripes will be seen at the sides.

This means, in practice, 720×576 (or 2048×1556) have an assumed mask of several pixels on the horizontal. The values presented in the table above are industry standards. If you use them, you won’t go wrong (unless you use a pseudo-digital DVE). Someone else may be able to correct me on this, but I believe that systems such as Fire compensate internally for this discrepancy.
Thanks for the link by the way.

Comment from Mark - 8/28/2006 at 7:38 pm

Standard def DV-NTSC is 720×480, not720x486 (that, I believe, is digibeta. Thanks for the HD info, it was very helpful in trying to troubleshoot a downconversion issue I had today.

Comment from girirajsinh - 6/16/2010 at 2:02 pm

What is 4k 2.40 in pixel size ?

Comment from Jack - 6/16/2010 at 2:37 pm

I would think it’s 4096×1707 (with no mask)

Comment from Domingo - 11/10/2011 at 8:24 am

Thank you so much for the wonderful information. For a novice like me, it was very helpful

Comment from Jack - 1/19/2012 at 3:29 pm

Added SHV (thanks to Bob Friesenhahn of GraphicsMagick fame!)

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