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720p is the lowest resolution of the high definition television standard . “720” stands for vertical resolution, “p” for progressive image transmission .


720p signals are transmitted with a resolution of 1280 × 720 pixels and result in a video signal of 720 lines. The transmission of 720p signals takes place in the aspect ratio 16: 9 . In relation to still images, 720p has a resolution of 921,600 pixels, slightly more than twice as high as the PAL format with 414,720 pixels, but less than half the resolution of the world-leading 1080 standards, which comprise 2,073,600 pixels.

The European Broadcasting Union recommends the 720p format with 50 Hz as the currently optimal solution for HDTV. All major US film studios that consumer electronics and game console manufacturers, set-top TV providers such as Google, video-on-demand providers and camera manufacturers use or offer 1080p, 1080psf, 1080i and above as a minimum.

Devices for 720p no longer play a role in the consumer electronics market above the entry-level classes, the market share of 1080p devices is well over 90%. This is why hardly any screens are produced for the 720p format (1280 × 720 pixels).

The Full HD format has 1920 × 1080 pixels, devices for this are mainly sold with 1080p display.

A 720p image displayed with such devices must therefore be upscaled with a factor of 2: 3, which, as with the scaling of PAL and SD signals, basically creates scaling artifacts. Low-resolution HD-ready screens usually display 1366 × 768 pixels. In order to fully utilize the screen, it is necessary to scale and interpolate with non-integer translation ratios, which leads to visible errors. However, these resolutions all have the aspect ratio of 16: 9, which means that a full-screen display can be generated without distortion.


In Europe, the broadcasters Arte HD , Das Erste HD, One HD, ZDF HD (all Germany ), ORF eins HD, ORF 2 HD, ORF III HD (all Austria ), SRF 1 HD, SRF Zwei HD, RTS Un HD, RTS Deux HD, RSI LA 1 HD, RSI LA 2 HD (all Switzerland ), SVT ( Sweden ), NRK ( Norway ), DR ( Denmark ) and YLE ( Finland ) on 720p.

Support in standards

Both full HD and HD-ready displays can display 720p in full resolution. The HD-ready label actually includes all HD-capable displays from 720 image lines upwards. ATSC and Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) support 720p.

See also

Web links