What Is 720p? HD Resolution Explained

Understanding 720p and how it compares to other popular display resolutions.


720p, also known as HD (high definition), is a display resolution measuring 1280 x 720 pixels. Resolution explains how many pixels a display has in width x height format (the more pixels a display has, the sharper its image quality).

You’ll sometimes see displays with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 resolution also called HD, but this is officially referred to as 1080p or Full HD (FHD)(opens in new tab).

720p compares favorably to the old Standard Definition (SD), which is usually around 640 x 480. But with 2K (opens in new tab)and 4K getting more popular, 720p isn’t considered very sharp for today’s PC monitors (especially not the best gaming monitors), gaming laptops (opens in new tab)or TVs. If you’re buying a monitor(opens in new tab) or shopping for laptops(opens in new tab), don’t settle for anything less than 1080p.

Table of Contents

Common Display Resolutions

5K 5120 x 2880
4K 3840 x 2160 (typical monitor resolution); 4096 x 2160 (official cinema resolution)
Ultra HD (UHD) 3840 x 2160
QHD aka WQHD aka 1440p 2560 x 1440
2K 2560 x 1440 (typical monitor resolution); 2048 x 1080 (official cinema resolution)
WUXGA 1920 x 1200
Full HD aka FHD aka 1080p 1920 x 1080
HD aka 720p 1280 x 720


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What is 720p? HD Resolution Explained

In the world of high definition (HD) television and digital video, the term 720p is frequently used to describe the resolution of a display. But what exactly does 720p mean, and how does it relate to other HD resolutions like 1080p and 4K?

To understand 720p, it’s helpful to first understand the basic concepts of resolution and aspect ratio. Resolution refers to the number of pixels that make up a digital image, while aspect ratio describes the proportion of those pixels in terms of width and height. 720p resolution is defined as a display that has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:9.

720p is considered a standard HD resolution and is one of the most common resolutions used in digital video production. It’s also a popular resolution for entry-level HDTVs, computer monitors, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The “720” in 720p refers to the number of pixels that make up the height of the image, while the “p” stands for progressive scan, which is a type of scan that displays each line of the image in a single pass from top to bottom.

Compared to other HD resolutions like 1080p and 4K, 720p has lower pixel density and a lower overall picture quality. This means that 720p images may look a bit grainy or pixelated when viewed up close, and that fine details may not be as sharp as they would be in a higher resolution image. However, 720p is still considered to be high definition, and for most people, the difference in picture quality between 720p and higher resolutions is not immediately noticeable unless they are viewing the image on a very large screen.

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One advantage of 720p over higher resolutions is that it requires less bandwidth and processing power to display, making it a good choice for streaming video over the internet or displaying video on mobile devices with limited processing power.

In conclusion, 720p is a standard HD resolution that is defined by its resolution of 1280×720 pixels and aspect ratio of 16:9. While it may not offer the highest picture quality compared to higher resolutions like 1080p and 4K, it is still considered high definition and is a popular choice for entry-level HDTVs, computer monitors, and mobile devices.

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