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TV Resolutions

Artists' Rights

All Flash(TM) animations created with Swish
All FlashTM animations are created with SWiSH products

Various TV resolutions

Although this is not exactly related to widescreen or OAR, TV screen resolution is also a factor when it comes to the enjoyment of what we watch, which is why I've decided to include this information.

With the advent of high-definition television comes a number of terms that might be confusing, particularly with respect to TV resolutions. Because different televisions can have different effects on your movie-watching experience, below are some basic explanations of TV resolutions. The information here was compiled from various resources. Let me know if any pertinent information is incorrect.

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Interlaced video involves displaying every other line on a TV screen followed by the displaying of the opposite lines. This results in only 1/2 of the screen resolution being displayed at any one time as is referred to as "odd" fields (containing scan lines 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.) and "even" fields (containing scan lines 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.); however, the transition between odd and even fields occurs so rapidly (between 50 and 60 times per second, depending on what video standard your country uses) that what you see on the screen appears to be a solid image. Standard, tube-based TVs use this technology. This is often the cause of display "flickering" that some people might notice on their TVs.

With respect to TV resolution, interlaced video is idientifed with an "i" after the vertical resolution, such as "720i".


Unlike interlaced video, progressive scan, also known as non-interlaced scanning, displays each frame in its entirety. Instead of seeing 50% of a frame at any given time, progressive scanning displays the entire frame. This reduces or eliminates flicker and often increases the picture quality. Computer montiors, LCD screens, and most high-definition TVs use progressive scanning.

Progressive scan is identified with a "p" after the vertical resolution, such as "480p".


The NTSC standard that is used in North America, Japan, and some South American countries uses 480 lines (vertical) for a resolution of 720 x 480 at 60 frames per second. (Can be progressive or interlaced)


The PAL and SECAM standards that are used throughout the rest of the world use 576 lines (vertical) for a resolution of 720 x 576 at 50 frames per second. (Can be progressive or interlaced)


The lower of the current HDTV standards, this resolution uses 720 lines (vertical) for a total resolution of 1,280 x 720. This resolution is used with HD DVD, Blu-ray, and most PS3 and Xbox 360 games.


The higher of current HDTV standards, this resolution uses 1,080 lines (vertical) for a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. This resolution is used with HD DVD and Blu-ray.