Do you know? The first video is a standard definition(SD) video. It had 352 lines and it was in widescreen format, made to fit the aspect ratio of old televisions (4:3 aspect ratio). It was very probably captured from a high-definition source and resized to standard definition so the video file wouldn’t be so large. The compression algorithm used was XviD, and the file (42 minutes of video) weighs in at 350 MB.

HD AND SD are the two terms that would be familiar to every layman in the society. AS HD TV’s and videos are the new sensations in the market. Everyone nowadays, want to have HD TV in their house. HD and SD are two common terms related to video quality standards. HD stands for High Definition (720/1080p) and SD stands for Standard Definition (360/480p).Below in this article, we have detailed the terms and carefully jotted the differences in the tabular form.




What is HD?

High Definition

HD stands for high definition and is used to describe videos having higher picture resolution than the standard ones. HD TV or video has 720p by 1080p resolution that means 720 by 1080 lines of pixels in the widescreen format are used to fit in the aspect ratio of the screen. It’s a new technology and their demand has been increasing day by day due to the better picture quality and viewing experience that you get on the HD TV or video as compared to the standard one.


What is SD?

Standard Definition
SD stands for the Standard Definition and is used to describe videos having low picture resolution. SD TV or video has 360p by 480p resolution that means 360 by 480 lines of pixels in the widescreen format are used to fit in the aspect ratio (4:3) of the screen. Its conventional technology used from much before in the history of videos and TVs’. They are cheaper and their demand has been decreasing day by day as people are looking for better picture quality. People usually prefer to watch SD TV programs as HD TV programs come in hefty packages.

The main purpose of providing HD capable screens is to provide finer display than SD. They can be related to the digital camera, where a better quality camera has higher megapixels as compared to standard. Similar is the case with the display, more the pixel resolution the better the display would be. The difference between HD and SD quality is hardly noticeable on small screens (as 360by480 can cover up well on the small screens) however, on large screens the difference can be easily seen. A 720p display thus can provide the same viewing experience on  1.5 times larger screen than what a 480p would.

To have complete HD experience you need to have not only the HD TV but also HD signals. Having HD TV and SD signals would only mean that SD pictures would be only stretched to fit into the HD screens, thus deteriorating their quality. The reverse also, having  HD signal and SD TV would mean that the HD TV signals would be compressed in order to fit into your SD capable screen, deteriorating the quality. However seeing the current trade we are quickly moving into towards all HD viewing experience.SD devices and signals are becoming outdated with each passing day.

However, it is true there are only a handful of media that are being sold in HD; even less is the number of TV stations that are broadcasting in HD. Buying  HD TV set might not result in an instantly better viewing experience across the board, but it prepares you for the eventuality.



HD provides you with much better picture quality and viewing experience than SD. Picture quality is lower than HD.
Images are much finer and sharper than in SD. Images are less finer and sharper than HD.
HD contains more pixel than SD. SD has lesser pixels than HD.
The normal resolution for HD is 720/1080p. The normal resolution for SD is 360/720p.
The number of lines of pixels fitting in a screen to produce the image is thus 720/1080. The number of lines of pixels fitting in a screen to produce the image is thus 360/4080.
For HD TV you need to have HD signals in order to get the best experience. Standard signals are sufficient for SD experience.
In a case of the big screens, the difference becomes quite visible, with big screens demanding HD resolutions for better viewing. IN big screens SD picture quality is very bad as the same number of 360/480 lines have to spread now on a bigger screen.
On small screens, there is no big difference between SD and HD. These are best suited for smaller screens.
This is a new technology and their use is becoming popular day by day. This is the conventional technology used from earlier times but their usage is declining very fast.



High Definition technologies have become very popular nowadays. They offer better picture quality both in terms of fineness and sharpness of an image. On the big screens, the difference between the two is easily noticeable with HD images being shown in top quality while the standard one having poor quality due to less number of lines to fit on the big screen. However, HD technology is new and its use is not common and would take some time before it completely replaces the old SD technology


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