SD vs. HD vs. 4K: Live Streaming Video Resolutions Explained

May 16, 2018

This post is an overview of live streaming video resolution. In it, we talk about standard-definition (480p + 480i), high-definition (720p, 1080i, + 1080p) and 4K video resolutions. It's the main post in our series on HD Live Streaming.

Things are moving so fast in the video world that it can be hard to keep up. If you're in charge of live streaming or building out your live streaming strategy for the future and need to wrap your head around it all, you're in the right spot.

The resolution of your stream is something that is most likely top of mind. In this brief overview, we'll address the direction of live streaming resolution in order to help you determine what quality level is right for you.

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What is Cloud Transcoding?

April 18, 2018

This post talks about using the process of cloud transcoding to ensure smooth viewer playback for your HD live streams. It's part of our series on HD live streaming.

Cloud Transcoding: The act of duplicating video into all of the various resolutions needed for smooth playback in the cloud.

Example: BoxCast uses cloud transcoding to break live video into five resolutions: 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p, 240p to ensure smooth viewer playback.

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1080p vs. 720p — Is a bigger resolution always better for HD live streaming?

April 12, 2018

This post explains why a 1080p video stream does not always look better than a 720p stream. It's the main post in our series on HD live streaming.

The common belief is that more pixels means a higher-quality picture for viewers. But this isn’t necessarily true, thanks to the video compression process.

When encoding for live streaming, hardware and software encoders compress raw video using techniques like chroma subsampling, spatial image compression, and temporal motion compensation to reduce the bandwidth of the original video to about 1/1000th of its original size.

 

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Why Are There Two Black Bars on the Sides of My Video? (Aspect Ratio)

July 18, 2017

This post talks about aspect ratio of your video and explains why there are black bars on the sides of some videos. It's part of our series on HD live streaming.

Every so often, customers approach us asking why their live streams have black bars on either side of their videos.This common problem has to do with what’s called aspect ratio, or the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image. 

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