Q:

What is the difference between standard- and high-definition movies?

A:

Quick Answer

The difference between standard-definition movies and high-definition movies is the picture quality. To qualify as a high-definition movie, the movie is usually 720p or 1080p.

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Full Answer

Analog standard-definition videos use nonsquare pixels for the picture's display. They can either have a picture ratio of 4:3 or 16:9. The formats available for SD videos include S-VHS, Beta SP and Hi-8.

Digital standard-definition videos formats are Digital Betacam and D-1 to D-5. They have a 4:3 ratio and nonsquare pixels. Format options for standard-definition digital formats include DV, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO25 and DVCAM.

High-definition video, similar to a computer display, uses a 16:9 ratio with square pixels with different format possibilities including 720p, 1080p or 1080i. The frame rates are used for filming and post-production, as well as for broadcast video. A Sony HDCam format or a Panasonic DVCPRO HD format camera is used for this level of high-definition format.

High-definition digital televisions originated from technology from the 1960s in Japan. Japan started to develop high-definition broadcasts that made its way to the United States in the 1990s and brought a new high-definition 16:9 ratio that challenged the existing standard 4:3 ratio.

The first HDTV hit shelves in 1998, and they cost around $7,000 a piece.

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