HD and Megapixel: What’s the Difference?


In my home there is lots of talk about High-Definition, or HD, because my husband loves to have the best and newest electronic devices (and my son, of course, loves video gaming and online chatting, etc.)  Scene change, and I am at work. Talk here centers around Megapixel camera resolution. So, what’s the difference? I’m not sure I really understood it until I came across this easy to understand article that distinguishes the differences in a pretty unbiased manner. The author, Raul Calderon, is the acting Senior Vice President of Arecont Vision.

Calderon explains: “HD may be considered a subset of megapixel. HD is defined by specific resolutions at specific frame rates with a specific aspect ratio. Any camera with a resolution of more than a million pixels is by definition a megapixel camera. The lowest resolution in the megapixel range in the security market is around 1.3 megapixels, which provides 1280 x 1024-pixel resolution (or 1.3 million pixels), to resolutions as high as 10 megapixels (3,648 x 2,752 pixels). The range of megapixel surveillance cameras continues to expand to accommodate various application requirements.

HD refers to cameras with a standardized resolution of 720p or 1080p. The numbers 720 and 1080 refer to the horizontal resolution. Therefore, 720p HD camera resolution provides images that are 1280 x 720 pixels (921,600 pixels – not megapixel), and 1080p HD cameras provide 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution, or 2.1 megapixels. The HD video format also uses an aspect ratio of 16:9 (rather than 5:4 or 4:3), and the frame rate is standardized at 60, 50, 30 or 25 fps (depending on your TV).”

He goes on to discuss the expected growth of IP video surveillance in large organizations, the need to use varying resolutions on the same network, the advantages of IP megapixel cameras and how to deploy these systems.

To read all of these thoughts, view his article “Differentiating High-Definition and megapixel camera resolution” on the SourceSecurity.com website now.

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