How to Change Video Resolution
Edited by Pat Bitton
February 4, 2020
Video resolution is usually expressed as width × height, with the value given in pixels. There are two types of video resolution: Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD). The most popular standard resolutions are 640 x 360 and 640 × 480 for video, and 720 × 480 and 720 × 576 for DVD. HD video usually has a resolution of 1280 × 720 (720p) or 1920 × 1080 (1080p, also called Full HD).
There are different situations in which you may need to change video resolution. It’s not hard to reduce the resolution of a video. But if you want to increase it, keep in mind that the quality will not get any better, while the video size may grow. These transformations may be necessary only in rare cases.
Here are a few problems that can be solved by changing the video resolution.
Can’t open a video on your device?
If you want to upload a high-resolution video to your mobile device, you may need to reduce the video resolution, since these devices often support only specific resolutions. Movavi Video Converter has special presets for iPhone, Samsung, Huawei, and other popular mobile devices.
Want to get ready for distance working?
Communicating ideas via video instructions may be a necessity when you work from home. Files with high video resolution are often clunky to send, so there’s a chance you’ll need to change the resolution of your video file with a special app.
Need to burn a video to DVD?
If you want to burn a low-resolution video (for example a 320 × 240 video shot on your cell phone) to DVD, you will need to increase the resolution because the DVD standard requires video to have a resolution of no less than 720 × 480.
You can change video resolution using a desktop app or an online tool.
How to Change Video Resolution with Movavi Video Converter
Movavi Video Converter is powerful, yet easy-to-use conversion software that lets you change video resolution easily. It supports the most popular video formats and offers ready-made presets for even the newest mobile devices. Click the appropriate button below to get the version of the program for Windows or Mac and check out this brief step-by-step guide to learn how to change resolution for video files.
If you don't like watching videos, please consider reading the text version of this guide.
Install Movavi Video Converter
First, download the program from our website. Run the downloaded file and install the software following the on-screen instructions. Movavi Video Converter is fully compatible with Windows and OS X and supports the latest video processing technologies, so you can enjoy fast video conversion on the latest Microsoft OS and Mac OS.
Add Video to the Program
Run Movavi Video Converter and click Add Media > Add Video in the upper left corner of the program interface. In the new window, choose one or more video files to convert. If you want to add DVD Video, click Add DVD > Open DVD and choose your DVD.
Choose the Desired Output Format
To review the list of available formats, open the Video tab and choose the video format you want: AVI, MP4, FLV, MOV, WMV, and many more. You can either choose a preset with a predefined resolution, for example, MP4 H.264 - 640x480 or specify a different resolution later on.
If you want to prepare video for viewing on an iPhone, iPod, iPad, PSP, or another portable device, click Devices and choose the appropriate preset for your device. Your video will be converted at the optimal resolution for viewing on that mobile device.
There's also an option to detect your device automatically by connecting your device to the computer and clicking the Cell Phone icon in the lower right corner.
Specify Video Resolution (Optional)
You can skip this step if you have already selected a format or device preset with a predefined resolution.
Click the Cogwheel icon below the presets ribbon. Locate the Frame size drop-down list. Here, you can either choose one of the standard resolutions, or select Custom and specify your desired resolution in the Width and Height boxes to the right. You may also want to choose a resize method from the drop-down list to optimally fit your video into the selected dimensions. Click OK to apply the changes.
Convert Your Video
By default, converted videos are saved to the Movavi Library folder. If you want to change the output folder, click the Folder icon to the right of the Save to field and choose another folder or create a new one and click OK.
Click the Convert button and wait for the process to finish. After the conversion is complete, the folder containing the converted files will open automatically.
Movavi Video Converter
The ideal way to get your media in the format you need!
- Convert video, audio, DVDs, and image files
- Enjoy lightning-fast conversion without quality loss
- Improve quality, adjust sound, trim and join files before converting
- Save video and audio clips for easy mobile access
How to Change Video Resolution Online
For smaller files, you can use a video resolution converter online. We suggest you try Online Video Converter linked below. Notice that there are a couple of limitations: the size of the file is limited, and you can only convert one file at one time.
Changing video resolution online is quite simple. First, click Add Your Media, select the video, and click Open to upload the file. Then hit the Settings button on the right. Click As a source and choose a resolution from the list to change the original resolution to the one you need. Click Convert, wait until the process is complete, and click Download to save the file on your computer.
How to Use a Free Video Resolution Converter
You can also change video resolution for free. Try the VLC media player – a freeware app that lets you play and convert videos and change their resolution. However, the processing can be a bit slow, and the player can’t handle very large files.
Install the program on your computer and launch it. Go to the Media menu in the upper-left corner and click Convert / Save. Hit the Add button to upload your video files, then click Convert / Save in the lower part of the dialogue box. In the new window, open the Profile list and choose the appropriate output format. Next, click the Wrench icon on the right of the format list. This will open a row of tabs. To change the resolution of your video, open the Video codec and then the Resolution tab, adjust the width and height; then click Save. Hit the Browse button and select the destination folder. Hit Start and wait until the process is complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can convert 720p to 1080p, but keep in mind that it will not improve the quality of your video. If you need to scale a video up to 1080p, try Movavi Video Converter. This powerful software lets you increase the resolution of your videos in a matter of minutes and can provide good video quality thanks to the advanced algorithms.
Use, for example, Online Video Converter. It’s a handy tool that lets you convert files and change the resolution of your videos.
Just follow the link, click Add Your Media to upload the file, and choose the output format from the list. Click the Cogwheel icon to select the video resolution you need and hit Convert.
1080p is a higher video resolution than 720p, which means that the picture size of a 1080p video is bigger. So the picture will look better if displayed on a 1080p screen or larger. However, if you watch a 1080p video on a 720p screen or smaller, you won’t see any difference since the display just doesn’t have this number of pixels. In this case, your 1080p video is automatically downscaled to 720p.
The higher the resolution, the better the quality of the video. So we could say that 16K resolution is better than 8K, 4K, and 1080p. But the quality of the picture also depends on the display resolution – not all devices can handle high-resolution videos. So, if you have a large-screen TV, you can enjoy watching videos in the highest possible resolution. But if you’re going to watch a video on your mobile device, 720p or 1080p will be enough.
You can play a 1080p video on a TV with a smaller display resolution. In this case, the video resolution will be reduced to the resolution of the screen, so your 1080p video will look like a 720p video. Some TVs can’t handle this downscaling process, so they won’t be able to open such a video. If this happens, lower the resolution of your video so it matches the display resolution.