How to Upgrade Your Video Resolution: From 720p to 1080p

In the world of digital video, resolution reigns supreme. A higher resolution means a sharper, more detailed image, offering a more immersive and enjoyable viewing experience. While 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) has served us well for many years, the 1080p standard (1920 x 1080 pixels) delivers a noticeable upgrade in clarity and detail. But how do you actually upgrade a video from 720p to 1080p?

It’s important to understand that simply changing the resolution setting in your video player won’t magically transform a 720p video into 1080p. Upscaling, the process of enhancing a video’s resolution, involves complex algorithms that attempt to add detail and sharpness to the existing footage. The quality of the upscaled video depends heavily on the original source material and the sophistication of the upscaling technology employed.

Understanding the Limitations of Upscaling

While upscaling tools can offer a noticeable improvement, they cannot create information that wasn’t present in the original 720p video. Think of it like a painter trying to enlarge a small, low-resolution photograph. While they can use techniques to fill in details, the image will never be as sharp or as detailed as a photograph taken with a higher resolution camera.

This is why it’s always best to work with source material that is already in 1080p resolution. If you’re shooting your own videos, aim for 1080p or even higher resolutions like 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) for the best possible results.

Methods for Upscaling Your Videos

If you’re stuck with 720p footage, you have a few options for attempting to upscale to 1080p:

1. Online Video Converters:

Websites like Zamzar, Online-Convert, and Convertio offer free online video conversion services. These platforms allow you to upload your 720p video and choose to convert it to 1080p resolution. While these services are convenient, their upscaling algorithms may not be as advanced as dedicated software, resulting in less impressive results.

2. Dedicated Video Editing Software:

For a more controlled and potentially higher-quality upscale, consider using professional video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, or Final Cut Pro. These programs offer sophisticated upscaling tools that utilize advanced algorithms to enhance detail and sharpness. You can experiment with different settings and filters to achieve the best results for your specific video.

3. AI-Powered Upscaling Tools:

Emerging technologies like Topaz Video Enhance AI offer cutting-edge AI-based upscaling solutions. These tools leverage powerful deep learning algorithms to analyze and enhance video footage, often delivering remarkably impressive results. While these AI-powered tools are generally more expensive than traditional software, they can deliver the most significant visual improvements.

Tips for Upscaling Your Videos

Here are some tips to maximize your chances of achieving a satisfactory 1080p upscaled video:

  • Start with a high-quality 720p source: The more detail present in the original video, the better the upscaling results will be.
  • Use a reliable upscaling tool: Choose a reputable online converter, video editing software, or AI-powered solution with proven track records.
  • Experiment with different settings: Many upscaling tools offer a range of settings and filters. Experiment to find the combination that works best for your video.
  • Be mindful of file size: Upscaling a video will generally increase its file size. Be prepared to deal with larger storage requirements or consider compressing the video after upscaling.
  • Don’t expect miracles: While upscaling can improve resolution, it’s not a magic bullet. Don’t expect to turn a grainy, low-quality video into crystal-clear 1080p footage.


Upscaling your video from 720p to 1080p can be a useful way to improve its visual quality, but it’s not a guaranteed path to perfection. The best results are achieved with high-quality source material and sophisticated upscaling technology. Experiment with the methods outlined above to find the approach that works best for your specific needs and expectations. Remember, the ultimate goal is to enhance the viewing experience, not to fool viewers into believing they’re watching a video shot in native 1080p.


1. What is the difference between 720p and 1080p resolution?

720p and 1080p are two common video resolutions that determine the sharpness and detail of your video. 720p, also known as HD, has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, while 1080p, also known as Full HD, has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This means that 1080p videos have almost twice the number of pixels as 720p videos, resulting in a significantly sharper and more detailed image.

While the difference in resolution might seem minor, it becomes much more noticeable when viewing large screens or when zooming in on video details. 1080p resolution allows for a more immersive and enjoyable viewing experience, especially for videos with intricate details, like nature documentaries or action sequences.

2. Can I upgrade my existing video to 1080p?

Unfortunately, you can’t magically upgrade a 720p video to 1080p resolution. Upgrading resolution involves adding more pixels, which is not possible without re-rendering the video using advanced software. While some upscaling algorithms can increase the perceived resolution of a video, they cannot truly create new pixels and will not produce a truly 1080p video.

3. What equipment do I need to enjoy 1080p video?

To fully experience 1080p video, you need a few essential components. First, you need a 1080p capable display, such as a TV, monitor, or projector. Second, you need a source that can output 1080p video, such as a Blu-ray player, streaming device, or gaming console.

Finally, ensure that your cables are capable of transmitting 1080p signals. HDMI cables are commonly used for 1080p video transmission. If your current equipment lacks any of these components, consider upgrading to enjoy the full benefits of 1080p resolution.

4. Is 1080p resolution still relevant?

While newer technologies like 4K and 8K are becoming increasingly popular, 1080p resolution remains relevant and widely accessible. Most devices and content platforms still offer 1080p as a standard option.

Furthermore, 1080p resolution is still a great choice for smaller screens, such as laptops and tablets, where the difference between 1080p and higher resolutions might not be as noticeable.

5. How can I improve video quality beyond 1080p?

While 1080p offers a significant improvement over 720p, there are ways to further enhance your video experience beyond 1080p. The most noticeable upgrade is to 4K resolution, which offers four times the resolution of 1080p.

However, 4K content and compatible displays can be more expensive. If you are looking for a more affordable option, consider using HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology, which improves color contrast and detail.

6. Are there any downsides to 1080p video?

While 1080p offers many benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider. Larger file sizes are one concern, as 1080p videos take up more storage space than 720p videos. Streaming 1080p content can also consume more data, leading to higher internet bills.

Additionally, some older devices might not support 1080p resolution, meaning you might not be able to utilize its full potential.

7. What other factors influence video quality besides resolution?

While resolution is a key factor in video quality, it’s not the only one. Other factors such as bitrate, frame rate, and compression techniques can significantly impact the overall video experience. A higher bitrate allows for smoother transitions and better detail retention, while a higher frame rate provides a smoother and more realistic motion.

Additionally, the quality of the original source material, the encoding process, and even the display settings can all contribute to the overall video quality.

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