Video Star has some awesome new features, including the ability to make videos in HD. This blog post describes some HD details you’ll need to know.

What is HD?

As you probably know, HD stands for “High Definition.” (Everything that came before is now called “Standard Definition.”) An HD video is recorded and displayed with many more pixels. It can be displayed at larger sizes on a computer monitor without looking blurry, or if shown at the same size as an SD video it will look sharper and crisper, since many more pixels are used for each frame.

Video Star’s Standard Definition (SD) videos are 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall. There are two HD resolution: 1280 by 720, (known as 720p) and 1920 by 1080 (1080p). That means that 720p images have four times the pixels of an SD image, and 1080p has nine times as many pixels. Images at all these sizes share the same aspect ratio, namely 16 units wide by 9 units tall, or 16:9, so they’ll have the same widescreen look as HDTV or the videos you’d see on YouTube.

Trade-offs: Storage, Upload Times, and Device Limitations

The benefits of HD’s increased quality and resolution do come at a price, however. HD video clips in Video Star take about twice as much storage as SD clips (about three times as much for 1080p clips). If you find yourself running low on device storage space, review this blog post (http://videostarapp.com/blog/2012/09/file-sharing-backup/ ) which discusses how to transfer your projects to a Mac or Windows computer with iTunes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that due to their size, uploading HD videos will take longer than SD videos. Those YouTube movies will look better than ever, but you will need to be a bit patient uploading them!

As we mentioned before, recording a clip in Video Star is about more than getting the bits from the camera to storage. The images must be run through Video Star’s real-time video effects engine, shown on the preview screen, compressed into a movie file, and saved to storage.

720p and 1080p processing is lot more work for the video effects engine … 4 times and 9 times as much work, correspondingly. Only the fastest iOS devices can handle real-time effects at 1080p (currently the iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and iPad mini retina). And unfortunately some of the slower, older iOS devices can’t even manage 720p processing. These include the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and 4th generation iPod touch. 

Here’s a chart of current devices and their Video Star resolution capabilities:

Device 360p 720p 1080p
iPhone 3GS
iPhone 4
iPhone 4S
iPhone 5
iPhone 5c
iPhone 5S
iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 7
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8
iPhone 8 Plus
iPod Touch (4th gen)
iPod Touch (5th gen)
iPod Touch (6th gen)
iPad 2
iPad 3
iPad 4
iPad Air
iPad Air 2
iPad 5
iPad 6
iPad Pro
iPad mini
iPad mini retina
iPad mini 3
iPad mini 4

Using HD in Video Star

If you have an iOS device that can support HD recording in Video Star

Go to the Settings (tap the “gear” button in the bottom left of the Home screen) you will find “New Project Resolution” with a selector showing “360p” and “720” and, if your device supports it, “1080p.” This setting controls the resolution used when you create a new Video Star project by selecting new music. You cannot change the video resolution of an existing project. HD can only be selected at the start of a project.

 

 

Note that HD can only be selected at the start of a project, and that you can’t change the video resolution of an existing project. 

 You can also tap the “i” button at the bottom-right of each project on Video Star’s main screen to check the resolution of (and storage space used by) that project.

Camera vs Project Resolution

We have time for a just few quick camera-related questions…

Q: My iOS devices has a 1080p video back camera. Why can’t I use it to record a 1080p project with Video Star?
A: Video Star’s real-time video effects require a lot of processing power, and that, rather than camera resolution, is often the limiting factor. 

Q: My iOS device’s front camera is only capable of 360p. Why would I want to record a 720p project with it?
A: There are some very good reasons! 720p clips are recorded with more bits and, hence, less compression, so they will look sharper even if coming from a 360p camera. And if you do any post-processing, like re-effecting or clip mixing or clip editing, there will be less added distortion with each pass. 

Q: Which is better to use, the front camera or the back camera?
A: While the front camera is often more convenient and fun to use, if you are trying for the best quality result in your video then you will get the best result by using the back camera. Even if you are not using it at its highest resolution, it is still a better option. It will produce sharper images and will be less “noisy” in lower light conditions. For more about the benefits of using the back camera, see this blog post. Oh, and always make sure the camera lens is very clean. Even a super thin layer of finger oil can produce smears of light in your recordings!

 Camera Resolution for Device Types

Device front back
iPhone 3GS - 360p
iPhone 4 360p 720p
iPhone 4S 360p 1080p
iPhone 5 720p 1080p
iPhone 5c 720p 1080p
iPhone 5S 720p 1080p
iPhone 6 720p 1080p
iPhone 6 plus 720p 1080p
iPod Touch (4th gen) 360p 720p
iPod Touch (5th gen) 720p 1080p
iPad 2 360p 720p
iPad 3 360p 1080p
iPad 4 720p 1080p
iPad Air 720p 1080p
iPad Air 2 720p 1080p
iPad mini 720p 1080p
iPad mini retina 720p 1080p
iPad mini 3 720p 1080p
 

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