480p Tricks

via Wikipedia:

StandardResolutionAspect Ratio
480p (1.85:1)888×480p1.85:1 (unscaled/Am. widescreen format)
480p (16:9)Approx. 853+1/3p×480p or 848x480p16:9
480p (3:2)720×480p3:2 (Same Aspect Ratio as iPod Touch 4 Screen)
480p (4:3)800×480p4:3 (Most common 480p Aspect Ratio)

Regarding the 16:9 spec, the reason why it is 854 x 480 versus 848 x 480 is because 848 is the closest resolution that is mod 16 so it gets some compression efficiency and it’s only .6% off in terms of proportions.

If you want to force a window to 480p on OS X, use this script slightly adapted from here. Just open the AppleScript Editor in OS X and run it on the app you like.


This Apple script will resize any program window to an exact size and the window is then moved to the center of your screen. Specify the program name, height and width below and run the script.

Written by Amit Agarwal on December 10, 2013
Slightly modified for 480p by John Maeda on January 3, 2019


set theApp to "Google Chrome"
-- set appHeight to 1080
-- set appWidth to 1920

set appHeight to 480
set appWidth to 848

tell application "Finder"
	set screenResolution to bounds of window of desktop
end tell

set screenWidth to item 3 of screenResolution
set screenHeight to item 4 of screenResolution

tell application theApp
	set yAxis to (screenHeight - appHeight) / 2 as integer
	set xAxis to (screenWidth - appWidth) / 2 as integer
	set the bounds of the first window to {xAxis, yAxis, appWidth + xAxis, appHeight + yAxis}
end tell

For compressing a quick video to 480p, the simplest way is to:

  1. Open Photo Booth
  2. Drag the movie to Quicktime Player
  3. Export it to 480p there

The method to use from the desktop to compress to 480 does not work for some reason. Beware! —JM