An A.I. perspective on S-VHS versus 4:2:2 sampling

 is S-VHS closer to 4:1:1 or 4:2:2 ?


S-VHS (Super VHS) is an improved version of VHS that offers better video quality, especially in terms of resolution and color fidelity. While it's still an analog format, S-VHS does offer enhanced chroma resolution compared to standard VHS.

Here's how it compares to digital chroma subsampling formats like 4:1:1 and 4:2:2:

S-VHS Color Resolution

S-VHS improves upon standard VHS in several ways, including better color resolution. While it still uses a composite video signal,it provides an improvement over VHS in terms of resolution, offering around 400 lines of horizontal resolution for luminance and a slight improvement in chrominance resolution, though specific figures for chrominance resolution in S-VHS can vary. Some estimates suggest an increase to around 60-70 lines of horizontal resolution for chrominance.

Comparison to Digital Chroma Subsampling

When comparing to digital formats:

  • 4:1:1:

    • Luma: 720 pixels per line.
    • Chroma: 180 pixels per line (a quarter of the luma resolution).
  • 4:2:2:

    • Luma: 720 pixels per line.
    • Chroma: 360 pixels per line (half of the luma resolution).

Approximate Digital Equivalent

Given the improved chroma resolution of S-VHS compared to standard VHS, it falls somewhere between 4:1:1 and 4:2:2. Here's why:

  • Chroma Resolution: While S-VHS offers better color resolution than standard VHS, it still falls short of the full 4:2:2 chroma resolution used in digital formats. However, it provides more detail than a mere quarter of the luma resolution, which is characteristic of 4:1:1.


S-VHS is closer to 4:2:2 in terms of effective color resolution compared to 4:1:1. While it doesn't match the full 4:2:2 resolution, its enhanced chroma resolution surpasses the quarter-luma resolution typically seen in 4:1:1 chroma subsampling. Therefore, S-VHS is closer to 4:2:2 than to 4:1:1, albeit still being an analog format with its own characteristics.