What is the difference between resolution bandwidth and video bandwidth in a spectrum analyzer

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Video bandwidth filters noise. The video bandwidth is used for averaging which is equivalent to a low pass filter. The video bandwidth is usually set narrow to filter noise but not too narrow since that would slow down the sweep time.

There are certain situations in which the video bandwidth might be set wide. One example is when averaging is not needed or not desired. Another instance is measuring AM in zero span. The video bandwidth needs to be wide enough so that the AM can be measured.

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    You can think that a Spectrum Analyzer is a superheterodine receiver (with one, or multiple IF conversions), where the RBW is given by the bandwidth of the IF filters.
    Video Bandwidth is given by the bandwidth of the filters placed after the detector.


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