What is 4K resolution?
4K resolution refers to one of two resolutions in high definition: 3840x 2160 and 4096x 2160, respectively. The pixel resolution of 4K is four times that of 1080p (1920x 1080 pixels), and half that of line resolving (2160p). The other resolutions in use in the high definition are 720p and 1080p. These are the most commonly used solutions to create more detailed photos on larger screen televisions.
- 4K resolution is used with a 4096 x 2160 option for commercial digital cinema where several movies are shot and mastered in 4K using a 2K upscale (1998 x 1080 with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio or 2048 x 858 with a 2.35:1 side ratio).
- 4K is well established in consumer and home theater landscape with the 3840 x 2160 pixel option under its two official consumer labels, Ultra HD and UHD.
- 4K is also referred to as 4K x 2K, Ultra High Definition, 4K Ultra High Definition, Quad High Definition, Quad Resolution, Quad Full High Definition, QFHD, UD, and 2160p in contrast to Ultra HD and UHD in professional settings.
4K resolution is significant because it offers much more accurate and less pixel visible images than 1080p, with the use of ever larger TV screen sizes and video projecters. 1080p looks great for 65 inches and still looks good in larger screen sizes, but 4K can provide even better looks with the larger screen sizes.
How 4K is put into action
- There are plenty of 4K Ultra HD TVs and a growing number of 4K and 4K video projectors available.
- Some AV home theater receivers have either 4K pass-through and/or 4K video upscaling capabilities for added support in home theater setups.
- There are several streaming sources available for 4K video, such as Netflix, and Amazon. The Blu-ray disc format of Ultra HD is also available.
- Tata Sky and Jio are in a place, on the satellite side, to transmit a limited selection of 4K pre-registered and live content to their subscribers (so long as they have both a satellite-compatible box and a tv-compatible system).
- You definitely have limited choices for those who prefer to access content via cable. To date, Google Chromecast and Amazon Firestick provides 4K on-demand and live programming with 4K Netflix access.
What 4K is really about for consumers
- 4K provides a much enhanced view for consumers with a larger screen applications that can greatly decrease viewers ‘ ability to see any visible pixel structure on the screen unless you are extremely close to one another. It ensures the lines and thickness are even finer. In combination with faster screen refreshment rates, 4K offers almost as much depth as 3D, without having to use glasses.
- Despite 4K Ultra HD display ranges and price drops (such as 50 and 55inch Ultra HD TVs with a quality of less than $500), more 720p or 1080p TVs have been developed and the introduction of the Ultra HD TVs doesn’t render the TVs 720p and 1080p redundant. Moreover, as long as ATSC 3.0 continues to be used for material delivery, the present HDTV TV broadcast system will not be discarded.
- Of course, a date and time will arrive when 4K may become a norm for default broadcast television, but it needs a lot of technology.
Beyond 4K and Ultra HD
What’s beyond 4K? How about 8K, huh? 8K is 16 times the 1080p resolution. There are a limited number of 8K TVs available for purchase in USA, with Samsung taking the lead, but there is no native 8K content available for viewing. This means that for some time viewers will be watching images on 8K TVs that are upscaled from 4K, 1080p, 720p, or any other lower resolution. However, Japan has begun broadcasting an 8K content channel.
Video resolution vs Megapixels
Here’s how to equate 1080p, 4K and 8K quality with the pixel resolution of even modestly priced video still cameras:
- 1080p (1920×1080) is 2.1 megapixels.
- 4K (3840x 2160 and 4096x 2160) is nearly 8.5 megapixels.
- Only with 8K (7680x 4320 pixels–4320p) do you get the best professional video still cameras–33.2 megapixels–in the pixel size category. You are most likely to take videos with a much higher resolution than you can see on your TV screen when it comes to video content.
Color, Contrast, etc.
Of course, all the above is that you have to be pleased with what you see on your TV, an improved resolution is one aspect, but it is important to take into account other factors including video processing and upscaling, colour quality, black levels, contrast, screen size and how the TV looks physically in your house.