How Is 4k Different than 1080p HD?


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Lianne McNally is an award-winning producer, writer, and director whose work has appeared on major networks such as CBS, WE and USA. To stay current in her field, Lianne McNally maintains a professional interest in developing film technologies such as 4K.

A form of ultra high-definition (UHD) screen resolution, 4K is quickly becoming the standard for the production of films, television shows, and documentaries. This technology is a marked step above other resolutions such as 1080 pixel HD, which has been the standard for film and television for years. To fully understand the capabilities of 4K technology, it is important to know how it differs from 1080p.

As its name indicates, 4K resolution offers four times as many pixels as normal HD resolution. At a minimum, 4K pictures must contain 3,840 pixels horizontally and 2,160 pixels vertically. However, some UHD displays can reach a resolution of more than 4,000 pixels. In comparison, 1080p pictures consist of 1,920 horizontal pixels and 1,080 vertical pixels.

Unsurprisingly, the resolution difference between 4K and 1080p means that UHD displays will appear sharper than their standard HD counterparts. In general, 4K videos can translate real-life images with great detail and impressive contrast. These improved visuals are more noticeable when viewing pictures of hair or sharp-edged objects, which are full of tiny details. With 1080p resolution, these same elements appear more blurred and uneven, particularly when viewers are close to the screen.