What Does 4K Mean? Is It The Best Resolution?



When you buy a new TV these days, it’ll likely come as 4K as standard – but what does that actually mean? Let’s take a look…


Televisions seem to be the invention that just keeps being reinvented.

It doesn’t seem too long ago that TVs were a completely different shape altogether – an entire cube that sat in the corner of the living room and worked part-time as a radiator too.

What Does 4K Mean? Is It The Best Resolution?
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They’ve not only changed in shape, though. The numbers and letters that they’re promised to be “ready” for have constantly changed as well.

HD, Plasma, LCD, Ultra-HD, 4K – what does it all mean? Is this a gradual progression in quality or just a marketing technique in order to sell more televisions?

What Does 4K Mean?

A display that has at least 8 million active pixels is considered 4K. That resolution has been standardised at 3,840 by 2,160 for TVs. The resolution of digital cinema 4K, which is used in 4K cinemas, is somewhat greater at 4,096 by 2,160.

Regardless of how you define it, it has almost 23 times the resolution of standard-definition television and four times as many pixels as a 1080p monitor.

This indicates that 4K is undoubtedly crisper than 1080p. A 4K TV of the same size can fit four pixels in the same area as a 1080p TV. If you have native 4K source material to view at that resolution, there is a noticeable improvement in clarity as a result.

Even if you don’t, businesses like Samsung and Sony have created outstanding upconverting technologies that scale material with a resolution of 1080p or lower to 4K with a variety of visual upgrades.

Because you can’t just create more detail out of thin air, it’s not as excellent as native 4K material, but it’s a solid backup.

Is 4K Really Any Better Than Standard HD?

On smaller displays, typical viewers had trouble distinguishing between 1080p and 720p, but on 40-inch and bigger TVs, the difference is quite clearly, well, clearer.

Another significant improvement in clarity and detail is 4K, particularly when people become acclimated to the little pixels exhibited on high-resolution displays on mobile phones.

This is a crucial consideration for big TVs as well, particularly now that 65-inch models are as cost-effective as 55-inch TVs were a few years ago and even 75-inch TVs are available for moderate pricing.

We’re discussing a resolution boost comparable to the transition from SD to HD. Additionally, 4K displays are substantially crisper than 1080p ones.

However, if you keep your television at a similar size and are used to sitting quite near, you may not notice much of a change, particularly if you still mostly watch HD rather than 4K programming.

What Is 8K Resolution?

A screen with an 8K TV contains 7,680 horizontal pixels and 4,320 vertical pixels, for a total of almost 33 million pixels. The “K” in “8K” stands for Kilo (1000), which designates a television with a horizontal resolution of around 8,000 pixels.

The most current UHD (ultra-high definition) TV release with the highest resolution is the 8K TV. 8K TVs display images that are clearer and more detailed than 4K TVs because they have four times as many pixels. This is so that extremely detailed visuals are possible because of the fact that pixels in 8K TVs are so tiny that are impossible to differentiate even up close.

8K TVs have a resolution that is 16 times greater than Full HD TVs and 4 times higher than 4K UHD TVs. A screen with a higher resolution will have more pixels overall.

To put it another way, on TVs of the same size, pixels are packed closer together, resulting in a considerably more complex and lifelike picture. When you watch TV, this offers an intense sensation of immersion.

What Is HDR?

High Dynamic Range is referred to as “HDR.” The phrase has its roots in photography and describes a method for enhancing a photograph’s dynamic range, or the degree of contrast between the brightest and darkest colours.

According to the principle, a picture will represent all the varied tones you’d see in real life more accurately the larger the dynamic range. The underlying concept behind HDR for TVs is the same.

Observe the sky. Even if the clouds are white, there should be distinct strata. You should be able to distinguish various intensities of light around the clouds.

View the clouds on your TV right now. In contrast, they often seem flat, with white levels crushed and some layers essentially merging into one another.

Is There A 16K Resolution?

Is it time to begin considering 16K TVs? The next stage after 4K and 8K resolutions has come with the introduction of 16K resolution as a result of the continued competition among TV makers to outperform their rivals.

We must examine what 4K and 8K resolutions have to offer in order to put the 15360 × 8640 pixels of 16K into context. Standard definitions of 4K and 8K are 3840 x 2160 and 7680 x 4320, respectively. In other words, 16K TVs have 16 times the pixel density of 4K and 8K, respectively. What an improvement!

It’s important for 16K TVs to provide a standard brightness since individual pixels can’t produce as much light because they must be smaller to accommodate so many onto one panel. This is why 16K resolutions’ 1,000 nits marker is such a crucial component.

The whole TV would be made up of 16×18 inch square screens with 360×360 resolution in each, assuming 16K TVs maintain the modular design Sony demonstrated.

The result would be deep blacks and outstanding contrast at frame rates of 120Hz, 10-bit grayscale, and 99% black surface area. Once again, this assumes that other companies choose to use comparable standards.

Jake McEvoy

Jake is a professional copywriter, journalist, and life-long fan of technology. He covers news and user guides for KnowYourMobile.
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