4K brings up to one of two high definition resolutions: 3840 x 2160 pixels or 4096 x 2160 pixels. 4K is four times the pixel resolution, or double the streak resolution (2160p), of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) that is one of key current purchase high definition resolution values. The other high definition resolutions presently are used are 720p and 1080i. 4K is now formally designated for customer products as Ultra HD or UHD but is also denoted to at times, such as in professional or commercial locations as Ultra High Definition. 4K x 2K, or Quad High Definition…
4K resolution is now existence employed on an increasing foundation in commercial digital cinema projection by using the 4096 x 2160 pixel option, where more and more films are shot or grasped in 4K, or up scrambled from 2K (1998 x 1080 for 1.85:1 feature ratio or 2048 x 858 for 2.35:1 feature ratio).
Also, 4K, below its two official customer labels, Ultra HD or UHD, is now well established in the home theater atmosphere, using the 3840 x 2160 pixel option, via both an increasing number of home theater receivers that have either 4K pass-through and/or 4K video upscaling ability, as well as TVs or video projectors.
What makes 4K (Ultra HD or UHD) significant is that with the use of ever bigger TV screen sizes as well as video projectors, 4K provides much more in depth and less pixel visible images than 1080p. 1080p looks great up to till 80-inches, and can still look good in larger screen sizes, but 4K can deliver an even better-looking image for those larger screen sizes.
Also, 3D TVs presently in use that employ the Passive Polarized system of viewing, resolution of the subsequent 3D image is cut to 540p (960×540 pixels) for each eye, which is 1/2 1080p resolution. In comparison, the same TV shows a 2D image in 1080p resolution.
However, by employing a 4K resolution board or screen, 3D images watched via Active Shutter Glasses can be showed with 1080p (1920×1080) resolution for each eye.
The extra bonus is that when watching 2D images on the same TV, the viewer will get a full 4K resolution image.
As of 2106, there are plenty of 4K Ultra HD TVs available, and in use, as well as a small number of 4K-enabled or 4K-enhanced video projectors, for consumers, even though the availability of native 4K resolution content is still thin – However, it is growing.
4K content is obtainable from several flooding sources, such as Netflix, Voodoo, Amazon, and Sony, as well as the introduction of the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format and players, is slowly adding to the content list. It is important to note that even though there are many Blu-ray disc players that are upscale standard 1080p Blu-ray disc to 4K, only an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player can play discs that contain a native 4K resolution.
On the cable/satellite part of the equivalence, DirecTV is capable of delivering both pre-recorded and live 4K content via satellite to its subscribers (provided they have both a compatible satellite box and subscribe to the suitable plan). On the cable side, things are in the works, but nothing significant yet.
However over-the-air TV broadcasting things are really lagging. As of 2016, 4K TV broadcasting is just now being field tested – with South Korea taking the prime, shadowed by the U.S. However, one big complication to acceptance is that the electronic infrastructure needed is not well-matched with the present HDTV distribution structure.
For extra particulars on the progress towards 4K resolution TV distribution, refer to my article: ATSC 3.0 – The Next Stage in TV Broadcasting.
What 4K Really Means for Consumers
The increasing availability of 4K, below the official moniker Ultra HD, delivers consumers an importantly improved video display image for bigger screen applications, and can greatly reduce the capability for viewers to see any kind of visible pixel structure on the screen unless you place yourself extremely close. This means even smoother edges and depth – in fact when combined with faster screen refresh rates, 4K has the potential to deliver almost as much depth as 3D – without the need for glasses.
The execution of Ultra HD doesn’t make a 720p or 1080p TV obsolete (although, as 4K Ultra HD TV sales pick-up and rates some down, fewer 720p and 1080p TVs are being made), and the current HDTV TV broadcast substructure will not be uncontrolled anytime soon, even as ATSC 3.0 begins to become obtainable for use for content broadcast.
As Ultra HD is instigated on a wide basis, it will be in addition to, not in place of, present technology, just as 3D is currently. Of course, just as with the 2009 DTV transition, there may come with a date and time certain where 4K may become the default standard, but that means a lot of organization structure needs to be in place, and there must be standardization all over the manufacture and delivery chain, as well as customer acceptance.
Learn more about 4K implementation in my companion article: What You Need to See 4K Resolution on An Ultra HD TV
If you feel that you are ready to brand the jump into 4K, check out my consecutive list of Best 4K Ultra HD TVs.
Beyond 4K and Ultra HD
Yes, they are already thinking beyond 4K – how about 8K? 8K is 16 times the resolution of 1080p. For more on this development read my article 8K Resolution. A number of prototype 8K TVs have been presented at CES in latest years, the most recent being the LG 98UH9800, which was shown at the 2016 CES.
Video Resolution vs Megapixels
Before you leave this article ready to throw up your hands when you compare 1080p, 4K and 8K resolution to the pixel determination of even modestly valued digital still cameras, 1080p (1920×1080) is only 2.1 megapixels, 4K (3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160) is about 8.5 megapixels. Only with 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels – 4320p) do you get into the pixel resolution range of the best qualified digital still cameras – 33.2 megapixels. In other words, you are most likely taking photos with much higher resolution than you can see on your TV screen when it comes to video content.
Color, Contrast, and More
Of course, all the above being said, you are the one that needs to be satisfied with what you are seeing on your TV screen – resolution is one part, but other factors, such as video processing and upscaling quality, color constancy, black level response, contrast, screen size, and let us not forget how the TV actually looks in your room, also feature to take into the consideration.
For a more in-depth look at how contrast and color are being upgraded, along with 4K resolution, read my articles: Dolby Vision and HDR10 and Color Awareness of Your TV.
4K is Also Well-known As 4K x 2K, Ultra HD, Ultra, UHD, Ultra High Definition, 4K Ultra High Definition, 4K Ultra HD, Quad High Definition, Quad Resolution, Quad Full High Definition, QFHD, UD, 2160p