4K Confusion

posted in: Technology | 0

It’s quite possible your confused as to what confusion there is with 4K as most people just assume that its 4x bigger than 1080p.

I know a little about this stuff and I was confused and it has annoyed me for a very long time as to why they call it 4K when it isn’t, they have simply measured the width instead of the height to make it appear to be way way better than it really is.

When you think about T.V. resolutions you are generally aware of 4K’s predecessors.


720×480 NTSC /  720×576 PAL

4:3 or 16:9

Pixels Shown : 345,600 / 414,720 


1280 × 720


Pixels Shown : 921,600 

1080i, 1080p (HDTV, Blu-ray)

1920 × 1080


Pixels Shown : 2,073,600


3840 × 2160


Pixels Shown : 8,294,400

As you can see from the table that whilst 4K is four times the resolution of 1080 it should really be called 2160p.

Think of your TV like a grid, with rows and columns. A full HD 1080p image is 1080 rows high and 1920 columns wide.

A 4K image approximately doubles (not quadruples as you may expect) the numbers in both directions, however it does yield approximately four times as many pixels total. To put it another way, you could fit every pixel from your 1080p set onto one quarter of a 4K screen.

Consumer screens are slightly smaller than the cinema resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 resolution.

Samsung 4K

Is 4K worth it ?

In a word – Yes

4K screens are noticeably sharper than 1080p screens. You won’t notice as big as an increase in picture quality as you did when you went from CRT (tube) to LED (or plasma) but there is defiantly a wow factor with 4K televisions.

4K Content

Video-on-demand streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Rakuten and YouTube now offer plenty of 4K films and TV shows. The BBC has shown a full series of Blue Planet II in 4K on iPlayer, and carried out successful live 4K broadcasts of the 2018 World Cup and Wimbledon Championships.

It is recommended that you have at least a 20Mb connection though.

4K TV broadcasts?

Sky, BT, Eurosport 4K and Virgin all  have services but most require that you get there equipment in order for you to view it.

4K Blu-ray

Currently there are over a four hundred titles (new and old) being released in 4K.

Discs that can handle resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 and up to 60fps (frames per second) are classed as Ultra HD, and the format also supports high dynamic range (HDR), higher frame rates (up to 60fps) and object-based immersive sound such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

HDR on 4K Blu-ray discs appears in two varieties: HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Video is encoded using the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard, and includes 10-bit colour depth and the Rec. 2020 colour space.

You will, of course, need a new Ultra HD Blu-ray player to play the discs.

Back to basics

This does not really apply to 4K, however most people these days have 1080 T.V’s but they come in two modes P or I so…..

What’s the difference between 1080p and 1080i?

On your High Definition (HD) TV, you may have the choice of 1080p mode and 1080i mode.

Both modes offer the same pixel resolution: 1,920 x 1,080. The difference is in the scan type they use.

The p in 1080p stands for progressive scan, and the i in 1080i stands for interlaced

Frame and field rates

HD content is always broadcast at 30 frames per second.

1080p content is played back at native frame rate, while 1080i is played back at 60 fields per second (a field is the technical term for an interlaced frame).

The duplicated frames are displayed separately, faster than the human eye can detect them.

The key differences are:

  • 1080p (progressive scan) mode may appear to be sharper, and fast-moving action can be easier to watch. This mode is used for Blu-ray discs and some games consoles, and is known as Full HD.
  • 1080i (interlaced) mode may appear to flicker or blur more during action scenes or sports. Some terrestrial TV in the UK and USA is broadcast in 1080i; the rest is broadcast in 720p.

In practice, many people do not notice the difference between 1080p and 1080i. If you have a large HD TV, you may prefer 1080p, but the difference is often negligible.


Feed back and constructive criticism is always welcome

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