Full HD, Ultra HD, and 4K UHD: what is the difference between them?

4k uhd resolution
4k UHD resolution

With the appearance of larger TVs and monitors comes better resolutions to get the best possible picture quality. The most common resolutions today are Full HD, Ultra HD, and 4K UHD.

Full HD, Ultra HD: what is the difference?

Full HD is the name given to a specific screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 px or 1080p.

Ultra HD, also known as UHD, Ultra HD TV, UHDTV, or Super Hi-Vision, means the next step after Full HD and refers to the incredibly high resolution of 3840 x 2160 px.

But for marketing purposes, electronic equipment manufacturers are using the term Ultra HD as a synonym for 4K, which is technically a mistake.

4K is the heir to the 2K standard created by the DCI, which offers twice the resolution of 2K: 4096 x 2160. Because of the fungibility of the words UHD and 4K, it is common to see televisions with 4K UHD or 8K UHD specifications. In reality, technically speaking, such a television has nothing to do with 4K.

Technically, the difference between Full HD and Ultra HD lies, of course, in the resolution itself: Ultra HD is four times brighter and clearer than Full HD. Better resolution means more pixels. The picture contains more detail, and the bigger the screen, the more noticeable the difference.

When buying a new TV or monitor, keep in mind that the difference in picture quality compared to Full HD may be almost undetectable on smaller TVs. Paying extra for Ultra HD might be a waste of money.

4K technology

4K means more pixels, so you get a better picture, especially on larger screens. For 16:9 aspect ratio TVs and monitors, 4K resolution (properly called Ultra HD, not 4K) contains 3840 x 2160 px, four times higher than Full HD 1080p. The exact vertical and horizontal pixel count will vary depending on the screen format, for example, 4:3 – 4096 x 3112 for 4K DCI and 1.90:1 4096 x 2160 for 4K DCI.

A 4K image will be cleaner, clearer, and more detailed regardless of the screen format. In addition, 4K technology is often applied with HDR technology, which offers more accurate colour reproduction, and makes bright pixels even brighter and dark pixels darker.

That’s where the benefits of 4K end and some inconveniences arise. More pixels mean a much larger file size in which to store the image. Depending on additional factors such as frames per second, a minute of 4K video can take up 30GB of space. Watching 4K content, such as sports coverage, over the internet, and having slow connection speed might become an obstacle.

The high-quality resolution also means high power consumption and electricity bills. And also, don’t forget that the amount of content available in this resolution is relatively small, especially for sports fans. Thankfully, many of the bookmaker operators provided at the rating of https://bookmaker-ratings.com/, have their own live broadcasts.

Which to choose: Full HD, Ultra HD, or 4K?

With the doubts regarding the terms Ultra HD and 4K somewhat dispelled, the choice comes down to Full HD and Ultra HD screens, which is the same on a consumer level as 4K.

A TV or 4K monitor would be a great choice if you have a lot of spare cash, allowing you to watch content at four times the resolution of a standard Full HD TV. It will be a good piece of equipment, but technology cannot currently exploit its potential even halfway. But that does not mean that such a TV is unsuitable for regular use.

In a few years, we can expect that access to 4K content will become much easier and more widely available, at which point such screens will become the natural choice. Streaming services (such as Netflix) already offer plenty of 4K content, and this resolution is also available on Playstation 5 and Xbox S/X gaming consoles.

On the other hand, traditional TV stations broadcast in lower resolution, and there is no indication that this is about to change. Therefore, it’s better to opt for cheaper Full HD equipment out of cost savings, mainly if you only use your TV to watch shows and movies.

Also, the cheapest 4K Ultra HD screens may have a lower quality matrix than is similar to Full HD, so it’s worth bearing this fact in mind when buying.


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