Arguably, 4K is already the leading standard in resolution in mainstream media today. Its imagery provides users with sharp precision and a full spectrum of contrasting colors.
Industry giants are releasing product lines with 4K resolution capabilities and compatibility. It is a significant hook used in marketing to capture the attention of end-users in the mainstream market.
4K may not be the only standard for resolution, but it is the integration that is highly sought after by viewers and gamers alike.
Let’s explore this resolution and what makes it the top-notch standard that it is.
But before we begin, here’s a TLDR list of takeaways.
- 4K is not the upcoming standard; it already is.
- Nearly all devices feature a 4K integration or means of compatibility.
- Multimedia platforms support 4K resolution and encourage the use of 4K equipment to provide viewers with a better visual experience.
- 4K is the premium standard for Virtual Reality gaming.
- There is readily available hardware in the market that manages 4K resolution better than others.
- It is tech that is worth investing in for the long run.
What is 4K?
4K is also known as UltraHD or UHD.
4K refers to the amount (4,000) of pixels contained in its width.
The standard range of pixel-width for 4K resolution is around 4,000 pixels. Smaller displays require around 3,840 pixels in their width, while the DCI requires 4,096 pixel-width for larger displays. Its height is traditionally the same at 2,160 pixels.
The DCI, or the Digital Cinema Initiatives, sets the standards for system specifications in the world of cinema. DCI sets a higher standard for 4K pixel density in wider displays to make up for the much larger screens it will be featured in.
You have probably seen the resolution denominations of either 3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160. This is the exact computation of a 4K’s pixel density. Its measurements multiplied by one another amount to eight million pixels.
Its saturation of pixels is four times the amount contained in the standard FullHD or 1080p. We already know that the more pixels found within a display determine the sharper definition.
4K’s staggering eight million pixels versus 1080p’s fewer than two million pixels proves just how significant the difference the two resolutions feature.
You can watch a side-by-side comparison if you want to see the noticeable differences between 4K and 1080p.
4K technology is now within reach more than ever. Well-known brands are releasing more affordable devices with 4K integration .
4K vs 1080p
You can see the apparent disparity between the two resolutions.
1080p refers to the height of the display measured in pixels. Its width measures 1,920 pixels or roughly half than 4K’s width.
1080p is also known as FullHD, and it is the base configuration of high-definition. Its resolution is 1920 x 1080.
While 1080p offers viewers the standard high-definition, 4K is sought after by consumers for its sharper images and stunning visuals.
Colors appear in better contrast, and lines are better defined in 4K that provide displays with stunning depth that you can’t otherwise find in FullHD.
4K is the premium choice of the two, but 1080p also offers users its own perks. 1080p is not as demanding of processor’s functions as 4K.
1080p requires an internet connection of 10Mbps for an uninterrupted quality visual playback. In contrast, 4K requires at least 25Mbps of bandwidth for continuous playback in conjunction with other programs running in the background.
It is worth noting that this is a minor upgrade to consider for a more effective resolution.
Gamers looking for an immersive gaming experience can now enjoy 4K Virtual Reality .
Gamers can also enjoy virtual Reality at 1920 x 1080 per eye, but 4K is the preferred resolution for more realistic and immersive gaming.
Is 4K Worth It in 2021?
It is definitely worth checking out.
In 2014, prices significantly dropped for technology that featured 4K integration.
Since then, 4K technology has become more and more accessible in the mainstream market for multimedia.
Movies and TV shows are now almost exclusively captured with 4K equipment.
In July 2010, during its annual VidCon, YouTube followed suit and announced the 4K integration for its content creators.
This announcement meant its contributors could now shoot videos from 360p all the way up to 4K.
These days, YouTube offers its users options for a full 4K live streaming, as well as an unlimited 4K multi-stream for a small premium monthly.
Gaming manufacturers have introduced graphics that are 4K compatible or feature its configuration as its base resolution.
In those days, it was one of the most anticipated innovations in the gaming industry.
Gamers contend that 4K graphics offers next-gen gaming. It is the best resolution for fast-paced and competitive games. The 4K resolution coupled with the appropriate refresh rate produces breathtaking visuals that are incomparable by other standards
The refresh rate needed for flawless 4K gaming is 60Hz. 60Hz isn’t unattainable either. It is considered a norm in gaming equipment.
A good graphics card paired with a decent monitor is enough to give you the complete 4K immersive experience. Some gamers don’t need to upgrade their equipment as today’s standards already possess the required specifications in managing 4K resolution.
A graphics card like the revolutionary Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 , along with the Samsung UE57 Monitor that features Freesync and a 60Hz refresh rate, is a long-term investment for serious gamers. It is a popular pairing for gamers who partake in action-packed gaming solo and online multiplayer.
We hope this article helped shed light on your musings regarding the top-quality resolution that is rapidly becoming the standard for all facets of media.
Most 4K devices are devised to be versatile enough to accommodate even higher resolutions. While it may feel like you are spending a little more now on devices that feature 4K technology, it proves prudent to anticipate the upcoming 5K and 8K resolutions.
This video covers 4K resolution and its future in multimedia. Check it out!
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.