Television has evolved in recent times and not only do we refer to the fact of finding the so-called " Smart TV ", but we also have to talk about image resolution with 4K being the main protagonist, although we also find it in all type of video cameras and even smartphones . Let's see now,  what is the resolution of 4k ?.

What is the resolution of 4k?
In recent years we have noticed how many brands of televisions, promote their models with "4k resolution", something that can make us think that it is something similar to the resolution in HD "HD" or even that it is the same as the known as " Full HD ", but the truth is that to understand what the 4k resolution is , we must  frame it in the context of the resolutions that we have just mentioned.

Most televisions and streaming platforms, such as Netflix , as well as current video players (Blu-Ray), have a resolution or image quality that is usually HD or Full HD . In the Full HD screens the resolution is of a height of  1080 pixels (hence the term 1080p) by a width of 1920 pixels . In total, in this resolution you can find more than 2 million individual pixels between vertical and horizontal lines, which is almost 6 times the number of pixels in a standard DVD image. This information is important because the higher the number of pixels, the better the sharpness and definition of the image.

Now, in the case of a 4k monitor, that is, with 4K resolution, it has a height of 2160 pixels and a width of 3840 pixels (the term 4K is derived from the width, but there is also a professional 4K standard that has a width of 4096 pixels). In total, the individual pixels for the 4k are almost 8.3 million , which is equivalent to 4 times the Full HD pixels. This increase in pixels ensures an image of superior quality and allows us to increase the size of the screen without losing the clarity of the image.

That is why the screens, or 4K monitors that are also known as "Ultra HD",   are taking giant steps in terms of seeking a resolution that exceeds even high definition. We already saw some time ago how the 720p replaced the old standard of the 480p DVD and, in turn, is replaced by the 1080p resolution, so now, the 4K resolution is configured as the next reference.

4k: What changes for the user
With the above, it is easy to understand the first and most obvious advantages for the viewer or for the "videogamers" who deal with the 4K content:  incredible details  and  total immersion  in the scene.

And while we have Smart TVs that are 4k, begin to emerge the first smartphones and tablets that have 4k and are characterized by  smaller pixels on screens of the same size  , which means to see a more detailed image when viewed at the same distance .

Knowing that the number of pixels quadruples in the transition from Full HD 1080p to 4K, we can say that this resolution also grows in importance for  large screens  (over 55 "), where the pixels of a 4k are almost a quarter larger than the size of a full HD equivalent, with this we can gain a unique and increasingly clear image experience and although the 4k is a resolution not yet suitable for all pockets (a 4k TV usually exceeds 800 euros on average), It is true that it is the future and as soon as it has finished imposing itself, it will be seen in practically all the houses, and it will be necessary to see how the television networks and platforms adapt to offer at the same timecontained in said resolution.

The 4K is an improvement of the resolution of the image that integrates the current televisions, which is able to quadruple the resolution offered by the High Definition, HD or High-Definition. This technology is capable of reaching 3840x2160 pixels and is also known as Ultra HD. This format is already within the reach of the public and not only of video games as they were considered at the beginning, since it has gone down in price and households have changed their conventional fiber optic Internet.

Resolution 4K was the protagonist of the Consumer Electronics Show event , known as CES, during the year 2014. In this important technological fair worldwide, the large computer companies presented the first monitors with 4K resolution and quickly companies such as Netflix and YouTube. They joined this technology and uploaded its contents in that resolution. However, there is still the limitation that many Internet connections are too slow to be able to transmit the contents to 4K correctly and at the necessary speeds.

4K Technology as mentioned, is capable of displaying eight million pixels compared to Full HD that displays two million. With a 4K resolution it is possible to see details that would otherwise go unnoticed.  Finding content in this definition is increasingly common in 2019, however it is still not a standard; what is verifiable is that when comparing a 4K photograph with a Full HD, the difference will be impressive and for graphic designers for example, it will be a valuable technology since more precise shapes and colors will be achieved when working.

Most Full HD screens are LCD technology, since the OLED was not as successful as Plasma and LCD; but this makes it more evident that in synthesis the 4K Technology is not very different from these old technologies and its main difference is the number of pixels on the screen.

One of the most surprising discoveries of the author is that despite the fact that 4K technology has more pixels, they have densities very similar to the most popular Full HD TVs.  This shows that another difference is that 4K screens are much larger than Full HD, since in the previous technology the pixels were made larger by increasing the size of the screen. With a greater number of pixels manufacturers have been able to cover more surface without worrying about loss of quality, and this results in a pixel density similar to the old Full HD TVs.

On the benefits, the clearest is in the highest resolution, since the images have more pixels and allow us to see better details. In addition, the distance to view the contents is lower and allows us to have a better representation of color with higher ranges, better lighting and more natural gradients.

However, the author also pointed out that the biggest problem will remain that we will not be able to transmit the contents over the internet, since a very high bandwidth will be required. Another problem is that it is not easily transferable in physical format, since 4K videos for example can occupy even more than 160 GB in space; This would force us to watch the movies or videos on hard disk and that is not profitable for users or the industry.

The two types of 4K resolutions
  • 4096 × 2160 (17: 9) (about 8.8 megapixels) - Full 4K (resolution of cinema screens)
  • 3840 x 2160 (16: 9) (about 8.3 megapixels) (4K UHDV) (resolution of UHD TV screens)

In digital cinema , the resolution of pixels varies according to the aspect ratio . Some examples of 4K digital recording equipment are the Dalsa Origin announced in 2003 and launched in 2006 as the first commercially available 4K digital cinema camera - the Red One - announced in 2006 and launched in 2007 - the Epic Network - launched at early 2011- and the Sony CineAlta F65 - announced in April 2011-. The Dalsa Origin system records images with 4096 × 2048 resolution and the Red One records images at 4096 × 2304.

Digital cinema standards
StandardResolutionAspect ratioPixels
Total aperture 4K4096 × 31121.32: 112 746 752
Academic 4K3656 × 26641.37: 19 739 584
Digital Cinema 4K4096 × 17142.39: 17 020 544
Digital Cinema 4k3996 × 21601,85: 18 631 360
Post-production work resolutions
StandardResolutionGIVEPAIRPixels
Total aperture 4K4096 × 31124: 31: 112 746 752
Academic format 4K3656 × 26641.37: 11: 19 739 584
4K and UHDV
4K is the minimum resolution used in UHDV ; its resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels, 2160p / 2160i (16: 9) (8.29 megapixels, approx 8.3). It has twice the linear resolution of the 1080p standard , so it has a quadruple surface area. Similarly, the 4K standard has three times the linear resolution of the 720p standard , so it has a surface nine times larger. If in the following table we add everything, the aforementioned 4K comes out:

4K UHDV (3840x2160)
1080p 
(1920x1080)
1080p 
(1920x1080)
1080p 
(1920x1080)
1080p 
(1920x1080)
4K UHDV (3840x2160)
720p 
(1280x720)
720p 
(1280x720)
720p 
(1280x720)
720p 
(1280x720)
720p 
(1280x720)
720p 
(1280x720)
720p 
(1280x720)
720p 
(1280x720)
720p 
(1280x720)

What does 1080p, 2K, UHD, 4K and 8K mean?
Sometimes, these definitions and combinations of characters instead of clarifying can confuse more than one. Discover in this article the meaning of each of these concepts.

When buying a new computer or a television, some terms are used by vendors or "experts" who try to convince the consumer to take an electronic device home.

However, many still hesitate to know what these words mean. What is 1080p? What does 2k mean? Why is "K" used and not other letters or denominations? In this article we will try to resolve these doubts once and for all.

In the first place, something has to be clarified: when mentioning some of these abbreviations, we are talking about resolution. This indicates the image quality that it could have depending on its number of pixels. Pixels are the minimum unit of color that is part of a digital image.

An image is composed in a two-dimensional plane, where the amount of pixels of width and length make it up. This means that the fewer pixels there are inside the composition, the less quality it will have and vice versa.

What does 4K mean and what is it?
First of all, you also have to define that the "K" means thousand, so 4K refers to the 4000 pixels that the image would have in this resolution. This term was proposed by the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) for products with more than 4096 pixels in its horizontal length.

On more than one occasion we have heard about 4K or Ultra HD (UHD) TVs . Both words mean the same with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels about sharing the same format players Ultra HD Blu-Ray and streaming material UHD from Netflix.

What does 2K mean and what is it?
In the same way, 2K refers to the horizontal resolution of a video with a width of 2048 pixels without specifying the vertical size. Unlike 4K, it has no other alternative definition.

What does 1080p mean and what is it?
One of the most common reasons for the confusion between resolutions, is that from the beginning these expressions defined the vertical size of the same, when suddenly using 2K and 4K was defined as the horizontal resolution.

Today, most televisions that play high definition content work with a ratio of 16: 9 in their format. One of the best known and most used resolutions is the 1920 x 1080 pixels.

This is how the 1080p is very close to being 2K , but for simple definition issues it is not. Another common doubt is given with the terms 1080p and 1080i . The reality is that both have the same resolution, but that letter shows the way in which the tables change per second: one changes interlaced and the other progressively.

What does 8K mean and what is it?
8K is the maximum resolution so far that can be found on a television, but there is still a long way to go for these devices to become popular as it is difficult to find audiovisual products in this format.


Resolution nameVertical pixels x VerticalOther namesDispositives
8K7,680 x 4,320noneConceptual televisions
"Cinema" 4K4,096 x [unspecified]4KProjectors
UHD3,840 x 2,1604K, Ultra HD, Ultra High DefinitionTelevisions
2K2,048 x [unspecified]noneProjectors
WUXGA1,920 x 1,200Widescreen Ultra Extended Graphics ArrayMonitors, projectors
1080p1,920 x 1,080Full HD, FHD, HD, High Definition, 2KTelevisions and monitors
720p1,280 x 720HD, High DefinitionTelevisions