What is 4K? Beginner’s Guide to 4K
In this video I’m going to explain what 4K is in this 4K edition episode of “What Is”. 4K seems to be the craze lately in the tech world. I was kind of confused at first, so I got myself familiar with it, looked into it, and now I’m here to explain what it is and what it means to us as consumers. 4K is basically the name for the new standardized high definition resolution for displays. 4K gets its name from the amount of pixels horizontally on the resolution. It has roughly 4,000 pixels horizontally and 2,000 pixels vertically. HD displays have an aspect ratio of 16:9. Basic HD is 720p. 720p has a resolution of 1280×720 — so 1280 pixels horizontally and 720 pixels vertically.
We also have 1080 full HD. Full HD means 1080p. That’s kind of the standard that you see on monitors and TVs these days. Almost everyone has one. If you go out and buy a new HD television right now, it’s most likely full HD 1080p. 1080p is actually 1920 x 1080 pixels tall. Did you think that it would stop there at 1080p? No siree! So the next step up is… 4K! 4K is the next step up after 1080p. 4K is now the next high definition resolution standard for mass market displays. Why is it called 4K? 4K is named after its horizontal pixels because 4K is roughly 4,000 pixels wide by 2,000 pixels high.
So what does that mean for us, the consumers? Well, when go out to buy TVs and monitors, you will start seeing these ultra HD 4K displays. That’s the name. So when you see “ultra HD” that’s the same thing as 4K. That’s the standardized 16:9 display that you’ll see in monitors and TVs. And the exact pixels for 4K ultra HD are actually 3,840 pixels wide by 2,160 pixels high. 4K is twice the width of 1080p and twice the height of 1080p, which makes it 4 times larger than 1080p! A full HD 1080p resolution has roughly 2 million pixels compared to a 4K which has roughly 8 million pixels. That’s a lot of pixels. I’ve never seen a 4K TV live, but I’ve seen other people see it for themselves and I felt the excitement in the room. I could feel my own head exploding.
So what’s so special about 4K? Well, the name says it itself. It’s ultra high definition. It’s four times as high-def as 1080p. And they say it’s like when you’re looking at a 4K display, it’s like looking out a window. You get that much detail, that much sharpness, and the image quality is just so crisp, it’s like looking at a window, which I’m so excited for. And that’s why everybody is so crazy about it. That’s what’s so good about 4K. So now you know what 4K is. It’s called ultra high-definition. It’s the next step up after full HD 1080p, and you’re going to be seeing it come out in monitors and TVs. They’re already selling TVs like this, but really the content is not there. They’re not broadcasting 4K over the air and TV shows and movies yet. It’s all being filmed. It’s actually going to it. They’re starting to record everything in 4K if they haven’t already, but you’ll start seeing content publishers like Netflix and YouTube and anything streaming in 2014, you will start to see them start pushing 4K content out and the people that will be able to see it will be the people who have 4K monitors and televisions and stuff like that.
So if you want to be one of the pioneers of 4K content coming in, then the next TV that you go out and buy, I would definitely recommend picking up a 4K TV if you can. I wouldn’t go out and just buy one right now just because it’s out. The only person that should go out and buy one is if you’re in the market for one. If you’re going to buy a new TV even if 4K wasn’t around because 2014 is supposed to be the year when 4K starts making its way into the mass market. Bottom line, 4K is the new amazing resolution standard for HD displays, and you will start seeing it come in more and more. Hopefully, more content creators will get their hands on 4K cameras and start getting 4K content out there. Then everyone will start getting their hands on 4K and make the price go down lower, so everybody can get their hands on some 4K action. So I hope you’re as excited as I am about 4K!
“Blown Away” by Kevin MacLeod (
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What is 4K? The Beginner’s Guide to 4K
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