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What Does 4K Actually Mean?

This post is a brief introduction to the world of 4K. It covers the basics of the video resolution and addresses what makes it better than HD resolution. It's part of our series on 4K live streaming.

Whether you work in the world of video production or are merely a purchaser of electronics, you’ve likely heard about 4K video. 4K isn’t just a buzzword; it’s an incredible, new quality of video that’s soon to be the standard quality for any TV, computer screen, or camera. 

Understanding what 4K technology actually means will help you make educated purchasing decisions on 4K labeled products, regardless of whether they’re at the consumer, prosumer, or professional level.

For a more detailed introduction to 4K live streaming, check out this post:

4K Live Streaming- The Right Questions to Ask

4K refers to a video resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. That's four times the detail of modern HD televisions, which are made up of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

4k Easy Graphic.jpg

While 4K is the more common term, some brands prefer to call it Ultra HD, or UHD for short, because the term 4K was originally used to describe a resolution that’s used in digital cinemas of 4,096 x 2,160. Whereas most of your TV’s and prosumer/consumer cameras that are described as 4K, will actually be 3,840 x 2,160.

Why is it Better?

The graphic below shows how 4K provides far greater image detail than any other resolution. As you can see, when you shoot video in 4K, you can zoom into an image 4 times, and still see a quality 1080p HD image.



To hear me talk about 4K in more detail, check out the video below:


Final Thoughts + Further Reading

The presence of 4K will continue to grow throughout the next few years. With more and more devices and services becoming compatible, it will soon be the new standard for high quality video.

Here's some further reading you might find interesting:

4K Live Streaming- The Right Questions to Ask

Upload Speeds for 4K Live Streaming