Are you getting ready to buy a new TV? Wondering whether it’s worth buying a 4K television over a 1080p TV? Is UHD really worth it? Is there really a huge difference between these types of TV screen resolutions? What does it all mean?
If you’re struggling with these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together an article with details that will explain the differences between 1080p and 4K/UHD TVs, and more. Let’s get started!
What is 1080p?
This is a reference to the resolution of a television screen. A 1080p television is one that displays a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels on the screen, with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Most programming on TV, your Blue Ray discs, and more is created for screens with 1080p resolution.
1080p is also called Full HD (FHD), which is the current standard resolution for all types of programming including YouTube. If you see “HD” on a television at the store, it means the TV is 1920 x 1080p. They’ll also have an aspect ratio of 16:9. In fact, most of the TVs current for sale are 1080p devices.
Most homes and businesses use TVs and even monitors that have a 1080p resolution. These are more common, as well as affordable.
What’s Does the 4K Mean on a TV?
Just like the 1080p refers to the resolution of the screen, the “4K” also refers to the resolution of a TV screen. This is a reference to the number of pixels, which on a 4K screen is either 3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160.
You may also hear 4K referred to as Ultra HD (UHD). This may appear on videos you watch, which means they have the ability to be played on a 4K TV.
While 4K TVs are not as common right now, this is slowly changing. More television manufacturers are slowly moving away from 1080p TVs, to 4K. In fact, if you’ve been recently shopping for a new television, you may have noticed there are now more 4K devices available than in the past. And you may have noticed the prices on 4K TVs are also coming down.
The good news is that 4K televisions will keep coming down in price. The main reason is the development of a newer screen that uses 8K. But you don’t need to worry—4Ks will be around for a quite a while.
How Do 1080p & 4K Images Compare?
When it comes to the image you see on the TV, you may notice quite a bit of difference. The reason is that the 4K image has more pixels than the 1080p image.
A pixel is the very smallest portion of an image displayed on a monitor or a TV screen. Each image is created of thousands of pixels. Pixels are displayed horizontally, as well as vertically on the screen. So, if a screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, this means the screen will show the image with 1920 pixels across the screen (horizontally), and 1080 pixels down the screen (vertically). For a 4K TV this would be either 3840 pixels horizontally and 2160 vertically, or 4096 pixels horizontally and 2160 vertically.
Think of it this way, if you have one image that’s made of 1080 pixels and one that’s made with 2160 pixels, the 1080p image is smaller than then the 2160p image. This means that you won’t see as many details or vibrant colors in the 1080p image, and you’ll see more details and colors in the 2160p image.
This is the very difference between 1080p and 4K TV screens. The 4K TV will have many more details in the image due to the higher number of pixels that make up the image. This is why 4K is so popular, especially with gamers and more.
Which is Better – 4K or 1080p?
The answer depends on several variables:
- Available content: while 4K TVs are becoming more popular for home use, there’s still not a lot of 4K programming available when it comes to movies and games. A couple of streaming services have already begun using 4K including Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you have these, then 4K may be the way you’d like to go. However, if you have a lot of content such as Blue Rays and DVDs, then these were made for 1080p. You won’t have a better picture, and the 4K TV is not able to “update” the images. So, 1080p might be a better option.
- Availability: as noted earlier, manufacturers are starting to slowly phase out 1080p televisions. Instead, they’re turning more and more to producing 4K TVs. So, if you’re worried about your new TV becoming quickly obsolete, and having a hard time finding parts if it breaks, then you may want to consider a 4K TV.
- Price: right now, 1080p TVs are a lot cheaper than 4K televisions. They’ve been around for a while now, and manufacturers are wanting to phase them out to produce 4K TVs. So, if your budget it tight, then you may want to consider a 1080p TV. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. You’ll still have beautiful images to watch. On the other hand, if you like to take a leap and go for the newest and best, then a 4K TV might be the right option for you.
Is It Worth Buying a 4K TV?
The answer is yes, if you’re going to invest in TV media that uses 4K resolution. If not, then the 1080p resolution will be just as good for your situation.
As manufacturers continue to phase out the 1080p screens, 4K will become more dominant. This means that most content in that time will be 4K including streaming media and more. And if you’re a content creator, a photographer, or a graphic designer, then a 4K screen will best option for you. Keep in mind these screens are still quite a bit more expensive than the 1080p televisions.
On other hand, if you’re not in a creative profession that relies on the best images, and you’re not currently invested in 4K media, then a 1080p screen is the right option for you. Plus, these are a more affordable option if you’re on a tight budget.
Both 1080p and 4K have their pros and cons—the choice really comes down to what you prefer, your professional requirements, the type of media you use (created for 1080p or 4K), and your budget.