4K UHD vs. Full HD What’s the difference?

What is the difference between Full HD and 4K?

The main difference between a Full HD TV and a 4K TV is that the latter provides a sharper image than the former. Both Full HD and 4K UHD represent the resolution of a display. The term resolution is considered as the pixel count in digital imaging. Full HD resolution means there are true 1920 pixels in width and 1080 pixels in height. In this article you can read what the terms full HD and 4K mean, we indicate where you can encounter both resolutions and we list the differences between the 2 for you.

The technical differences

full hd

Full HD

Full HD is the resolution that you regularly encounter with televisions and beamers, Blu-ray players and video content. The image is 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high: a total of 2.07 megapixels. Full HD is also referred to as 1080i and 1080p. Below you can read more about the difference between these terms. Do not confuse Full HD and HD Ready with each other. With a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, HD Ready has less than half the pixels of Full HD. This difference is clearly visible at a short distance or on a large screen.



4K, which was also called UHD and formerly Ultra HD, is a resolution that is common in televisions and regularly in beamers. The image resolution is 3840 x 2160, which equates to 8.3 megapixels. TVs, media players, and videos with 4K resolution, therefore, show 4 times as many pixels as Full HD images. Many 4K televisions and video players have an upscale on board that makes Full HD videos appear sharper. This way, you can also enjoy the sharper image of a 4K television with images recorded in Full HD.

The difference between 1080i and 1080p

The number stands for the number of horizontal image lines of Full HD: 1080. The ‘i’ stands for interlaced. For types of images, the TV builds up an image by blinking the even and odd lines alternately. The ‘p’ in 1080p stands for progressive. The television makes a picture to refresh all 1080 picture lines from top to bottom, one by one. You can easily recognize the difference with fast-moving images. With 1080i you can see that the even and odd image lines clearly differ from each other. 4K images are always progressive and are therefore referred to as 2160p.

Do you choose full HD or 4K?

Whether you should go for a 4K television depends on a number of things. Are you a fanatic gamer or movie watcher? Then it is wise to go for a 4K television because most films and games can be seen in that resolution. Do you mainly watch the eight o’clock news, talk shows and every now and then a movie? Then you could opt for full HD. The screen size and the distance between you and the television also matters. The bigger your television is and or the closer you are to the screen, the more you can get from 4K.

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