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What is 4K Ultra HD – Quick Introduction

By | November 26, 2014

This article will quickly introduce you to the 4K Ultra HD world. You will get to know what is it, how it fits into current HD formats.

To get to know which video cables support 4K and what needs to be considered please see related article Check if your Video Cable Supports 4K Ultra HD.

What is 4K UHR

UHR stands for Ultra High Resolution and 4K means that the resolution shows 4000 pixels horizontally which is around 4 times than 1080p Full HD content.
You may ask how is it 4 times bigger when Full HD is 1920/1080 and 4K is 3840/2160? it’s two times bigger! (1920 x 2 is 3840)

Let me explain it with a simple picture:

4K is 4 times than Full HD

As you can see one Ultra HD screen contains 4 Full HD screens!

Table below will help you understand where exactly 4K fits in the list of all HD screens.

Name Alternative name Columns Width
in pixels
Lines Height
in pixels
480p Standard 720 480
720p HD, HD Ready 1280 720
1080p Full HD, FHD 1920 1080
4K 2160p, Ultra HD, UHD 3840 2160

You might think that if there is so much more pixels 3800×2160 comparing to Full HD how is that transported between monitor and computer? Do I need new cable?

All new 4K monitors have HDMI and DisplayPort and number of those ports varies depending on the manufacturer. Unfortunately the fact that you have such a physical port on your computer does not give you certainty that it will handle a 4K display.
In desktop computers you can upgrade graphics card, but laptops owners must unfortunately replace the laptop.

Again for more information about Ultra HD 4K support in common video cables like HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, VGA see related article Check if your Video Cable Supports 4K Ultra HD

Hardware

Last thing to consider is the processing power (CPU and GPU) that will be needed to render 4 times more pixels than Ultra HD.
If you want to play modern games at a resolution of 4K on slower hardware then you better invest in your computer’s guts or else it will become a very detailed slide shows.

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