With the increasing popularity of 4K TVs, 1080p TVs are in tough competition. However, compared to 1080p TVs, 4K TVs may have higher resolution and more vibrant colors, but they are also more expensive and have a smaller selection of available media. Therefore, planning for a new TV might be daunting for you.
So, you might be wondering, “Is UHD worth the upgrade?” Let’s evaluate by discussing what 1080p is, what 4K is, and the differences between the two in this blog. Before that, let’s learn what screen resolution is.
What is Screen Resolution?
The resolution of a screen is the measure of its pixel density. You’ll often find it written as (horizontal resolution) x (vertical resolution). Multiplying those two values together yields the total number of screen pixels.
In general, the greater the resolution of a screen, the more finely detailed an image will appear, down to the individual hairs on an actor’s face or the intricate patterns on a butterfly’s wing.
Presently, 1280 x 720 (commonly known as 720p or HD), 1920 x 1080 (often known as 1080p or Full HD), and 4K (also known as Ultra HD) are the most popular screen dimensions.
However, a larger resolution does not automatically result in better image quality. A TV’s pixel density, or number of pixels per inch, is another factor to consider if you’re after the highest picture quality and color contrast possible (PPI). Simply put, more pixels per inch provide more detail and a more vibrant color palette.
Now, let’s move further.
What is 4K?
One of the newest features in the display industry is the 4K resolution. So, if you think the 2 million pixels on a 1080p TV is a lot, wait till you see the 8 million pixels found in a 4K TV. To be more specific, the horizontal resolution of a 4K screen is 2160, and the vertical resolution is 3840.
Moreover, Ultra HD (4K) and UHD (short for “Ultra High Definition”) are additional names for 4K. 4K is more than conventional in theatres. Instead, it is also becoming increasingly common in homes.
Why Choose 4k?
Finding a 1080p TV more significant than 44 inches is getting more difficult. However, since a 4K screen also contains four times as many pixels as a 1080p screen, it allows you to follow better the action in a movie or fast-paced sporting event.
HDR and Dolby Vision improve color depth considerably over what a 1080p screen can provide. And gaming has always been cutting-edge in terms of performance. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, together with the plethora of 4K games being released by big companies, also provides gamers with unparalleled immersion.
4K displays are still more expensive than their 1080p equivalents, but they are becoming more affordable. In other words, upgrading is looking more appealing.
What is 1080p?
The term “1080p” is used to describe the resolution of a screen, just like “4K.” The word comes from its high-definition resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Full High Definition, or FHD, is a more common shorthand for 1080p.
As with the “HD” labels, they are not equivalent. In other words, videos are typically described as “HD” when they are 720p, a much lesser resolution than 1080p.
Even though 4K TV has been around for a while, more people are still using 1080p. This is because a 1080p monitor or TV is already standard in most homes and businesses due to its widespread availability and low price. Simply put, it’s the best pixel resolution for gamers and content makers, making it more widespread.
Why Choose 1080p?
1080p sets are available for very little money. For the same price as a high-end 4K TV, you can have a television, a gaming console, and quite a few games. Another factor is that the further you are from the TV, the less noticeable the resolution difference becomes.
A 1080p television is still a good investment if you frequently watch Blu-ray and DVD movies. Furthermore, Netflix’s 4K programming is only available to those who subscribe to their most expensive plan. While a complete transition to 4K resolution by streaming services is inevitable, that day has not yet arrived.
The Difference Between 4K vs. 1080p
There are some blatant differences between 4K and 1080p, but some subtler distinctions are worth exploring to grasp the two resolutions better.
To begin, the resolution is the first and foremost difference between these two types. In terms of picture quality, 4K is unrivaled.
A higher resolution of 4K allows for sharper images, especially at short distances. This gives a better definition to the lines and colors, making it a more aesthetically pleasing experience overall. However, it takes a rather sizable display to see the distinction, typically 50 inches or more.
Simply put, you don’t have to be a gamer or content creator to appreciate the superior visual quality that 4K provides.
The higher number of pixels in a 4K television enables more vibrant colors and subtle dark shadows than a 1080p display. While OLED and HDR have a more significant influence, the resolution is still important.
For the time being, 1080p televisions are superior in terms of available programming. Even if you have a 4K TV, you may watch many upscaled 1080p content because many shows have yet to jump to 4K. When high-end 3D graphics are used, even the newest computers and game consoles can struggle to maintain 4K.
Availability and Cost
By 2023, 4K televisions will have become the norm rather than the exception. Inflation and supply chain problems aside, the price of 4K panels has decreased dramatically in recent years, and those savings have been passed on to consumers. However, TVs with a resolution of 1080p are even more affordable, although manufacturers rarely make them in sizes larger than 40 inches.
Is UHD Worth it?
Now, do you think it is worth investing in 4K? The short answer is yes if you want to use the 4K resolution. If you don’t, 1080p will do you just fine. There’s no denying that 4K significantly improved over 1080p in picture clarity and sharpness. However, there are many factors to consider before diving in headfirst.
If you’re looking to buy a new TV, all you need to do is make sure the screen size is appropriate for the viewing distance you want to use and that you’ll have content available in native 4K quality. Because ultra-wide and lower-resolution high refresh rate displays are better options for gamers and casual users, only content makers will find 4K valuable for monitors.
The rapid development of technology means that numerous websites directly provide 4K video streaming. In other words, most media, including video games and movies, will eventually convert to 4K quality, so don’t worry if you can’t find anything right now.
In addition, creators can also benefit from using a 4K display. Thus, you deserve the most significant screen to view your creations if you work with visual media like graphics, film, or photography. Furthermore, you can hold out for longer if you want a 4K but are limited financially.
Your personal preferences and practical requirements are the primary considerations in determining whether or not to purchase a UHD. To be sure, 4K is more appealing to those who have a greater need for high-definition screens. While 1080p remains a viable option due to content availability, consumers should know that the format is on the verge of obsolescence and may soon be more restrictive.