What is 4K resolution? What should you know about it?

In our ever-modernizing world, 4K appears to be thrown around everywhere, especially when it comes to our electronic devices. Despite 4K seemingly taking over our televisions and recording devices, do you know what it actually means, and more importantly, what does it do to digital devices?

At DEXON Systems, we help guide our customers through the ever-confusing digital world by providing all the information they need to understand their devices. To do this, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to 4K resolution to help you gain a better understanding of how this impacts your devices.

In this article, we discuss the definition of TV resolution and explain what 4K means and why it’s called such. We’ll also discuss what 4K offers your TV quality, how it’s implemented, and the future of 4K television.

To find out the true value of 4K, keep reading…

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What is TV resolution?

TV resolution refers to the number of pixels there are in a television display. We tend to spend a lot of time discussing TV resolution as this tends to dictate the quality of our television image and thus our enjoyment. We also tend to talk about TV resolution when discussing television units that offer higher resolutions.

This is because these devices tend to offer a better viewing experience when consuming high-resolution TV content. In some cases, you might not be able to tell the difference between a television that offers 1080p or 4K, but the number of available pixels makes a significant difference between devices.


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Usually, the higher the resolution, the sharper and more detailed an image will appear, and generally speaking, it improves your viewing experience. TV resolution can make a significant difference to consumers, especially those who frequently game with a 4K TV. This makes graphics sharper and more distinct, providing a more real-life feel to a game, TV show, or movie.

TV resolution

What does 4K resolution mean?

So, what does 4K resolution mean? Well, 4K resolution is the horizontal display resolution of 4,000 pixels. This means that the display has four times the number of pixels as a standard 1080p display. There are a couple of types of 4K resolution that we refer to. These are The Digital Cinema Initiatives Standard which is 4096x2160 pixels. The other option is the standard 4K resolution for TVs and monitors that you’ll usually find in your home, which is 3840x2160 pixels.

Why is it called 4K?

There’s a very simple idea behind the same ‘4K’. Putting it simply, it stands for 4 Kilo (meaning a thousand). 4K is named after the image width rather than the height, like 1080p.

The four is simply there to state how many thousands of pixels there are. You might also hear 4K referred to as 2160p if you tend to hang around the ultra-technical…


What does 4K offer? How good is the quality of 4K compared to other resolutions?

This table will demonstrate the differences between 4K and other resolutions like 1080p:





4K is otherwise known as Ultra-High Definition and for every good reason due to the higher quality and resolution.


This resolution stands at 3840x2160 pixels.

1080p is still high quality, but only offers 1920x1020 pixels.

Horizontal pixels

4K has 4,000 horizontal pixels, differing from the usual scale that measures vertical pixels.


There are 2160 vertical pixels in 4K TVs.

1080p is a vertical measurement and offers 1080 vertical pixels, significantly lower than 4K.

Aspect ratio

4K has an aspect ratio of four times that of 1080p. This is 16:9 with eight million pixels for 4K.

1080p has only two million pixels with considerably lower quality as a result.

FullHD-4K compare

How is 4K implemented?

To consume content in 4K, users will need access to a 4K TV or monitor. That means that users with a monitor that doesn’t support 4K ultra-HD who try to consume 4K related content will receive this at a standard lower resolution. Therefore, your monitor or TV will make all the difference when it comes to implementing 4K.

You’ll also need some additional tools to consume 4K content on a 4K TV. You’ll need a 4K streaming device or a 4K Blu-ray player, an HDMI cable that is compatible with 4K devices, and a high internet speed. Users will need a bandwidth speed of around 10Mbps and 20 Mbps. You might also need higher speeds depending on the device and the content you’re trying to stream.

Individual devices also require an extensive list to support 4K resolution. Here’s a guide to what your TV or monitor will need:

  • 3840x2160 pixels in resolution or higher
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR)
  • Peak brightness and a black level of more than 1,000 nits peak brightness; less than 0.05 nits black level
  • The peak brightness level of more than 540 bits and less than 0.0005 nits black level

How much 4K content is available for consumers?

Luckily, consumers benefit from a large range of viewing options when it comes to supporting 4K content. Currently, Netflix has the highest concentration of 4K on-demand options, with up to 600 options in 4K resolution. Additionally, larger companies like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Hulu are great options if you wish to consume 4K content.

Users can also look to popular streaming sites like YouTube for 4K content, as some creators film their video content on compatible devices.

Gamers can also benefit from 4K resolutions, with newer consoles like the PlayStation 5 supporting 4K content. Users can also use this console as a 4K Blu-ray player if they wish to.

4K content

What does 4K resolution really mean for the viewers?

Now you know the ins and outs of 4K, what value does this actually add to your viewing experience? Well, the key difference you’ll see when using a 4K compatible device is that images appear much more natural.


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 It’ll look as if you’re actually in the movie you’re watching, not separated by a screen. You’ll also see a significant amount of detail in the image, allowing you to pick up on tiny additions you might not notice when using another monitor.

What does the future hold for 4K resolution?

4K looks set to take over the world in the next few years. In the U.S alone, 44% of households already own a 4K compatible television, with studies suggesting this is only going to increase in the coming years.

So, what’s next for 4K TV? This resolution is set to stay for the time being but will likely be replaced by advancements in the coming decades. Currently, 8K is the highest resolution television you can buy on the market, offering ultra-high definition with crisper images. However, due to the accessibility of 4K televisions and how many devices like games consoles and DSLR cameras are now 4K compatible, this resolution looks here to stay and only grows more from here!

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Final thoughts

If you’re looking for 4K compatible technology that’s designed to optimize your video wall operation. Look no further than DEXON’s video wall technology. Our controllers, like the DXN6800 14U, provide ultra high definition, ready to take your video wall project to the next level. Contact us now to find out more, or check out our blog, where we share more about all things technology and the A/V industry.

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