To understand 4K, consider first current HDTV, which offers 1,920-twenty pixels—the tiny dots that make up the picture—across the width of the screen. The more pixels, the sharper the image. Now, imagine a TV that doubles the number of pixels across, to 3,840, which is approximately four thousand, or "4K." Vertical scanning lines are double as well, from 1080p to 2160p.
4K resolution is effectively four times that of Full HD, so you'll see the picture, not the pixels, even up close. The first time you see it, you
might not believe your eyes. Movies will be more detailed than you've ever seen on a television before, and sports in 4K will make you feel
like you're at the game.
Disclaimer: Picture is simulated.
What sort of real-world difference should we expect when comparing 4K video resolution to our current 2K TV? At 4K, distant objects in a
scene can be rendered with greater clarity than at 2K, with more nuances of light and shadow and focus for a greater sense of perceived
depth. Some people say that even 2D 4K images look three-dimensional! Now you might just be able to judge for yourself whether that
tennis player’s toe really touched the service line on that so-called foot fault.
Because pixels are units of colored light, their greater quantity in 4K enables more layered transitions and subtler gradations of tones, so
the hues we see up on screen will be truer to what we see in nature.
2K HD TVs carry a recommended viewing distance of three times (3X) the TV screen height, but with a 4K display you can move in to
one-and-a-half times (1.5X) screen height without exposing individual pixels. Sitting closer better fills your field of vision, assuring total
immersion in whatever you’re watching.
Disclaimer: 4K vs. 2K resolution dramatized to depict pixel density of each format.
The specifications for 4K technology were developed for the theatrical exhibition of movies. The idea was to create an alternative to the
expensive production and distribution of film, but with comparable visual quality. This same technology has now found its way into
4K video capture of major motion pictures is rapidly becoming the standard in Hollywood. But this high-quality digital video file must be
down-converted to 1080p for high-definition Blu-ray, whereas the original image can actually be displayed at its full native resolution on a
4K display, exactly as the filmmakers intended it to be seen!