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What does 4k video mean?

You’ve probably noticed the mainstream tech buzz in the entertainment and media industry. For the last 2 years all of the talk has surrounded the widespread adoption of 4K video, particularly by consumers. But what does 4K video mean?

4K is a shorthand moniker that describes an Ultra-High Definition Resolution in a wide frame 16:9 format display. There are 3840 pixels by 2160 pixels in a 4K display.

“4K is relatively new on the consumer side but has spread like wildfire thanks to adoption by TV manufacturers, media player like Roku and Apple TV, and streaming services like Netflix. On a media production side, however, 4K has been in use for over 10 years.” – Jesse Dybka, video producer

So you might be asking yourself: Why would a video production company use 4K when consumers couldn’t even view it?

“4K gives a lot of benefits on the production side, where having extra resolution gives higher quality video data for use in editing. It does take up about 4 times the storage space of 1080P video though, so production companies have to weigh the benefits and downsides when video won’t be viewed at 4K.” – Jesse Dybka, video producer

4K is used more often than UHD for one simple reason

4K video comparison4K is the name for a digital cinema standard which uses width instead of height, and the consumer standard is properly called UHD for Ultra High Definition. But since 4K sounds much more exciting advertisers have run with it. At a consumer level, 4K and UHD are interchangeable.

4K has stuck as a moniker for consumers, and it’s actually quite fitting, since our minds naturally compare it to 1080p. It sounds 4 times bigger. Even though the 4K refers to a width measurement and 1080p refers to a height measurement, it isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison. But, in the end result, 4K  resolution has 4 times the pixel count, and 4 times the data information when compared to 1080p, so perhaps it’s fitting that it sounds 4 times bigger to consumers.

So, the next time someone asks you “What does 4K video mean?” you know what to tell them!

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