Difference Between 4K and 1080p

The main difference between 4K and 1080p is that 4K has higher resolution than 1080p. 4K provides more image clarity and represents more vibrant and realistic colors with higher frame rates in comparison to 1080p.

At present, there are various resolutions for TV and monitors. 4K and 1080p are two of them. 4K refers to Ultra High Definition while 1080p refers to High Definition.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is 4K
      – Functionality, Usage
2. What is 1080p
     – Functionality, Usage
3. Difference Between 4K and 1080p
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: 4K, 1080p, Resolution

Difference Between 4k and 1080p - Comparison Summary


What is 4K

A pixel is the smallest unit of a digital image or a video that is visible on a digital display device. In 4K, the resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels. It is a higher resolution compared to 1080p. In other words, it is around four times higher than the number of pixels on a screen in comparison to 1080p technology. The viewing distance for a 4K television can be twice as close as a regular TV.

Difference Between 4k and 1080p

Figure 1: 4K Image

Overall, 4K provides more quality images. The images have smoother outlines for distinct objects and provide more added details for supreme clarity. Therefore, the main advantage of 4K is that it offers better quality images at a higher resolution.

What is 1080p

The resolution of 1080p is 1920 x 1080 pixels. The ‘p’ denotes the progressive scan. It scans every row in a progressive manner. Generally, 1080p provides better quality images than 1080i, which is with interlaced scanning. It provides clear and sharper images but does not provide detailed images as 4K. Furthermore, the total number of pixels represented using 1080p is less than that of 4K. Usually, equipment such as game consoles and Blu-ray disc use 1080p.

Difference Between 4k and 1080p


4K: A horizontal screen display resolution in the order of 4000 pixels

1080p: HDTV and HD video resolution with 1080 horizontal lines of vertical resolution with progressive scan


4K: Resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels

1080p: Resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels


4K: Ultra High Definition (UHD)

1080p: High Definition (HD)

Picture Quality

4K: Provides more picture quality with added details to the image

1080p: Does not provide more details of the image as in 4K


The difference between 4K and 1080p is that 4k has a higher resolution than 1080p. It may be difficult to notice the difference between 4K and 1080p with the natural eyesight. But 4K is beneficial for use in manufacturing industry and healthcare to view detailed images. It is also a good option for the uses who wish to see the motion pictures in a highly detailed format.


1. “What Is 4K Video Resolution? – Definition from WhatIs.com.” SearchUnifiedCommunications, Available here.
2. Morrison, Geoffrey. “TV Resolution Confusion: 1080p, 2K, UHD, 4K, 8K, and What They All Mean.” CNET, CNET, 25 Jan. 2016, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “1772950” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Lithmee

Lithmee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Engineering and is reading for her Master’s degree in Computer Science. She is passionate about sharing her knowldge in the areas of programming, data science, and computer systems.

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