4k Ultra HD vs 1080p TV

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Updated January 23, 2023

The factors that make up the best TV display technology are always changing. The road that began at the 1939 world’s fair — where TVs were first marketed and sold to the public — is long and winding, but right now, we’ll be comparing a 4k Ultra HD TV vs a 1080p TV. And if you want to continue reading, we have another article that compares 4k vs UHD TVs.


  • 4k Ulta HD TVs have four times the amount of pixel density as standard HD and offer more vibrant colors and heightened detail.
  • 1080p (also known as standard definition HD) is being overtaken by 4k UHD and will soon be out of production.
  • The visual difference between each video resolution is hardly noticeable at a regular distance.

Is 4K Better than 1080p?

What distinguishes these two formats is a matter of display resolution. Resolution measures the pixel count on a screen by taking the number of horizontal pixels and the number of vertical pixels. Then, the pixel counts are combined to calculate screen resolution. For consumer TVs, we often compare 1080p vs 4K. However, before 4K became commonplace, there used to be a comparison of 720p vs 1080p. 720p models were often referred to as HD TVs, while 1080p models were considered full HD TVs.

Insider Tip

Remember that if you switch from a standard HD to a 4k Ultra HD TV, you will have to buy an upgraded Blu-Ray player along with new Blu-Ray discs.

So, is there a difference in either of these HD viewing experiences that’ll make you reconsider your current setup?

The difference in resolution is rigidly numeric. 1080p, also known as standard HD, has two million pixels (1920×1080); 4k Ultra HD has eight million (3840×2160). For additional resources on 4k TVs, you can check out this article that shows the distinctions between 4k TV 8-bit vs 10-bit.

Resolution and Image Quality

On paper, it’s evident that the 4k Ultra HD has a superior resolution. But many claim the difference is marginal. At a close distance, the benefits of 4k UHD are clearly understood: deeper blacks, heightened detail, and a more dynamic range of color. But with every step taken away from the screen, these advantages in picture quality diminish. For this reason, many have stuck with their standard-definition TVs.

Another factor influencing the entire image quality is the size of the screen. Size is more of an issue for those who desire larger televisions. This issue is because larger pixels are more noticeable with a larger screen. But it is said that for screens under 65″, there isn’t much sense in going with 4k UHD.


1080p TVs are quickly becoming an endangered species. Most manufacturers are moving away from production, making it harder and harder to find one. However, suppose you are looking for a TV for a smaller space. In that case, 1080p is a great, affordable option, and smaller screen sizes are still common to find new in stores.


If you don’t plan to view your television from a close distance, you ought not to prioritize 4k Ultra HD over 1080p.


Is ultra-high-definition worth it?

Whether opting for this resolution is worth it depends on the size of the TV you require, as well as your expected average viewing distance.

Can you tell the difference between 4k TV and a 1080p TV?

Most studies show that people can only tell the difference between the two resolutions while standing a few feet away from the screen.

Is 4k superior to 1080p when it comes to gaming?

If you typically play within a few feet of your TV or monitor, it may be beneficial to go with 4k Ultra HD.

STAT: The percentage of households with 4k TVs increased from 31 percent in 2019 to 44 percent in 2021. (source)

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