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It was easy for us to acclimate to higher quality TV screens. Most of us have probably forgotten how TV screens used to look before HD. High-definition (HD) is 1080p, meaning it is 1920 pixels across by 1080 pixels down (1920x1080) for a total of 2,073,600 pixels. Pixel, derived from the phrase “Picture Element,” is the basic unit of programmable color. As you know, the more pixels you have, the clearer and sharper your pictures will look.
You also have to take screen size into consideration. If you have a smaller 20-inch screen, the amount of pixels within that size impacts image quality less than a 50 or 100-inch screen. As we purchase bigger TVs, we want better image quality, which means more pixels are needed.
The newest television products, as displayed at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), include 4K and 8K resolution displays, but what do those numbers represent? In simplest terms, they represent better picture quality, consisting of more pixels.
The standard for screen resolution is now known as Ultra High Definition (UHD or Ultra HD), but you’ll see TVs often labeled as 4K or 4K Ultra HD. To be exact, a 4K screen is 3840x2160, for an impressive 8,294,400 pixels -- 4 times the resolution of the previous HD 1080p.
There is one big question for us to ask: Where do we get the 4K content to watch on these UHD screens? In order for content to be broadcast in 4K, it would have to be filmed in a high enough resolution, and not all networks are providing this service yet. Some of the streamed content is 4K, but the selection is very limited right now.