Understanding TV Resolution: 720p, 1080p, 4K, and More

Do you want to know the difference between 720p, 1080p, and 4K resolution? Are you confused about the true meaning of Ultra HD?

Discover how to choose the best resolution for your TV and get ready to enjoy a better viewing experience! You won’t regret it!

This guide is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to television resolutions and the various acronyms associated with them. It is important to understand the terminology and how it affects your television viewing experience before making any investment in a new tv, or in any service offering higher resolution programming.

This guide will explain what different acronymns mean, how they work together, and how they affect your viewing experience. We will cover topics such as 720p, 1080i/1080p, 4K and Ultra HD (UHD) resolutions, as well as more obscure standards such as 8K and 10K.

By the end of this guide you will have a better understanding of these technologies and be able to make an informed decision on purchase options for your next upgrade.

Definition of TV Resolution

TV resolution is a measure of how much detail a television can produce. Resolution affects how large a television looks, how crisp and sharp its image appears, and its overall level of clarity. The higher the resolution, typically the more detailed and lifelike the image will be when watched on TV. This article explains some common terms related to resolution, so you can more easily figure out which TVs offer your desired level of detail.

The majority of TV resolutions today are either HD (high definition, 720p or 1080p) or UHD (ultra-high definition, also known as 4K). Then there is 8K Ultra HD which has almost 16 times as many pixels as full HD. Each type of resolution offers distinct benefits when it comes to picture quality. But no matter what type of display you own, having an understanding of the basic terminology will help you make better decisions about your televisions’ components and settings.

To break it down further: HDTVs offer either 720p or 1080p resolutions — often labeled “HD Ready” or “Full HD” respectively — for capturing standard-definition content such as cable broadcasts or DVDs at high quality levels. UHDTVs offer higher levels of sharpness with 4K (or “UltraHD”) resolutions that indicate a 3840×2160 pixel count per frame; 8K UHD sets offer even higher levels at 7680×4320 pixels per frame — picture this like viewing four Full HD frames simultaneously in one screen!

Importance of TV Resolution

While picture quality is an important factor in choosing a television, it is not the only element to take into consideration. The resolution of the TV screen affects how sharp and clear images appear when viewed from a normal distance. The higher the resolution, the better the picture quality will be.

TV resolution is often expressed as a number followed by its unit of measurement (e.g., 720p or 1080p). Common resolutions found in today’s televisions are 720p, 1080p, and 4K or 8K Ultra HD. Each resolution supports unique dimensions and aspect ratios that vary depending on whether you have a television with an analog (CRT) or digital (LCD/LED) display.

Resolution also determines how much video can be displayed on the screen without loss of fidelity. Higher resolutions such as 1080p and 4K support increased pixel density per square inch which translates to more vibrant colors with better contrast levels; whereas lower resolutions such as 720p do not support these features to the same degree because they contain fewer pixels overall. In addition, higher resolutions will provide smoother video without any noticeable degrees in image quality when compared to lower ones.

Understanding the Terminology

When shopping for a television or streaming device, there is a long list of technical specifications and features to consider. One important factor to consider is the TV resolution, but it can be puzzling to understand what all the different formats—720p, 1080p, 4K UHD, and 8K UHD—means. To add to the confusion, various terms are often used interchangeably; writers who aren’t as familiar with technology may even use incorrect terminology from time to time.

This section takes a closer look at resolution terminology and offers an explanation of how 15 different resolutions (both standard resolution and HD Ready) link with commonly used labels in marketing material. We also explain how progressive and interlaced scans affect the resolution of an image on a television screen.

What do the numbers in TV Resolution mean?

When shopping for a new TV, you may have seen terms like “720p,” “1080p,” and 4K—but what do they really mean? TV resolution is determined by the number of pixels making up the picture on your television. The higher the pixel count, the sharper and more detailed the image will be.

The most common resolutions are 720p and 1080p. 720p is made up of 1 million pixels (720 x 1,280), while 1080p has 2 million (1,920 x 1,080). A step above that is 4K Ultra High Definition (4K UHD), which has 8 million pixels (4K UHD = 3,840 x 2160). Resolution choices higher than 1080p are usually referred to as 4K (also known as Ultra HD or UHD). Although these are technically different resolutions from 720p or 1080p they are lumped into one category because they all offer higher image quality than standard HD televisions.

All of these resolutions also come with various refresh rate options. If a television has a high refresh rate like 120 Hz or 240 Hz then it can provide a smoother motion picture by refreshing the screen faster than traditional 60Hz televisions.

The difference between p and i

The letters “p” and “i” used in TV resolution represent two different types of video scanning.

The letter “p” stands for progressive scan, which means the lines of resolution are drawn on the screen sequentially from top to bottom. This is how most HDTVs work and also how most Standard Definition (SD) TVs work since the early 2000s. On modern TVs, this typically results in images that have better color accuracy and clarity when compared to interlaced scanning.

The letter “i” stands for interlaced scanning where a single frame is drawn every other line—odd lines first, then even lines. This gives an overall less detailed picture with motion artifacts such as ghosting or blurring visible on newer HDTVs. For this reason, interlaced scanning is mostly used for SD resolutions such as 480i or 576i that are available from broadcast television signals or DVD players.

Types of TV Resolutions

When shopping for a TV, or researching your current TV, you’ll likely come across some of the following resolution types. Here’s a quick guide to each resolution type, and their common names:

HD (720p): HD resolutions range from 1280 x 720 (720p) up to 1920 x 1080 (1080i/1080p). In general, an HDTV with 720p would be suitable for watching regular broadcasts and DVDs. A model with 1080i/1080p is better for Blu-ray and video gaming.

4K UHD (2160p): Ultra High Definition TVs reach resolutions as high as 3840 x 2160, for a total of over 8 million pixels and four times the clarity of Full HD resolutions. 4K TVs are ideal if you plan to sit very close to your TV or have an extremely large screen size. Additionally, streaming services like Netflix offer 4K streaming content that can take advantage of 4K quality TVs.

UHD Premium (2160p): This certification specifies standards designed to represent the pinnacle in digital picture quality. A UHD Premium display needs to meet minima requirements concerning its 10-bit color depth output capabilities and HDR compatibility options such both HDR10+and Dolby Vision among other factors.

Standard Definition (SD)

Standard Definition (SD) television has become increasingly rare in recent years with HDTV and Ultra HD resolutions taking over the market. Nevertheless, some models of older TV sets still rely on SD resolution. SD televisions use an aspect ratio of 4:3 and resolutions up to 480p, which is 640×480 pixels.

While it will give you clear enough picture quality for watching your favorite movie or sitcom, it doesn’t provide the sharpness of HDTV or higher resolutions.

High Definition (HD)

High definition (HD) televisions and digital content is becoming more commonplace as prices drop and technology improves. HD content has a picture resolution of at least 720p or higher. The resolution on today’s TVs ranges from 720p (HD Ready) to 4K Ultra HD or greater.

HDTVs typically manufactured in sizes from 32 inches to 85 inches. The image size depends on the distance you are from the television, so a larger television can display a larger picture that’s still crisp with minimal distortion when you are farther away.

720p or Standard HD resolutions have 1280×720 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio (the ratio of width to height). Other types of HD resolutions include 1080i, which has 1080 lines displayed in an interlaced mode (where each line is drawn in alternating frames) and 1080p, which has 1080 lines drawn in progressive scan mode (all lines are shown in each frame).

4K Ultra HD is considered four times the resolution of Full HD, making it four times sharper as well. This type of high definition has 3840 x 2160 pixels that display an incredibly sharp picture even on large screens up to 85″. Additionally 4K UHD can also toggle between multiple aspect ratios including 16:9, 21:9 and 2.35:1 allowing viewers to choose what suits them most when watching content.

Comparison of TV Resolutions

TVs can output video in a variety of resolutions, which dictate how many pixels (individual points of color) your TV is displaying. The resolution of your TV greatly affects the viewing experience. To make sure you’re picking the right TV for your needs, it’s important to understand the different resolutions available and what they mean.

HDTV and Standard Resolutions: The two most common HDTV resolutions are 720p and 1080p — numbers derived from their vertical resolution, or the number of pixels that run down the screen in a column. 720p contains an image resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and 1080p provides a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels — that’s more than two million pixels compared to just over one million pixels, respectively. These standard resolutions provide quality HD picture with good clarity, but they cannot take advantage of new technology like HDR and 4K UHD standards (discussed below).

4K UHD Resolutions: The next step up from standard HD is Ultra High-Definition (UHD), also known as 4K or 2160p. This resolution offers four times more detail than 1080p, including 3840 x 2160 total pixel count — that’s 8 million pixels compared to just over 2 million in standard HD! By having four times as many pixels available, 4K TVs are able to portray an image with greater detail, clarity and brightness than traditional HD TVs. In addition to greater detail per frame, these ultra-high resolutions can often allow for smoother motion due to their higher frames per second (FPS) capabilities. While it’s true that a larger screen might make 1080p look better compared to 720p on a smaller screen size, when talking about picture size vs pixel count there’s no comparison—the larger more powerful 4K UHD wins hands down!

Picture Quality Comparison

When it comes to TV resolution, the numbers can get confusing. You might be familiar with standards like 720p, 1080p and 4K, but what do they mean? 720p and 1080p are two of the most common resolutions in this digital age, but how do you know which one is right for you? In this guide, we will explore the differences between resolution levels so you can make an informed choice when selecting a new television or streaming device.

720p: This resolution offers 720 horizontal lines of resolution and is considered to be standard high definition. With this resolution level, you can experience clear images and videos but there may be visible ‘fuzziness’ when viewed up close.

1080p: Also known as Full HD (High Definition), 1080p offers 1,080 horizontal lines of resolution. This level of resolution provides sharper images than 720p and clearer details due to its higher quality images.

4K Ultra HD: At 4K Ultra HD (also referred to as ‘UHD’ or ‘4K UHD’) resolutions you can enjoy an unbelievable 8 million pixels compared to 2 million pixels in other HDTVs- making your image four times sharper than traditional 1080 screens. 4K TVs come with four times more Resolution per Sq Ft than a regular full-HDTV making them capable of displaying sharper images with finer details such as vibrant colors and richer contrast on larger screens.

8K Super Hi-Vision: 8K Super Hi-Vision is currently the highest amount of picture quality available on the market today with a staggering 33 million pixels! This type of picture quality is seen on higher end TVs – currently not widely available – offering Quadruple the detail level of 4K UHDTVs with an incredibly lifelike viewing experience perfect for watching movies or playing video games on a larger display size without any noticeable blurring or pixelation losses due to its immense amount of supportable screen space!

Display Compatibility Comparison

When shopping for an HDTV, it’s important to pay attention to the display compatibility. Since not all displays will support certain resolutions, you need to make sure that you purchase a display with the appropriate capability. The table below outlines the compatibility of various resolution standards with several common types of displays.

– 720p: Compatible with HDMI 1.2 and higher
– 1080p: Compatible with HDMI 1.3 and higher
– 4K: Compatible with HDMI 2.0 and higher

VGA (D-Sub)
– 720p: Not supported on most VGA displays
– 1080p: Not supported on most VGA displays
– 4K: Not supported by VGA

DisplayPort (DP)
– 720p: Supported by DP version 1.1 or higher
– 1080p: Supported by DP version 1.1 or higher
– 4K: Supported by DP 1.2 or higher


To wrap up, when it comes to TV resolutions, there are several factors to consider when making a purchase. Things like refresh rate and contrast ratio, though not technically part of resolution, can have a big effect on the overall picture quality. The best way to find the right balance of features and resolution is to do some research and read consumer reviews.

Understanding the differences between these numbers can help ensure you’re selecting the best TV for your budget and viewing needs. Lastly, don’t forget important additional features like HDR capabilities which can enhance your visual experience even further.

Recap of the Importance of TV Resolution

TV resolution is an important factor when shopping for a new television, as it determines the level of detail in your picture quality. The majority of today’s TVs have a resolution of 720p, 1080p or 4K Ultra HD. It’s important to understand the differences between these three types of Resolution, as well as other available resolutions, to help make your purchase decision.

720p: 720p is the most common type of HD resolution used in televisions and set-top boxes today. Its pixel count is 1,280 by 720, so it’s not as sharp as its higher-resolution counterparts. However, it produces more detailed pictures than standard definition (SD) TVs.

1080p: 1080p is a high definition resolution with 1,920 by 1,080 pixels per frame. This resolution produces significantly sharper images than 720p—in that each pixel runs twice the size on vertical and horizontal measurement—so it’s noticeably better when watching movies or TV shows in full screen mode.

4K Ultra HD: This resolution is becoming increasingly popular among consumers because it offers even more pixels—3,840 by 2160—than 1080p TVs (also known as UHD). This translates into even sharper images and more lifelike visuals for all your favorite television shows and movies. Additionally, 4K UHD has four times the pixel count of Full HD as well as faster frame rates for smoother motion during action scenes!

In addition to these three types of TV Resolution there are also various other resolutions available such as 576i (SD), 1080i (best quality HDTV content) and 1440X2560 (Quad High Defintion). It’s important to think about what kind of content you watch most when deciding which type of TV Resolution best fits your needs.

Final thoughts on TV Resolution

It is important to remember that the resolution alone may not be enough to determine the best picture quality. Other factors such as size, brightness, contrast, dynamic range and color accuracy contribute to the overall viewing experience. Additionally, it is important to understand that the implementation of a standard is just as important. A well-implemented 1080p set with high refresh rates and great local dimming can produce better images than a poorly implemented 4K set with no motion control or low Native Contrast ratio.

It’s also key to bear in mind that resolution isn’t the only factor when selecting a TV; other important elements include HDR compatibility, HDMI/USB ports for accessories such as media players or gaming systems, and smart TV capabilities for streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. As long as you have an understanding of the different resolutions available on today’s TVs and how each affects your viewing experience, you will be well-equipped when making your final choice.

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