UHD vs 4K vs 8K: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. UHD (Ultra High Definition) and 4K are used interchangeably and refer to a display resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, providing four times the resolution of Full HD.
  2. 8K is a higher resolution standard with 7680 x 4320 pixels, offering twice the width and height of UHD and 16 times the pixel count of Full HD.
  3. While UHD/4K displays are widely available and adopted in consumer electronics, 8K displays and content are still relatively limited and less common in the market.

What is UHD?

UHD is the abbreviation used for the term “Ultra High Definition” and was introduced by a Japanese public Network, NHK. Formerly, the term was used to display a minimum of 3840*2160 pixels, which was later changed to any display higher than 1080 pixels.

The picture quality of the UHD display is good and can be assumed to be near a full HD display. Compared with other resolutions, UHD has dull picture quality despite giving a full HD experience to the user.

The content availability for UHD is much more common and can be found anywhere. Many streaming platforms provide this experience in their free or basic subscription plans. Thus, the cost of a UHD display is pocket friendly. It is a much more common display. Thus, it doesn’t require high processing power for the content display.  

What is 4K?

4K displays have a resolution of 3840*2160 pixels, which is more than 8 million pixels, and as the name suggests, they are four times the full HD resolution. The picture quality experience in a 4K display is clear, defined, textured, and detailed, which is better than a full HD display.

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Most streaming content, like – movies, games, shows, etc., are mainly developed in the 4K display picture quality. And thus, many streaming platforms allow you to do so with different subscription packages.

The incompatible content can also be upscaled in 4K as it gives a full-color experience to the user. The cost of a 4K display is said to be budget-friendly for customers. Also, it requires less processing power to display the 4K content.

What is 8K?

8K displays have a resolution of 7680*4320 pixels, almost 16 times compared to a display of full HD. In an 8K resolution display, they have approximately 33 million pixels, so they provide an extraordinary view, clear, detailed, etc. The 8k displays used in digital cameras are around 8198*4320 pixels. 

Content on streaming platforms is much less available for the 8K display, while movies are available for the same. Being rare in content availability and much more, the 8K display cost is expensive and requires much more processing power to display the respective content.

The viewing angle of the 8k display is 100 degrees which allows the users to watch videos with varied angles. It has a frame rate of -120 frames per second.

Difference Between UHD, 4K and 8K

  1. UHD comprises all resolutions higher than 1080 pixels, which includes 4K and 8K, respectively. However, a 4K has a resolution of around 3840*2160 pixels, and 8K has a resolution of 7680*4320 pixels.
  2. The more the resolution, the better the picture quality one experiences. Thus, the picture quality of a UHD is less, while of the 4K the quality is moderate or good, and for the 8K, the picture quality is clear and detailed.
  3. Most content is available in UHD and 4K resolution, while availability is rare for 8K. 
  4. The cost of UHD and 4K displays is budget-friendly, whereas, comparatively, 8K displays are rarely expensive. 
  5. The processing power required to display UHD and 4K content is less than that required to display 8K content.
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Comparison Between UHD, 4K and 8K

Parameter of ComparisonUHD4K8K
ResolutionHigher than 1080 pixels3840*2160 pixels7680*4320 pixels
Picture QualityLessModerateHigh
Processing PowerLessModerateHigh
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9647504/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0141933117303101

Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

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