4K Video - What’s the Big Deal?

26 Mar 2018

It seems like it was only yesterday when High Definition (HD) became the standard for video - everything looked sharper, crisper and just better! Well, whether you’re savvy in the digital video department or not, in the past year you’ve probably noticed that watching a HD video just doesn't look as good as it used to.

So what’s the reason for this? Well we all know how fast technology is evolving these days (there’s a new iPhone literally every year) and video is definitely not an exception to this - all the videos we’re exposed to online are being shot with the latest and greatest cameras, displayed on high performing screens. Movies, ads, online videos are now mostly shot and delivered in 4K - Ultra High Definition.

4K, or UHD, has been a real revolution in the world of video, across all online platforms and devices.

You’ve probably heard about it, but what exactly is 4K and why should you consider it when it comes to your online videos?

It is all about video resolution. Resolution is the number of pixels contained in the frame captured by a camera, or the image displayed on a screen. HD video is 1920 pixels wide and 1080 lines high, however UHD or 4K videos is twice that at 3840 pixels by 2160 lines, which YouTube, Television Networks and online streaming platforms like Netflix have adopted as their standard. Basically, a video shot 4K is roughly four times bigger than a High Definition video, whose frame size is 1920x1080 pixels.

But this doesn’t just mean having a 'bigger' video! Let's have a look at some of the advantages of 4K video in more detail.

Screening and Enlargement - Go Closer!

The first and main difference between 4K and 1080p is, as we said above, size. That means the frame contains a lot more detail, it looks more defined and can be enlarged up to much bigger screens without losing quality or becoming pixelated (the more pixels you have the less your image is stretched). Many of the TV sets put on the market today are 4K, and with them you can - and should - sit closer to the screen to appreciate the sharpness and quality of the video and almost feel part of the scene you’re watching.

Not Just for 4k Displays

We’ve talked about big screens and 4K TVs, but we all know that more and more people are watching video on the go rather then on desktops or large screens.

So you’re probably asking yourself “Why would I need to shoot at a higher resolution when my video is aimed at mobile users?”

Well, 4K doesn't only look better when viewed on a 4K display. Even when exported at smaller sizes, the quality of a bigger image resized in post is remarkably higher than an image actually shot at that size.

Also, UHD footage aimed at smaller resolution delivery offers a number of options when it comes to Post Production: having a bigger image than the displayed frame, there is the opportunity to scale/reframe footage, reproduce camera movements and perform better noise reduction and image stabilisation.

Engagement and Experience

There’s no doubt things can get quite technical when it comes to video resolutions. But the reason we’re seeing developments in this area is because it improves the viewer’s experience of video. When images look crisp and colours are rich and deep, we feel more engaged and connected, moved or excited by the content on screen.

Have a look yourself: here are two ads shot in 4K (2160p) vs HD (1080p) - make sure you select the highest viewing quality on the Youtube player !

Here at Together Video, all the content is shot and edited in 4K thanks to our latest generation of cameras and high performance softwares. So what are you waiting for? Start your 4K journey! Contact one of our Video Strategists today.

Claudia Verdecchia

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