Screen Resolution Types (HD, FHD, 4K UHD, 8K UHD) Explained

When you go shopping for a TV or a  computer monitor, you will come across screen resolution of HD, FHD, 4K, UHD, or 8K UHD.

The above terms refer to the screen resolution of the device. Screen resolution is one of the most important factors to consider when buying any device.

We are going to explain everything you need to know about screen resolution. But before that, let us understand what screen resolution means. Let’s start.

What is Screen Resolution?

Screen resolution is a measure of the total pixels on a screen or a display. Conventionally, the resolution is expressed as the number of horizontal pixels by the number of vertical pixels per line.

How to Calculate Screen Resolution

From the above definition, Screen resolution is popularly expressed as (Horizontal pixels per line x Vertical pixels per line).

Question: A screen has 1000 pixels in its width and 2000 pixels in the screen height. Write the screen resolution of the screen.

Answer: Resolution = total horizontal pixels multiplied by total vertical pixels.  Therefore, screen resolution = (1000 x 2000).

Example of Screen Resolution

As we mentioned earlier, the same image can be represented by a different amount of pixels. For instance, (2000 x 1080), (2160 x 1400), or (1200 x 1000) are some of the screen resolutions.

Screen Resolution determines the clarity of text, images, and videos on a screen. The resolution is measured by how many pixels make up a screen.

In simple terms, a pixel is a dot in a screen that can be lit or turned off to make up an image.

An image can be represented by different numbers of pixels depending on the capability of the device that is taking the picture. This difference determines how clear the picture will be.

The more the pixel the better the resolution hence the better the image. The number of pixels per image is referred to as pixel density.

To bring sanity in screen production, manufacturers have specific screen resolution standards though any pixel combination can do.

Importance of Screen Resolution

Screen Resolution determines the clarity of text, images, and videos on a screen. This brings us to the terms HD, FHD, 4K, UHD, and 8K UHD.

These terms are confusing. Yes, they are. Never worry again. What do these terms mean? Which is better?

As a result, there are various screen resolution standards as explained below.

Types of Screen Resolution

  • FWVGA (854 x 480)
  • High Definition (HD)
  • Full High Definition (FHD)
  • 4K UHD
  • 8K UHD

Below is a brief explanation of each resolution standard.

FWVGA Standard Definition (SD) (854 x 480)

FWVGA stands for Full Wide Video Graphics Array. This is a resolution standard of 854 x 480. FWVGA is the lowest resolution in the market thus not considered a very good resolution.

FWVGA phones are recommended for people who do not care much about pictures or videos. In addition, such phones are appropriate for people who need a phone for simply texting and calling

Resolution refers to the number of pixels that make up an image. Now you know. An image is just a set of pixels.

A display screen is a set of pixels that are arranged into a rectangular shape. The screen turns on various pixels in various colors to display images.

The clarity of an image dependent on the number of pixels that make up the screen.  The more the pixels the more clear the display.

High Definition (HD)

The invention of HD 720p led to the introduction of 32-inch Flat screens. As a result, Flat-screen TVs and desktops replaced box CRT displays. Flat screens have 720p or a million pixels.

Full HD (FHD) (1920 x 1080)

Further research led to the invention of Full HD (FDH) with a resolution of 1080p with over 2 million pixels. FHD led to the introduction of other screen sizes from 32 inches to 49 inches.

FHD is HD resolution of (1920 x 1080) pixels commonly referred to as 1080p. In FDH, a picture has 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 pixels high.

Therefore, the FDH screen is made up of 2,073,600 pixels. Notice this is twice as compared to 1,036,800 pixels that form pictures in HD (1440 x 720) screens.

Thus, pictures and videos in FHD devices appear twice as sharp or clear as in HD. FHD is the resolution in most Televisions nowadays.

FHD is popular lately. Nearly all movies that are released nowadays are FHD resolution. Most modern Televisions are in FHD as well.

Therefore, if you planning to buy a TV, FHD will be a good choice since most content currently is in FHD resolution.

Difference Between 1080i And 1080p FHD (1080i vs 1080p)

Both 1080i and 1080p are Full HD display resolution standards. A screen can display an image in either interlacing or progressive techniques.

Interlacing means, that TV creates images lighting pixels either even or odd lines at a time from top to bottom of the screen. In other words, TV scans pixels by skipping one line at a time and then scans the other in the next cycle.

What differentiates the 1080i and 1080p is the technology-specific FHD device used to display images. The ‘i’ in 1080i implies interlacing technology while ‘p’ in 1080p implies progressive technology.

In progressive technique, the screen forms an image by refreshing all pixels one by one, line by line, from top of the screen to the bottom. In other words, image formation does not skip any line like is the case in interlacing techniques.

Which is better 1080i or 1080p?

1080p is better. This is why? Since 1080p refresh pixel without skipping lines, images in such screens are clear. Thus, devices with 1080p exhibit a better view.

Why is 1080i poor? When watching a 1080i screen, you may notice uneven screen lines. Obviously, this is not desirable when watching your favorite film.

The 4K Ultra HD (4096 x 2160)

Improvement of FDH to 4K Ultra HD introduced screens with 8 million pixels. It was now possible to manufacture screens of 50inch and above.

A K refers to a thousand. The term 4K is derived from the horizontal pixels. Notice there are 4096 horizontal pixels in (4096 x 2160) resolution.

4096 is just above 4000. Since a thousand is a K, thus 4096 can be represented as 4K. That’s why the (4096 x 2160) resolution is popularly known as 4K.

The 8K Ultra HD (8K UHD)

The latest invention is 8K Ultra HD (8K UHD) that has over 33 million pixels. 8K  resolution has 4 times and 16 times better resolution than 4K and HD respectively. A TV with an 8K screen is as clear as watching through a window on a bright day.


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