What is the difference between Full HD, UHD and 4K?

While talking about digital signage players, the terms Full HD, UHD and 4K are often of interest. In this article we explain which resolutions those different terms describe and what 4K@60Hz actually means.

Terms like full HD and 4K refer to the image resolution. The resolution is indicated by the number of pixels, either as the total number or with the number of pixel columns (width) and the number of pixel rows (height), for instance 1920 x 1080 pixel. The advantage of the second variant is that you can directly see the aspect ratio.

Another format is the so called HDTV standard where the number of rows and the process of image buildup are mentioned. The former is the vertical image resolution in pixels, the latter is specified in “p” or “i”. This results for example in the term 1080p. “P” stands for progressive and means that all the lines of a frame are drawn in sequence, while “i” is the abbreviation for “interlaced” which means that an image is formed from two different half images. First the odd and then the even rows are constructed. This form, however, is declining since for instance UHD-TV only provides the recording and playback of progressive images.

But let us now come to the different resolutions:

SD: The old standard

Let’s start small: The term SD (standard definition) or SDTV (standard definition television) describes an image resolution of 720 x 576 pixels which corresponds to a 16 : 9 aspect ratio. This resolution was already used for analog TV reception and can still be found on DVDs.

Full HD

Full HD is the abbreviation for Full High Definition. It describes a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (a total of 2.073.600 pixels). The aspect ratio is also 4 : 3. The term describes the ability to output (via TV, PCs, flat screens, DVD player etc.) or record (via video cameras etc.) full HD resolution.

In addition to full HD, there is also HD ready which means a lower resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. This is, for instance, the resolution that is broadcasted by German public TV broadcasters (such as ARD and ZDF) and then reproduced on HD capable TVs.

UHD and 4K

Let us now talk about what is currently on everyone’s lips: 4K. Despite the growing market for 4K television there is still only a small amount of content for the private sector so far. In contrast, UHD and 4K are already a big talking point in professional digital signage.

UHD stands for Ultra High Definition and describes a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This is exactly for times full HD resolution. The pixel rows are doubled from 1080 to 2160 and the columns from 1920 to 3840, whereby the total number of pixels is quadrupled to approximately 8 million. The aspect ratio is still 16 : 9.

The term 4K originates from the digital cinema and actually describes a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels (that’s why it is sometimes called 4K2K). The aspect ratio of 4K is 17 : 9. Normally a ratio of 21 : 9 is used, which is achieved by cutting of pixels.

However it has been accepted that the terms 4K and UHD are used synonymously, so that 4K usually describes the resolution 3840 x 2160 pixels.

A glimpse into the future: 8K

If 4K does not seem sharp enough already it gets even sharper: 8K describes a fabulous resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels. In terms of length and width there is the fourfold number of pixels of full HD, which is twice the number compared to UHD. The aspect ratio is again 16 : 9. In Japan, where the television stations NHK was one of the first to experiment with this format, 8K is also called Super Hi-Vision. In fact, 8K is, however, a pie in the sky. TVs with this resolution are not only relatively large but also quite expensive – the prices are still in the six-digit range. In addition there is hardly any content in 8K-format out yet.

Hertz or frames per second

So far we have only talked about the image resolution. But within the digital signage sector, the video resolution is also of interest. The video resolution is composed of image resolution and frame rate (also called picture frequency). The frame rate is usually expressed in hertz (Hz). It describes the number of frames that can be rendered in one second. For instance, with a picture frequency of 24 Hz, 24 frames per second are written onto a monitor or projected onto a cinema screen. That’s why instead of hertz the term fps (frames per second) is often used as well.

While talking about 4K, one often distinguishes whether the resolution can be displayed at 60 or only at 30 Hz frame rate. This is on the one hand dependent on the chipset of the PC, on the other hand the connectors are also critical. Since for a 4K@60Hz setup the interfaces DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 are absolutely necessary.

4K@60Hz at spo-comm

In the range of spo-comm there are also Mini-PCs, which can output a video resolution of 4K@60Hz. This includes our ultra-compact spo-book CORE, the digital signage players spo-book TURO Q87 and spo-book ELIX H81 as well as our brand new spo-book KUMO IV, which can display even four times 4K@60Hz or alternatively 8K@60Hz once. The spo-book EXPANDED Q170 and the spo-book NINETEEN Q170, when equipped with a corresponding graphics card, are also 4K-capable.

##Explore 4K Mini-PCs from spo-comm!

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27 Jun 2018 Array ( [id] => 336 [title] => What is the difference between 4K and 8K? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => While dealing with the topic of PC monitors, TVs or other devices, that show pictures or play video content, it won’t take much time until the terms UHD or 4K are mentioned. By now even the 8K-resolution is a very important thing. In the following article we want to explain what stands behind these terms and in what exactly makes them different. [description] =>

UHD, 4K and 8K – What is the connection?

Let’s talk about terminology first: UHD stands for Ultra High Definition. The “K” in 4K and 8K for the number thousand. Below in the text we explain you what this is all about.
The term UHD includes two different resolutions. One of them is UHD-1, the other UHD-2. The former one has a resolutions of 3840 × 2160 pixels and stands for what is in the common language known as 4K. In cinemas 4K has another resolution, in fact 4096 × 2160 pixels. These 4096 horizontal pixels stand for the term 4K – which means 4-thousand.

UHD-2 or 8K – Not only dreams of the future

8K has twice the amount of both horizontal and vertical pixels than 4K. That leads to the fourfold amount of pixels – overall 33 million – and corresponds to a resolution of 7680 × 4320 pixels.
But not only does the resolution increase: The color range (WCG, Wider Color Gamut) and the contrast range (HDR, Higher Dynamic Range) extend, as well as the image repeat rate that goes up to a maximum of 120fps.

HDMI 2.1 – From 4K over 8K up to a resolution of 10K

Due to the data rate of 24 Gbit/s 8K needs a special cable that suits this requirement. In January 2017 the HDMI forum released the final specifications for a fitting cable. It is the successor of HDMI 2.0, which is simply called HDMI 2.1. With the support of a 48 Gbit/s data rate this cable makes 8K@60Hz possible and even exceeds the DisplayPort-standard that allows a data rate of 32 Gbit/s in its version 1.3 (see also “VGA, DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI – what’s the difference between these multimedia interfaces?”). By compressing the HDMI 2.1 cable even a resolution of 10.328 × 7.760, that’s 10K, is possible.

8K with Mini-PCs from spo-comm

At the moment we have two Mini-PCs in our product range that are able to play 8K content. One of them is our well-known Digital Signage player: The spo-book KUMO IV. This active cooled Mini-PC can play content in an 8K resolution due to its dedicated nVidia GTX 1060 graphics card with a VRAM of 6GB DDR5. The second Mini-PC is even the latest in our product range – the spo-book RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti. The system is equipped with a dedicated graphics card, too, and has furthermore a passive cooling system. As the PCs name suggests, the graphics card is an nVidia GTX 1050 Ti with a memory of 4GB and a VRAM up to 32GB high. At the same time four out of seven HDMI connectors make an 8K videowall possible.

That sounds interesting?

##Configure your spo-book KUMO V and test it for free!

##Configure your spo-book RUGGED GTX1050 Ti and test it for free!

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know-how
What is the difference between 4K and 8K?
While dealing with the topic of PC monitors, TVs or other devices, that show pictures or play video content, it won’t take much time until the terms UHD or 4K are mentioned. By now even the 8K-resolution is a very important thing. In the following article we want to explain what stands behind these terms and in what exactly makes them different.
23 Feb 2017 Array ( [id] => 244 [title] => NEW: spo-book KUMO IV - High-End Mini-PC with nVidia GTX 1060 [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => At the ISE 2017 in Amsterdam, spo-comm has already presented its new high-end Mini-PC, the spo-book KUMO IV, and demonstrated its VR capability live. The dedicated nVidia graphics card, the compact enclosure and the barely audible fans were immediately of interest and showed that the market is ripe for an industrial PC of the extra class. [description] =>

Industrial PC for Virtual Reality and Digital Signage

Like its predecessors, the spo-book KUMO IV is attractive due to its innovative and unique combination of a robust, compact metal housing and an extremely powerful, high-end graphics card. The latter is from nVidia's current Pascal generation, goes by the name GTX 1060 and is equipped with 6 GB DDR5 video RAM. An Intel Core i5-6400T Desktop CPU (Skylake) with four cores and a frequency of 2.2 (max. 2.8) gigahertz also delivers impressive performance. Whether it is high-resolution digital signage applications or sophisticated virtual reality solutions – the spo-book KUMO IV is capable of (almost) everything.

Four-fold 4K@60Hz

Thanks to 2-fold DisplayPort 1.3 and 2-fold HDMI 2.0b, the Mini-PC is able to simultaneously display 4K content with a picture frequency of 60 hertz on four screens. And if 4K is not enough, the spo-book KUMO IV even displays 8K@60Hz, a resolution of a fabulous 7680 x 4320 pixels. It is supported by up to 32 GB DDR 4 RAM. This exceptional performance is housed in a compact case with the dimensions 200 x 205 x 80 mm. From the end of march the Mini-PC will be available in the desired configuration.

##Order a spo-book KUMO IV or request a test sample

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products
NEW: spo-book KUMO IV - High-End Mini-PC with nVidia GTX 1060
At the ISE 2017 in Amsterdam, spo-comm has already presented its new high-end Mini-PC, the spo-book KUMO IV, and demonstrated its VR capability live. The dedicated nVidia graphics card, the compact enclosure and the barely audible fans were immediately of interest and showed that the market is ripe for an industrial PC of the extra class.
18 Mar 2019 Array ( [id] => 393 [title] => Integrated vs dedicated graphics card: features, differences and benefits [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => We don’t have to explain that graphics cards play a big role for the spo-comm Mini-PCs. Especially in the digital signage field they are significantly responsible whether applications can be realized or not. What exactly are the differences between dedicated and integrated graphics card? And why are dedicated ones better? Find the answers in this article. [description] =>

Integrated graphics cards (IGP)

A graphics processing unit – or shortly GPU – is integrated when it is a part of the chipset on the motherboard or on the same die with the CPU. The first option is called an onboard graphics card.

Since an integrated graphics card has no own memory, it utilizes – just like all the other programs – a part of the system’s RAM. How high the amount of this part is, can be controlled via the BIOS or dynamically by the system itself.

Our Mini-PCs with an Intel CPU are equipped with the integrated graphics card Intel GMA or the successor Intel HD Graphics.

Pros and cons of an IGP

Because an integrated GPU has no own video RAM it needs just a small amount of space. Combined with the feature of the low power consumption it is perfectly made for the use in small devices such as notebooks or tablets. They also cost less because no separate fan is needed. Such graphics cards can be used for any common office program or the use in the industrial field. Due to the low clock rate and the fact that it shares the RAM with every other application, an IGP has a substantially lower performance than a dedicated graphics card.

Dedicated graphics cards

In contrast to an onboard-graphics card, a dedicated graphics card holds an own video memory, or short VRAM. It is connected to the mainboard via a PCI-, PCIe- or an AGP-port.

At the moment we have four Mini-PCs in our product portfolio with a dedicated graphics card. The spo-book KUMO IV and the spo-book RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti are equipped with an Nvidia GeForce graphics card. The two other ones are the spo-book QUADRO P1000 – which is equipped with the namesake graphics card – and the spo-book NOVA Q170 that can be stocked up with an Nvidia Quadro P2000.

Pros and cons of a dedicated graphics card

The biggest advantage of a dedicated graphics card is that is has an own VRAM. That’s why the RAM can be relieved and used for other programs. Another pro is that these peripheral devices are clocked way faster and thus are more performant. Especially for the use in workstations or the demanding digital signage field, where many monitors are controlled simultaneously or programs like Adobe Photoshop or CAD for 3D modeling are used, a dedicated graphics card is absolutely needed. The enormous performance is accompanied by a high power consumption and heat development. That’s why a separate fan is needed, ergo much more space than with an IGP is occupied.

It can be summarized that a dedicated graphics card is not necessarily needed for standard applications as mentioned above. But for demanding implementations or multi-monitor solutions in the digital signage field they are very relevant.

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know-how
Integrated vs dedicated graphics card: features, differences and benefits
We don’t have to explain that graphics cards play a big role for the spo-comm Mini-PCs. Especially in the digital signage field they are significantly responsible whether applications can be realized or not. What exactly are the differences between dedicated and integrated graphics card? And why are dedicated ones better? Find the answers in this article.