What does 4K resolution mean and what does it mean for you? Let’s have a closer look, shall we? Ultra HD or 4k refers to the resolution of a screen being able to produce 3840×2160 pixels. Since 3.84k doesn’t sound as sexy, it has become 4k. What that means is that we’ve doubled the FullHD resolution so now we have 4 times the pixels. But our vision is not that simple, so having more pixels does not automatically mean better. Michael from the YouTube channel Vsause explains how complicated it really is. Because our eyes and brains aren’t digital like cameras. So asking what 4k is for our eyes is hard if you want to measure it in pixels.

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So, the amount of pixels doesn’t say it all. It’s the size of the screen in combination with the distance of the screen that matters. To give an example, having a 4k tablet screen that is close to your face is nice. But looking at an average TV screen in 4k is overkill.

To have the full effect of 4K your couch needs to be 5 feet or closer to your TV and you need an 80 inch TV as well. That means  the closer you get the more pixels you need. So if you have a 40 inch TV you need to be 2.5 feet away to see the effect. That means that the TV needs to be bigger than the distance than that you’re viewing it from. To give you an idea of this in the metric system would be: 2.5 feet is 30 inch which in turn is 0.7 meters. So if you want the 4k effect you’ll either need to be that close to your TV or buy a bigger one which in general won’t be cheaper.

The reason for all of this is your eyes. Bluntly said your eye can’t see the difference above a certain PPI, or “Pixels Per Inch”. So the smaller the 4k screen becomes, the higher this PPI becomes. And after a certain threshold, you simply can no longer see the difference. As a rule of thumb, this threshold is 300 PPI.

Aside from those things most TV networks don’t broadcast in 4k. The same goes for most movies, game’s and television programs. Even for websites, it’s hard to have it displayed in 4k. This is because 1080p is the standard and there is a cost to scaling things properly from 1080p to 4k. However, for movie theaters, 4k projectors are a good thing.

But what does this mean for your gaming experience, Not much these are just guidelines for viewing distance to get the full effect. But what does effect your gaming experience is the difference between 1080p or 1080i. The p stands for progressive and the i stands for interlaced. progressive means that the frames sent to you are the full frame, that means all the lines of pixels are sent in one packet. Interlaced however means it’s sent in two, the odd lines and the even lines.This is because it saves on the bandwidth. This rule goes for every resolution sizes. Because of this singleplayer will be in p and multiplayer is in i. This is because the packed’s would be too big for the bandwidth.

So if you have a big 4K screen with a PS4 pro with the right viewing distance and playing Rise of the Tomb Raider, Go for it if you have the money, Your experience will be amazing. But for a game like CoD(Call of Duty) no it does not support 4K and it probably won’t, Because it’s multiplayer will be interlaced frames and that will hinder your experience. To add more insult to injury, PC does support progressive frames multiplayer because it can handle the bandwidth. But you still have the viewing distance problem for that.

Screen size to “reasonable” viewing distance of the screen (every inch is 10 cm)

40″ = 400cm
42″ = 420cm
46″ = 460cm
50″ = 500cm
60″ = 600cm
80″ = 800cm
90″ = 900cm

This problem is from a time of analog TV. Because it’s better to broadcast in 60 half frames per second (FPS) then 30 full fps. This problem can not be completely solved. Because it needs deinterlacing programs wich are imperfect or greater bandwidth to get it to 60 full fps. ESPN broadcast’s in 720p because of this problem, this to save bandwidth and still get good frames.

Ultimately, right now I don’t see the benefit of 4k over 1080p. Unless you like your TV’s really big it’s very hard to get any real benefit. And even if you want a big screen there is very little content out there right now. So save your money is our advice and with the money, you save now you’ll be able to get a better 4k screen when there is more content to enjoy it!