There's a lot of confusion about the different types of screen resolutions and what you are getting when you buy a TV or PC Monitor. This article will explain the differences and how to choose the right one for your needs.
We will clear up the confusion and explain the differences between 720P, 1080P, and 4K, and what it means when you see Full HD, HD Ready, and Ultra HD.
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Let’s start a little technical but in simple terms, every screen you look at is made up of tiny dots, and these dots are little lights within the screen, each having its job to do, each lighting up with the relevant colour to produce the picture on the screen. In the technological world, these tiny dots are called pixels.
The numbers stated in the screen resolution represent how many pixels are running down the screen in one line.
Section 1: 720p (HD Ready)
720p, also known as HD Ready, is one of the lower high-definition resolutions available today, with a screen resolution of 720x1280. This resolution is commonly found in various devices, including:
1. Entry-Level HDTVs: Many entry-level HDTVs and budget-friendly television models feature a 720p resolution, offering an affordable option for those seeking an HD viewing experience.
2. Small-sized Monitors: Some smaller computer monitors and portable screens use a 720p resolution, making them suitable for basic computing tasks, web browsing, and casual multimedia consumption.
3. Portable Devices: some entry-level (cheaper) smartphones, tablets, and handheld gaming devices come equipped with a 720p display, providing decent visual quality while conserving battery life.
4. Digital Cameras: Some entry-level digital cameras utilise a 720p resolution for capturing videos, which can be sufficient for casual recording needs.
While 720p provides an improvement over standard definition resolutions, it may not deliver the same level of detail and clarity as higher resolutions like 1080p or 4K. When considering devices with a 720p resolution, it's essential to assess your usage requirements and prioritise cost, portability, and battery life, especially for portable devices like smartphones and tablets. For larger screens and more demanding tasks like gaming or professional video editing, higher resolutions like 1080p or 4K may offer a more visually engaging experience.
Section 2: 1080p (Full HD)
1080p, also referred to as Full HD, is the most common type of HD resolution. It boasts a resolution of 1920x1080, providing a higher-quality display compared to 720p. This resolution is commonly used in various devices, such as:
1. High-Definition Televisions (HDTVs): Many modern HDTVs come with a Full HD resolution of 1920x1080, offering crisp and clear picture quality for your favourite shows, movies, and sports events.
2. Laptops and Computer Monitors: Full HD displays are popular in laptops and computer monitors, providing a sharp visual experience for browsing, multimedia tasks, and gaming.
3. Gaming Consoles: Several gaming consoles support Full HD resolution, delivering immersive gaming experiences with detailed graphics and smooth gameplay.
Section 3: 4K (Ultra HD)
4K, also known as Ultra HD, is a higher-definition resolution with a resolution of 3840x2160. This resolution offers four times the pixel count of 1080p, resulting in exceptionally sharp and detailed images. 4K resolution is commonly used in various high-end devices, including:
1. Ultra HD Televisions: Many premium 4K TVs provide stunning picture quality, enabling you to enjoy movies and TV shows with incredible detail and clarity.
2. Professional Monitors: 4K monitors are favoured by photographers, video editors, and graphic designers for their ability to display content with unparalleled precision and accuracy.
3. Gaming Monitors and Consoles: High-performance gaming monitors and next-gen gaming consoles support 4K resolution, offering lifelike visuals and a more immersive gaming experience.
4. Digital Cameras and Camcorders: Some advanced digital cameras and camcorders feature 4K recording capabilities, allowing you to capture videos with exceptional sharpness and clarity.
Remember that while 4K offers stunning visuals, it may require more significant processing power and storage space, especially when dealing with 4K videos and high-resolution content. When choosing between Full HD and 4K, consider your specific usage, budget, and the hardware capabilities required to make the most of each resolution's benefits.
By understanding the differences between these resolutions, you can make a well-informed decision when choosing a device that best suits your needs and preferences. Keep in mind that the higher the resolution, the more detailed and lifelike your visual experience will be. However, higher resolutions may require more powerful hardware and larger storage capacities to handle the increased data, so it's essential to strike a balance based on your intended usage and budget.
The Technology Coach's Recommendations
When choosing a screen resolution and size for your device, it is important to consider the type of content you will be using it for and your personal preferences. Here are some recommendations of TV's up to 55".
Links and prices correct as of 02/08/2023
Budget level TV's with Smart Features (Under £500*)
32" LG 720p TV - Currys.co.uk
32" Samsung 720p TV - AO.com
32" Amazon Fire 720p TV - Amazon.co.uk
43" Amazon Fire 4K UHD TV - Amazon.co.uk
43" Samsung 4K UHD TV - Currys.co.uk
50" Samsung 4K UHD TV - AO.com
50" LG 4K UHD TV - Currys.co.uk
55" Amazon Fire 4K UHD TV - Amazon.co.uk
*All Under £500 as of 02/08/23
Higher End TV's with Smart Features (Under £1000*)
32" Samsung 1080p Full HD TV - Currys.co.uk
48" LG 4K UHD OLED TV - AO.com
50" Sony 4K UHD TV - Currys.co.uk
50" Samsung 4K UHD QLED TV - AO.com
55" LG 4K UHD QNED TV - Currys.co.uk
*All Under £1000 as of 02/08/23