The Truth About and Hype in 4K, 8K, UHD and HDR

Telestream‘s Paul Turner has released a new #eBook around 4K, 8K, UHD, and HDR resolutions/specs.

In what may arguably be the most generously titled and taglined eBook, Turner briefly introduces readers to the different resolutions, the differences between resolutions and states the blatantly obvious for professionals dissects whether the home consumer will benefit from either.

While the paper1 does provide interesting snippets such as highlighting the difference between UHD and 4K, it is a stretch to call it a proper eBook and to state it addresses television engineers and media professionals as we may assume their knowledge of the different resolutions, and also understanding of the SDR/HDR conundrum, goes further than merely the hype.

“UHD” and “4K” are not the same thing. UHD is 3840 pixels by 2160 lines. 4K is 4096 pixels x 2160 lines.

Having always more screen estate and being able to avail of higher resolutions in order to work on media in 1:1 aspect matters to creatives and editors, but it should be asked whether the consumer does benefit from this. Personally, we loathe watching fullHD on anything smaller than 50″ and see little to no benefit to 4k below 65″ thus we wonder why many buy the hype and get new 4k TVs only 40″ large. Turner also touches on this and states what we all know at heart:

As media professionals, we want to deliver the highest fidelity image we can, which translates to the greatest amount of picture information. But there’s no point in preserving data that can’t be seen.

With a brief venture in the limitations of human vision, Turner reminds readers that consumers may not necessarily benefit from all that resolution goodness.

The higher the resolution on a TV screen, the closer you need to be in order to see all the detail. Beyond 4K, it would be hard for most viewers in homes to appreciate the detail in an 8K image.

Lastly, he touches upon the HDR/SDR color spectrum broadcast conundrum. Again nothing which shouldn’t be known already to the always learning and investigating professional or hobbyist, but a good reminder for those who love to follow buzzwords.

As we read somewhere on the internet, in a color grading community:

So there is an option since FCPX 10.3 to work in Wide gamut color space. In which cases should it be used?
I work on iMac 5K Retina Late 2015 (guess it supports Rec.2020), FCPX 10.3.1 + Color Finale, footages mostly from Sony A7SII (Cine1 Pro, S-Log3 S-Gamut3.Cine). Will I get benefits using Wide gamut?

Obviously we all know that the only ones who will truly benefit from this are those who have screens with wide color gamut.

Anyway, for anybody not aware that 4K and UHD are not the same, head over to Telestream’s free download page for Paul Turner’s uphyped [sic] PDF about the 4K, UHD, and HDR hype. In which he states the facts. 😉


  1. Leaflet?

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