Graphics, pixels, resolution, the whole nine yards?

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How do I know whether the device im using to render a video, is rendering it in 4K? I’m not familiar with the nomenclature, but by device I’m talking about anything capable of generating video, such as a camera (which records video), or a ps5 (which generates a video or graphics?)

What do I need to have / do to be able to view a 4K video in the “best way” possible (im not sure how to frame this exactly – I want to watch a 4K video in 4K, perhaps?)

If im viewing this video on an external monitor, what changes?

If the monitor is 4K, does that suffice? What cabling will I need, if at all?

In: Technology

5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The quality of the video as a viewer, depends on several factors. The first, of course, is whether or not the video was recorded in 4K or higher resolution. From there, it depends how the video is encoded, whether it be on a Blu-ray, or as a video file on a computer, or on a streaming service. The next link of the chain is the hardware that is decoding the video. The hardware needs to be capable of both interpreting and rendering the video in the desired resolution. If the video player is not capable of rendering in 4K, most of them can downscale, or transcode the video to a lower resolution. Additionally, 4K video is now frequently accompanied by a feature, called high dynamic range, which encodes a wider range of colours within the video. This allows colours to be rendered more vividly and lifelike. As you mentioned, cables and monitors are critical to displaying video in this way. From your computer to the monitor, you need to have three key things: a video card or processor with embedded graphics that is capable of rendering 4K, a video cable to connect your computer to your display (typically typically HDMI or DisplayPort) that is capable of transmitting in 4K, and a display (monitor, TV, or projector) that is capable of displaying in 4K.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Okay so I’m just going to take a stab at this, but this is a biiig topic.


The images on a screen are formed by a punch of little dots that are arranged to make shapes, much like you could make shapes by arranging tiles in a mosaic. These dots are called “pixels”. You can make pixels also be different colors.

But like a mosaic, pictures made from pixels can look blocky if the pixels are too big and if there are too few of them. So the more pixels you have, the more detailed images you can make.


Resolution refers to the number of pixels that make up an image. So 1920×1080 (also called 1080p, or “HD”) resolution means that the image consists of 1,920 pixels horizontally, and 1,080 pixels vertically. It is also called “2k” because there is an approximate width of 2,000 pixels horizontally. Other common resolutions are 2560×1440 (“QHD”) and 4096×2160 (“UHD”), which is also called “4k” because there is an approximate width of 4,000 pixels horizontally.

Every video file has a resolution, but every screen also has a set resolution that limits what it can physically show. So a 1080p screen can only ever show up to 1920×1080 resolution even if the video file is technically 4k. So if you have a 4k video file, you’d need to buy a more expensive 4k screen to be able to see the full detailed, sharp image.


However, another aspect that determines image quality is pixel density. A 4k video that is on a screen 32 inches wide diagonally will look better than a 4k video that is on a screen 64 inches wide diagonally, because the pixels are closer together, allowing for a more detailed and sharp image. So for a given resolution, it’s also important to get a screen that is also the appropriate size. You could get a 32 inch 1080p screen, but the image would probably look better if you got a smaller 24 inch 1080p screen.


So you have a video file that you want to watch, and an appropriate screen that lets you watch the video at the appropriate quality. Great. But you need something to translate the video file’s information, then “transfer” the information to the screen before you can see it. Higher resolution images are composed of more data than lower resolution images, so there’s more information that you need to transfer in the same amount of time in order for everything to work properly. So you need a cable that is capable of moving enough information per time in order for the video file to show properly on the screen. If the cable is too weak, then you might only be able to watch a 4k video at 1080p, even though both the video file and screen are 4k. So ensure that the cable you use is “UHD compatible.” But also, the cable needs to plug into ports on both the video player, and the screen. So you need to make sure that the ports are also “UHD compatible” otherwise it might be a bottleneck. Sometimes monitors have an HDMI port that is low quality, and a second port that might be something like DisplayPort that is high quality and can do 4k.

All of that goes for the video player and its port as well. The video player must have the ability to play 4k video files, and the ports be “UHD compatible”.

Hope that helps?

Anonymous 0 Comments

This is a vast topic and there’s no easy answer to your question. Let’s take a computer rendering a video game. You need to have a display that can natively display a 4k image.

A pixel (picture element) is a single dot on a display. It can be any colour the display is capable of producing. The resolution of the display is defined by how many pixels high the image is, and how many pixels wide.

For a 4K image, that’s 3,840 pixels wide, by 2,160 pixels tall. If you have a 1080 display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) of the same size (32″ for example), each pixel will be larger (fewer dots, same surface area = larger dots).

This is why higher resolutions look better, the dots are smaller and the details finer, so the image looks more like the real world.

If you have a display that can produce 4K, you also need a cable that can transmit enough data. There are standards for the way the data is transmitted. One is HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface). It will decide if the cable is capable of handling enough data. The version of the HDMI connection (1.1 for example) and the quality of the cable will determine how much data it can throughput. This will also determine refresh rate (how many times the screen can be redrawn per second)

You would also need a video card that can encode video data in the 4K format. Not only that, if you want to get it working smoothly, you need a PC with enough processing power to handle the task. Having components that will display the frame doesn’t mean they’ll do so smoothly.

So in this case, at the bare minimum, you’d need a 4K capable display, connection, and video card. If you want it to play games, you’d need an expensive system so it’s capable of rendering such a large amount of display information in a timely manner.

For videos and such, since there’s no active rendering happening, you wouldn’t need a powerful machine, but it would still need to be fast enough to transfer all that data through memory etc.

To break it down, at least four things have to be in 4K:

1. The media (video file/game/disc etc)

2. The device sending the data to the display (PC, console, blu-ray player)

3. The connection/cable between the device and display

4. The display itself.

If all these are satisfied, you can display media in 4K. Unfortunately, you need to do research to ensure anything you buy is capable.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Pixels are a small light source that’s a single color, typically a mix of red, green or blue

Graphics is generally used to refer to the quality of what’s being shown

Resolution is the amount of pixels and is in the format X×Y, such as 1920×1080, 2560×1440, 5120×1440, 3840×2160

The first set of numbers is the amount of pixels horizontally, so 4k would be 3,840 pixels from left to right, and 2,160 pixels vertically

Some ways to improve the quality of the image is to use something called supersampling, what this does is it renders the image at a higher resolution than what the output is capable of, then averages the colors out before scaling it down which can result in a smoother image, another way is to have a higher bitrate

You know how when you view stuff like TVs, or monitors in the store, the videos look much better than once you get it, one of the reasons for that is because the videos they play have a much higher bitrate than videos found on YouTube for example, but the downside is the file sizes are much larger, which is also why images that photographers take tend to be much bigger in file size than something like your phone

You also want to make sure your cables are able to handle the bandwidth, higher resolution, higher refresh rate, and more color/audio bits all increase the bandwidth demand, generally Display Port have much higher bandwidth than the equivalent HDMI generation

Anonymous 0 Comments

This is a massive rabbit hole, explaining everything would not be fit for casual reading.

You’ll want to develop a mental model for what a display is. It’s a grid of pixels, I’m sure you got that. Let’s add some more properties to the mix:

– the number and geometry of pixels (resolution, subpixel layout): pixels are made up of even smaller subunits called subpixels. modern OLED displays will have unconventional subpixels, some will have an extra white one in addition to the typical red-green-blue ones, while others will have a triangular layout. this impacts color performance and text clarity.

– these pixels will need to refresh to change (refresh rate, response times): typical is 60 Hz, more commonly you see 120, 240 and 480 these days. unlike the plasma days, these are real, you can record them in slowmo if you don’t believe it.

– those pixels will need to look right (colorspace, color accuracy): gotta be the right color. colors are standardized, if they can reproduce them well-enough, they pass. on a TV, select Filmmaker mode. on a monitor, should be fine out of the box, but check reviews.

Unfortunately, what you feed these displays with is likely never going to be true 4K content. Cameras usually perform computational tricks to make the image better than it is straight out from the sensor. Your PS5 is usually not able to render 4K frames natively in time, so developers cheat a bit, render at a lower resolution then just blow it up. You’re not given the tools to determine this easily, but again, you can check reviews.

There is so much more to this. The bottom line is that you need a 4K display of some sort and an HDMI or DisplayPort cable to connect to it (or in some cases, USB-C is fine). That said, you can play back 4K content on a lower resolution screen to, it just gets downsampled. Since most content (i.e. not games) is lossy compressed, this is usually a perceptual boost to image quality rather than a negative.

External monitors should be fine if they match this spec, provided they’re not connecting wirelessly. If they do, you’ll likely see compression artifacts, and get a blurrier image.