eli5 if my monitor is 1080p why does 4k look better than 1080p videos?

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shouldn’t 1080p and 4k have no difference if my monitor is only capable of displaying 1080p

In: 422

The 1080p video is not actually full 1080p but a compressed video where the details that is not expected to be visible on a 1080p monitor have been removed to save space.

In theory you are right however scaling algorithms and video compression are also factors. Given a high resolution source it is possible to generate 1080p video indistinguishable from 4k displayed on 1080p monitor if maximum image quality is the only requirement.

Streaming services never send you the uncompressed version of a video. There is always *some* data lost in compression.

However they do send you much more data when you’re watching the 4k stream versus the 1080p stream. The more data, the better your graphics card does at scaling down to the native resolution of your monitor.

Super sampling is when you render something at a high resolution and then use an algorithm to reduce the resolution down. You tend to get a nicer picture when you super sample because your anti aliasing is better, smoothing out jagged lines by using the extra data to pick a color that is a combination of the colors around it.

Generally the size of the video and the bandwidth of a stream is a much better indicator than the resolution.

So your 4k video likely looks better because it contains more information and thus give a clearer picture