Any conversation about video and screen resolution can easily lead to confusion, which even a thorough discussion cannot resolve. From qHD, HD, FHD, WQHD, to UHD , one could just classify them all as HD and rest easy , but are they just HD, or is there something to add to it? Below we will leave you a summary of each of the technical terms and we will explain the differences between them.
Differences between resolutions and image quality
|qHD is a screen resolution of 960 × 540, which is only a quarter of the 1080 pixels found in Full HD (1920 × 1080), hence its name.
|Standard definition (SD) consists of 720 x 480 interlaced resolution, 4: 3 screen size, and 480 lines of vertical resolution (720 x 576 PAL). SD was the video resolution previously used in consumer electronic displays.
|Also known as 720p HD, this was the standard when the HD naming scheme was created. It’s a 1280 × 720 screen resolution. HD brought clearer picture and video quality to consumer electronic displays found in smartphones, televisions, laptops, and monitors.
|This is equivalent to 1920 × 1080 and is the basic standard for making screen resolution comparisons. It is also known as 1080p. Most of today’s video content is produced and broadcast in the FHD standard. If you are looking for a consumer display mostly Smart TV or laptop or PC monitor, go for a Full HD display.
|WQHD displays have a 16: 9 aspect ratio that allows for widescreen content for compatible devices, and this is the reason for the “W” in WQHD. In terms of the number of pixels, WQHD is equivalent to 2560 × 1440. This is four times the number of pixels you get in a 720p HD panel, but it is not as good as 4K. Don’t be confused by the name ‘Quad HD’, it is not related in any way to 4K Ultra High Definition.
|4K refers to resolutions of 3840 × 2160 pixels. This is four times more pixels than 1080p Full HD. However, many claim that the 16: 9 4K (3840 × 2160) market standard is not truly 4K, but technically just UHD. The true 4K is 17: 9 (4096 × 2160), which is mainly used in the film industry. 4K Ultra HD is considered the next generation of HD TVs, and it’s no surprise that most of the new products on the market come with 4K resolution.
|8K refers to the horizontal resolution of 7,680 pixels, forming the overall image dimensions of (7680 × 4320), also known as 4320p. It is also part of the Ultra HD definition. 8K UHD has twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of 4K UHD with four times as many pixels overall, making it sixteen times as many pixels as Full HD.
Video resolution standards will determine how much you will pay for your next Smart TV, monitor, or laptop. In general, the more pixels, the better the video and image quality will be because more details are packed per inch of your screen. However, keep in mind that there is a point beyond which the human eye cannot tell the difference between video resolutions. For example, at a normal viewing distance, your eye cannot tell the difference between FHD and 4K screen. Therefore, paying more for a 4K display might not be a reasonable option.
Definition of image quality and image resolution
Before understanding the differences or similarities between image quality and image resolution, a definition of each should be studied. First, we must understand how digital images are formed. When we take a photograph with a digital camera, or create a new document using raster-based software such as Photoshop, we are creating digital images as raster files. These images are made up of pixels or dots of color and digital information . When we talk about the image resolution of a digital image, we refer to a number, a proportion, defined by the number of pixels that make up the image. When we talk about the image quality of a digital image, we refer to compression, the file size of the image, defined by the reduction or not of the information in each pixel within the image . This explains that image quality and resolution are not exactly the same, but both have to do with the pixels within a digital image.