Ultra HD is the next step on the resolution ladder. It also goes by the name UHD or 4K (4K is actually a movie theatre format but the name is often used for Ultra HD). Just like the HD standard, which covers both 720p and 1080p, Ultra HD covers 4K (also called 2160p) and 8K (also called 4320p). As you might have noticed by now the naming methodology is not straightforward and the industry likes to refer to things in different fashions. Again we can offer a roughly outlined overview.
What's in a name? '4K' versus 'UHD'
Digital resolutions: A primer
The latest in a line of broadcast and media resolutions, 4K is due to replace 1080p as the highest-resolution signal available for in-home movies and television.
The beginnings of digital cinema and 4K
How 3D drove the takeup of 4K
From theater to the home
ULTRA HD IS ABOUT MORE THAN RESOLUTION
FRAMES PER SECOND
Today, pretty much all Hollywood movies are shot at 24 fps (24 new pictures per second) and TV programs at 25 fps or 30 fps (25 pictures per second in PAL countries and 30 pictures per second in NTSC countries). Games are typically rendered at a frame rates between 30 and 60 fps on a game console and up to 120 fps on a PC. In other words; there is a huge difference between the frame rates; and therefore how smooth you will perceive motion. Ultra HD proposes that movies and TV programs can be recorded and reproduced at frame rates up to 120 fps; 120 pictures each second. Ultra HD will support 24, 25, 48, 50, 60 and 120 fps if the full recommendation is implemented in practice.
If you have watched The Hobbit in HFR format you have experienced a movie shot in true 48 fps, and then you probably know what 48 can do for picture quality and the movie experience (read our thoughts on the The Hobbit in HFR here). The two coming Avatar movies will most likely be shot at 60 fps so we are not even close to 120 fps yet. Some movie producers even believe that a higher frame rate is a far greater improvement in picture quality than a step up in pixel resolution is right now. And yes, the move from 24 Hz to just 48 or 60 Hz is truly a small revolution in picture quality.
The human eye can only perceive a specific set of colors. We cannot perceive, for example, infrared (you cannot see the infrared light coming out of your TV remote) and there are other ”colors” that are invisible to us, too. The typical human eye can perceive all the colors illustrated in the color spectrum graph below.