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Is 4K in a Classroom Important?

By: Richard Mitchell

We’re going to make this a short DDMC post… We will definitely answer the age-old question of, “Is 4K video content worth it?” The easy answer is, YES, absolutely! Well, maybe… OK, sometimes… well, it’s complicated.

First, what is 4K? 4K refers to video frame sizes of either 3840 x 2160 pixels or 4096 x 2160 pixels. Technically, 3840 x 2160 isn’t truly 4K, but it gets a pass as 3.84K doesn’t have the same ring to it (it’s actually a bit more technical, but we’re just going to gloss over that). So, 4K is big… and while you might think 4K is twice as large as 2K or HD content (1,920 x 1,080), 4K is actually four times the resolution of 2K! So, it’s a big jump in resolution… but, the real question is… can you tell the difference with your human eye?

Looking at the above chart, if you are at home watching your favorite 4K Bluray on an 80-inch TV from 8 feet away, you should easily be able to see the enhanced 4K image over the lower resolutions available (2K, 720p, etc.), and I’m sure it looks fantastic! But, and this is a big but, if you are 20 feet away from an 80-inch screen (think a small classroom environment)… you won’t be able to tell the difference between 4K, 1080p, 720p, or even 1024×768 PowerPoint assuming you have normal vision. Yes, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Why should I care?
While I’m not saying, “Don’t buy 4K infrastructure!!!” It’s worth exploring the questions… do you have 4K content for these screens? Even if it is 4K, will you be able to see that added resolution? If the answer is “No” to either of those questions, take a breather and know that it’s still OK to install 2K infrastructure in 2019… but keep this chart handy for the next round of upgrades.




Categories: DDMC Info

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