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4K Monitors: Can the human eye actually see the difference?

By Jos ยท 39 replies
Dec 27, 2015
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  1. With 4K monitors becoming more and more affordable, it appears that the long-standing reign of 1080p may finally be coming to a close. The question is: can the human eye actually see the difference with a 4K monitor or are manufacturers just using the hype to sell you a more expensive product?

    While this sounds like an easy question, unfortunately it does not have a completely clear-cut answer. Different people have different eyesight quality, and both the size of a monitor and the viewing distance between the monitor and a person's eyes make a huge difference. In order to accurately answer whether a 4K monitor is going to look any better than a lower resolution monitor, we will need to determine the pixel pitch of a monitor and compare it to what you are actually capable of seeing.

    Read the complete article.

  2. jin monroe

    jin monroe TS Rookie

    What the heck did I just read???
    mosu, deemon, Duckeenie and 1 other person like this.
  3. Mike st

    Mike st TS Rookie

    Consumers are a bunch of sleepy sheeps without realising that they are feeding us just tiny bits of pieces of true complete tech.
    Just so you know there are already working samples(prototypes) of 10k 14k and even 16k of Oled tvs thinner than 5mm. 10k is suposed to be the next fullhd tech that should last 7-8 years of sales. But the real game changer folks will start with the end of 16k tv that will last less than 4 years. Next? Tiny Cubes that will emit Holographic light at a very small resolution and brightness... and will require a very small amount of energy..less than 10w.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
    Upendra Allu likes this.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,462   +1,738

    Does a blind person qualify as a human?

    And if I see the difference clearly, and your math says I can't - does this make me an alien or something?
    DaveBG likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,805   +1,540

    I have no problem seeing the difference as well as the price tag ...... which is yet another good reason to hold onto my money for a few more years when it becomes "standard" and at a more standard price!
    Mike st and Skidmarksdeluxe like this.
  6. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    I can absolutely see the difference. On a standard 96 dpi monitor I can see pixels from 3ish feet away. As someone who reads a lot on screens there is a tremendous difference between text quality on higher pixel pitch screens. I just got a 10 inch tablet with a 1080p screen on it and I can easily see the pixels when reading on it when it's ~18 inches from my face.

    All that said, an increase from 4k to 8k on computer displays would just be marketing. I don't know who these people are that can't see the difference because everyone I've talked to can absolutely see the difference.

    You should also know that we can measure the resolution of the human eye since we have cones on our retina that detect light. Those cones are the equivalent of pixels on a camera sensor
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,017   +2,892

    I was going to say "I can spot the difference between 1080p & 4K displays from a mile away, but only the price sticker".
    Really, I'm not going to splurge on 4K just for the sake of saying I've got 4K. I'm perfectly happy with 1080p, even on my biggish screen TV.
    Monitors, TV's etc. aren't things you tend to replace and upgrade all that often, only when they break down if I'm honest.
    Tech manufacturers need to sell something new all the time in order to survive so they WILL over hype new tech. 4K, although nice, I think is overrated and this article hasn't altered my mindset one iota.
    mosu and deemon like this.
  8. Hyrax

    Hyrax TS Enthusiast Posts: 22   +7

    I am actually suprised that the author didn't bother to read up on the resolution standards:
    3840x2160 is actually UHD (ITU BT.2020 standard)
    4096x2160 is 4K standard (DCI standard)
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  9. Myk61088

    Myk61088 TS Rookie

    Yes and no. 3840 is increasingly used as "4k" as it's just a wider screened version of '4k'. (top and bottom chopped of a bit) this screen resolution is more common these days. Moving away from 800x600 radios, the ppi for eg is exactly the same 4096x2160 as 3840x2160
  10. fry178

    fry178 TS Rookie

  11. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 539   +164

    My eyes don't really see the difference on a 24-27" monitor, But I also can't really see any difference playing a game above 60FPS either. I notice it on TV and I think it will become more noticeable as more media content is shot in 4k. But until then my Monitors will stay 1080p, heck my dock for my Precision can't even go above 2560 x 1600 on the Display ports so no rush on my part.
  12. transerv

    transerv TS Member

    I bought one on sale Now the Problem. I have Intel I-7 3.5 with 8 G 2133 ram and a 970. Guess What Not Strong enough. Go to You Tube and Learn for Ultra gaming a Intel 6 core 32 G 2400 or Higher and a Titan X or 2 980 TI. Or keep MY Intel and go 16 2400 Ram and 2 980TI for 4K a Budget that will work.
  13. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,029   +197

    The same article came out about 1080p.
    DaveBG and p51d007 like this.
  14. gcarter

    gcarter TS Enthusiast Posts: 75   +20

    Since switching to an Apple Macbook Pro Retina, I can't stand using my monitor at work, or my daughters 720p laptop! The pixels look like pieces of lego!

    4k monitors should be the norm from all manufacturers....
  15. Ronald G

    Ronald G TS Rookie

    I have a Samsung 4K 65 inch curved screen TV, an usually watch at regular HD from my Direct TV. However when I go to You Tube, there is basically a 4K channel and have watched some of them, and they are indeed clearer than the regular 1920 X 1080 that I usually view. However the problem right now is that there is really nothing that you want to view for long. It is just to show you how it works and how good it looks. I sit back about 12 feet from the screen, and the regular HD is great, but the UHD is even better. Contrary to what Direct TV states, it is almost impossible to get get UHD from them. I use my Samsung Smart Hub to get the 4K videos. To me personally there is a perceptible difference, but it may be a long time before 4K gets to be popular enough for regular telecasting. For the present, watching it on You Tube is not too bad. I hope they do a few concerts in UHD one of these days.
    DaveBG and Mike st like this.
  16. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,046   +321

    Some, maybe Chuck Yeager or Augustus McRae
  17. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,046   +321

    They should be used for cardiac monitoring because at distance I think they can be seen better
  18. RealAct

    RealAct TS Rookie

    Once you actually use a 4K monitor for a week you can never go back, it's like night and day specially for reading, my 1080p monitor at work looks horrendous with all the pixels that I now see and never noticed before.
    DaveBG likes this.
  19. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,044   +794

    Meh, I've used a 2560x1440 27inch screen for a while now and although the 4K screen I had in my possession for about a week did look smoother, most things didn't scale to that resolution, most games I had refused to run smoothly and when I went back to my old screen I didn't really miss 4K at all.

    I'll invest in 4K in a few years time when it's more compatible and cheaper :)
    Capaill, poohbear and deemon like this.
  20. teddy

    teddy TS Rookie Posts: 57

    4k is sooo yesterday. im waiting for 8k screens, bc 4k is too blurry. or something :p wonders who get 8k first, tv/monitors or phones.
    DaveBG likes this.
  21. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 374   +145

    This. I recently bought new monitors and I specifically shopped for 1440p for this reason....DPI scaling support. If you run into something with no or poor support, good luck using or seeing that application on a 4K screen.
    mosu likes this.
  22. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,164   +552

    Once you are in your 50's, wearing bifocals...it really doesn't matter. ;)
    Phr3d and mosu like this.
  23. deemon

    deemon TS Addict Posts: 246   +66

    posts like this make me wish for dislike button here :)
  24. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,232   +229

    it makes you well...SuperVitalityT... sort of... ;)

    kidding aside, some humans have more acute eyesight (or hearing...)
  25. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 272   +87

    Few months back I got a 40inch 4K monitor. It is the best thing ever. I will never use lower res monitor again. They look ancient. After this monitor I got 4k TV and 4K camera and next year when they release 4k mobile phones I will be getting one. No more crap 1080 for me!

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