What Is 2K Resolution? 4K vs 2K vs 1080p

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Jean updated on May 10, 2024 | Home > Glossary and Terms

When you are watching YouTube videos, Netflix movies, or TikTok short videos, you will see the different resolutions that viewers can choose according to their preferences, Wi-Fi network, or video types. So, do you know what is 2K resolution? You can read this article to find the answer. In addition, you will further understand different resolutions, like 4K, 2K, and 1080P.

Now, let's explore the world of 2K screen resolution videos!

What Is 2K Resolution

For display devices or content with a horizontal resolution of roughly 2,000 pixels, the phrase "2K resolution" is used interchangeably. In the movie theater industry, Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) is the dominant standard for 2K videos, which has a resolution of 2048*1080 pixels. However, in the industry of TV shows and Internet media, the most common 2K resolution is 1920*1080 pixels, which can also be called 1080p.

what is 2k resolution

So you may have a doubt about why there are different pixels that can also be called 2K. It is because the phrase "2K" is not exclusive to DCI; rather, it is a general term that does not refer to the DCI 2K standard. The word 2K was in use before the DCI standard was released. In addition, Other resolutions are also referred to as 2K by other standards groups, such as NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories. Therefore, the next part will show you some common 2K resolutions.

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Common Examples of 2K Resolutions

There are some different display resolutions in the below table. You will know the horizontal pixels and vertical pixels, as well as the aspect ratio of different resolutions.

Resolution Display Aspect Ratio Format
2048 × 1080 1.90:1 (17:9) Native Resolution
1998 × 1080 1.85:1 Flat cropped
2048 × 858 2.39:1 CinemaScope cropped
2048 × 1536 1.33:1 (4:3) QXGA
1920 × 1200 1.60:1 (16:10) WUXGA
1920 × 1080 1.78:1(16:9) Full HD
2048 × 1152 1.78:1 (16:9) QWXGA

Differences Between 4K, 2K, and 1080p

There are some differences between 4K, 2K, and 1080p. From the above table, we can learn that different resolutions mean different pixels on the screen. The more pixels, the clearer the image is. Therefore, 4K has the highest image quality among them.

differences between 4k 2k 1080p


With roughly 4,000 pixels in the horizontal direction and 2,160 in the vertical direction, 4K is the greatest resolution of the three. Ultra HD, or UHD, is another name for 4K, and it's commonly used for cameras, TVs, and monitors that require high-quality images.


With around 2,000 pixels in the horizontal direction and 1,080 pixels in the vertical direction, 2K is the intermediate resolution between the three. 2K, also referred to as QHD or Quad HD, is frequently utilized in digital cinema, gaming monitors, and people's smartphones.


The lowest resolution is 1080p, with 1,920 horizontal pixels and 1,080 vertical pixels. The most popular resolution for TVs, monitors, and other devices is 1080p, sometimes referred to as Full HD or FHD.

In a word, the main difference between them is the image quality. However, some other factors can affect the image quality, like your device performance, screen size, and watching distance.


To sum up, this article has talked about what is 2K resolution and provides a table that includes some common 2K resolutions. It is believed that you can have a better understanding of 2K. Besides, you can choose the best resolution for yourself according to the third part, which clarifies the main difference between 4K, 2K, and 1080p. Hope you like this article and share it with more people for more helpful content like this!


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Updated by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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