Displays

4K and beyond – what screen resolution do you need for your digital signage?

Before you buy any digital signage, one of the first things you need to do is work out what screen resolution you need. Full HD is the most common resolution, still, although 4K displays are starting to come through in volume. But, what about 8K and beyond? Should you wait until these displays start to launch? Here, we’ll help you make the right choices.

Understanding resolutions and screen sizes

Screen resolution is quoted as the number of pixels, horizontal x vertical. A Full HD display has a resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels, while a 4K display has a resolution of 3,840×2,160. And an 8K display gives you 7,680×4,320 pixels.

The typical way that this is shown is with a chart like the one below, which shows the relative resolutions available. This works to a degree, but the chart makes it look like 8K displays are four times bigger than 4K ones. While this could be true, you can have different resolutions in the same size screen.

What’s important to remember is that the pixel count doesn’t change as a screen size increases. So, a 42in Full HD display has the same number of pixels as an 84in Full HD screen. The only difference is that the larger screen uses pixels four times the size, so it will look blockier up close. Knowing this can help you make the right decision when choosing a screen. In short, the bigger you go, the larger the pixels go and the blockier the content will look.

As you move up screen size, it’s worth paying attention to resolution, as upping this can help maintain quality. For example, having an 84in 4K display is like having four 42in Full HD displays stitched together. In other words, the pixel size is identical here, so you get the same image detail when viewed from the same distance.

Opt for a 42in 4K display over the same-sized Full HD screen, and you’ve got four-times the resolution packed into the same physical area, making for a far sharper and more detailed picture.

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