Is 4K necessary?

June 3, 2016 | Mark Holzman

The continual quest for higher resolution video has led to the current standard of 4K, or ultra high definition video. This format offers approximately 4 times the resolution of high definition video. Is such a highly detailed picture necessary? Well, that all depends on how the video is being used.

If the viewer is going to be watching a finished program on a computer screen or mobile device, I would say no…4K is overkill. The screen size is so small that the difference between a 4K and HD-produced program is virtually indistinguishable. And if file size is an issue, the fact that 4K video requires substantially more space than HD may make the decision a no-brainer.


if you’re shooting a cinematic or corporate image piece that will play on a large screen to a large audience, or are producing any type of program that will be playing back on a large 4K monitor (ie. – 60” or higher), then go ahead, take full advantage of the enhanced picture quality that 4K delivers.

At National Video-Documentors, we offer 4K and HD video. Both formats look great. If you’re producing long-form corporate programs such as training videos, town halls, seminars or anything that needs to be streamed, you’re probably fine with HD. When you’re shooting for an Academy Award, 4K is the way to go.