What is the difference between 2K and 1080P?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between 2K and 1080p resolution? We will explain all the differences and more in our latest blog post.

1080p (also referred to as “Full HD” or “FHD”) is currently the video broadcasting standard in North America and Europe. A 1080p native resolution is 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels down vertically.

720p and 1080p are referred to by their number of vertical pixels. However, once you get to 1440p and above they are commonly referred to by their pixels horizontally.

2K (also referred to as “1440p”, “Quad HD”, or “QHD”) is quite the upgrade to 1080p. A 2K native resolution is 2560 pixels horizontally and 1440 pixels vertically. It is referred to as QHD because it has 4 times the pixels as 720p. These added pixels allow for a more detailed recording. When you zoom in on a 2K video, it will retain more clarity compared to a 1080p video. Most digital projectors used in theaters are 2k resolution. Hence why it is referred to as cinema resolution. This allows cinemas to use bigger pictures without losing any detail.

Resolution Size Comparison

Even if you don’t have a 2K monitor to watch the videos in its native resolution, it will still look better than 1080p. Shooting in 2K allows you to crop your videos without the loss of HD resolution. As a result, you are able to digitally zoom and pan, as well as increase the sharpness and image color, without losing any video quality.

2K is great for reading license plates or street signs as you will have less noise and artifacts when you zoom in. Our Q800PRO will be our first 2K dash cam in North America. If you are looking for a 2K dash cam that still has great low light performance, check out the Q800PRO!

3 thoughts on “What is the difference between 2K and 1080P?

    • Thinkware says:

      Hi Del! You’re right, 1440p is commonly called QHD. However, the 2K DCI that you are referring to is a standardized set of resolutions meant for motion pictures. Our 2K/QHD Dash cams record 2560X1440. The generic term “2K” is referring to the width of the video (it’s the same naming scheme as 4K) which is approximately 2000 pixels, therefore we use 2K + QHD.

      • Mike says:

        4K is also a term for motion pictures- and when used in marketing for displays, it refers to the horizontal resolution of 3840×2160 vertical. By all logic, this is why 2K refers to 1080p, being horizontal 1920 (rounded up to 2000)x1080p vertical. 1440p is treated the same, at a horizontal resolution of 2560x1440p vertical (rounded down to 2500 for 2.5k.

        4K was also used as a marketing term for displays to simplify the understanding for the TV audience. Mainly as a 4K display contains 4x the pixel count of a 1080p display which was the previous standard.

        2k for 1080p is an error of terminology which has been retroactively added to refer back to a now ‘older’ tech. Born from the term 4K which was never meant for display definitions (UHD just didn’t cut it alone as a term). Monitor display resolutions were considered important long before the HD era of TV’s ushered in the 720p ‘HD ready’ and 1080p Full HD era started.


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