How to tell if you’re watching 4K video

While high-definition and full high-definition content is still the most widespread form of video content available, 4K content is quickly gaining popularity as more and more consumers upgrade to TVs capable of supporting the format.

What is 4K?

4K is a standard for video that outputs at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Essentially, each frame of 4K movie contains four times the detail found in the FHD or HD version of that movie.

For more information on this, check out our dedicated feature on Everything You Need To Know About 4K.

How to tell if you’re watching 4K video?

If you put 4K video content next to HD or FHD video content, the difference between the two is night-and-day.

However, if you’re launching straight into some video content and don’t have another screen available for a side-by-side comparison, it can sometimes be easy to mistake FHD content for 4K content.

Credit: Netflix

Fortunately, there is an easy way to confirm the quality that your TV is outputting at.

Most TV remotes feature an info button that, when pressed, will display a quick readout of the resolution that your TV is currently outputting. If you see anything other than 3840 x 2160, it means the content you are watching is being output in proper 4K.

If you’re watching content that’s listed as 4K on a streaming service like Netflix or Stan, the info button can also be a quick and easy way to confirm that you are receiving the highest level of content that your internet connection should be able to support.

For Netflix users, this translates to the following:

  • 0.5 Megabits per second - Required broadband connection speed

  • 1.5 Megabits per second - Recommended broadband connection speed

  • 3.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for SD quality

  • 5.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for HD quality

  • 25 Megabits per second - Recommended for Ultra HD quality