Surveillance systems are part and parcel of today’s modern infrastructure. You can use surveillance cameras for security, live cams, environmental condition monitoring, crowd control, traffic and more. Every year surveillance systems are getting better in quality and performance. Today it is common to see 1080p HD quality security cameras everywhere. However, they are getting an upgrade. With 4K UHD Security systems are preparing to provide even higher quality images.

Understanding “4K UHD”

Even though for most consumers the term 4K, UHD and 4K UHD mean the same thing, there are slight differences. The term 4K comes from professional cinema production and the term UHD comes from consumer video display standards. 4K is derived from 4096 horizontal pixels and UHD stands for Ultra High Definition.

The term “4K” was first coined by Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI). DCI was established in 2002 to define specifications for an open architecture for digital cinema. It was created to help standardize digital cinema specifications. In digital projection, 4K standard means 4096x2160 pixels. The 4k refers to the horizontal pixel count which is almost 4 thousand. The actual 4K standard goes beyond pixel definitions and specifies compression algorithms, bitrates and color depths.

On the other hand, Ultra High Definition or UHD was the next evolution of 1080p HD specification (1920x1080 pixels). UHD pixel definition quadruples 1080p and has 3890x2160 pixels. This is the broadcasting standard. Most TVs or displays in circulation are following the UHD specification.

So, why is the term 4K UHD used? For some reason, marketing departments in the display industry found the 4K name more appealing. So they started to use it to define UHD as 4K UHD. If the display broadcasters had followed the previous standard of 480p, 720p, and 1080p which are the vertical pixels, then the current 4K display should have been called 2160p. However, marketers choose to use the “4K UHD” name to market their products. In the cinema industry, the 4K term is still used to mean 4096x2160 pixels.