OnQ Blog

Beyond 1080p: how mobile is driving the Ultra HD revolution

Oct 14, 2014

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

We all have a story to tell. Each person has a unique perspective on life, and when we share our stories with one another—whether by creating a Hollywood movie, or simply posting a video on YouTube—it’s like adding a personal twist to the ever-changing definition of life. The power of 4K is that now you can capture the rich visual depth of life like never before. The latest 4K Ultra HD ready mobile devices powered by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 series processors let you share your singular vision with the world in just a few taps.

We’re so excited about 4K Ultra HD that we’re throwing a party to celebrate. On October 16th, 2014 we’re inviting industry analysts and members of the press to see the world beyond HD with Snapdragon powered 4K smartphones and tablets as well as some very cool demonstrations of what 4K is capable of. The event, Night at the 4K Museum, will be held at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and it will give us a chance to demonstrate that 4K is here today and is mobile.

When you hear ”4K,” you probably think of huge TVs with price tags that rival their eponymous resolutions. Forget about TVs. Okay, don’t forget about them, but for now let’s leave them in the living room where they belong. Going beyond 1080p is all about mobile devices; and if mobile is driving the 2K and 4K revolution, then the Snapdragon 800 series processors are behind the wheel.

4K resolution, compared to Full HD and Standard Definition
TVs are good for visualizing the difference in size between 4K and other display resolutions, though.

You’ll probably notice a significant improvement in picture quality when you select a YouTube video in 1080p instead of 720p – and that’s a small step compared to 2K (1440p) and 4K (2160p) resolutions that YouTube now supports. Luckily the same processors that are raising the bar on resolution also add better connectivity, increased system-wide bandwidth, and cutting-edge power management all in one small package, and without the dragging load times. That’s the beauty of the Snapdragon processor architecture.

That’s because an upgrade in system capabilities as significant as 2K and 4K is due to more than just advances in display technology. Qualcomm’s heterogeneous computing approach brings 4K out of the living room and into the mobile world by changing the way content beyond 1080p is handled by your devices. How? Qualcomm Snapdragon processors use specialized engines for different tasks, rather than forcing all of that extra data through the CPU as tradition dictates. This is designed to allow for optimal performance and super-efficient processing, while maximizing battery life and thermal efficiency. If it all sounds fancy, that’s because it is. If mobile processing were a dinner party, the Snapdragon processor would be the guest who uses the proper silverware.

If you own a newer smartphone like the Sony Xperia Z3, Samsung GALAXY S5, or LG G3, that’s all you need to start producing your own 4K content with every video you take. It’s like having a Hollywood studio in your pocket. The remarkable amount clarity you get with 4K Ultra HD is much closer to what we see with our eyes.

That 1080p screen you might be using on your smartphone? A 3MP photo, with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, would more than fill it. All that super high quality content you’ve been creating for years is still trapped beneath those 1080p screens. Sure, on a 1080p display extra megapixels aren’t doing you much good, but some new devices like the LG G3 with its 2K Quad HD (or QHD) display are already moving beyond HD. With all of those extra pixels just begging to be seen, it’s really no wonder.

The beyond 1080p revolution is here today and means being able to create professional-quality videos right from your phone, and playing video games with console-grade graphics. The pictures you share with friends will be like giving them a crystal clear window into your favorite memories. It turns out, the 4K future is happening right now – and it’s all about mobile.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Snapdragon Staff