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HD vs full HD - What is the difference?

HD vs full HD - What is the difference?

The first thing most people look up when shopping for a new TV or monitor is the resolution and this is the way it should be. The higher the resolution is the sharper the overall image will be but the resolution labels you can encounter at the moment are many and quite frankly confusing. From HD to Full HD to Quad HD, Ultra HD, 4K, 8K, and more.

And while higher resolution displays have comfortably settled in the mainstream lower resolution displays still have a home in the hardware world even today. With that in mind, let's compare HD and Full HD resolution as these two lower resolutions are still often used in many laptops and TVs.

Each screen, whether it's your smartphone or your TV is made up of many pixels. Small squares that give information about color and light. Resolution refers to the number of pixels on your screen. For a standard HD or high definition display of 1280 pixels by 720 pixels or 720p.

In addition to how they stack up against each other. I'll also be taking a look at whether or not they are even worth considering in 2022 for those on a budget.

What Is HD?

HD vs full HD - What is the difference?

The lower resolution which is also referred to as HD ready for 720p. Strictly speaking, this term denotes displays with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. The total pixel count of this resolution is 1 million pixels. However, nowadays it's also being used as an umbrella term that includes other similar resolutions like 1280x800 or 1366x760.

When it comes to gaming monitors 720p is completely obsolete in 2022. However, as I've mentioned this resolution can still be found in some affordable TVs and laptops.

What Is Full HD?

HD vs full HD - What is the difference?

Full HD also known as 1080p is used to denote a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels at first glance. The difference between 720p and 1080p doesn't seem all that big. However, the total pixel count here is roughly 2 million that's twice as many pixels.

So, if we had two displays of the same size when supporting an HD resolution and the other a Full HD resolution the latter would have a much sharper image. Now Full HD is also slowly growing obsolete in the TV market with 4K TVs having all but replaced them in most homes.

However, the situation isn't the same when it comes to gaming and monitors. While there certainly are 4K gaming monitors out there. We're only now getting graphics cards that can comfortably render games at this resolution. Expensive high-end graphics cards mind you.

So, while 1080p may lag in way of future-proofing. It isn't entirely outdated as of yet.

HD vs Full HD

HD vs full HD - What is the difference?

So, now that we know exactly the terms HD and Full HD in detail. let's see, how they stack up. Obviously, we know that Full HD is a higher resolution and objectively superior but is there a reason why you may want to get a plain old HD monitor or laptop instead?

To answer this question we must first explain what screen real estate is.
Since this should definitely be a top priority when shopping for a display. In essence, screen real estate refers to the amount of space available on the screen for an application to provide output. Basically, since Full HD features twice the pixel count of HD. It also boasts twice as much screen space that applications can use.

Keep in mind, that we're not referring to the physical dimensions of the display. The two displays can be the same but you would effectively have more working space on the display with the larger resolution. This makes multitasking way easier as it eliminates the need for excessive scrolling while reading.

All in all, a higher resolution doesn't only make the image sharper. Visuals are great but folks on a budget may be willing to forgo it. However, it's important to keep in mind that you aren't just foregoing visuals by opting for a lower resolution display. You're also limiting your screen real estate.

HD vs Full HD: Gaming

HD vs full HD - What is the difference?

Of course, we assume most of you reading this article are gamers.

So, how do these two resolutions stack up when it comes to gaming? Is there also some hidden catch here or are the poor visuals the only difference as far as gaming on lower resolutions goes?

And the answer once again is that there is more to it than just the visuals.
When it comes to gaming we have to consider how powerful the hardware is and whether it can make use of any higher resolution.

Now here's the thing, the likeliest place to find an HD display nowadays is on a laptop. Budget laptops typically use the 1366x768 resolution which is a bit higher than regular HD but still not even close to Full HD.

And laptops for the most part lack powerful hardware. Even laptops that do feature dedicated graphics cards won't come close to the level of performance of a PC. As for laptops that use integrated graphics, they are more than likely not running any recent games in 1080p.

So when it comes to laptop gaming, you would in many cases have to lower the resolution to 720p even on a laptop that has a Full HD display and if this is the case and you need to save every penny you can then a laptop with a Full HD display is certainly worth it. However, when it comes to gaming on TVs the situation isn't the same.

As I've mentioned even Full HD is slowly but surely becoming obsolete here. The new generation of consoles is finally set to normalize 4K gaming even the Xbox Series S is going to render games in 2K rather than Full HD.

So, for the sake of gaming on a TV, Full HD is always better than HD. Also, keep in mind that you'll probably use the TV to stream other content as well and that content is going to look so much better on a Full HD TV.

Lastly, when it comes to PC gaming and monitors, the situation is pretty much the same. Full HD always presents the better value and it's not like Full HD monitors are more expensive either. In fact, you'd likely have trouble even finding an HD-ready monitor in the first place.

HD vs Full HD: Future-Proofing

Finally, we have to approach this issue from the perspective of future-proofing. HD ready is already obsolete as it is. It can be a worthwhile pick for laptop gaming since upgrading laptop hardware is more trouble than it's worth but otherwise, it's always better to get a Full HD display if higher resolutions are out of the question.

Keep in mind, though that Full HD is pretty dated itself. And 4K displays aren't nearly as expensive as they once were. But when it comes to monitors nothing is stopping you from getting a lower resolution temporarily while you wait to procure better gaming hardware.

A game rendered in 2K will not look bad by any means on a 4K monitor and unless the monitor in question is larger than 24 inches it won't look bad rendered in 1080p either. So, if you want to keep your laptop, TV, or monitor future-proofed, investing a little extra is more than worth it.

HD vs Full HD: TV

HD vs full HD - What is the difference?

I'm sure you've heard of 4K or ultra-high-definition displays as well. Those had even more 3840 by 2160 pixels. The more pixels you can squeeze onto a screen, the sharper the image but this place comes in many sizes. Smartphones can range from 4 to 5.5 inches. The average HD TV is around 30 to 55 inches. When compared to Full HD devices, they will both have the same number of pixels. Of course, but the Full HD screen on a 5-inch phone will have smaller pixels than, say, a 55-inch TV.

One way to measure pixel density or how compressed the pixels are on your screen is through a unit of measurement called pixels per inch or PPI. The 55-inch Full HD TV has a pixel density of 40 PPI. For the 5-inch Full HD smartphone, it has a pixel density of 440 PPI. That is, its pixels are ten times smaller than those of the television. So the right of the smartphone needs smaller pixels more compressed. This is the distance between the device and your eyes.

The goal is to keep the pixels small enough that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. The recommended viewing distance for a 55-inch TV is between 8 and 9 feet away. When you sit that far away, the pixels don't need to be that small. Smartphones, on the other hand, are kept 6 to 12 inches apart. This is where Apple's Retina display comes in. A Retina display is just Apple's marketing language for a display that has more pixels than the human retina can differentiate.

Steve Jobs said that the magic number was 300 PPI, something that was kept at a distance of between 10 and 12 inches. The original retina iPhone had 326 PPI. While that number is debatable, the reality is that there is a fundamental limit determined by how much your eyes can see and the distance from which you are viewing the image.

In an effort to sell devices, companies will always market bigger and better displays. These days, it's ultra-high definition 4K TVs and 2K smartphones. But if you ask me that Full HD looks pretty good on both a smartphone and a TV, unless you're buying a TV that's over 60 inches. You probably don't need 4K. Most cinemas show movies in 4K too.

So pick the right screen for you, but that's only half the puzzle. The other half is happy. To get the most out of your HD TV, you will also need HD content. If you are looking for physical media and a Full HD, get a Blu-ray disc, iTunes downloaded movies go up to Full HD. Video streamed through a service such as Netflix or HD or Full HD depending on the device you are using.

Except the second season of the house of cards which is available in 4K. Some videos on YouTube can also go up to 4K. But most of the time it will only go up to Full HD. Free HD TV channels are not broadcast in the Philippines. So if you watch a lot of TV, it's best to look for a cable provider that has HD movie and sports channels.

On the flip side of things, content is also about the acquisition. Many newer smartphones and cameras tout 4K video capture. But what good is that feature if you don't have a 4K screen to view them? If you are watching a 4K video from a smartphone on a Full HD, all you really get is Full HD.

So keep all of this in mind when buying a new device.

1. How big is the display?
2. How far away?
3. Can I access to HD movies and HD TV shows?
4. What is my budget?


HD is a resolution comprised of about a million pixels whereas Full HD features approximately 2 million pixels. If this seems impressive, do keep in mind that 4K boasts more than 8 million pixels. So with that in mind, both HD and Full HD resolutions are pretty dated in 2022.

This is most noticeable, in the TV market where 4K TVs now actually outnumber Full HD models in many stores and with 4K content becoming more ubiquitous than ever you can never go wrong with the 4K display. When it comes to laptops Full HD and even HD resolutions feel more at home especially if you plan on gaming.

Most laptops feature integrated graphics and integrated graphics still have trouble handling 1080p in most games. Finally, when it comes to monitors HD-ready models are pretty hard to come by. Full HD has not become obsolete here but it by no means offers any future-proofing.

And that about does it for this article. I hope you found it helpful. You can let me know if you have by sharing it with friends and leaving a comment.


Q. Difference between Full HD vs Ultra HD?

A. Full HD display refers to 1920x1080 pixels, while ultra HD displays 3840x2160 pixels. As you can see, the difference in resolution is massive. The more pixels, the clear picture you'll see on screen. A 3840x2160 resolution means you'll see a more clear picture on your TV than you would with a 1920x1080 resolution. This is the main Full HD and UHD difference and for this reason, it's sometimes known as 4K.

Q. Difference between HD ready vs Full HD?

A. Full HD displays 1920x1080 pixels and HD ready displays 1366x768 pixels. Full HD TVs can display a sharper image, but it is more expensive. The most noticeable difference between the two types of TVs is the pixel density.

Q. Is 1366 x 768 HD?

A. No. Full HD displays 1920x1080 pixels and HD ready displays 1366x768 pixels. While 1366 x 768 is a standard resolution on most non-HD laptops. Most low-cost laptops led displays still come with 1366 x 768 pixels.

Q. Is 1920 x 1080 Full HD?

A. Yes. 1080p is a very common screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels also known as Full HD or Full HD (full high definition). 

Q. Is Full HD better than HD?

A. Full HD is better. FHD offers 1080p image resolution and HD offers 720p image resolution which is more pixels than HD.

Q. What does Full HD mean monitor?

A. Full HD monitor means 1920x1080 pixels monitor. 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically on the screen. Also, known as 1080p.

Q. What is better HD or 1080p?

A. 1080p is better than 720p. 1920 x 1080 pixels is a Full HD display and 1280 x 720 pixels is an HD display. Bigger is better.

Q. Is 1080p Full HD?

A. Yes. 1920 x 1080 pixels is a Full HD display. 

Q. Is 1080p HD or full HD?

A. Full HD. 1920p (1920 x 1080) is a Full HD display and 720p (1280 x 720) is a HD display. So Full HD has more pixels resolution than HD.

Q. Is Full HD necessary for 32 inches?

A. It depends on viewing distance. If the distance is between 4-6 ft, buy a 32-inch. If your viewing distance is less than 4 ft then Full HD is going to make a difference.

Q. What resolutions are 4K?

A. 4K refers to horizontal resolutions of 4000 pixels. Most 4K displays come with horizontally 3840 and 2160 pixels vertically on the screen which can display images at four times the resolution of a 1080p Full HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels).

Q. Is Ultra HD the same as 4K?

A. When it comes to TVs, 4K and Ultra HD is the same thing. Ultra HD and 4K is the next generation of Full HD. 4K was first introduced in digital cinemas which refers to a resolution of 4096 x 2160 and UHD refers to a resolution of 3840 x 2160. This means that the Tv can display four times the pixels of a normal HDTV.

Q. What is 4K vs 1080p?

A. 4K and 1080p measurement of a TV's ability to display a clearer picture. A 4K TV is capable of displaying 3840x2160 pixels, which is 8 million pixels. A 1080p TV is capable of displaying 1920x1080 pixels, which is 2 million pixels. 4K has around 4 times more resolution than 1080p.

Q. How many megapixels is 8K?

A. There are 33.2 million pixels on the screen which refers to a resolution of 7620x4320. 8K is also called super hi-vision and is the future of television. 

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