Owning a 4K displayer does not mean what you watch is all in 4K unless you have 4K channels, 4K players, 4K Blu-ray discs, or a premium plan of some media services providers, etc. In other words, you'd probably be watching the same content that you used to view with a bigger picture.
A fair number of contents distributed today, from broadcasting and streaming services to homemade archival movies, are in Full HD with a resolution of 1920x1080. Your classic movie collections, old photos, or vintage DV recordings are probably not in 4k resolution, either. Hence, it is necessary to upscale 1080p to 4K. Otherwise, the content may still look fuzzy and small, even on a 4K TV screen and other displays.
4K vs 1080p, what do they mean?
Before we go further, let's clarify the terms of 4K and 1080p resolution.
4K resolution, or 4K, means the horizontal display resolution is about 4096 or 3840 pixels, and the vertical resolution is around 2160 pixels. To be more precise, 4K UHD (3840x2160) is what 4k means on a TV or household media, while DCI 4K (4096x2160) is for the digital cinema industry. 1080p (Full HD, FHD, or Full HD resolution) refers to the content with 1920x1080 pixels and progressive scanning.
How Does 4K Upscaling Work
In simple words, upscaling means resizing or increasing the resolution of visual media content without any loss in quality. 4K upscaling converts lower-resolution content (such as FHD 1080p or HD 720p) into a higher 4K resolution (3840x2160 pixels).
Here's a simplified explanation:
- Training and Learning. Only AI upscaling involves this initial phase. The AI model is trained on thousands of hours of video to predict and generate high-resolution detail in real time. Through this training, it learns the intricate visual patterns and textures that are typical of high-definition visuals.
- Analysing. When processing a new video, the AI carefully analyzes the lower-resolution frames, identifying and categorizing elements such as edges and textures. Understanding the content at this level is crucial to making informed predictions about how to upscale each detail effectively.
- Filling in and Upscaling. The AI predicts and introduces new pixels. These new pixels are inserted intelligently between the existing ones to construct a high-resolution image. It doesn't simply guess based on adjacent pixels but uses its understanding of high-resolution imagery to fill in gaps with contextually appropriate details.
- Enhancement. After the upscaling, the AI refines the image to enhance its clarity and quality. It sharpens edges, improves contrast, and removes noise that could degrade the final image. The end goal is to make lower-resolution content look better on a 4K screen, where simply enlarging pixels would otherwise result in a blurry or pixelated image.
However, please note that the effectiveness of 4K upscaling can depend heavily on the algorithms, the power of the hardware, and the quality of the original source material.
How to Upscale 1080p to 4K
VideoProc Converter AI is a highly recommended 1080p to 4K upscaler. Besides 4K upscaling in the traditional way, you can also use the AI Super Resolution to upscale 1080p to 4K with its latest major upgrade.
The Super Resolution tool is an AI-generative video upscaler to upscale videos and images by 200%, 300%, or 400% maximally and enlarge them up to 4K or 8K while delivering a natural result without artifacts and losing details. Trained with a vast dataset, it aims to develop practical algorithms for general video/image restoration. This AI Super Resolution tool tries to keep details of skins, fabrics, faces, bodies, and edges. Let VideoProc Converter AI do the magic, be it classic movies, old photos, or noisy, grainy, interlaced videos.
And the best part? VideoProc Converter AI is optimized for using on average computers. AI video processing is resource-intensive, while this program can dynamically adjust the GPU memory footprint to achieve the best efficiency. It works well with more GPU or CPU models compared with other tools. The Level-3 Hardware Acceleration technology expedites video processing up to 47x real-time faster. You can now harness the power of artificial intelligence without advanced configuration or expensive upgrades.
1. How to Upscale 1080p to 4K with AI
Make sure you have your VideoProc Converter AI ready. If not, feel free to download this AI 4K upscaler via the button below and install it on your device. It's 100% safe and clean and compatible with more models of CPUs and GPUs. Here's how to AI upscale 1080p to 4K with VideoProc Converter AI.
- Remaster or restore old, blurry, and grainy videos and photos up to 4 times
- Upscale 1080p to 4K with AI Super Resolution or non-AI traditional methods
- Adjust GPU performance dynamically and in real time for better compatibility
Step 1. Enable the AI 4K upscaler.
Launch VideoProc Converter AI and go to the Super Resolution module from the main interface.
Step 2. Import your full HD resolution media content.
Drag and drop the images or video files with full HD resolution into the AI model. You can also load your media files by clicking the +Add Media button.
Step 3. Adjust 4K upscaling settings.
Choose Reality or Anime in the Type drop-down list accordingly. To upscale full HD to 4k, select 2x scaling under the Model settings. If you only want to upscale a segment to 4K, drag the green knobs on the left to set the start and end points.
Step 4. Upscale video to 4K with AI Super Resolution.
Adjust output video specifications, such as video codec, audio codec, GOP value, etc. Click the RUN button to upscale from 1080p to 4K.
VideoProc Converter AI will upscale 1080p videos to 4K with your GPU as a priority. But if your GPU does not meet the minimum system requirements, you may see the prompt saying "No GPU Found" when entering the Super Resolution module. CPU operation is possible but will be much slower. Check the system requirements for utilizing AI tools.
2. How to Upscale 1080p to 4K with VideoProc Converter
It's okay if you don't have a beefy computer. VideoProc Converter AI also has a non-AI resolution to upres your video. Here's how to convert 1080p to 4K in the non-AI way.
Step 1. Free download VideoProc Converter AI on your Windows or Mac.
Download and install VideoProc Converter AI on your PC or Mac, and you are free to go.
Step 2. Import the 1080p video(s) to the 1080p to 4k converter.
Launch VideoProc Converter AI and move to the video processing interface. Click the "+Video" to import the video(s) you want to upscale, or drag files to the blank space directly.
Step 3. Select 4K as output profile.
Move to the toolbox on the bottom of the window and select 4K@MP4 video as the target output file. If you want to adjust the advanced parameter, such as video codecs, frame rate, aspect ratio and more, by your own, select the wheel-shaped icon named "Option" and move into the interface.
Step 4. Hit "Run" to generate a 4K video.
Return to the main interface and hit "Run". Speeded by hardware acceleration, projects can be achieved faster than usual video processing software.
Can You Upscale 1080p to 4K?
Yes, 1080p video can be upscaled to 4K. This process involves increasing the pixel count of 1080p content to fit a 4K resolution. You can use VideoProc Converter AI to upscale 1080p to 4K. This versatile 4K upscaler can upscale to 4K using various methods, from basic interpolation techniques to more sophisticated AI-based machine learning models.
Upscaled 4K vs Native 4K, Is There Any Difference in Quality?
An upscaled 4K (from 1080p) video will look better than the one without upscaling (1080p) on a 4K TV, but a 1080p video can only approach its perfection on a 1080p TV. In theory, you would probably think a video with 4K resolution will look perfect on a 4K TV, but this is not always the case.
The truth is, sometimes you can't even tell the difference between an upscaled 4K video and a native 4K video on the same 4K TV screen merely by the sight of your eyes. Besides, it is worth noting that the quality largely depends on the sources and upscaling software. If the quality of the source is far too low (720p HDTV), it will never outpace the look of an ultra-high quality source (4K). Shortly speaking, an upscaled 4K will look better but may not be astonishingly perfect.
Tips about Upscaling
Upscaling is the process of increasing the resolution of an image or video to make it sharper and clearer on higher-resolution displays without losing quality. There are broadly two types of upscaling techniques: traditional upscaling and AI upscaling.
Traditional upscaling uses simple and basic algorithms like nearest-neighbor, bilinear, bicubic interpolation, and Lanczos resampling. These methods are generally faster but may not preserve details and can introduce artifacts, especially when the upscaling factor is distinct.
AI upscaling involves machine learning models, particularly CNNs (convolutional neural networks) and GANs (generative adversarial networks). AI upscaling can often produce higher quality results, adding perceived detail and reducing artifacts by learning from large datasets of images.
Compared to traditional upscaling, AI upscaling typically requires more computational resources and more complex software. However, the results are usually superior, as AI upscaling can add detail and texture that were not present in the original, lower-resolution image or video.
Hesitate no more! Download VideoProc Converter AI for free and upscale 1080p to 4K without quality loss.