Nowadays 4K has taken over the mainstream of the world of digital videos and it is gradually supported by more and more TVs, computers, cameras, smartphones, UAV, car driving recorders, video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo, and so on. Despite that, a fair number of contents distributed today, from broadcasting, streaming service to home-made movies, are still in Full HD with the resolution of 1920x1080. Therefore, it is necessary to upscale 1080p to 4K, otherwise, contents can look small screen on a 4K displayer.

In fact, most 4K TVs are equiped with 4K upscaling technology, which can make us to watch 1080p videos on 4K TV without black area surrounding. The point here, the output quality varies with the inbuilt 4K upscaler. Cheaper 4K TVs usually come with sub-par scalers. So in this case, we possibly won't see any quality enhancement. Worse result is also possible. If this is the case, you can first upscale 1080p to 4K with a third-party 4K upscaling software in adavance.

Upscale 1080p HD Video to 4K

Best 4K Upscaling Software to Upconvert 1080p HD Video to 4K

There is a long list of 4K video upconversion software on the market. Among them, EaseFab Video Converter is strongly recommended. It's a totally clean, fast and user-friendly video converting program that supports encoding/decoding videos in any resolution and in nearly any format. Different from other so-called 4K upscaling software requiring users to set 4K video resolution and other parameters manually, EaseFab Video converter offers well-configured 4K MP4 output profile (edcoded with H.264) to make 1080p to 4K conversion badly easy for users, and with ideal quality.

In addition, its hardware acceleration technology allows the converting process to be achieved faster by deploying GPU as far as possible to improve computational performance. Furthermore, you are allowed to adjust video parameters by yourself, which can ensure quality loss as little as possible. In addition to upscale 1080p to 4K, you are allowed to extra things like editing and codec converting.

To get started, you should download and install this 4K upscaling software on your computer. In the following guide, I will take EaseFab Video Converter Windows version to show the upconversion. The process on Mac (macOS Big Sur incl.) is the same.

[Tutorial] How to Upscale 1080p to 4K in 3 Simple Steps

Step 1. Load the 1080p content(s)

Launch EaseFab Video Converter, then click Add Video button to load source 1080p videos. You're allowed to insert multiple video clips for batch conversion.

Load the 1080p content(s)

Step 2. Select 4K output profile

Click Profile bar and move mouse cursor to HD/4K Video category and select MP4-4K (codec: h.264+aac) as the target output file. As you see, MKV-4K, MOV-4K are also available, but MP4-4K is the most compatible format to fit for 4K TV, YouTube, etc.

Select 4K MP4 for 1080p video upscaling

If you want to adjust the advanced parameter, such as video codecs, frame rate, aspect ratio and more, by your own, you can click Settings button beside the profile and enter into parameter settings page.

Recommended Quality-Size Settings Upscaling 1080p to 4K:

1. You're not suggested to adjust the frame rate and aspect ratio, if not necessary.
2. Lower the bitrate to a lower level. For example, adjust the original 30000 bitrates to 4000~6000 (you can type any value by your own) is acceptable without noticeable pixellation, but this will help you get a 4K MP4 video with a balance between quality and file size.
3. Adjust resolution. By default, the resolution is 3840*2160, you can also select 4096*2160 according to your demand.

Recommended Settings for Upscaling 1080p to 4K

Step 3. Start the upconversion.

After everything is OK, you can hit Convert button to begin upconverting 1080p full HD to 4K HD videos. Once done, you can find it in the destination folder.

1080p Upscaled to 4k vs Native 4K, is there any difference in terms of quality?

Before we go further, let's make it clear the terms of 4K resolution and 1080p. 4K resolution, also referred to 4K, means the horizontal display resolution of about 4096/3840 pixels and vertical resolution is around 2160 pixels. To be precise, the distribution, 4096X2160 and 3840X2160, is for household media and cinema industry respectively. By contrast, 1080p refers to a content with 1920X1080 pixels and progressive scanning.

An upscaled 4K (from 1080p) video will, of course, 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 if a video has a 4K resolution it will look perfect on a 4K TV, but this is not always the case.

The truth is that sometimes you can't even tell the difference between an upscaled 4K and a native 4K video on the same 4K TV merely by the sight of your eyes. Besides, it is worth noting that the upscaling quality very much depends on the sources. 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 not astonishingly perfect.

1080p vs 4k.jpg

Final Words:

Displaying 1080p on a 4K displayer requires upsampling (interpolation), the opposite requires downsampling. Upsampling is the process of adding information, and reasonable upsampling can make the image look clearer; while downsampling is the process of reducing information. Both of them are sample-rate conversions, and improper conversion can cause interference to images. In other words, upscaling is like the job of artwork restorer, adding the missing elements and polishing the details.

EaseFab Video Converter is a professional yet simple-to-use video converter utilizing superb upscaling algorithm to upconvert 1080p to high-quality 4K in MP4 to fit for 4K TV, YouTube, etc. It runs well on Windows 10, 8, 7 and others. A Mac version is also available. In addition to upscaling 1080p to 4K and compress 4K to 1080p, EaseFab Video Converter can also convert videos among MKV, MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, HEVC, AVCHD, M2TS, MOD, TOD, 3GP, FLV, SWF, MXF, and so on.