What is 4K?

Video: Set up 4K and HDR

Watch the video Set up 4K and HDR. Note This video is available in English only.

4K is a resolution for your TV. Technically called 4K UHD (or 4K Ultra HD, or 4K Ultra High Definition), it packs in four times as many pixels as a 1080p HDTV. This makes for a sharper, more detailed picture.

To watch in 4K and its companion video technology, HDR (high dynamic range), you must have a 4K TV and either an Xbox One X or Xbox One S console.

Native 4K vs. 4K upscaling

When you set your console resolution to 4K UHD, everything on the console—Home, games, and apps—will display at 4K. On Xbox One X, 4K content is displayed in its native 4K resolution, and other content (like games encoded for 1080p) is upscaled to 4K. Games on Xbox One S also get upscaled to 4K. While typically smoother and more detailed than native 720p or 1080p, upscaled 4K is not as rich and detailed as native 4K.

To set your resolution and upscale everything to 4K, press the Xbox button to open the guide, go to System > Settings > Display & sound > Video output. For TV resolution, select 4K UHD.

4K in games and apps

You don't have to set your console resolution to 4K to play 4K content. You can set your console to another resolution, such as 1080p, and when a game or app requires 4K (and your TV supports the 4K mode it wants), it'll automatically switch to 4K. This is good if you want to play 1080p content in its native resolution, but also take advantage of the 4K resolution when playing 4K content.

To set your resolution to a lower resolution but switch to 4K when 4K content is played:

  1. Open the guide and go to System > Settings > Display & sound > Video output and then make sure TV resolution is set to 720p or 1080p.
  2. Select Advanced video settings and make sure Allow 4K is checked.

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