How to Edit 4k Video on a 1080p Monitor?

The latest trend in digital video is 4K. There’s a good chance you’ve seen footage from the new GoPro Hero4 Black on YouTube or professional sports broadcasting networks. But what if you need to edit that video?

Does it make sense to invest in expensive, high-resolution monitors like the one on the left? Or can you easily edit 4K footage on a 1080p monitor like the one on the right?

We’ll show you how to edit a 4K video on a 1080p monitor and save some money!

What is 4K?

4K is the newest video technology. It has four times the number of pixels as 1080p (1920 x 1080). A 4K video displays at 3840 x 2160.

Screen Resolution and 4K Video

The screen resolution of the monitor is a factor in editing a 4K video. The higher the resolution, the easier it is to edit 4K footage on a 1080p monitor. And we’ll show you how to do it!

When editing 4K footage on a 1080p monitor, you’ll need to zoom in and out on your footage. When you do this, you’ll notice that the pixels become much more visible on your footage. It can be difficult to make precise edits when working with 4K video on a 1080p monitor. But if you have a high-res monitor, you won’t have this problem. You can make precise edits without zooming in and out or noticing fine pixel details.

Why 4K Video on a 1080p Monitor?

If you’re editing a 4K video on a 1080p monitor, you might be frustrated by the excessive scrolling and zooming. But there are several ways to edit 4K footage on a 1080p monitor.

You can either scale the footage down to 1920×1080 or use an image editor like Photoshop to edit it.

Editing 4K Video on a 1080p Monitor

You’ve probably heard that editing a 4K video on a 1080p monitor is impossible. That may be true when you’re looking at the footage on your computer. But if you want to edit a 4K video, what you see on the screen when editing is not as important as what you are manipulating in the raw footage before exporting it for display.

Your computer monitors are only capable of displaying a fraction of the pixels that make up 4K video, so you have to down-res the footage before editing it. The easiest way to do this is by using Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015 and setting your workspace resolution to 1920 x 1080.


First, you need a computer that is capable of editing 4K video. You’ll also need software like Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Secondly, you’ll need to make sure your monitor is compatible with 4K video. This means that it must be able to display the resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels or higher.

Lastly, you’ll need a good pair of video editing headphones. This will help you monitor audio levels and fine-tune dialogue and sound effects in post-production with precision.

Software to Edit 4K Videos

You’ll need to use software that can handle 4K footage. There are plenty of video editing suites that will allow you to edit 4K footage, like Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X, and more. But the one you should use depends on what your needs are.

If you’re doing a lot of color correction and heavy editing, then DaVinci Resolve is the best option for you. On the other hand, if you just want to edit some quick cuts into a video sequence then Adobe Premiere Pro is perfect for your needs. In either case, it’s worth investing in 4K televisions so that you can get the best possible experience while editing footage in high-resolution!


If you’re editing 4K video on a 1080p monitor, then your processor is going to be important. You’ll need a powerful processor that can handle the increased workload. A laptop with an Intel Core i7-4700MQ Quad Core processor will do the trick.

RAM is key

The first thing you need to do is make sure your computer has enough RAM. A 1080p monitor can only display 2 megapixels, but a 4K monitor can display 8 megapixels. If a computer isn’t equipped with enough RAM, when you open the 4K video it will be automatically compressed to 1080p. When a video is compressed, the quality decreases and makes editing the footage more difficult.

Graphics Card

The first thing you’ll need is a graphics card. We recommend the AMD Radeon R9 280 because it’s affordable and powerful enough for 4K video editing.


If you’re editing 4K video footage, it’s going to take up a lot of space. A two-minute 1080p video takes up around 100 MB. But a two-minute clip in 4K resolution will take up more than double that.

This can get expensive quickly if you need to store all that footage on your computer. With the cost of hard drives so cheap, it makes sense to store your footage on external drives rather than on your computer’s storage. External hard drives are easy to swap out and replace when they fill up with footage, which means less downtime for your editing process.


If you need to edit 4K footage and don’t want to spend the money on a 4K monitor, it’s simple. All you need is a 1080p monitor. You can edit a 4K video on a 1080p monitor by simply downscaling the video. Most editing programs will allow you to downscale the video for your display resolution so you’re not having to squint at your screen while editing. All of the images will be clearer and crisper, making it easier for you to make changes.

The last consideration when editing 4K video on a 1080p is your computer specifications. If your computer specs are outdated or not high enough, then this technique may not work as well for you because it requires a fast processor and graphics card in order to downscale smoothly.

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