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Updated by Brent Archer - Contact Author

How to Convert/Compress 4K to 1080p at Highest Quality

We've been familiar with 1080p resolution for quite a lot of years. While everything is evolving, including the image video quality, which has a leap forward from 1080p to 4K, and even 8K or higher resolution. The problem is that sometimes you figured out that you are unable to play 4K video on a certain device or computer. Given that, many people hope to convert 4K to 1080p, not only for a wider compatibility, but also saving up much of disk space.

Get a 4K Video Converter to Downscale 4K to 1080p without Losing Quality

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - a featur-packed 4K converter with file size and quality well-balanced! Check what it can do for you:

  • Downscale 4K 2160p to 1080p to make video smaller with at least 50% size off. Any video format is supported, be it MP4, MKV, HEVC...
  • To further reduce 4K video, converting 4K from H264 to HEVC is a superb way to go, 64% bit rate reduction compared with H264.
  • High-quality engine & De-interlacing engine ensure the highest quality reserved after 4K/HD video compression.
  • Still too large? Edit and adjust 4K video: Cut, crop, merge video clips; lower bit rate, frame rate 120/60FPS to 30FPS...
  • 4K video processing is a compute-intensive task, easily causing CPU overload, app crash issue. WinX' Intel/Nvidia/AMD GPU hardware acceleration is the cure to this problem, offloading 4K compression task from CPU to expert GPU to fix laptop lagging, CPU overuse issues.

Part 1: 4K vs 1080p - Which Is Better?

Before everything, you need have a certain understanding of 4K and 1080p resolution and know which is better on different scenarios.

The term 4K stands for videos in such premium quality, which is a resolution processing over 4,000 pixels in the horizontal direction. In television and consumer media, 3840 × 2160 (4K UHD) is the dominant 4K standard, whereas the movie projection industry uses 4096 × 2160 (DCI 4K).

1080p, also know as Full HD or FHD is a set of HDTV high-definition video modes characterized by 1,920 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 1,080 pixels down the screen vertically.

As for which is better, it depends. 4K absolutely provides better image video quality than 1080p on big screens. Wheras in small screens like mobile or handheld device, you can hardly distinguish the difference of 4K and 1080p. Conversly, 4K takes up larger space on your hard disk.

4K vs 1080p
4K vs 1080p

Part 2: Why Do You Need Convert 4K to 1080p?

1. 4K video file (4096 x 2160) is not compatible with most media players and mobile devices now. Instead 1080p HD (1920 x 1080) works fine and can be widely played on VLC, Windows Media Player, iPhone, iPad, Samsung, etc. Some free media players may be able to play 4K files, but without hardware acceleration decoding and playing, the tools are often crashed.

2. It is cumbersome to edit 4K videos in most video editing software.

3. Unable to fast upload 4K videos to video sharing sites like YouTube, Facebook, etc. (esp. on phones) due to big size and high definition.

4. It's impossible to send 4K footages via Email and 4K video occupies too much space on mobiles, hard drive, iCloud, etc.

So in most cases, you're required to compress 4K video to HD 1080p with a 4k video converter. Here we'll introduce you the top ways to reduce 4K resolution to 1080p with minimal quality degradation and maximum size reduction.

Part 3: How to Compress and Convert 4K UHD to 1080p HD Easily

With WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, you can convert 4K to 1080p, 720p, 480p, and more other resolution easily with high quality reserved. Also, this software lets you convert 4K videos to any formats like MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV, HEVC, H.264, VP9 etc. Now let's dive in and find out how to convert 4K to 1080p.

Free download WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - top-notch 4K to 1080p downscaler on your Windows (10) PC. If you are running macOS, the Mac version is also avaliable.

Step 1. Add a 4K video.

Run this video compression software. Directly drag or click "+Video" button to import the 4K video. Bulk compression is available, as well. Do this task on a slightly higher configured computer with Intel QSV, Nvidia NVENC or AMD GPU hardware acceleration supported, for this will guarantee you a smooth yet 5X faster 4K to 1080p compressing speed.

Step 2. Set the output format and 1080p resolution.

Here you could choose to downscale 4K video to 1080p HD in the universal MP4 video format and select "1920 x 1080" resolution from the video audio parameters setting window by clicking gear-shaped Setting icon. (MP4 video is widely used for flawless playback on nearly all media players and devices, uploading on social sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc, sending via emails, etc. Except MP4, you can make 4K video smaller by converting format to AVI, FLV, WMV format and more.)

convert 4K to MP4 H.264
Convert 4K to MP4 H.264


1. Bit rate and frame rate also count a lot on account of video size, esp. for hi-def 4K resolution. If needed, you're at full disposal to lower frame rate from 120FPS to 60FPS, 60FPS to 30FPS or tweak bit rate from CBR to VBR.

downscale 4K to 1080p
Change resolution from 4K to 1080p

2. To get rid of unnecessary clips from 4K video, tap "Edit" and enable Trim feature to shorten your 4K video length. This conduct not only enables you to whopping downsize 4K video, but also leave you more room for video customization.

Trim 4K video
Trim 4K video

Step 3. Click "Run" to start compress and convert 4K to 1080p.

Set an output destination folder by clicking "Browse" button. When all things done, right click "RUN" button to start to compress and convert 4K Ultra HD to 1080p video. The whole process only costs you few minutes.

Related: 6 Ways to Compress Large Video Files for Email

Tip: video size reduction comes at the cost of quality loss? Yes, it would be. But different software brings different resulting quality. Luckily, WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, engined by constantly optimized compression kernel, alongside with powerful High Quality Engine, can bring you a resulting 4K output file with visually no quality loss. You can give it a whirl and test it on your own to reach conclusion!

Video Tutorial: How to Downscale 4K to 1080p HD using WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

Part 4: More Ways to Downscale 4K to 1080p

Besides WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, there are also other ways to downscale 4K to 1080p, for example, with HandBrake, Premiere Pro, VLC or online video compressor and so on. Now let's take a closer look.

How to Downscale 4K to 1080p using Handbrake

Honestly speaking, Handbrake is much of muchness to WinX in video compression means. For instance, what handbrake adopts for 4K video compression also concludes deduction of resolution, frame rate, bit rate and video codec conversion. What omissions Handbrake has are trimming, High quality engine and inferior GPU acceleration (only Intel QSV decoding supported for Windows version).

The shinning part of Handbrake is for novices who know little about video parameter settings adjustment. Handbrake offers you an expansive library of pre-programmed profiles with speed, resolution and frame rate tagged. You just select what you need, no manual adjustment.

How to Downscale 4K to 1080p using Handbrake
How to Downscale 4K to 1080p using Handbrake

Never used Handbrake to compress and convert 4K 2160p tp 1080p full HD? Check handbrake video compression tutorial. In this article, it elaborates the steps on how to resize 4K video to 1080p using Handbrake with optimal settings and quality you need.

How to Compress 4K to 1080p in Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is another choice to downscale any UHD 4K footage to 1080P resolution suitable for playable on most of the devices. Even better, it's available of kinds of video editing options that let you tweak 4K video in any format, camera, platform, in addition to native file support and lightweight proxy workflows. Most importantly, break the "it's complicated" stereotype in your head. It can be really easy with the following steps:

  1. Launch Premiere Pro, create a project and click on the "Import media to start" panel to import your 4K video.
  2. Simply drag and drop the imported video file into the "Drag media here to create sequence" panel to create a sequence.
  3. Adjust the sequence setting to apply the downscale parameters. In the pop-up window, input 1920 and 1080 as the horizontal and vertical "Frame Sizes" respectively. And enable the "Maximum Bit Depth" and "Maximum Render Quality" for the best output results and click "OK" to apply the changes.
  4. From the "File" menu, select the "Export" option and from the side-kick menu, choose "Media…" to export the downscaled video.
How to Compress 4K to 1080p in Premiere Pro
How to Compress 4K to 1080p in Premiere Pro

How to Convert 4K to 1080p with Online Compressor

Of course, you can also take advantages of online video compressor to convert 4K to 1080p. It never requires you to install any third-party software or plugins. But the problem is that it depends more on network bandwidth. And 4K video file size is usually huge, which requires you to log in and even buy an advanced account for more space. Even though, there is also a big possibily that you cannot upload your 4K video to the cloud service owing to the file size limit.

Let's take FreeConvert as an example, it maximumly allows 1GB video for uploading. Here are the easy steps:

  1. Click "Choose Files" button to upload your 4K video online.
  2. Click the gear-shaped Setting button to enter a window for parameters adjustment.
  3. Choose "Target a video resolution" in Compression Method, "By Width & Height" in Change Resolution, and type in your specific resolution (1920 × 1080) to customize your video resolution. Then hit "Apply Settings" to save the changes.
  4. Tap "Compress Now!" to start shrink 4K video to 1080p.
Compress 4K to 1080p with online video compressor
Compress 4K to 1080p with online video compressor

Last but not least, you're warmly welcomed to share with us about your effective yet simple solution to compress 4K to 1080p. Contact us via Email or official Facebook, YouTube, Twitter account. We'd like to hear from you!


author - Brent Archer

Brent Archer twitter

Brent Archer is an experienced editor who loves all things related to social. He has spent more than a decade writing instructional contents related to social media, streaming services and video related topics all over the internet for Digiarty. Outside the social, he is addicted to Google I/O, Apple WWDC and other tech news to keep him informed.

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