4K Video Converter: A Guide on How to Convert 4K Video to 1080p

Video resolution has come a long way since the early days of YouTube. Those of us of a certain age remember when YouTube videos were grainy and unclear, but we watched them anyway. Video creation has come a long way since, and most people have access to 4K resolution. Additionally, there are dozens of software programs involved with video making.  This has created a bit of a problem. With many video options comes many video formats and sizes. We are far away from a world where one size fits all. Here are the best 4K video converter options.

What is a 4K video converter?

After you've rendered or downloaded a 4K video, it may need to be converted or altered. To do this, you need a 4K video converter. A 4K video converter can change the resolution and video format. Say for example, you downloaded a video to use it in your project. But when you try to load the new video into the editing software, it doesn't work. The most likely reason for the error is an incompatible format. There 8 major video formats. Certain formats only work on certain software, and conversion may be necessary to make it compatible. Most conversion software also allows downgrading the resolution.

Why convert 4K to 1080p?

From the viewer's perspective, downgrading the resolution seems bizarre. Why would anyone want to eliminate the crystal clear vision of 4K in favor of the old-fashioned 1080p? The answer is quite simple: file size. 4K videos take a ton of data to store. In many cases, four times as much data. For creatives and hobbyists without a Hollywood budget, this can gobble up your hard drive space quickly. Unless you want to juggle multiple external hard drives and memory cards, downgrading the resolution might be a reasonable compromise. The large data size of 4K videos will also tear away at cloud storage quickly. It will be hard to store all of your old projects if they are in 4K. You may also run into problems should you need to transfer a video. Most free transfer services have a data cap. Exceed that cap, and you'll have to pay more to share your video files. 

The conversion

The good news is there is a great video conversion software available for free called HandBrake. HandBrake is practically universal, being available on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux.  It has built-in device presets, so you can quickly select the proper video file.  It only converts to the three most popular video formats (MP4, MKV, and WebM). You can easily select the preferred resolution, even going as small as 240p if you wish. Handbrake has a series of presets to choose from, so it will automatically choose the best variables based on where the video will be viewed (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Discord, etc.) 

The actual conversion process can take some time, depending on your computer's capabilities and video size. This is where having an advanced graphics card and a lot of RAM really pays off. If you're in a hurry and need the conversion to be done quickly, close all other programs to free up as much bandwidth as possible. You may notice your computer is making more noises during the conversion; that's because it's doing a lot of work. Normally, doing the conversion from 4K to 1080 is quick, but changing the format of a 4K video can require some patience. 

If you need video editing software after the conversion, be sure to check out the new Roxio Creator NXT. It can handle all of your editing needs, whether in be in 4K in 1080p. 

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