April 22, 2021

Best 4K Video Converters: How to Convert 4K to 1080p on Windows and Mac

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How to Convert 4K to 1080p

For many years, 1080p was the highest resolution available for video and movie files, but 4K has since dethroned 1080p as the most impressive resolution of all. When it comes to 4K vs. 1080p, 4K is clearer and more detailed, and there are many 1080p vs. 4K comparisons out there to show off the differences.

However, the average 4K movie file size can be quite high, and 4K movies aren't playable on all devices. So you might want to convert 4K to 1080p to get smaller and more versatile files. This guide will cover some of the best 4K video converter programs out there, as well as covering all the details of how to convert 4K to 1080p.

How to Convert a 4K Video to 1080p with Movavi Video Converter

Movavi Video Converter is powerful and user-friendly software that handles video in 2K, 4K, 5K, and even 8K, and supports more than 180 different media formats, including AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4; AAC, MP3, OGG; GIF, JPG, PNG, and more. Easily convert your 4K video to 1080p or lower and enjoy it however you wish. Simply download the PC or Mac version of the program and follow our step-by-step guide.

Step 1. Install the Movavi 4K Video Converter

Launch the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.

Step 2. Add the Video You Want to Convert

Open Movavi Video Converter. Click the Add Media button and then Add Video in the upper left corner of the program interface. Choose the video files you want to convert and click Open.

Step 3. Choose the Output Format and Resolution

4K files may have different file extensions, depending on where you obtain them. Blu-ray videos are usually stored in M2TS format, while smartphone-recorded videos are saved in MP4. Still, no matter what the input format of your video is, the Movavi 4K converter will have no problems opening it.

You can choose any output format, but for better compatibility and image quality, MP4 is one of the best options. So, in the lower part of the interface, go to the Video tab and choose MP4, then select the desired preset depending on the screen resolution you need.

If you want to convert your 4K movie for watching on your mobile device, go to the Devices tab, find the brand name of your device and choose the model.

Step 4. Convert 4K to 1080p Using the Movavi 4K Converter

Click the Save to button to specify where your converted files should be saved. Hit Convert in the bottom right corner to start the conversion process. When the file is ready, the folder with the output file will open automatically.

Now you know how to downscale videos using the 4K to 1080p converter from Movavi!

Best 4K Video Converters Online

One way you might choose to convert 4K to 1080p is to make use of a 4K to 1080p converter online. These online services essentially allow the user to upload a 4K file like a 4K MP4 into the system and then convert it into other formats, such as 1080p or 720p. There are several 4K video converter online options you can choose between.

HDconvert allows users to convert videos online with both free and premium options and features. You can convert a video to 4K from 1080p or downscale 4K to 1080p, as required, and this system supports a range of different output formats, like MOV, AVI, and MP4.

This 4K converter online offers maximum conversion speeds of up to 900 frames per second, but there are some limitations. All uploaded and converted files only get stored on HDconvert's cloud servers for 24 hours, so need to be accessed and downloaded quickly to avoid the files being lost.

You also don't have access to Ultra HD 4K quality on the basic free plan, so you'll need to pay to be able to convert to 4K and 1080p too. Premium features also remove the watermark from videos and remove file size and video length limits which are present on the free version.

How to Use HDconvert

To convert video files with HDconvert, you'll need to open up the website and head to the Convert section. You can then click on the format you wish to convert to from the list available and then click on the Convert Video button to open up a new window. This window allows you to upload your video file to the HDconvert cloud servers. Once the file has been uploaded, you can proceed to convert it.

FreeConvert.com is another online video converter tool for converting 4K to 1080p and vice versa. This online tool is compatible with 60 different video formats, including the most popular options like MP4, AVI, and MKV, and it has both free and paid options. All files are protected with 256-bit encryption for security and privacy, as well as being deleted automatically after two hours.

The tool works with any web browser. On the free plan, users can only convert files of up to 1 GB in size. You can opt for four different payment plans to access premium features. The premium plans allow for files of up to 5 GB in size to be converted. 4K video file size can be quite large, so this tool may not be suitable for the conversion of lengthy 4K files.

The premium plans allow for unlimited conversions per day and up to 100 conversions simultaneously. Users can merge up to 100 files at a time with the Pro plan from FreeConvert.com, and none of the premium plans have ads, but certain premium members' files are treated with higher priority and therefore get faster conversion speeds than others.

How to use FreeConvert.com

To make use of FreeConvert.com, you'll need to open up the website's home page. You should see a Choose Files button in the center. You can click on this or drag and drop your files onto the window to start the upload process. Once your files have been uploaded, you'll be able to select a target video format and hit the Convert button to begin the process.

CloudConvert is an online video converter service that has been operating since 2012. It supports more than 200 different video formats, including MP4, AVI, 3GP, MPG, MOV, and MKV. It encrypts all files for privacy and also supports conversions of other kinds of files like audio, image, and e-books.

Users can use CloudConvert for free and convert up to 25 files per day. However, to access the full features of the service, users will need to pay a monthly fee. Fees are custom calculated based on the number of conversions or conversion minutes a user requires.

Premium packages offer unlimited file sizes and maximum of five hours of processing time per file. They also offer unlimited simultaneous conversions, and CloudConvert allows a user to down-convert 4K to 1080p as well as convert 1080p to 4K.

How to Use CloudConvert

To use this 4K converter software, you must first visit the CloudConvert site. You can either select and upload your file right away using the button provided, or make use of the drop-down menus to select the file formats you want to work with. Once your file has been uploaded, you'll be able to select the required output format and then wait for the conversion process to complete before downloading your new file.

Best Free 4K Video Converters

There are also plenty of freeware options for people who want to convert 4K to 1080p for free. With these options, you can change, upgrade, and downgrade your video files into different formats like 720p and 1080p for use on your HD TV without having to pay for the privilege. Here are some of the best free 4K to 1080p converter options available.

VLC is a popular media player commonly used to play media files like movies and music. Advanced users can also make use of VLC as a 4K to 1080p converter for free. It can convert files in many common formats like AVI, DVD, MPEG, and WMV.

OS: Windows, Linux, macOS

How to Convert 4K Videos with VLC:

  1. Open the VLC program and click on the Media button in the top left.
  2. From there, click on the Convert/Save button.
  3. You'll then need to choose which video or videos you wish to add in and convert.
  4. When you've added files, hit the Convert/Save button in the bottom right corner.
  5. You'll need to choose the file name for your new video files and select the desired format too.
  6. Once the right settings have been selected, click Start to begin the conversion.

Any Video Converter is another example of a freeware converter. It offers over 100 input formats and more than 160 output formats, working on both Windows and Mac, but the free version will not work with DVDs, so you have to pay if you want to convert a DVD to 4K video format.

OS: Windows, macOS

How to Convert 4K Videos with Any Video Converter:

  1. Open the Any Video Converter program.
  2. Add the desired video files via the Add feature or simply drag them onto the window.
  3. Choose the desired output format for your files.
  4. Click on the Convert Now button to start the process.

Acrok is a Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K video converter that’s free. It allows the user to convert both Blu-ray and DVD movies to formats of their choosing. The free version is only a trial, however, so you'll need to pay for premium to remove limitations and open up all the features like file editing, subtitles, and the full range of formats.

OS: Windows, macOS

How to Convert 4K Videos with Acrok:

  1. Open the program.
  2. Add the file(s) you wish to convert.
  3. Select your desired output format and settings.
  4. Click Convert to start the process.

HandBrake is a popular open-source video transcoder and converter. It can work with many different video files and comes with various built-in presets for popular devices like iPhones and Playstations. It can preserve quality while compressing file size, but its complex features may be complicated for beginners. You can use Handbrake as a 4K video converter.

OS: Windows, Linux, macOS

How to Convert 4K Videos with Handbrake:

  1. Open the software and load in your files.
  2. Choose from a preset or individually select the output file formats and settings you want.
  3. Use advanced features to add in subtitles, title selections, chapter markets, etc.
  4. Click Convert when you're ready to proceed.

Xilisoft Video Converter is able to convert more than 160 different audio and video formats, including 4K and 1080p videos, as well as 2D and 3D movie files. It works on Mac, for those looking how to convert 4K to 1080p Mac, but many of its features are locked behind a paywall, with the free trial not able to offer the full functionality of the software.

OS: Windows, macOS

How to Convert 4K Videos with Xilisoft:

  1. Open the program and click on Add Files to add your video files to the list.
  2. Select the videos for conversion.
  3. Use the settings to adjust your desired file output format and quality.
  4. Click Convert Checked Item(s) to continue.

MacX Video Converter Pro is a video processing and conversion tool designed exclusively for the Mac platform. Windows and Linux users will not be able to use this service. It works with 420 different formats and is able to compress large 4K files into smaller files while preserving quality, as well as offering screen capture, editing, and other features. As with other entries on this list, many of the features only appear in the full paid version, but there is a free trial of MacX Video Converter Pro for users to test out.

OS: macOS

How to Convert 4K Videos with MacX Video Converter Pro:

  1. Open the 4K video converter on your Mac and click on the Video button to add your video files.
  2. Select the files you want to convert and adjust the desired settings.
  3. Hit the Convert button to begin the conversion process.

WinX HD Video Converter works on both Mac and Windows and offers simple HD video conversion, working with all kinds of video formats. It features many device presets for devices like iPhones, Apple TVs, and Xbox consoles.

OS: Windows, macOS

How to Convert 4K Videos with WinX HD Video Converter:

  1. Open the software and click Add in the top left to add your files.
  2. You'll then be able to use the various sliders and menus on the page to adjust audio quality, video quality, and so on.
  3. Hit the Start button in the bottom right when you're ready to proceed.

Pavtube is another video conversion program that features several advanced features like video editing and high-speed conversion processes into many different formats and resolutions. It offers video editing and extra features like subtitles too, but many features are exclusive to the full paid version.

OS: Windows, macOS

How to Convert 4K Videos with Pavtube:

  1. Open the program and click to add your files at the top.
  2. Select the files you want to convert or edit and choose the desired output format via the menu at the bottom of the window.
  3. Click on the conversion symbol in the bottom right to proceed.

How to Choose the Best 4K Video Converter

There are several factors to take into account when comparing 4K resolution vs. 1080p and trying to find the best 4K resolution video converter. As seen above, there are many different programs out there, each with its own features, pricing structures, and pros and cons.

You'll first need to make sure you find a 1080p to 4K converter that is compatible with the devices you wish to use. Some people may want to work with a Mac, for example, and require a video converter for Mac, while others may be on a Windows PC or even an Android tablet.

You also need to consider the limitations of the software in question. Some 4K upscaling software options impose limits on users. They might have file size or video length limits that could prevent you from converting your 4K video file.

The speed of conversion is a key factor too. Some free 4K video converter programs can take a long time to convert 4K to 1080p or to convert 1080 to 720, for example. If you want access to your files quickly, it's best to find a fast program or tool.

Finally, you should check the features of your chosen program. Can it meet all of your needs? Is it able to convert full HD to 4K and vice versa without losing quality? It's important to make sure that it can work with the files you need and convert the video resolution and HEVC settings you want.

4K vs. 1080p – Comparison Table

Comparison Parameter

4K

1080p

Horizontal x Vertical pixels3840 × 21601920 x 1080
Aspect ratio16:916:9
Other names4K, Ultra HD, Ultra High-DefinitionFull HD, FHD, Full High-Definition
Optimal viewing distance3.7' for 55" screen7.2' for 55" screen
Average file size100-150 MB per minute400-600 MB per minute
Recommended bitrate44-56 Mpbs10 Mpbs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a 4K video format?

A 4K video file is one with a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels. These videos may also be labeled as Ultra HD, and they can come in many traditional video formats and file types like MP4, MKV, MOV, and AVI.

What is a 4K video file size?

The size of any video file depends on various factors and is primarily influenced by the bitrate. The bitrate is the amount of video data that gets transferred per second and is usually measured in megabytes per second or Mbps. For 4K videos, the bitrate needs to be quite high in order to preserve the quality of the file, and a single minute of 4K movie file size can be several hundred MB. The exact size of any video file will depend on its length, the bitrate, and other factors like compression ratio and audio too.

How do I convert 4K to 1080p on a Mac?

To convert 4K videos on a Mac, you'll first need to download and install a 4K video converter for Mac, like Movavi Video Converter, downloadable in the link below.

Movavi Video Converter

Once the program has been installed, you can open it up and then drag and drop your files into the program's window. You can then pick the format you want to convert to and hit the Convert button in the lower right corner to start the process.

How do I convert 1080p to 4K?

Converting from 1080p to 4K requires the assistance of a 1080p to 4K converter, like Movavi Video Converter, which can be downloaded and installed via the link below.

Movavi Video Converter for Windows

Movavi Video Converter for Mac

Once the program has been installed, you can open it up, drag and drop your movie files into the window, and then select the 4K format you want to convert them to. Finally, click on the Convert button to begin the process.

What is HEVC (H.265) 4K?

HEVC stands for High-Efficiency Video Coding, and HEVC (H.265) 4K is essentially a new standard of video coding, building on previous technologies, designed to make video compression for large 4K files as efficient as possible. It's a great choice when working to convert 4K to 1080p on a Mac or Windows.