With the arrival of the first 8K Television of the world, Resolution 8K will be the new call-in TV or cinematic entertainment in near future. 8K pictures will be the new norms. We are moving in the correct direction to achieve that still, the question remains what is the best TV resolution we will achieve ultimately to make us say ‘enough’?
When did it start ?
It was September 2017 at IFA Berlin where people were assembled to know the technical jargons of TV world like 1K, 4K, 5K, 6K and 8K TV. Most of the buzz was around the terms like 8K monitors 8K LED TV, 8K resolution and companies in this race. Some were even hopeful of watching an 8K movie in a cool 8K cinema in the imminent future. Few were skeptical in 4K vs 8K that if the resolution of 8K TV is double to the 4K TV, is it in the same ratio quality wise? Rightly so because by writing these lines people are still learning about 4K resolution and 4K TVs.
We are yet to be saturated with 4K content. Some of us know about 5K and 6K also which we use in some of the 5K monitors but that is very limited. Questions were asked like can 8K HD content played in normal TVs through some sort of device?
Sharp does it.
And in the same event, a renowned name in TV world ‘Sharp’ announced that they are going to launch a TV with 8K resolution in Mar 2018 thought they did not disclose the release date of 8K TV back then. So we knew that Sharp has claimed to make the highest resolution TV ahead of giants like Sony and Samsung. They are calling it as first 8K Television of the world.
So what is with 8K? As said, 4K content and 4K TV have not reached to saturation. There are so many countries still there where even today; 1K doesn’t have the proper reach. FIFA was telecasted on 4K, how many of us were privileged to have 4K TVs? Not many. Even the big entertainment companies were not equipped with required infrastructure for a 4K telecast. In the present time, 8K content seems a distant dream and some of us are seeing the future with 16K TV!
Sharp considers this TV as the first 8K Television in the world and has given the model name as LV-70X500E. It is a 70 inch TV which is available to European Markets from Mar 2018. Even though the TV is available, the utility of such TV is a factor; a real subject of the present time; for discussed seriously.
LV-70X500E can support a resolution of up to 7680x 4320 and it can upscale the content of 1K and 4K to the 8K resolution level. Generally, an 8K TV is the TV with 8K dimensions i.e 7680 x 4320 resolution dimension which is almost double to 4K resolution but it needs a larger screen.
It was not just Sharp, which has been relentless for commercialization of 8K Technology, Sony, LG, and Samsung are also in the fray. Time will tell which of these will be the trendsetter. Samsun 8K TV launch is expected by this year-end and another model in 2019 whereas 8K Sony TV is somewhere in pipeline with full uncertainty.
Not practical yet
8K Technology is still in a nascent stage. Even the first 8K TV is not so perfect and has some serious drawbacks. The weight of Sharp LV-70X500E TV is way too much; 43 Kilograms precisely. So it will not be easy to mount this TV on any wall. With presently available technology, there is a requirement of 4 HDMI ports on TV to produce an 8K Resolution. This means there needs to have so many input ports on TV.
Since it is the first 8K TV in the world, the price is higher, much higher. The price of Sharp LV-70X500E TV is € 12000. Having told that, Sharp LV-70X500E TV isn’t going to be available to buy anytime soon. That too at a lesser price and available easily to you. Price of 8K TV will be high for another 10 years or so.
Another problem with TV is that it consumes power, a lot of power. The power consumption of common TVs at home is in the range of 60 to 150 watt. 8K TV Sharp LV-70X500E TV guzzles 450 watts!!
Despite all the above odds, even if the access to 8K video will be easier in coming times you need to have 8K monitors for the 8K content. For the 8K content available online on YouTube, 8K videos on your mobile phone won’t look much different from lower resolutions due to limitations of our eyes. Our eyes are not able to feel the difference in 4K and 8K display or higher on small devices like on a mobile phone.
The experiments are on
However, it looks like Sharp is taking 8K Technology very seriously. This is evident in the work and efforts Sharp is putting into 8K. In addition to 8K TV, Sharp is manufacturing 8K camera and 8K broadcast receivers. Japan’s NHK is already covering selected events and programs with 8K camera and broadcasting on this 8K receiver for its viewers. So technically it is only Japan which has a hand on experience with 8K Technology. This year FIFA offered all Football World Cup matches in 4K. Are there chances that next FIFA World Cup Qatar will be available through an 8K video camera? By that time the content will be available to 8K Ultra HD TV?
From a typical CRT TV to 8K via HD, 1K, 4K, the journey of TV technology is astonishing. Again this doesn’t seem to stop here. With so many challenges, the journey of 8K has just started yet. 16K is in pipeline and sooner or later it will also come up. The future of TV technology is unknown but by far the journey seems exciting.