Forget 4K TVs — 8K televisions are already here | Digitalbog

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Forget 4K TVs — 8K televisions are already here

Though 4K TVs remain short on Ultra High Definition 4K content outside of some streaming services and Blu-ray discs, three of the biggest television manufacturers are pushing the limits of screen resolution even higher by introducing their own 8K sets.
                                                 
8K screen viewed from just 7 feet away is going to look sharper than a 4K TV
“The time has come for us to champion the next era in screen resolution,” Samsung U.K. TV marketing director Guy Kinnell said at that firm’s press conference Thursday morning at the IFA tech trade show here. “Viewers can see what they’ve never seen on a TV before.”

But the 8K sets introduced by Samsung, LG and TCL—each offering 33,177,600 pixels instead of the 8,294,400 pixels found on 4K TVs—don’t deserve your dollars. They offer exponentially less stuff to watch in their native resolutions, the extra pixels are noticeable by the human eye at most viewing distances, and they use more power.

“8K is overkill,” said Mark Vena, senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. In this case, more is not better. It only equals more money gone from your bank account.

Samsung, LG and TCL’s 8K debuts

Samsung put the biggest emphasis on 8K at IFA, showing off 65-inch, 75-inch, 82-inch and 85-inch sets without announcing prices or shipping dates. Those details won’t come until October.

At its press conference, the Korean firm pitched 8K as a logical answer to a steady increase in screen sizes and suggested that its software’s ability to upconvert 4K footage would solve the problem of having nothing to watch in 8K.

At Samsung’s exhibit, a highlight reel showed clips originally produced in standard definition, high-def and 4K, alongside 8K-enhanced versions of each. The 4K clips enhanced to 8K showed the least difference, especially from more than a few feet away, while HD video shown in 8K looked meaningfully sharper. But an SD clip of two TV anchors enhanced to 8K left the announcers looking disturbingly plastic.

LG only announced one 8K set, an 88-inch OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) TV. OLED screens offer better contrast ratios and are much thinner than the LED-backlit LCDs that dominate the market, but also cost a lot more.

Is my 4K TV about to become obsolete?

No. 1080p TVs aren’t obsolete, though I would argue they are inferior to today’s 4K HDR TVs. 8K resolution is an incremental upgrade over 4K, and valuable only at large screen sizes. Keep in mind that HDR is what really makes today’s TVs pop, and it is only in 65-inch screen sizes and above that 4K resolution is all that meaningful. Still, good luck buying a 1080p TV in any screen size over 40-inches. 4K is just the new standard now, and look, we’re all doing just fine, even if it is harder for some folks to get 4K content.

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