The 4K TV Market is Just Heating Up and Sharp is Already Promoting 8K TVs

by on October 8, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – October 8, 2014

If you’re already impressed with the 4K Ultra HD TV you’ve either bought or seen in an electronics store, then 8K resolution will absolutely blow your socks off.

Well, while 8K has so far been touted as a technology that’s still several years away in any mainstream consumer scenario, this isn’t stopping certain companies from at least experimenting with the concept in prototype TVs.

This was the case with Sharp Electronics at the CEATEC electronics expo this week just outside of Tokyo. The company, which is already a major player in the 4K consumer TV market, used CEATEC to unveil a prototype 8K LCD TV with an 85 inch display and a total resolution of a whopping 7680 x 4320 pixels. This is 16 times more than what you’d find in a standard Full HD 1080p TV set and roughly 4 times more pixels than the amount found in even Cinema Grade 4K Ultra HD TVs with resolutions of 4096 x 2160 pixels.

The TV also comes with a frame frequency of 120 Hz, which is impressive given the immense resolution.

Now, given that even 4K content is still fairly scarce on the ground, you can image how little 8K content there is to be found. Thus, instead of any video replay, the TV simply displayed images, but even with these photos, the sheer detail of the resolution was breathtaking and the tiny pixels were hard to notice even at very close up distances.

Sharp and other companies have all been working on prototype 8K TVs for years now but in Sharp’s case, this latest model presented at CEATEC had the distinction of being the first ever by the company to comply with the so called “BT.2020” standard for 8K resolution and color gamut as set by the International Telecommunications Union in June of this year.

JSAT Unleashing 4K broadcast channels

JSAT is also planning on partnering with the Japanese Government on eventual 8K video transmission

While the 8K TV is impressive, the company has stated that they have no plans for commercialization yet in the works and that the TV is still fully within its development stages. However, a spokeswoman for Sharp, Miyuki Nakayama did say that “Certainly, the bigger the screen gets, people would like to have high-resolution pictures”.

Of course, given that even 4K TVs are only now just barley denting the HDTV market and have only recently become more widely known amongst consumers, 8K still really has a long way to go. In 2014, only about 800,000 Ultra HD 4K TVs will be sold in the U.S according to predictions by the U.S Consumer Electronics Association.

Japan itself, the birthplace of the 8K prototype TV, is already firmly thinking about the future of this enormous resolution standard. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in partnership with the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, has already started planning for an eventual nationwide broadcasting capacity for both 4K and even 8K content and even gave Sharp an award for their prototype TV.

It is expected that regular broadcasting of 8K signals will begin in Japan as of 2018 and is supposed to definitely be functional in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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