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Going way beyond 4K: Sharp is launching the world’s first commercial 8K TV in a month

by on September 16, 2015
 

Stephan Jukic – September 16, 2015

4K resolution may just be finally getting into high gear as the mainstream top-shelf standard for TV and display resolution but some companies are already thinking and even working ahead of the curve with plans for 8K TVs and video.

Sharp seems to be the most advanced developer in this area, at least as far as TVs are concerned and with this in mind, the manufacturer of some also impressive 4K TVs is releasing the world’s first consumer market 8K television as of October, at least on the Japanese market. Of course, the TV won’t be going on sale for anything resembling a low price. It’s expected to retail for JPY 16 million, or about 132,700 US dollars. In other words, this rather gimmicky giant 8K TV will be available to whoever wants it for the same price as a modest house in most U.S cities.

We should also note that the 8K TV’s resolution isn’t exactly something for which content is being produced. Even native 4K video is still hard to come by (though much less so than ever before) and native 8K movies or shows essentially don’t exist anywhere on the consumer market.

While there will surely be some sort of upscaling engine built into the TV, for making 4K video look decent at 8K screen resolution, you can likely forget about feasible upscaling of Full HD content, which has 16 times less pixels to it than 8K and thus would probably scale terribly. Thus, even if this TV can be used for watching 4K video at impressive resolutions, it could only be used for native 4K video and whatever 8K movies that eventually emerge.

8K resolution means 16 times the screen size of HD and 4 times the size of 4K UHD for an equivalent pixel density

8K resolution means 16 times the screen size of HD and 4 times the size of 4K UHD for an equivalent pixel density

Of course, we at 4K.com have no doubt that 8K will eventually become a mainstream movie resolution but this is still certainly at least nearly a decade away and even the most ambitious 8K broadcasting plans (which happen to belong to the Japanese state broadcaster NHK) feature the idea of 8K broadcasting to a public audience before 2020.

By then, if 8K takes off, the TVs that handle it will also have to go through the major growing pains of developing across-the-board standardizations for their resolution. Thus even the earliest serious consumer models will quickly become out of date and a TV placed on sale several years before 8K even becomes a thing is even less likely to perform well down the road. For $132,900 dollars, whoever forks the money over is buying into a lot of obsolescence risk.

That said, Sharp isn’t pushing their upcoming 8K TV to any normal consumer market customers. Instead, the company is taking the rather smart route of aiming the TV at the high-tech enterprise market where certain display applications could benefit from a screen that can natively display highly specialized video or display graphics at 7680 x 4320 pixels.

The TV goes by the model name Sharp LV-85001 and comes with a display size of 85 inches. It is expected to go on sale as of October 31st.

Story by 4k.com

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