What does 8K mean for TV viewers?
You may have heard that Samsung and LG have unveiled 8K TVs at the IFA tech show. But what does it mean for you?
What does 8K mean?
With double the amount of horizontal and vertical pixels, an 8K TV will be twice as sharp as a 4K TV.
The resolution on an 8K TV is 7,680 by 4,320 pixels. The 8K name comes from the approximate number of horizontal pixels. You could argue that it should be called a 7,680 pixel TV, but 8K is a lot easier to remember for everyone's sakes. So 8K it is.
Is any 8K content available yet?
No, not really. 8K content is still being tried and tested around the world. The BBC trialled 8K broadcasts during this year’s World Cup, and Japan is aiming to broadcast the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in glorious 8K.
But actual 8K content isn’t available to consumers in the UK just yet. That means if you’re an early adopter and buy an 8K TV in the next couple of years, you’ll be watching lower-resolution content upscaled to 8K.
When will 8K TVs be available?
The Samsung QLED 8K TV will be available in four large-screen sizes; 65”, 75”, 82” and 85”, and will be going on sale around the world as early as September.
LG on the other hand, has no definite plans to release the 8K TV it unveiled at IFA. Ken Hong, Senior Director of LG, said: “We actually brought our 8K TV here to gauge interest from the consumers… 8K OLED is in its infancy, but we also realise the content isn’t there yet. So what’s the interest in buying a TV where there really isn’t any - or much - content available?"
So, it looks like this is only the beginning for 8K TVs. We expect to see more of them unveiled at next year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, and we wouldn’t be surprised too see some of those for sale in the UK next year.
Is a 4K TV still worth buying?
If you’re thinking of buying a 4K TV (or if you’ve already got one), the news that Samsung will be selling an 8K TV shortly might concern you. But there’s no need to be worried. 4K TV is still the best you can get, and there’s a huge range of content available to enjoy.
From what we’ve seen at IFA, 8K TVs are going to be nothing short of spectacular - you may just have to wait a while to enjoy the experience in your own home!