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Ultra-high-definition (UHD) televisions with 4K (3840*2160) resolution are several years before adoption by the mainstream market. However, consumer electronics companies are already showcasing TVs with 8K (7680*4320) panels that are expected to make their debut only sometimes in 2016 in Japan and later in the rest of the world.

8K Impresses Consumsers at CES

At the Consumer Electronics Show this week several companies, including Samsung Electronics, Sharp, Philips and Dolby showcased their 8K televisions to the general public, according to a report by DailyStar news-paper. While Sharp has been showcasing its 8K prototypes for a couple of years now to make evident advantages of its IGZO technology, the demonstration by Samsung was rather unexpected.

A prototype 8K TV with glasses-free 3D technology jointly designed by Sharp, Philips and Dolby. Image by Gizmodo.

Sharp, Philips and Dolby showcased their jointly developed IGZO panel-based 85” UHDTV with Dolby’s glasses-free stereo-3D technology. Samsung revealed a prototype of a 98” television. Neither prototype is going to make it to the market.

A prototype 8K TV designed by Samsung. Image by Gizmodo.

To exhibit presently unbelievable level of details provided by 7680*4320 ultra-high-definition resolution, Samsung demonstrated a footage showing a cross section of four levels of a large mall and gave attendees an ability to have a thorough look at every person or store that appear on the video, reports Gizmodo web-site.

There are two reasons why prototype 8K TVs are demonstrated today: firstly, companies want to attract attention to their brands by impressing end-users; secondly, the 8K technology is not that far from commercialization and it makes sense to start promoting it.

NHK and 8K

Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK, Nippon Hoso Kyokai) began developing super hi-vision (SHV) technology (which is now called 8K) in 1995. The 8K DCI format has resolution of 7680*4320 pixels – four times the resolution of 4K and 16 times that of current HD – as well as 22.2-channel audio. The annual R&D budget of NHK is around $77 million. Having spent well-over a billion of dollars on R&D since 1995, NHK has developed plethora of technologies not only for 8K/SHV, but also for other applications. Various equipment needed for production, broadcasting and showcasing of video in 8K UHD format has been designed in partnership with Japanese leading manufacturers of electronics, including Fujitsu, JVC, Mitsubishi, Panasonic and Sharp.

The first public screenings of 8K video technology were held at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Beauties À La Carte, a 27-minute comedy directed by Toshio Lee (known for Detroit Metal City), was shown on a 220” screen to demonstrate benefits of 8K/SHV (7680*4320).

Viewers at the public screening in Cannes also experienced spectacular coverage of the Carnival along with content in the genres of wildlife, entertainment, arts, and sports.

NHK performed the live 8K transmission from London Olympics venues in 2012 and aims to begin experimental 8K broadcasts in Japan in time for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. Last year NHK joined hands with Brazilian commercial broadcaster TV Globo in February 2013 to shoot the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in 8K.

Is The Industry Ready?

Technology-wise, the world seems to be pretty much ready for 8K. The high efficiency video coding (HEVC, also known as H.265 and MPEG-H part 2) technology used for UHD video compression is ready and is even supported by existing encoder/decoder chips. NHK Engineering has developed 2.5” 33MP CMOS sensor capable of capturing 7680*4320 video at 60fps and has created an 8K TV camera with Hitachi. Astro introduced an 8K movie camera with NHK’s 33MP sensor last year. RED already sells 6K-supporting (6144*3160) Epic Dragon cam. There are various experimental tools for production and post-production of 8K content. Sony and Panasonic are developing new optical media capable of storing at least 300GB per disc. Unfortunately, we still lack many industry standards needed for commercialization as well as available equipment. But the industry still has years ahead of it!

What is not completely clear is Hollywood’s attitude towards 8K formats. In theory, once all technologies are ready, major studios just start to adopt them and eventually release movies created using them.

Before 8K becomes a mass market standard, 4K has to replace full-HD. The latter will happen only when decent 4K TVs will be affordable enough. The price of TV-sets depends mostly on the price of panels, so, in case of UHD 4K, the industry will need proper pricing on IGZO, OLED and other advanced panels to move forward with the new formats.

Tags: Samsung, Sharp, Philips, Dolby, IGZO, NHK, 8K, SHV, HEVC, UHD, UHDTV, 4K


Comments currently: 29
Discussion started: 01/10/14 10:14:10 AM
Latest comment: 01/13/14 11:33:36 PM
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In Europe, I don't know US, even nowadays 75% of the TV channels provided by Cable Operators are Standard definition, that's 720x576 shitty resolution, while perfect for CRTs, a disaster for LCD HD TVs. So not even Full HD standard is not mainstream yet. Not to mention the complete lack of any 4K channels or even content.
Also the prices for a 4K TV cost as much as a car, so I am assuming that the 8K prices will be even more ridiculous.
Conclusion is that in theory industry is ready for 8K, but practical is not. Heck, not even FullHD is mainstream yet!
3 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 01/10/14 10:14:10 AM]
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in the u.s. everything went to digital airwaves back in 2008 but many cable providers and tv stations only offer 480i, 720p and 1080i broadcast. The tv netwroks drive the resolution standards and they seem perfectly content at the moment broadcasting only those signals. finding a 1080p station is still rare. So you can forget about 4k broadcasting let alone 8k broadcasting anytime soon in the u.s.
3 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 01/10/14 10:29:36 AM]
This is exactly the situation in Australia as well. Most broadcasts are less than SD being approximately DVD quality 576i . The "HD" marketed TV broadcasts are actually SD 720p. And there was some experimentation with 1080i, but TV stations are now preferring to use that spectrum bandwidth to deliver multiple 576i channels to maximise advertising revenue. Digital TV broadcasting commenced in Australia in January 2001.
1 1 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 01/10/14 10:57:57 AM]

Jumping to HD--720 or 1080--was a noticeable improvement over SD. But for home use, I don't see the same level of improvement for 4k, and honestly, I don't expect much of 8k, either. It seems like a manufactured "need" to me (to sell TVs), unless it becomes a trend to put in movie theater-sized screens in homes. If 4k/8k content is delivered online, pushing that many pixels down crowded pipes for most TVs just hurts everyone's internet use. It should be restricted by TV size.

I also don't get "22.2-channel sound," unless they're delivering secondary audio content. From an audiophile perspective, just throwing in more speakers in different positions doesn't improve spatial imaging. It's a great way to sell more audio gear, though!
3 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 01/10/14 06:22:39 PM]
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It is very noticeable 4k, Go down to store and stand side by side comparing 1080p to 4k. The larger the screen the more noticeable it's going to be.1080p on a screen over 52inches looks a little horrid just not enough pixels there, Then again many other factors such as individuals eye sight, If you have blurry sight to begin with then 4k,8k 100k res isn't going to help. I do agree with the sound though, Past 5.1-7.1 surround I think it's a bit of a joke, Also who has lounge/couch right in middle of room to be able to notice it, Most have chair at one end and a coffee table in the middle.
2 1 [Posted by: ozegamer  | Date: 01/10/14 10:15:23 PM]
I did, just last weekend. I looked at the Sony and the Samsung 4k sets. Of course, they show some slow pans still images and nearly static scenery, with heavily doctored color and contrast. I have better than 20/20 vision, and while it's better than HD, it's just not that much better. The transient artifacts from compression are a much bigger issue for me (and not as easy to pinpoint) than the resolution at today's common home TV sizes. If you have a massive screen, it makes sense, but sitting 10 feet away from a screen up to 65" or so, I think most people are going to have a hard time seeing a big difference for most content. Heck, most people don't even know whether they're watching 720p vs. 1080p.

I've been looking forward to these high-res displays for a long, long time, so I'm surprised I feel this way. I can tell close-up, but for most video at viewing distance, it unfortunately just doesn't matter much. The compression doesn't help--even in HD, the effects of compression are frustrating (grass on NFL games comes to mind--it's always a mess, and the resolution is not the issue).
3 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 01/11/14 01:29:57 AM]
The new 4K standard on Youtube looks amazing on my 28" monitor...but I'm sitting 2 feet away from it. At some point (probably 4K), there's just no reason for more resolution on a TV when you're sitting 5+ feet from it.
0 0 [Posted by: AnonymousGuy  | Date: 01/11/14 06:42:56 PM]

So the 4k TV I might buy in 3 years, when prices become affordable, is already obsolete? I'll wait for 16k.

Realistically, the TV industry has just completed a transition to the HD standard (720p, 1080i) and is certainly decades away from adopting a better standard. 4k and 8k are for upscalers and specialized use.
1 0 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 01/11/14 10:11:26 PM]
- collapse thread

In Japan, the NHK together with Sony, Sharp, Hitachi and Panasonic said they are upgrading the infrastructure from the current FullHD directly to 8K because of costs. They don't want to do twice the upgrading, from 1080p to 4K, then from 4K to 8K. They are going straight to 8K, which they say they want to last at least 20-30 years. Even if in the beginning the broadcast will be 4K, the tech will permit out of the box also 8K without any additional hardware upgrade.
4K might be used by some broadcasters, but we’re not going to do that. The problem is that 4K production facilities require a massive investment, and with 8K now on the horizon we can’t afford to do both. That’s why we’re skipping 4K and going directly to 8K.
1 0 [Posted by: lord_of_the_drinks  | Date: 01/12/14 05:31:33 AM]
We are already producing *K wall paper video animations, for example this video from June:

Here is a useful UHD quality comparison between Vimeo and YouTube UHD:

UHD video display quality comparing Vimeo UHD ad YouTube UHD.  

What is the difference in Quality betwen displaying IDENTICAL UHD video files,  one STREAMED from YouTube, the other DOWNLOADED from Vimeo, then PLAYED?   Is there an appreciable difference in playback?  Do you think that the YouTube version has artifacts?   What do you think?

Here are two comparisons, the same UHD video file:

0 0 [Posted by: Michael Harris  | Date: 01/13/14 02:55:32 AM]
Sorry, but you cannot tell the difference on a 1080p display...
2 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 01/13/14 10:24:39 AM]
0 0 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 01/13/14 08:49:27 PM]

IGZO panels will be the technology to watch. Read where THEIR technology,is actually LIGHT ACTUATED TRANSISTORS. With this,really wouldn't matter to me if the screen was 24",42",or 60". The resolution,refresh would be using THAT technology. Creating 8K content is one thing,and utilizing a 8K,4K screen is another thing.
Upsampling would be possible. However,I believe it is mostly the technology to watch. Rather than the resolution of the screens. They are a specific technology. Rather than exactly a specific resolution. As this article details.
Hooking light actuated transistors to the electrical buses for example. Hope they are successful. You could give me a 24" IGZO,with only nominal or present resolution standards. And I would use the display for its technology rather than what is presented in this story.

As far as the 8K ,4k resolutions go I for one do not intend to beat a keyboard to those bits to make content I might like. Don't want that kind of a beating really for the excersise. Talk about finger cruncher.

Ask for example,a IGZO 24" panel,with present resolutions ? Its entirely possible.
0 0 [Posted by: Chorus Of Jeers  | Date: 01/13/14 08:24:58 PM]

Some of these comments need to be deleted and the user banned, I'm sick of the ignorant pollution posted by certain imbeciles !!
2 1 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 01/13/14 11:33:36 PM]


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