Laurent Joly

Electronics, News, TVs

8K TVs, Is It A Real Revolution?

Wait a minute, did we just say 8K TVs? Aren’t 4K TVs the latest and greatest displays available on the market? It seems as though manufacturers have gone ahead and started pushing the limits of TV detail with mind-blowing resolutions and clarity. 4K has not yet hit pricing that all consumers feel comfortable with spending just yet, so how well will the 8K displays compare? We will take a look at this new technology, and hopefully answer these and other questions.


 

8k

So, 8K is just double the size of 4K, right?

  • Nope

This is a little confusing, but bear with me. 4K resolutions are four times greater than 1080p resolutions, which makes perfect sense, as 1080p is 1920×1080 pixels, while 4K is 3840×2160. It is double the size on two dimensions, which gives you an area that is four times bigger. So, the same applies to 8K resolutions, which is 7680×4320. On the surface, that is seemingly double the resolution of 4K, but is actually 4 times the size in area.

  • Why does that matter?

It matters for a few reasons, but the primary one is detail. Because you have double the pixel density, and 4 times the area of a 4K display, TVs can display more detail than was previously possible, giving viewers an unparalleled view of their favourite TV shows and Movies. All of this is really great, but there are one or two caveats that need to be addressed.

  • What Content is available in 8K?

This is where the wheels start to wobble a little bit for 8K displays, and it is quite a big issue: content availability. You see, most networks are not able to distribute content in 4K at present, let alone 8K. This means that the likelihood that your brand new 8K TV will only be able to render full 8K video from very limited sources. Some Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea have plans to transmit hi res video supported by 8K devices in the future, but no other information is available right now.


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How about Gaming?

  • Consoles

Unfortunately, the latest generation consoles only have 4K capabilities, so even though your 8K TV might have some sort of upscaling or rendering tricks up its sleeves, you won’t actually be getting your money’s worth at this stage in terms of proper 8K rendering on a console. The only benefit is that the new panels look really sharp and detailed, so you might be able to trick some of your friends into believing you that you are playing at 8K, but sadly, it will not be so.

  • PC Gaming

This is where things start to get interesting. PC gaming has long been known as a highly capable rendering platform, due in part to the more expensive component options available to PC builders, such as CPU and graphics cards. Your budget will greatly determine how successful you are with this kind of project, and it will be a project. The Witcher 3 was recently run at 60FPS in 8K, and while it was stunningly beautiful to behold, it needed a mammoth 4 x NVidia Titan XPs to accomplish this feat. You are looking at $6000 USD for just the graphics cards of your gaming setup, so start saving up.


So, what’s our verdict on whether you should you buy an 8K TV?

It’s always difficult to make blanket recommendations or advise against a product, mainly because everybody’s circumstances are so different. Having said that, it is a bit difficult at this stage to recommend such a bleeding edge technology as 8K TV. And I think that is the crux of the matter, the fact that the technology of the displays has come ahead of the content that is available. Sure, you can find the odd movie here and there, or you can build a monstrous gaming rig to put it through its paces, but do you need to? Probably not. If budget is of no concern to you, then this could be an epic adventure, for everyone else, wait for 4K prices to start dropping and reap the discounted rewards as they appear.