If you're shopping for a TV, you have a duty to hear about the latest feature of 8K technology.
Major television brands such as Sony, LG, Hisense, Samsung and TCL are planning to launch their 8K television market this year. But what exactly is 8K and should you buy it?
8K TVs are filled with mind-fitting pixels and will be equipped with larger screens to display additional resolution. But it's probably not worth the money, at least not yet.
I don't have a 4K TV in my house and it only started a few years ago.
It is true that 4K TVs provide much sharper image quality because pixel density is increased from 1080p (also known as full HD). Technically, the term 4K refers to the horizontal resolution of the product, about 4,000 pixels or around. The common standard, known as UHD, is 3840 x 2160 pixels.
8K TVs have four times the pixel size of about 7,680 to 4,320. This means that the top 8K TVs on the market boast 33 million pixels.
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The higher your TV (and the closer it is), the more likely you are to be able to tell the difference between these different levels of image resolution.
There is no doubt that the resolution of 4K looks fantastic, but if you are quite close, you really do not want to fully appreciate the benefits.
All major brands this week showed 8K TVs and were pretty impressive. You can stand at an inch and the picture is perfect. But if you don't want to buy a huge TV and sit in front of it all night, 8K won't mean a significant difference in your life.
8K CONTENT TO BE TAKEN
None of the major content providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime or movie studios have given much noise to the content of 8K.
Netflix's former product manager once said Digital Spy he was not interested in additional pixel density. "8K is interesting only if you sit too close to the TV," he said.
At best, it will take a couple of years before we see any content that is naturally produced in 8K.
Sony TV Manager Australia and New Zealand, Aki Hosoda, said no 8K content was available. "But the market is growing, and for televisions that are 80 inches and more, you need 8K to get this super high resolution."
Sony announced a huge 98-inch 8K TV CES, but only the 85-inch version will arrive in Australia.
"We are preparing for the market," said Sony, stating that "Japan's 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be filmed and broadcast in 8K Japan".
The company recently introduced a professional quality broadcast camera with 8K, 120 frames per second (UHC 80300).
However, just because no 8K content is available does not mean that these TVs are wasted. They are all packed with powerful chip sets that can 'upgrade' or transform content close to the actual 8K.
For example, Alpha 9's second-generation intelligent processor equipped with the LG 88-inch 8K OLED TV uses deep learning this year to not only enhance content up to 8K, but also adjusts the brightness and contrast of the image depending on ambient lighting in your living room .
8K AND REQUIRED
We can struggle to enjoy 8K soon thanks to our famous internet.
You need an Internet speed of 15 to 25 Mbps to securely transmit 4K UHD, and 8K requirements will be much higher. YouTube – having an odd 8K video – requires 50Mbps.
With NBN spreading more and more Australians will be able to access this level of Internet speed, but as long as you buy a high-end NBN package, 8K viewing will probably be a bit more for some Australian homes.
As with all new technologies, you have to pay a high price to be an early adopter and it is now possible to justify it.
When it comes to choosing a TV, it is more important to look at the various screen and pixel technologies used by manufacturers rather than just the number of them.
Brands vary slightly, depending on how they aim to increase brightness, achieve perfect blacks and create a wide range of colors and offer different options at different price points.
An important difference is between the LCD / LED and OLED screens and the different ways in which televisions illuminate pixels on the display.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TVs can offer a much higher screen brightness, while OLED TVs offer precise control of one pixel.
Instead of having a constant light source at the back and a panel to allow light or block it, such as LCD and LED TVs, only every pixel that needs to be turned on is lit with the OLED display.
As a result, OLED is able to create a perfect black image without luminous leakage, providing better contrast. This "perfect black" is called zero nuts, and is currently only available on OLED displays.
LG is the only OLED panel maker and many other brands buy them before applying their technology to the final product.
However, Samsung – a Korean Korean bitter competitor – has supported another horse. It features QLED displays (Q stands for Quantum-dot) that use a tiny crystal semiconductor particle film that can be precisely controlled for color removal.
The Samsung QLED display is still illuminated and is considered a step below the OLED. However, Samsung's new MicroLED technology, which just comes on the market, promises to give OLED its money and was featured on the CES massive, frameless display with a modular point of sale.
Various companies also have their own version of motion smoothing technology designed to prevent any leakage during fast motion – something particularly important for sports enthusiasts. This is just an example of what kind of technology is likely to have a significant impact on your viewing experience.
The reporter traveled to Las Vegas as a guest of LG