This is the year for 8K, with products, content, infrastructure and consumer awareness driving the TV Industry. With the 8K Association’s recent announcement of a new 8K Performance Standard, integrators and manufacturers salivating at the latest display technology. LG is already there. At CEDIA Expo, the company showed its new 88-inch LG 8K OLED TV with 33.2 million densely packed pixels that produce hyper-realistic images with higher perceived brightness and contrast, sharper edges, greater depth of field, and greater tonality.
Over the past year television manufacturers Samsung, Sony, and LG have rolled out premium 8K sets, and retail brands such as Hisense and TCL have previewed upcoming 8K offerings at tradeshows, while 4K sets and HDR technologies have become ubiquitous. One recent study from research firm Futuresource Consulting estimates that between now and 2023 8K product shipments are expected to increase exponentially at 130% per year by 2023 from just 200,000 units sold in 2019. It’s one of several studies commissioned and released recently addressing opportunities around 8K product sales in the consumer market. Despite the obstacles regarding the availability of 8K content, which analysts commonly cited as a pain point, sales of 8K TVs are expected to grow over the next several years.
To dive a little bit deeper into the newest advancement in TV resolution technology lets evaluate why by comparing previous enhancements in the industry. Resolution is made up of pixels, or microscopic squares. In a 1080p Full HDTV, there are 1,920 horizontal by 1,080 vertical pixels. When TV technology improved to 4K, more pixels were added in the same space, making for a much sharper and more detailed video picture. The resolution on a 4K TV is technically 3,840 x 2,160 and the term “4K” comes by rounding the horizontal pixel count up to 4,000, or 4K.
8K makes that leap again, cramming more pixels into the same size and shape of the TV. 8K crams twice as many pixels in, now offering total image dimensions of 7680×4320. Round that 7680 up and you get 8,000 or 8K. If you do the math, it’s technically twice as “good” or twice as sharp as a 4K TV. But there are a few factors which determine how much more you’ll really get out of an 8K TV. Some of those factors include the size of the TV you buy and how close you sit to the screen. For example, if you’re sitting across the room and watching on a 36″ TV, you won’t see a lot of difference. With the new technical advantages of 8K in a home theater environment, users no longer need to sit close to the screen to see the high level of resolution the format provides. As such, we, as integrators designing home theaters and multipurpose media rooms, generally have more flexibility with seating arrangement in relation to the flat-panel display or projection screen. Yeah, it might blow your mind even a few rows further back.