Even as the uptake of 4K Ultra HD TVs continues to increase, 8K models have already hit the market. But do they offer more than just double the resolution of their 4K predecessors?
Upgrades in TV technology are now proceeding at a rapid rate. As users extol the benefits of 4K UHD, the next evolution in resolution is already here – 8K delivers four times the resolution of 4K UHD and 16 times that of Full HD 1080p.
It’s the horizontal and vertical pixel-count that really counts – 8K boasts 7680 x 4320 pixels, respectively. When compared with 1920 x 1080 Full HD and 3840 x 2160 4K UHD, it’s a sizeable jump that enables larger displays to maintain maximum image sharpness and clarity – even if you’re sitting with your nose pressed to the screen. Simply put, the more pixels-per-inch of screen, the sharper the image. Add HDR (High Dynamic Range) and wide colour gamuts that utilise the full available range of light and colour, and you’re looking at the best of the best.
Those extra pixels will also add a whole new lustre to your existing Blu-ray and 4K film collection, too, with the 8K upscaling function doing exactly what it says, unlike the average upgrade in quality that resulted when upscaling DVDs to 1080p. The difference in quality is immediately apparent and you may find yourself salivating to watch those all-time favourite films all over again.
Moreover, with new smartphones like Samsung’s Galaxy S20 range capable of recording 8K video at 24fps, your home movies and video clips will look better than cinema-quality features.
Aesthetically, 8K TVs can be a thing of beauty. Samsung’s 85” Class Q950TD QLED 8K UHD Smart TV is designed with an ‘Infinity Screen’ that virtually eliminates the frame, and an ultra viewing angle that benefits those stuck on the far edges of the couch.
8K brings the future of TV home right now with precise contrast, Quantum Dot technology (QLED) to deliver over a billion shades of colour, and adaptive picture control that optimises the screen according to the room’s lighting conditions. In other words, the best possible image quality to date.
THE FUTURE OF TELEVISION
16K and MicroLED Display
At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Sony unveiled a 16K resolution MicroLED display that measured a whopping 17 feet tall and 63 feet wide! With 16 times as many pixels as a 4K display, that’s a pixel density of 15,360 x 8,640. Although a behemoth, it’s important to note that MicroLED technology is micro in name only – the term refers to the micro, self-emissive LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) that create the image.
Rollable OLED TV
Another CES showstopper was the LG 65” Rollable 4K OLED TV, which is housed in a base box with a spooling mechanism that raises and lowers the screen – a function akin to rolling up a projector screen after use, albeit without requiring the projector. Offering dual ratio viewing options, the rollable has movie buffs in mind, offering a 21:9 aspect ratio option that eliminates those black bars at the top and bottom of ‘scope’ widescreen films, as well as the standard 16:9 ratio.
A new feature announced at CES 2020 also caters to the cinephile and is set to be added to new 4K and 8K TVs. Filmmaker Mode will deactivate some of a TVs processing features – notably motion smoothing – to deliver a picture as close as possible to what the filmmaker originally intended. Endorsed by directors like Martin Scorsese, J.J. Abrams and James Cameron, it sounds like an essential feature to STACK. While the filmmaker mode is coming, not all TV manufacturers will feature it.