We barely started switching to 4K, and now 8K TVs are already on the market. Are they worth it? Should you be interested? Here's everything you need to know.
What is 8k? How can it be compared to 4K and HD?
You may think that an 8K TV has twice the resolution of a 4K TV, but due to the complicated method of measuring the resolution, this is not true. The term 8K refers to the horizontal resolution of the TV, i. H. How many pixels run from left to right across the display. 8K TVs have twice as many horizontal pixels, but four times as many pixels as 4K and 16 times more than 1080p, if you look at the entire surface. There are many pixels.
The various terms can be confusing:
- A 720p television (or HD) is measured at 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels high.
- A 1080p TV (aka Full HD or FHD) is measured at 1920 × 1080 pixels.
- A 4K TV (also known as Ultra HD or UHD) is measured at 3840 × 2160 pixels.
- An 8K TV is measured at 7680 × 4320 pixels.
One thing that's easy With these resolutions, it's important to keep in mind that after 720p every new standard doubles both the horizontal and vertical pixels. This doubling in both directions leads to a huge leap in the total number of pixels. 8K televisions are full of pixels.
Should I buy an 8K TV?
Short answer: No.
4K televisions are finally beginning to take off and come at affordable prices. HDR may still be in standard warfare, but more and more TVs offer both options. And HDR remains a separate factor from the resolution, so it will continue to be left to the manufacturer to implement. If you buy a new TV, it should be a 4K HDR TV. You do not have to wait for 8 KB for a variety of reasons.
Let them collapse.
There's no 8K content unless you're in Japan
Just like 4K TVs when they were first released (and to a certain extent, there is still little work to date, While some films were filmed in 8K, while Netflix and Amazon continue to focus on their ongoing efforts to introduce 4K content, there is currently no standard for providing 8K content to televisions.  Japan has introduced a 8K content broadcasting channel that gives us a taste of the complicated requirements, and to enjoy one of the 8K media, you need an 8K TV, a dedicated satellite to receive the broadcast, and in some cases Replacing amplifiers and distribution boxes is a big investment for the average person, and Japan is at the forefront of this technology with equipment for broadcasting 2020 Olympics in 8K.
Upscaling Help, But Not Enough
It's worth noting that the best 8K televisions will be able to enhance content at lower resolution, which leads to a huge resolution difference. Many 4K televisions already do that, so 1080p content looks better than it deserves. Upscaling makes up for the lack of 4K content and does it that way, so you do not have to watch 1080p movies with a huge black border.
The best way to describe it is to imagine the concepts of smartphone screens. When large, high-resolution phones hit the market, it was almost shocking how good the screen looked. Apps that were dull on a smaller phone suddenly looked great. Even websites felt redesigned when the site itself had not changed. If you are used to an iPhone 6 and now own an iPhone XS, you will be overwhelmed by the difference.
And that's exactly what 8K televisions offer when they are equipped with a neat upscaling algorithm. In particular, Samsung has been working on 8K upscaling, and early reviews are very promising. However, this is a feature already found on high quality 4K televisions. So it's not the only reason to buy an 8K TV.
8K streaming will be problematic
4K streaming is already difficult. Usually you want at least a 20 Mbps connection for 4K streaming. In most US countries, this is still not an option or prohibitively expensive. Given that 8K is four times the pixels, the requirement will be even higher.
Early tests have shown that a single 8K stream requires a minimum of 50 Mbps, a speed that is not an option for many people in the United States. When you start considering multiple concurrent streams, even the limits of a Gigabit connection are checked.
Even if you're lucky enough to have a Gigabit connection, you may need to worry about an upper data limit. One hour of 8K streaming will blow through 75.2 GB of data (depending on the compression and other factors). If your cap is only 1TB, you can easily blow it off in a week, if not a long weekend.
Considering the fact that Netflix, Amazon and the other streaming providers still have a long way to go to offer 4K content The concept of offering 8K streams seems very far away. But when they come, they will introduce their own hurdles, the technology necessary to reach the limits of the ISP. Japan's current solution does not even work across a terrestrial setup, but requires a complicated satellite infrastructure.
8K televisions begin very expensive
In a story as old as time, the new TV technology always starts very expensive and drops in price. When 4K TVs hit the market for the first time, they were usually in the $ 20,000 range. The mildly good news is that 8K TVs are debuting this time at a lower cost. The bad news is that they are still in the range of $ 15,000. If you have $ 15,000 for a TV, you may still be better off buying a much cheaper 4K (or two) TV and a nice sound system.
The huge costs are a necessity. All new technologies are initially difficult to scale, and over time, production will improve and costs will decrease. In the near future, televisions will remember smartphones because the absolute best screen technology is what you want on your wall and in your pocket. But we are still at the point where you can work perfectly with the second best technology, especially if you have a small budget.
Is there any benefit to an 8K TV?
Ironically, people who benefit the most from an 8K TV are probably not the obvious first guess. These are people who live in apartments or in older houses with a narrower living room. The advantage of higher resolutions is that you can sit closer to the screen, especially as the size of the screen increases.
A very large 1080p screen (for example, 70 inches) looks awful when you are nearby. You have to sit pretty far away so as not to notice the pixels. A 4K TV enhances this, but if you have a 70-inch TV, you should still sit half a meter away for the best experience.
If you're in an older house with a traditional living room or a smaller apartment, this can be a problem, but with a 70-inch 8K TV, you can get a lot closer to the TV while still seeing detailed details , This close proximity will be suitable for a more intense, cinema-like experience. And if you have a small or tight living room, you do not have to worry about removing the couch far enough from the TV to get the most out of it.
But chances are in this scenario, you should only buy a smaller 4K HDR TV instead. It will cost a lot less and you will see benefits much earlier. If you can spend more, you'll find a TV that supports both HDR standards and offers very good upscaling processing. Consider OLED for the best dark colors. If you are in the market for a new TV today, there are not enough compelling reasons to wait for 8K TVs.
8K TVs will also provide the best screen technology. Sony is currently showing an 8K television that can reach a whopping 10,000 nits. Nits are a measure of brightness, and for a quick comparison, the brightest televisions currently commercially available are surpassed at around 4,000 nits. At the same time, this TV is OLED-capable, so that it can reach the brightest brightness, but also the darkest darknesses. This wide range will affect colors and provide a much more vibrant and realistic experience.
Samsung offers similar benefits to its 8K TVs and also incorporates the aforementioned new upscaling techniques. It includes additional features such as an ambient mode that adjusts the screen to the local room lighting or adjusts it to the wall when not in use. This is similar to a Google Home Hub feature, but scaled up to 85 inches.
Each 8K TV is enhanced in terms of features, capabilities and even components of any 4K TV currently available on the market. In a literal sense, no other television can offer a candle to these new next-generation TVs.
8K televisions bring out the best in their image despite their enormous cost, even if you do not see an 8K image video. But for the average consumer, the benefit is unlikely to be at home in the next few years.
Picture credits: S. Gvozd / Shutterstock, Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock, Cagkan Sayin / Shutterstock