At CES 2019 in Las Vegas there were a lot of cool announcements and launches, but couch potatoes around the world were intrigued by numerous TV brands talking about their upcoming 8K televisions. Whoa. You haven’t even upgraded to a 4K model and now they’re talking about 8K? Confused? Don’t be. Let me give you a little bit of info on what will soon be the new standard (well, eventually) and who has 8K televisions coming out.
What is 8K TV?
The short answer to “What is 8K?” would be: 8K is the clearest picture you will likely ever see on a television. Oh. You want more of a techy-techy answer? Sure. No problem.
An 8K television will have four times more pixels than a 4K TV, boasting a resolution of 7680×4320 pixels (or m4320p). It’s called 8K because the images are roughly 8,000 pixels wide, and the specification also comes under the umbrella term “Ultra HD,” with some people using the term “Ultra HD 8K.” For comparison, full HD 1080p TVs delivered a two-megapixel image, while 4K increased that to eight megapixels. The 33-megapixel image of 8K – the next mathematical step-up from 4K – should finally provide the kind of big-screen immersion we’ve been craving.
Is there any 8K content? That’s where upscaling comes in…
Whenever new standards in televisions emerge, there is always a lack of content at the beginning. With 8K, that is certainly the case right now. Sure, there have been a scant few 8K televisions on the market, but as we just all got into 4K HD TVs, nobody has really been working on 8K content yet. Hollywood will certainly step up its game now that truly commercial 8K sets will be on the market and start filming their upcoming releases in 8K. Early adopters of 8K will likely have to rely on upscaling that will take full HD and 4K content, up the sharpness as much as possible from the existing source, and and make them ready for your 8K set. Manufacturers like Samsung are touting Artificial Intelligence upscaling that handles everything automatically.
Who announced 8K TVs at CES?
At this year’s CES in Vegas, LG, Samsung, Sony and TCL all announced they would be shipping 8K big screen models in North America this year.
Samsung’s 8K TVs are already available for purchase at Best Buy, and Home Theatre Editor Erin Lawrence has one in her house right now and is testing it out. Watch for a full review later this year. Samsung, actually came out with an 8K TV last fall, and it announced four new QLED models with HDR10+, adaptive brightness and sound technologies, as well as Apple AirPlay 2 and iTunes support. Sony also has 8K TVs ready to buy now. Sony will have 85- and 98-inch versions of its XBR Master Series Z9G 8K Android TV LCD models, while TCL announced a 75-inch Roku-enabled 8-Series set equipped with QLED and quantum contrast technologies, Roku hardware and Q10 QLED Android TV.
LG has five models it wants to get to market this year. On the roster: the 88-inch Z9 OLED, and four LCD-based NanoCell models — SM80, SM85, SM90 and SM95. All five LG 8K sets will be imbued with the company’s ThinQ smart home platform and Google Assistant, DolbyVision HDR and LG’s next-gen Alpha 9 processor designed to enhance up-conversion.
Other brands also had some prototype 8K TVs on display, but they have yet to announce when they’ll hit the market with commercial sets. Likely, they are waiting to see how the big players do with their 8K televisions. Keep tuned to the Best Buy Plug-In Blog for more on these 8K televisions, and don’t forget to check out all the TVs available online at Best Buy.