Television

You Can Soon Buy an 8K TV -- But There's a Catch

You Can Soon Buy an 8K TV -- But There's a Catch
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Japanese electronics company Sharp is planning to release the world's first commercially available 8K television in October and it can be yours for 16 million yen ($133,000).

8K refers to the television's resolution, which is even sharper than 4K or ultra-high definition (ultra-HD). 8K delivers 16 times the resolution of full-HD (high definition).

Sharp says the TV will go on sale on October 30 and will be an 85-inch set.

But should you rush out and buy this future piece of tech? Probably not, as there is no 8K content to watch.

Japan's public broadcaster is testing long-distance 8K television broadcasts, but isn't aiming to deploy it until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Most companies are only just discussing 4K. BT Sport, a U.K. bundle of television channels, broadcast a soccer match this year in 4K and has one ultra-HD channel that shows matches occasionally. Netflix and Amazon both have a small amount of content in 4K.

And earlier this month, Samsung unveiled its first ultra-HD Blu-ray player. At the same time, Samsung announced that its current "SUHD" brand of TVs would begin supporting high-dynamic-range imaging (HDR) content. LG also unveiled a HDR-capable 4K TV – seen as the near-term future in the industry.

Images shot in HDR essentially make the contrast between light and dark colors more prominent, so the white highlights are even brighter. The purpose is to make the image on screen look more realistic.

Sharp's 8K TV will also support HDR content. But Sharp has not announced any partners that it is working with to create 8K content, whereas both LG and Samsung have said they are talking to movie studios and streaming services to release 4K programming.

Samsung has partnered with Fox so that all of its new movie releases will be brought out on ultra-HD Blu-ray. LG has struck a partnership with Amazon to allow users to stream some of the U.S. e-commerce giant's original programs such as "Transparent" in HDR quality.

Sharp showed off this 8K model at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, while Samsung took the wraps off a 110-inch 8K TV. Still, Sharp's model is the first commercially available one on the market.


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