If there is one thing that manufacturers try to bring out during CES its Televisions. Every year we see a vast variety of TVs from different manufacturers all over the world. Same was the case this time around big manufacturers like Samsung, LG, SONY bring forth there best collections for 2019. Relatively lower scale manufacturers such as TCL were also present with their best of the best.
Every year there is a new trend with the televisions during CES. The companies try to exploit the trend as much as possible. Last year foldable televisions were hot when LG introduced their rollable 4k signature TV. This time around the manufacturers focused on the resolution and we saw 8K TVs. That is why we are going to talk about 8K now.
What is 8K
The resolution defines the clarity of the image. It will be easier for the viewer to specify details when the image used has a higher resolution. 10 years ago we had SD Televisions, they had 480p resolution. Then we got the HD TVs they had 720p resolution and the trend of producing higher res displays started. 4K which was introduced around 2,3 years ago is slowly during into norm for the consumers.
One thing to spot here is after the jump from 720p to 1080p, the next jump always features twice the pixels at both axes. So, the 4K image has 16 times more pixels compared to the 1080p image.
We are still at a very early stage of 4K TVs. As a matter of fact, CES 2019 had more 4K TVs than the trendy 8K screens. People are slowly buying 4K TVs as they are becoming relatively affordable. HDR is another thing many manufacturers are employing HDR with their 4K TVs but the price of HDR compatible screens is still very high. So, if you are going to buy an 8K TV right now, you should get 4K HDR TV instead. You do not need to wait for 8K TV for the time being. There are several reasons why you should not buy the 8K TVs now.
What is the purpose of a TV? You have a TV in your lounge because you would like to watch content made for your TV. If you get an 8K TV there will be nothing available for you to watch on your 8K screen. Because no content is made in 8K resolution for the time being. In fact, 4K is not that common either. During the early days of 4K, there was no content in 4K.
Content creators started creating content in 4K. Movies that are shot in 4K are scaled down to 2K because of the scarcity of 4K screens. There are some movies that were shot in 8K, but that is the only real content that you can find in 8K.
TV services like HULU, Netflix are trying to figure out a way to stream their content in 4K. Even though 8K resolution sounds intimidating there is little to no content t watch in 8K. MKBHD and an 8K dedicated channel in Japan are only two other sources of 8K content. YouTube does not support 8K yet so you can not watch MKBHD’s 8K content. For Japanese 8K broadcast, you would have to be in Japan.
Upscaling and AI
We have heard about upscaling. It is a technique that many people use to increase the resolution of a low res image. When 4K TVs first rolled out, manufacturers use upscaling techniques like supersampling to increase the resolution from 1080p to 4K. It makes the low-resolution content look better than what it deserves.
There are downsides of upscaling too. The output image has a higher resolution but the sharpness of a true image can be easily noticed. That is why many people prefer to watch the content in the resolution it is made. It makes the overall experience much better. Companies are trying to figure out ways to make the techniques better. Especially Samsung has been working on this area for quite some time now. The early reviews of its upscaling technology look promising but it still has to go a long way. Additionally, you can get the technology in the high-end 4K TVs which makes it another reason to buy a 4K TV instead of 8K TVs.
The most important reason not to buy an 8K TV now is their price. When the 4K TVs were first announced they had a price tag of 20,000 dollars. 8K screens will not be debuting at 20K, rather their prices will be around 10K to 15K dollars. Which is still very high, you can get two decent HDR enabled 4K TV with a decent sound system at this price.
It has always been the case whenever a new technology is announced it has an insane price tag. With time the manufacturing processes get efficient the cost decreased and the prices of the products decrease too. So, the best practice is to wait and see the price drop which is always imminent.