Two attendees of a meeting on high-definition television held two years ago in front of an 8K TV: Garcia-Santos
A World Cup in Qatar at the gates of Christmas, an Olympics in two years in Paris and the end of the season with the highest sales of televisions, when manufacturers take the opportunity to offer the models remaining in stock before renewing the range is a favorable one Combination to think about the device that, despite the progress of consumption in single screens, still reigns over households. Is it time to buy an 8K TV? Some analysts believe that they are not interesting yet, and consumers that they are almost inexpensive for certain content for this resolution. However, other experts, manufacturers and content producers believe that they significantly improve the experience to bring it closer to the vision of a human retina. These are the keys to the decision.
According to the Digital Cinema Initiatives model, an 8K TV should offer an average horizontal resolution of 8,192 pixels (color or grayscale dots). That means twice the resolution of a 4k TV and four times more than Ultra High Definition (UHD) TVs.
But this great resolution comes with some major downsides. The thing that weighs most on the consumer is the price. According to the 8K Association, the best display on an 8,000-pixel TV requires a 65-inch or larger screen at a distance of 2.5 meters. This means that a device must be 165 centimeters diagonally, 144 wide and 81 high. This recommendation places these TVs among the most expensive on the market. For this screen size there are 4K offers between 600 and 3,000 euros. For the 65-inch 8K, however, the price range goes from 1,900 to over 4,000 euros.
The second obstacle is the lack of 8K content. Except in Japan, where there are more widespread broadcasts in this resolution, the range of productions with these characteristics is very limited and limited to some platforms such as Vimeo or YouTube.
Simulating the different resolutions of televisions in an image of the association 8k for samples on the web.
But the latest generation TVs have sophisticated technologies that turn a regular broadcast into an experience that’s close to high-definition. One of them is duplication, which doubles the number of pixels received, but it’s the formula that gives the least value. The most used is that of the K-neighbors, a computer system that analyzes the colors and brightness of the surrounding pixels to create the extra ones needed for the higher-resolution screen. The most complete is the artificial intelligence support formula, which generates the necessary color points based on learning about type objects and comparing between high- and low-resolution images to create the most realistic, “hyper-realistic” content, according to the 8K Association.
The higher resolution also requires more data traffic, which most households are not prepared for, where fiber optic connections are still in the fifth generation of routers while the seventh is coming, which will make online services more efficient and higher quality. The latest generation televisions feature a new HDMI protocol (2.1) that offers a transmission speed twice that of the existing ones, particularly relevant for games and downloaded content.
For the director of FF Pictures, Florian Friedrich, 8K compensates: “It’s better than people and many experts believe.” According to Friedrich, the precision of small details is close to the vision of a human retina, the images are realistic, the improvements achieved by computer systems are also recognizable in broadcasts in HD and the defects are minimized by “flicker” (changes in the intensity of light in short time intervals) and in the profiles.
On the contrary, María Rúa, analyst at Omnia, reiterates that it is still in its infancy: “8K was presented in Las Vegas and nobody wants it. The technology is there, but the consumer is not interested,” he explained in the presentation of the last meeting of the 5G Forum in Seville.
Introducing a Samsung 8K TV.
Pere Vila, President of UHD Spain, takes the opposite view: “There is room for 8K. It will be a slow process, but it is picking up speed. We are in the process of giving our televisions more capacity to display more pixels, colours, brightness, contrast and frames per second. There is an important leap.”
According to Vila, the experience for the viewer and also for the creator of special content, such as in 365-degree applications, improves significantly. “If you can produce with a higher quality tool, you will do it,” he assures, defending the next generation of TVs in the near future based on supply and demand growth. And he adds another reason: “4K won’t play 8K, but the latter will play lower formats. It’s not just a question of the number of pixels, but of the contrast, the dynamics of the light, the number of frames [marcos] per second, the sound, the colors…”.
The President of UHD Spain predicts that the TV will survive the coexistence of other screens such as the device on which you can see special products. “You can use your cell phone to get information, but to watch movies or sporting events or documentaries, TV is better.” And it also heralds a change in production systems, where higher resolution will even allow models to be produced remotely, reducing costs.
But consumers have the final say, and their reaction to the new TVs is still lukewarm. The opinion of the OCU (Organization of Consumers and Users) is very clear: “The latest evolution in the world of televisions, 8K, is neither suitable for all budgets nor very useful, at least in Spain. The main problem is that almost all models with this technology are 65 inches and above to notice the improvement in image quality, which increases their price. The second disadvantage is that there is currently no content of this resolution that allows you to benefit from it and less so in Spain. In our country, 4K has yet to be established and only appears in certain football matches and in content on payment platforms; therefore much less 8K. Our recommendation is to be seen.