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8K TVs harvest a lot of praise at IFA but are futile for now

At the technology fair IFA in Berlin last weekend was good for fans of high resolutions, because almost every brand had an 8K TV on the show. LG Samsung and other brands all had a super-sized TV with a razor sharp promo film on which you could see the smallest details of busy scenes such as a procession. Magnificent. Phenomenal. And completely useless.

As I said about a year ago 8K is coming whether we want it or not. We are now the proof of concept stage over, because there will be 8K TVs in stores this year. In the Netherlands too. It is possible, so it is made, and then the ‘necessity’ automatically filters down towards the consumer who ultimately has no choice but to buy that new thing. We are not there yet, because now 8K is still in the phase where people buy it because they want to show that they can afford it. Like a Ferrari.

What do you have to do with it?

That comparison goes very well with this TV technology, by the way. Just as a Ferrari on the Dutch highway is too expensive a solution to drive 130, an 8K TV is a too expensive solution to view a maximum of 4K content. There is literally no 8K video to watch except for the demo video that is in your TV. The first film recorded in 8K was shot last year.

In addition, all that extra detail, as I said last year, for most people completely invisible . If your new 8K TV is not at least 100 inches, you do not have to sit more than two meters away from it, because then the extra detail will be rendered meaningless. The resolution can be an advantage, but it will mainly prove its use in monitors, if you already have a computer of a computer to control all those pixels.

For TV content, however, it is simply inappropriate at the moment. Like 4K TVs that also use upscaling, where the TV tries to add detail to the image that comes in. The new generation of TV screens that artificial intelligence can really do that, but the reality is that something that does not look good can not be made better than it was without strange side effects. That is just as realistic as the films and series that gritty camera images with the command ‘enhance’ suddenly show sharply. The. Can. (yet). Not.

Come back in five years but

Anyway, the TVs are coming anyway. Feel free to ignore them the first five years radius, because 4K is finally getting underway and by the time 2023 has arrived most major channels and most of YouTube and the other video services will see in that resolution at least to be. Maybe the first things begin to come in 8K at that moment, but I would not wait for it anyway. You might as well buy that Ferrari.

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