So where are the 8K TVs going?

At the HDMI Forum at CES 2018, it said 400,000 8K sets would go entirely to China. It estimates that 900,000 will ship in 2020, with at least half to China and the rest to affluent Asia.

Well, is 8K better?

Of course, it is with native content. Catch 22 – Unless you have the most ludicrously powerful computer with access to hugely limited YouTube 8K content you won’t get native content any time soon.

While modern movies shoot in 5 to 8K and downmix, it will be a long time before they are shot at resolutions allowing an 8K downmix. And, it will take four Blu-ray discs to hold a typical 8K movie.

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8K is also going to require at least HDMI 2.1 and, so far, devices using this are at best on the drawing board.

8K Association launches at CES 2019

Founding companies for the 8KA include panel supplier AU Optronics (AUO) along with consumer electronics giants Hisense, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics and TCL Electronics. Panel supplier Samsung Display is also in the process of joining the 8KA. Specific goals of the organisation include:

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  • Promoting 8K TVs and 8K content to consumers and professionals
  • Helping educate consumers and professionals about the 8K ecosystem
  • Helping secure 8K native content for members; encouraging service providers (especially OTT) to develop 8K offerings
  • Facilitating communication within 8K ecosystem to help with commercialisation
  • Developing initial technical requirements for 8K input signals;
  • Developing initial 8K TV categories and minimum specifications for image quality.

GadgetGuy’s take – lead the FHD sheep on to 4K greener and 8K greener pastures

Technological advances are exciting. I am sure that GadgetGuy will be right up there in reviewing the new 8K TV sets, HDR8000, 40-channel Dolby Atmos and extolling all the virtues.

By I can’t help feeling the push to new tech is a little to fast. New smartphone models, once on a 12-month cycle are now 3 to 6 months, largely driven by an affluent Asia that wants the latest and greatest. The Japanese have a tradition of annually throwing out fully functional appliances to get newer ones with more features.

Then there is the pressing need to replace the remote with OK Google, Alexa or Siri. Or the need to cut the Foxtel cable (yes do it) and stream! Or use the TV as part of a multi-room Airplay 2 or another sound system.

What happened to TVs being a 10-year purchase? We can’t blame planned obsolesce because the average TV will last that long. We can mention planned FOMO – fear of missing out – of the latest features. Marketing people – take a bow.

I doubt 8K will emerge as a viable TV format, even in the next few years. The cost-value equation doesn’t make much sense, especially as the industry is still feeling its way with 4K.