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Television Communications Entertainment

8K TVs Are Coming, But Don't Buy the Hype (engadget.com) 299

If the 8,294,400 pixels of resolution on an Ultra High Definition television just don't seem to convey enough detail, fear not: The electronics industry has heard your cry. From a report: Even as UHD TVs, often called 4K TVs for their nearly 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution, approach half of display shipments in the U.S., set manufacturers have been stepping up their demos of 8K sets that, with their 7680-by-4320 resolution, pack in a full 33,177,600 pixels. And Sharp is now expanding its distribution of one such set, the 70-inch LV-70X500E. Following its October debut in China and subsequent arrivals in Japan and Taiwan, this 8K display will go on sale across Europe at the end of April for about $13,800 at current exchange rates. That, apparently, is supposed to be a reasonable price for a set that supports a video format that offers next to nothing to watch, that can't be streamed on most broadband connections or fit onto Blu-ray discs and which can't even be properly appreciated unless you get a set too big to fit in many living rooms.

[...] The highlights reel playing on a demo unit of Sharp's 8K set required 300 megabits per second of bandwidth to stream, said Adrian Wysocki, group product manager at UMC, the Sharp-owned firm that builds TVs in Poland for the company. He suggested in a conversation Friday that more efficient formats could cut that to 100 Mbps. Only 23.2% of U.S. fixed-broadband connections hit that speed at the end of 2016, according to to the Federal Communications Commission's latest report on internet access services.

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8K TVs Are Coming, But Don't Buy the Hype

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  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @02:07PM (#56501249)

    Sure it's going to be a while before you see much 8k VIDEO content...

    But what the naysayers are ignore is how awesome these will be for images.

    Also a nice side effect of putting on 8K displays, is it drives the cots of 4k displays even cheaper in the meantime.

    • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @02:13PM (#56501289) Homepage

      Also a nice side effect of putting on 8K displays, is it drives the cots of 4k displays even cheaper in the meantime.

      And more specifically, it's the same manufacturing needed to make smaller 4K displays. This is just trying to monetize the fact that smaller 4K panels are being manufactured with fewer flaws.

      • by Holi ( 250190 )
        How much smaller do they need to get? They have 4k screens on phones.
        • They're already small enough. But to do that, you need higher pixel density than you need in a 50" 4K screen. That's enough pixel density to make a 10" 8K screen. a 1080p smartphone screen is enough pixel density for a large 8K TV.

    • Sure it's going to be a while before you see much 8k VIDEO content...

      But what the naysayers are ignore is how awesome these will be for images.

      Also a nice side effect of putting on 8K displays, is it drives the cots of 4k displays even cheaper in the meantime.

      As is the way of every new hotness. It drives the cost of the old busted down. 8k is the new hotness. 4k is the old busted. The author must have some vested interest in an older technology. Maybe he bought his first 4k tv last weekend and is bitter?

    • But what the naysayers are ignore is how awesome these will be for images

      I can now display images that are close to 100% zoom from my DSLR (36MP) or similar effective resolution of 35mm film scans. These silly TV resolutions however do seem like the ever increasing pixel counts on point and shoot and cell phone cameras though. It is somethign that is simple to understand and easy to market to but is something that is likely falling into more hype than anything else.

      • I can now display images that are close to 100% zoom from my DSLR (36MP) or similar effective resolution of 35mm film scans.

        8k (7680x432) resolution is still slightly below that at 33.2 megapixels, and because these would be widescreen probably a bit less as the image would either have dead space to either side or be cropped to fill, meaning not nearly 100%. For a higher end 50MP camera you are even further from 100% viewing.

        Also not factoring in things like panoramic and the like even from smartphones whi

        • Hence why I said close to 100% zooms. For slide shows these would be awesome as they would be able to deliver on the illusion of almost endless resolution in a photograph but that also would require that the image be taken on a higher end current gen FF camera or top end previous gen FF camera with a good lens and someone capable of taking a shot of that quality. For panoramic images I would want something wall sized and even higher resolution as I have some that are in the 600MP range that I have created.
    • Heck, it'd make for an awesome computer screen too. Might be a bit much for most current gaming hardware to drive, but by the time it becomes mainstream I doubt that'll be a problem. In the meantime, it means smoother fonts and crisper images. I'm right at the cusp of upgrading to 4k - they're finally making affordable 40" 4k TVs (about the largest screen I'd want at arm's length), I'm just waiting for the improvements to slow enough that I don't get buyer's remorse right away as next month's models sign

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        4K monitors are not as great as you think they are. I upgraded to a samsung 28" monitor a year ago thinking the same thing. To actually be able to see anything I had to increase the UI to 150% of normal. So basically I had the same amount of deskspace just on a bigger monitor.

        It does pretty good when I need to put a whole page of text on a screen but I imagine that could be done on a standard HD 28" screen.

        Don't get me wrong, if you can get one get it. It does help with somethings. Just don't thin

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          It makes fonts a lot more readable, especially at small sizes. How valuable is even just a 10% increase in text scanning speed?

          It also makes word processors / DTP look much better because the on screen kerning looks right at 4k.

        • by geoskd ( 321194 )

          4K monitors are not as great as you think they are. I upgraded to a samsung 28" monitor a year ago thinking the same thing. To actually be able to see anything I had to increase the UI to 150% of normal.

          The smallest that a 4k screen is really practical as a computer monitor is at about 36". Anything less and you have to bump up the UI settings as you indicated, so you're basically wasting the extra pixel density.

          For 8k monitors, the smallest practical size to see the benefit will be at about 70".

          This may sound crazy, but there are plenty of use cases for a desktop surface that large, and none of them have anything to do with gaming. The most important use I have is for CAD and software development. Even wi

    • It's a 33 megapixel display. While there certainly are professional applications for displays of that pixel count, professionals already have ways of dealing with large numbers of pixels (e.g. zooming in, which in professional workflows would almost certainly remain the preferred way of interacting with images, since they need to be able to see what they're doing), whereas they don't have a great means for dealing with poor color accuracy if the display lacks good color reproduction, which is likely to be t

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      These will be great for computer monitors. CAD will look fantastic.

      • This always takes me back to being a young fellow, looking wistfully at Tektronix graphics terminal ads...Someday I would own that good a screen, now I throw them away.

    • Sure it's going to be a while before you see much 8k VIDEO content...

      But what the naysayers are ignore is how awesome these will be for images.

      Also a nice side effect of putting on 8K displays, is it drives the cots of 4k displays even cheaper in the meantime.

      Yep, if they get these out, I may finally see a 26" 4k monitor at a price I'm willing to spend. Yay!

    • by thsths ( 31372 )

      8k are going to be amazing as monitors, but for TVs I do not quite see the appeal. Sure, it may be so cheap that you just get it, a bit like 4k now.

      But for now, an 8k TV has the same amount as 4 4k TV, but it costs 40 times as much. Something does not quite add up.

  • The sad part about these new 8K TVs is they cost more than some small cars or a used car and there's virtually no content that could drive something this powerful short of a very powerful computer. Better than 1080p is a rare find in most digital TV broadcasts, 1080i or 720p is more typical. Definately not there yet.

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      I can see 8K 70" HDTV costing $999 shipped in 2-5 years, and I can see Netflix begin shooting their premium content in 8K in the next year, and transition everything from 4K to 8K within the next 3-5. It will happen. They can always downscale the content to fit your device.

      All of Netflix's original content (which is a substantial chunk now) has been shot in 4K since about 2013. As computing, storage, editing resources improve it's not unreasonable to see things shot in 8K. Most everything we watch t

  • The highlights reel playing on a demo unit of Sharp's 8K set required 300 megabits per second of bandwidth to stream, said Adrian Wysocki, group product manager at UMC, the Sharp-owned firm that builds TVs in Poland for the company. He suggested in a conversation Friday that more efficient formats could cut that to 100 Mbps.

    I'd love to hear how they're going to cut stream bandwidth by 2/3 without nullifying whatever incremental visual experience 8k is supposed to give you.

    • Even if you're one of the lucky few who can really get 100 mbs, how many customers can your ISP support all streaming 100 mbs at the same time before your ISP's peering points get saturated and you get throttled in some manner, or need a higher priced option in order not to be throttled ? Of course, that would only happen after you've already spent the $13k.
    • That 300Mbps would be roughly at the same quality as 4K Blu-Ray but with the 4-fold resolution and bandwidth increase.

      Streaming 4K content isn't nearly as pristine and runs between 15-25Mbps. Quadrupling that would be around the 100Mbps mark. But really, HEVC is more efficient as resolution increases, so it might actually look better than current 4K at 4 times the size. On the other hand, if 8K ever makes it to cable/satellite TV expect it to still look worse than Blu-Ray quality (most HD content is wors

    • Probably just switching from a poor compression system like MPEG to HVC. They could also use a wavelet system like JP2k to get a lot more out of it than whatever they are using.

    • Trends tend to suggest this is possible. We've gone from MPEG 1/2 to H.265 in about 25 years, with the latter being capable of compressing content at a higher quality to that of the former despite being 1/4 of the size.

      Something to think about in general: While 300Mbps is inline with 4K Blu-ray, which has a ceiling of about 80Mbps (4x80 = 320Mbps, 4x4K=8K), videos rarely need to be compressed at that maximum rate to look effectively perfect. Most of the time the bit rate can be much lower, typically 1/3

  • a video format that offers next to nothing to watch, that can't be streamed on most broadband connections or fit onto Blu-ray discs and which can't even be properly appreciated unless you get a set too big to fit in many living rooms.

    These are all temporary problems — including even the living room sizes.

    But the human eye has its limits too. What's the actual N, beyond which we, the humans — even those with the sharpest eyes — can no longer distinguish between N and 2N pixels per inch?

    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      > What's the actual N, beyond which we, the humans -- even those with the
      > sharpest eyes -- can no longer distinguish between N and 2N pixels per inch?

      Luckily, that math has been done.

      https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

      • by mi ( 197448 )

        Luckily, that math has been done.

        You link to recommended viewing distances, not picture-resolutions. If you meant a particular article, you should've dispensed with the sarcasm, and linked to it directly.

    • Re:Is there a limit? (Score:5, Informative)

      by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @03:08PM (#56501765)

      > But the human eye has its limits too. What's the actual N, beyond which we, the humans -- even those with the sharpest eyes -- can no longer distinguish between N and 2N pixels per inch?

      The TL:DR; version is: Use a 4K distance calculator

      * Distance Graph [rtings.com] (PNG)

      * Size to Distance Calculator [rtings.com]

      The Long version: It's complicated

      From a well known and respected Photography:

      http://clarkvision.com/imagede... [clarkvision.com]

      How many megapixels equivalent does the eye have?

      The eye is not a single frame snapshot camera. It is more like a video stream. The eye moves rapidly in small angular amounts and continually updates the image in one's brain to "paint" the detail. We also have two eyes, and our brains combine the signals to increase the resolution further. We also typically move our eyes around the scene to gather more information. Because of these factors, the eye plus brain assembles a higher resolution image than possible with the number of photoreceptors in the retina. So the megapixel equivalent numbers below refer to the spatial detail in an image that would be required to show what the human eye could see when you view a scene.

      But if we do the math ...

      Based on the above data for the resolution of the human eye, let's try a "small" example first. Consider a view in front of you that is 90 degrees by 90 degrees, like looking through an open window at a scene. The number of pixels would be

      90 degrees * 60 arc-minutes/degree * 1/0.3 * 90 * 60 * 1/0.3 = 324,000,000 pixels (324 megapixels).

      At any one moment, you actually do not perceive that many pixels, but your eye moves around the scene to see all the detail you want. But the human eye really sees a larger field of view, close to 180 degrees. Let's be conservative and use 120 degrees for the field of view. Then we would see

      120 * 120 * 60 * 60 / (0.3 * 0.3) = 576 megapixels.

      Another calculation estimates around ~2200 dpi.

      http://wolfcrow.com/blog/notes... [wolfcrow.com]

      Maximum Resolution of the Eye

      So this is how it is. If a healthy adult brings any display screen or printed paper or whatever 4 inches (100 mm) from his or her face, the maximum resolution he/she can see at is 2190 ppi/dpi. It doesn't get any better than this for 99.99% of us, except maybe during pre-kindergarten years.

      But the legally accepted norm of 20/20 vision only asks for 876 ppi/dpi at 4 inches!

      But since we don't view things from 4 inches away ...

      Cinema
      The width of a cinema screen can vary from 30 to 70 feet (360' to 840', 9144 mm to 21,336 mm). The closest viewing distance recommended is about 40 feet (3x height) -- 12,192 mm. If one is projecting 2K on these screens, the ppi is about 2.4 ppi to 5.7 ppi. If one is projecting 4K, it is about 5 ppi to 11.4 ppi.

      Is this what the eye needs?

      p@0.4 works out to be 1.4 mm or 18 ppi.
      p@1 works out to be 3.5 mm or 7 ppi.

      As you can see, 4K comes very close to what the human eye can fully resolve in a cinema screen at average viewing distances. Obviously, many people sit in the front row, and they'd definitely appreciate higher resolution. Which is why we are moving towards:

      8K and UHDTV

      A 30 to 70 feet screen at 8K (8192 horizontal) gives me from 9.75 ppi to 22.8 ppi. This resolution beats what the eye can resolve at these distances. The future belongs to 8K.

      But, to get 18 ppi (the best possible resolution) for a 70 feet screen, we'll need a horizontal resolution of 15120 or 16K. This is about 128 Megapixels. Is anybody working on this?

    • 20/20 vision is defined as the ability to distinguish a line pair with one arc-minute (1/60th of a degree) of separation. There's some debate over exactly what that means. This resolution chart on this site [rtings.com] is based it meaning 60 pixels per degree. Others argue it means 120 pixels per degree (two pixels needed per arc-minute to show two white lines separated by one arc-minute with a black line in between). But since that's just doubling the 60 pixels per degree standard, you can just halve the resolutio
    • It depends on distance. The larger the screen and resolution, the further the optimal viewing distance. Thus increasing the screen size and keeping your couch as close to the TV requires more pixel density. At the same time, your frame of vision cannot include the full TV, so you need a further viewing distance for a larger screen.

      SD was optimal for screens smaller than the viewing frame. HD and 4K takes us into screens the size of or larger than the viewing frame--it's higher resolution than the real

  • This is just the beginning.. Watch for 128K [quora.com]

  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @02:24PM (#56501393) Homepage Journal

    I'll hold out until TVs have Smell-o-vision®

  • True, it is all digital. And the cheap 3$ HDMI cable from Alibaba might suffice for the "High" def content. But to handle the 8K steam you need a gold plated, silver core 10 gauge wire HDMI cable from Monster. The zeros would be a perfect circles and the ones would be perfectly straight and vertical no matter how twisty your cable is. You definitely need it for 8k.
    • The HDMI 2.1 spec offers 48Gbps of bandwidth and really, the increase is more about EMI suppression than it is about conductivity. Maximum cable length will take a hit, but otherwise it's nothing crazy.

  • At these resolutions you have to be within about 2 feet of the screen to resolve a pixel according to my very quick calculations. (Check my calculations someone.)
    That is extra resolution you probably do not need.

    • You can perceive sharpness and detail without seeing a pixel. I couldn't see pixels on my 1080p monitor, but I can still fit a lot more text on my 4K screen without it becoming hard to read. It's true that these will be a lot more useful for information display and non-cinematic content.

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      Google for hdtv resolution chart .

      The general math seems to hold up, most people sit about 12' away from their tv (average width of an apartment living room), at that distance 8K becomes economically reasonable when buying a 65" TV.

      At that size Right now you can buy a 65" 4K brand name flatscreen on amazon for $999 shipped. 65" 4K is about the upper limit before you begin to lose visible "sharpness". Some might say that 65" is "too big" but we're not especially big consumers of TV (10 hou

    • With the new OLED displays with PenTile and even with multi-color pixels, how will you count the resolution?
  • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @02:32PM (#56501463) Journal
    When 4k came out at five digit prices how much content was available for that? Obviously no one is going to run out to spend $13,000 on a 70" 8k screen. This is for the future, when 100mbit broadband is more common. Remember the cheapest, smallest 4K screens from budget brands like Westinghouse and Hisense were a whopping $4,000-$5,000 in 2013. Those same tvs sell for $300 today. http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/1... [cnn.com]
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      I think 4K had a lot more going for it though because cinemas use DCI 4K so ~4K masters exist. Also they threw in Rec. 2020, 10 bit color and HDR into the 4K BluRay standard all of which improve the image considerably. It's hard to see anything else they got left to throw in for 8K except maybe finally standardizing the HDR encoding. And if it's good enough for the whole wall at the cinema, I sorta don't see home users crying for 8K. In fact I did some tests by down-scaling and up-scaling images on my 4K mo

  • Increasing TV resolution like this is a good thing.

    A hologram works by using photographic film capable of photographing the actual light waves. Once we have resolutions better than light's wavelength, we can have holographic TV.

  • Manufacturers could just go back to the tried-and-true business model: planned obsolescence. I.e. they could go back to shitty quality so things naturally only last a few years (just past the end of the warranty, ideally) so you're forced to buy a new one. As is they're relying on the 'poor shaming' sales strategy, where you're made to feel bad because you aren't being an early adopter.
  • hairs on her ... thing.

  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @02:50PM (#56501603) Homepage

    8K broadcast standards use Rec 2020, which has a much wider gamut and can therefor show colors that most TVs these days can't. Rec 2020 is even wider than the DCI-P3 that many high-end monitors benchmark against these days.

    Rec 2020 also defines a larger bit depth: 10 or 12 bits per component rather than 8. This is partly to support the wider gamut, but it'll also help everything else by allowing much better gradients.

    Even if you don't have an 8K TV, ones that use HDR10 and Dolby Vision will benefit: both of these standards use the Rec 2020 gamut. So... bring on the 8K revolution. I want better browns.

  • I have a zillion more channels than back in the Cro-Magnon days but lately there hasn't been much programs that make me compelling to watch them. I don't know if it's me (i.e. they say when you are old you have seen all the old movies and all the old reruns). IEEE Broadcast Techology Society had article mentioning a three-legged stool. Equipment to send TV, equipment to receive it, content that is delivered. Eliminate any one of these three, the stool collapses. I jumped over to the BTS website, some inter

  • Now we need grids on desktops. As a TV 8k is just a pissing contest, you'd have to be within a few feet to notice any difference. But as a computer monitor having an 8k monitor would be like have 8 1080p monitors in a 2x4 grid. I worked for years with my desktop setup with 4 1080p's setup with one center, one left, one right, and one above; like the tetris piece. It worked very well.

    The problem is that every window would be free floating and that would be time consuming to manage. I'd be nice to be able to

  • Most movie theaters now use digital projectors, and those are typically either 2K or 4K. Even IMAX digital is 2K or 4K. I don't usually hear people complaining about the resolution in theaters, so I have trouble seeing how going to 8K will improve the home experience.

  • All those extra pixels will go to waste on such a tiny little "big" screen TV...... On the other hand, imagine how cool 8K
    would look projected onto a 400-inch wide x 300-inch high rectangle on the wall.

  • This is for early adopters and content creators. Compression formats are not linear. You can get some extra contrast from existing films on such a display. If your a content creator then you want to see how a particular compression format and it's options will display on future TV's. You want to be able to see artifacts. You might not be able to detect the difference between two sets of options unless you see compare them at a higher resolution. Furthermore displays like this are very useful for medical ima

  • Sounds awesome, keep it coming.

    Maybe if the resolutions keep running away from bandwidth rates we could have one or hopefully two changes in the market.

    The first is do away with streaming only. Fine keep your copy protect nonsense, but let me download the content or at least buffer it to watch at my leisure on any device. I get tired of not being able to watch anything if the network is being flaky.

    The obvious second item is no more excuses, but GB connections should be basic service not something w

  • I do laugh though. I have been alive long enough to hear this same argument over and over again for 35 years starting with the monochrome vs 4 color displays.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    More is better. You may not appreciate it but your grandkids will love that 400" 8K "cheep" wall display you get them for Christmas in 2028 to play their games on.

  • 8K TVs are 100% marketing bullshit.
    Your eyes and your brain will not allow you to tell the difference between that and 1080 when the picture is moving.
    The TV industry needs something to sell to suckers. 3D TV is dead, Smart TVs are dead, Curved screens are dead, roll out the next marketing wankfest.

    This is no better than an "Eat all you want" restaurant saying you can now "Eat Twice as much"

  • "...a video format that offers next to nothing to watch, that can't be streamed on most broadband connections or fit onto ... discs and which can't even be properly appreciated unless you get a set too big to fit in many living rooms."

    I'm pretty sure we said the exact same things about 4k and 1080p screens...

  • Meh (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @07:51PM (#56503441) Homepage

    I'm going to wait for the 16K screens to come out. I calculate that will finally be enough pixels to make "The Emoji Movie" watchable.

  • by _Shorty-dammit ( 555739 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @01:55AM (#56504733)

    There's never going to be TVs big enough *and* cheap enough for the home to actually make good use of 4k, and 8k TV will never be useful in the home, period. You'll need way too big of a TV, and that'll never happen.

    https://blogs-images.forbes.co... [forbes.com]

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