AHEADOFITS TIME

Sharp AQUOS LC80XU930X

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - By John Law

There's no se­cret that in the world of tele­vi­sions and home en­ter­tain­ment, just about ev­ery com­pany in the field is try­ing to outdo each other with their own fea­tures. Since the emer­gence of 4K Ul­tra HD (UHD) and curve dis­plays over the re­cent few years, TV tech­nol­ogy has sort of reach of a plateau of sorts. By the geo­met­ric in­cre­ments, the next step af­ter 4K res­o­lu­tion is 8K res­o­lu­tion. To that end (and to our sur­prise), Sharp had be­come one of the first TV man­u­fac­tur­ers to ac­tu­ally in­tro­duce an 8K An­droid TV, the Sharp AQUOS LC80XU930X.

To be fair, the LC80XU930X isn't ex­actly a TV that is ca­pa­ble of out­putting con­tent at 8K. In fact, it's ac­tu­ally a 4K TV that is 8K ready, much like how many of the TVs nearly a decade ago were merely HD ready, and not Full HD. In other words, the LC80XU930X is es­sen­tially a UHD TV that can out­put to dou­ble that res­o­lu­tion, when the time or need arises.

But there is one thing that the LC80XU930X suf­fers from, and it's ac­tu­ally a very sim­i­lar prob­lem that 4K TVs (still) suf­fer from, and that is there isn't any con­sumer-ready 8K con­tent com­mer­cially avail­able at present.

Tech­ni­cally, how­ever, while we say this, Sharp did in­form us that they do have a TV that out­puts at true 8K res­o­lu­tion, but that it is only avail­able within Ja­pan (where else), and sur­pris­ingly, it's seems quite pop­u­lar with the coun­try's hospi­tals and med­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tions (e.g. op­er­at­ing the­aters, ra­di­ol­ogy rooms, etc.).

As men­tioned, the LC80XU930X is an 8K ready TV, but for it to be able to do so, you'd ac­tu­ally need to con­nect all four of the ex­ist­ing HDMI ports at the back of the TV di­rectly to the source that is ca­pa­ble of run­ning the 8K con­tent.

Un­for­tu­nately, and once again, as we men­tioned be­fore, we had no real 8K con­tent, but we did, luck­ily, have some 4K con­tent on hand, so that means we could see how the TV's X8-Mas­ter En­gine Pro and UDR (Sharp's own ver­sion of HDR) would up­scale con­tent lower than 8K.

Sur­pris­ing as this may sound, watch­ing 4K con­tent be­ing up­scaled on an 8K TV was re­ally the same as watch­ing Full HD con­tent on a 4K TV. The im­ages were still sharp and al­most just as clear com­pared to a TV de­signed for 4K res­o­lu­tion, but to see pix­e­la­tion and some flat­ten­ing of col­ors on na­tive 4K con­tent does dampen the ex­pe­ri­ence a lit­tle.

Even the UI for An­droid TV looks a bit pix­e­lated.

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