I just bought a 4K TV, and now 8K is com­ing?!!

The Signal - - MONEY - Mike Snider

LAS VE­GAS – The un­veil­ing of big­ger and bet­ter tele­vi­sions at the CES show is a given, but this is get­ting ridicu­lous.

Sev­eral ma­jor TV mak­ers showed off huge 80-plus-inch TVs, many of them ca­pa­ble of dis­play­ing 8K res­o­lu­tion, which prom­ises even more pris­tine, vivid video qual­ity — four times the res­o­lu­tion of to­day’s spiffy 4K TVs, them­selves a four-fold im­prove­ment over tra­di­tional HDTVs.

So just as many of us have be­come con­vinced that we might want to in­vest in a new 4K TV, it may not be wel­come to hear about a new looming vis­ual up­grade that could give us buyer’s re­morse.

Don’t look at it that way, said Tom Camp­bell, chief tech­nol­o­gist for L.A.-area re­tailer Video & Au­dio Cen­ter, which sold the first 4K TV in the USA in 2012. “It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a TV now,” he said. “But three to four years from now, you are go­ing to put that TV in another room and put that new 8K set in your liv­ing room.”

At CES four years ago, 8K dis­plays were shown off by some man­u­fac­tur­ers as a proof of con­cept. Now there are mul­ti­ple mar­ket forces at work driv­ing the im­mi­nent ar­rival of 8K.

4K TVs have pretty much taken over the re­tail chains. 4K TV ship­ments are likely to top 22 mil­lion this year, mak­ing up half of the to­tal TV dis­plays shipped this year, the Con­sumer Technology As­so­ci­a­tion es­ti­mated. That should gen­er­ate most ($15.9 bil­lion) of the $22.1 bil­lion in TV rev­enue, the CTA said.

Sell­ers and mak­ers of 4K dis­plays are al­ready see­ing di­min­ish­ing prof­its as com­pe­ti­tion drives down sales prices on the lower-end mod­els.

Many add tech­no­log­i­cal up­grades to make their 4K TVs stand out and com­mand a big­ger sticker price. At some point, they’ll have to of­fer some­thing com­pletely new — 8K.

LG Elec­tron­ics en­er­gized its new 2018 4K OLED and Su­per UHD TVs, com­ing out this year, with a new a9 pro­ces­sor. That means col­ors and con­trast are more au­then­tic. “If you see a sky that has shades of blue, it’s not al­ways one per­fect shade of blue,” said Tim Alessi, se­nior di­rec­tor of new product de­vel­op­ment for home entertainment prod­ucts at LG Elec­tron­ics USA. “But as you tran­si­tion from one to the other, you will some­times see band­ing, and it will help smooth that out.”

Another high­light: LG’s su­per-thin 65-inch OLED 4K TV that rolls up, so you can hide it away when it’s not in use. LG Dis­play, the Seoul-based LG’s sis­ter com­pany, im­pressed with an 88inch 8K OLED TV. Nei­ther dis­play has a pro­duc­tion date, but the tech is used in com­mer­cial dis­plays.

Sony has new 4K Bravia OLED TVs with their own new X1 Ex­treme pro­ces­sor that au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justs the pic­ture for sports, movies or games. Also on dis­play: an 85-inch, 8K-ca­pa­ble OLED TV with an ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence chip able to con­vert 4K and HD con­tent into 8K (likely to be re­leased this year).

Samsung took large TVs to the ex­treme with a 146-inch TV called The Wall.


CES 2018 at­ten­dees view a 4K Smart TV.


To­mas Vil­le­gas takes pictures of Sharp’s 85-inch 8K LED TV on Tues­day in Las Ve­gas.

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