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