8K TVs are just around the corner. Manufacturers have their sights set on the next generation of technology. Seems like we just got introduced to 4K, which refers to the resolution of the display. 4K is four times the pixel resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels), providing a more detailed screen image. 8K is 16 times the resolution of 1080p.
Though a few 8K monitors have been introduced (mostly for professional applications), affordable consumer options are still some time away, but maybe not as long as we originally thought. Tech industry leaders have speculated that consumer options for 8K screens would penetrate the market between the years 2020 and 2025.
Introduction of the technology
Samsung and LG jumped the gun. At IFA, Europe’s largest consumer electronics tradeshow, they each unveiled their latest TV offerings – 88-inch giant screens with vivid, striking colors. Samsung revealed the 8K QLED TV known as the Q900. At the same event, LG introduced their 88-inch 8K OLED TV.
QLED and OLED
QLED stands for quantum dot light emitting diode. Basically, the technology uses a sheet of quantum dots in front of the backlight of the screen to produce brighter and truer colors. On the other hand, OLED stands for organic light emitting diode, which does not use a backlight, but instead uses OLED pixels to produce their own light. This means that each individual pixel controls its own color in the hopes of creating more contrasting colors within the image.
These technologies are going head to head within an 8K resolution framework. The goal, of course, is to produce the highest quality image available on the market.
Roadblocks to adoption
There are two primary considerations when it comes to market penetration of 8K TVs. The first is the price. Because it’s still a new technology, 8K TVs currently have a whopping price tag of about $13,000. This price will decrease as increasing amounts of people adopt the technology. Certainly, as with any new technology, it will be a slow introduction process as early adopters lead the way.
The other consideration is content. 8K will remain a niche until more content is made available in 8K. What good is the fancy screen without optimized content to watch? This was the case when 4K was introduced. It took a while for content creators like Netflix and Amazon to create shows in 4K.
Related to content, there is also the issue of getting 8K content to consumers via broadband. Currently, most ISP speeds are enough for 4IK streaming, but 8K streaming may present a bandwidth challenge. That’s where fiber Internet comes into play. Fiber can support that amount of data and more.