At this year’s CES you saw a lot of 8K televisions and more and more devices with extremely high resolution displays are coming onto the market. But is it worth it to buy an 8K-telly? The manufacturers say yes.
Every manufacturer with a bit of self-esteem showed at least one 8K TV this year at CES. When you stand in front of these devices, their displays look fantastic. Even if you approach very close, the eye hardly recognizes individual pixels. But can one trust one’s eyes at a fair? Is not it true that the manufacturers are tricks and the reality in their own living room is then much less spicy? Not necessarily.
Not below 85 inches
The jump from 4K to 8K is huge. 4K displays show content at 3840 x 2160 pixels, 8K devices have four times higher resolution at 7680 x 4320 pixels. With small screen diagonals, this makes little sense, in general, it is assumed that 8K only brings a visible improvement from 85 inches. That’s one of the reasons why you see real TV monsters in Las Vegas, such as the Sony ZG9 with a screen diagonal of 98 inches (248 centimeters). Samsung says, however, that their QLED televisions are worth the higher resolution even for smaller displays, as they achieved an enormous peak brightness of 4000 nits with 8K.
But even if you have a TV with a suitable screen size for 8K, is currently the problem that there is no corresponding content. Not on Blu-ray, not on streaming services or game consoles, and certainly not on TV. Although optimistic Samsung points out that it did not even take five years for the 4K TVs to replace the Full HD televisions. But content is still the exception and should a buyer of an 8K television console himself with the fact that maybe in five years he will get enough content for his pixel monster?
Image is scaled up
Also on the manufacturers have an answer that is given at least at the demos in Las Vegas synonymous quite convincing. The magic word is upscaling. By this is meant that a lower resolution is scaled up in real time to a higher level, missing image information is supplemented. This should work particularly well in the new TV generation – even with 4K devices – because new, more powerful processors deliver the necessary computing power.
The manufacturers are also increasingly relying on artificial intelligence (AI) for image enhancement and upscaling. So Samsung, LG or Sony, even from HD material to get a very respectable 8K resolution to be able to. What you can definitely confirm is that 4K content looks great with effective AI upscaling.
Expensive future look
All this is impressive and as you can see at CES, not just hot marketing air. Nevertheless, it remains the question, whether it is already worthwhile to buy an 8K TV. For owners of a HDR-enabled 4K device, such an investment hardly pays off. Here owners should really wait until 8K has prevailed. If you want to switch from an old Full HD TV to a large, high-end device, you might consider buying a super-sharp device right now.
The prices of the TV giants are however still peppered. Samsung’s QLED 8K Q900 (2018) with a 75-inch display currently costs 7,000 euros. If you want to have one of the new 8K OLED giants presented in Las Vegas, you have to dig much deeper into your pocket. Since you should think about whether it is not smarter to buy one of the high-quality 4K TVs that are much cheaper to have.