We cannot imagine a day without portable devices, whether that’s watching online video content on different gadgets or social networking. Everyone has a high-definition TV or PC with HD display at home as well. However, consumers are always after new better quality technology. That makes manufacturers improve their products from year to year and compete vigorously with each other.
4K displays were introduced not that long time ago and created a buzz. The U.S. Consumer Electronics Association predicted that 4K displays shipments will reach 500,000-800,000 by the end of this year. But 4K is not a big thing anymore. Apple recently introduced iMac with a 5K Retina display. But even if this resolution isn’t enough for you, probably you should wait a couple more years for 8K displays.
Two months ago Sharp presented an 85-inch LCD display with 7680×4320 resolution at CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) annual trade show in Japan. This resolution is the equivalent of a 33.2-megapixel photo and is 16 times higher than standard HD TVs. Since pixel dimensions are roughly doubled in each dimension compared to 4K, 8K video has about four times as many pixels as 4K video.
Sharp has been working on 8K prototypes for many years and it looks like we are closing on the day when 8K broadcasting standard would be widely used. Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai) has successfully tested 8K format by sending massive amounts of data over UHF airwaves (radio frequencies in the range between 300 MHz and 3 GHz). NHK conducted the test from its location in southern Japan, and managed to send the 8K TV signal to the receiving station 27 kilometers away using a single UHF channel. The previous test was run in May 2012 and covered the distance of about 4 km.
Takahiro Izumoto of NHK’s Engineering Administration Department said that they are going to prepare an infrastructure for 4K and 8K broadcasting before 2020, the year Tokyo hosts Olympic Games.
Talking of portable devices, we should mention the storage capacity problem. As we already mentioned 8K video has about four times as many pixels as 4K video. It’s also likely that an increase of resolution will cause the need to up the frame rate of the captured and displayed video to prevent certain video artifacts. These features may cause the total size of an 8K video movie to be one hundred times larger than the size of HD movie we are used to. However, we think that mobile industry leaders will solve this issue.