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Tuesday, September 04, 2018
Samsung, LG and Sharp Provide 8K TVs, But For What?

Samsung, LG and Sharp are racing ahead to sell the highest-resolution 8K models, while other TV makers stick with 4K technology that is only just catching on.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have followed Taiwanese-owned Sharp into the 8K era. Theis Japanese rivals, Sony and Panasonic, are holding back out of concern that the market is not ready.

8K TVs offer mesmerizing picture quality, with four times the pixels of 4K Ultra HD sets, which in turn have quadruple the pixels of Full HD models. The larger the display, the more important the number of pixels becomes for image quality.

Samsung showed off its 8K models at this year's IFA, Europe's largest consumer electronics show, in Berlin.

LG, the second-ranked player, also brought a new TV model it bills as the world's first 8K OLED TV.

And Sharp, which last year became the first to offer 8K TVs to consumers, is bullish about the sales outlook. The company plans to start selling an 80-inch 8K TV in Europe next spring, following releases in China and Japan.

On the other hand, Sony and Panasonic have the same priority, at least for now: to push 4K technology forward. Sony brought a new 4K model to IFA, armed with a new processor that offers 100% more real-time image processing power.

One issue that remains is the lack of 8K content.

Home entertainment is increasingly available in 4K, with Netflix and other online streaming services embracing the format. When it comes to 8K, Japanese public broadcaster NHK plans to kick off service in December, alongside 4K, in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But so far, there are few notable 8K projects underway outside Japan. The Association for Promotion of Advanced Broadcasting Services, a Japanese industry group of mainly commercial broadcasters, is not aware of any case of practical 8K broadcasting overseas.

Equipment for shooting 8K footage is still few and far between. Technology for upscaling 4K content to 8K exists, but it degrades picture quality.

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