It seems like we’ve barely begun the switch to 4K, and now 8K TVs have already hit the market. So, are they worth the extra cost? Could you benefit from an 8K TV? In this article, we’ve put together everything you need to know about this new technology.
What is 8K TV?
Many people mistakenly assume that an 8K TV will have twice as many pixels as a 4K TV – but this isn’t true. The term 8K or 4K refers to the left-to-right horizontal resolution of a screen. While 8K TVs do have twice the horizontal pixels as a 4K TV, they have four times as many pixels altogether. And, that equates to 16 times as many pixels as a 1080p TV.
Here’s a quick overview of the different term used to describe TV resolution:
- 720p (HD) TVs are 1280 pixels wide x 720 pixels tall
- 1080p (Full HD or FHD) TVs are 1920×1080
- 4K (Ultra HD or UHD) TVs are 3840×2160
- 8K TVs are 7680×4320
Put simply, 8K have a ton of pixels – they are packed with pixels.
Is it worth buying an 8K TV?
The simple answer is no. And there are many reasons why we advise against forking out for an 8K TV already. Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
4K TVs are finally becoming more affordable
If you’re looking to upgrade your TV setup, opt for 4K. 4K TVs offer an incredible picture quality for a fraction of the price of an 8K TV. What’s more, there is an increasing amount of content available in 4K. In contrast, there is next to no content available in 8K.
No 8K content – unless you live in Japan
There is very little content being created – let alone made easily available – in 8K. Major streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon, are still looking to improve their range of 4K content. It’s unlikely they will switch their efforts to 8K anytime soon.
Japan has established a TV channel dedicated to airing 8K content. The thing is, no only do you need to live in Japan to enjoy it, you’ll also need a dedicated satellite. As pioneers of this technology, Japan is planning to broadcast the 2020 Olympics in 8K.
Upscaling can’t help enough to make 8K screens worth it
The leading 8K TVs will be able to upscale lower quality content. This is something 4K TVs are already doing – making 1080p content look a whole lot better and eliminating those annoying black bars letterboxing your TV shows and movies. That being said, on an 8K TV, upscaling won’t be enough to make the investment worth it.
8K TVs will hit the market extremely expensive
We’ve all seen it before – a new technology hits the market and costs a fortune, but over time the price drops. Believe it or not, when the first 4K TVs were made available, they sold for around $20,000. 8K TVs will debut at a similar price point.
Streaming 8K will cause problems – especially in Australia
Streaming 4K is already impossible for many Australians. Usually, a connection of at least 20 Mbps is necessary. Consider 8K is four times as big, the minimum internet speed required will be even greater. Some early tests have shown that an 8K stream will demand at lease 50 Mbps.
Plus, one hour of 8K streaming will use up around 75 GBs of data. So, if you have a data cap on your internet contract, you could find yourself burning through it in a matter of days.
Are there any benefits of owning an 8K TV?
We’ve just listed a whole host of convincing reasons not to buy an 8K TV. Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of these extremely high-resolution screens.
If you live in a small house or apartment, or just have a smaller lounge room, an 8K TV will allow you to enjoy content in rich detail up close. In close proximity, 1080p TVs look awful, and if you don’t have the space, a higher resolution is certainly worth the investment.
However, even in this case, we don’t recommend opting for 8K. A 4K TV will also look fantastic up close. And, paired with OLED technology, you’ll enjoy an impeccable picture.
There’s no doubt about it – 8K TVs will be the highest-tech TVs on the market, offering superior image quality and additional features. But, right now, with limited means of actually watching 8K content paired with their steep price tag, you’re much better off with 4k TVs. Maybe in a few years, things will be different.
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