Upcoming power consumption restrictions could limit sales of 8K TVs in the EU

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,572   +174
Staff member
In brief: Living on the cutting edge comes with the territory of being a technology enthusiast but new EU power consumption regulations on the horizon could seriously hamper innovation when it comes to next-gen displays.

In March 2019, the European Union defined the energy efficiency index (EEI) for electronic displays based on screen area and power consumption. Per regulation, 8K displays and microLED-equipped devices sold from March 1, 2023 must have the same EEI as 4K displays.

8K displays have four times as many pixels as same sized 4K counterparts. What's more, these models require more powerful video processing as nearly all video sources today need to be upscaled to 8K from their native resolution.

According to the 8K Association, there are no current 8K TVs that can meet this level of power efficiency meaning the current crop of 8K sets will be banned from sale in the EU starting in March.

Manufacturers are hard at work reining in power consumption on 8K displays through the use of new liquid crystal materials, better backplane and driving technologies and more efficient CPUs for upscaling. The problem is that they are behind the eight ball and need more time to develop and implement changes to meet EU guidelines.

The 8K Association said it supports a commonsense approach to power consumption targets that is based on realistic assessments of technical advancements in the field.

Fortunately, there's still time to intervene as a clause allows for a review of the regulation in light of technological progress. A draft revision is due no later than December 25, 2022, however, and there is no indication that ball is yet rolling.

A ban on the sale of 8K televisions in the EU could have lots of consequences. TV makers and suppliers would obviously bear the brunt of it. What may not be as obvious are the smaller things, like the fact that content creators would have no incentive to produce 8K-resolution material for audiences in the EU and consumers in the region could fall behind peers in other parts of the world. Compounded, it could have a noticeable impact on overall tech innovation.

Related reading: Electronic devices sold in the EU must have USB-C charging ports by 2024

Conversely, one could argue that this is not really all that big of a deal. 4K televisions have been around for roughly a decade and they are ubiquitous among retailers and consumers alike. Still, 4K content is far from universal. Very little live content – take sporting events, for example – is broadcast in 4K, presumably due to bandwidth issues or costs associated with new camera equipment.

Streaming services are getting better about offering 4K content but as it stands today, much of what you watch on your 4K television is being upscaled locally using the hardware inside the set.

Permalink to story.

 
Sounds like a wise move.
Also, I don't feel that measures like these stunt innovation. But instead foster innovation with objectives other than profit.
You said it yourself "Manufacturers are hard at work reining in power consumption on 8K displays through the use of new liquid crystal materials, better backplane and driving technologies and more efficient CPUs for upscaling" - That sounds like innovation. More so than a cycle of pixels-branding-profit.
 

NikoBB

Posts: 99   +60
Nobody needs 8K. Maybe in 10 years with renovated electrical infrastructure.
It is foolishness to think so. In 8k TV/projectors, no one really needs on diagonals up to 150-160" approximately.

In monitors, 8k is the most desired resolution 15 years ago! On laptops with 2560x1600 16" the quality of the "retina" level comes only from 45-46cm. But if you bring your eyes closer (which is easy for a laptop, and for a monitor too), you will see pixelation of text and photos. And this greatly worsens perception, making the eyes tired more due to the constant refocusing on useful information and pixel structure. Only ppi above 280-300 guarantees the absence of such problems. But even on a 17.3" panel, 4k is already critical by ppi. On a monitor screen 27" 8k is just enough for a normal ppi (ppi=326).

It is thanks to the high ppi on smartphones that the text and photos are perfect, but the screen is small. For a 32" monitor, in order to provide a minimum of 300 ppi, 8k is already required at a minimum, even slightly not enough, I.e. preferably 9k.

And on TV, where the dynamics picture (and 4:2:0-4:2:2 fuzzy video content) are mostly - 4k above the roof even on 120-150" diagonals, these are top-end projectors and top-end panels that are inaccessible to 99% of buyers on the planet. Really 8k people on TV and projectors DO NOT NEED. A waste of money from viewing distances of content (from 2-3 meters minimum).
 

defaultluser

Posts: 522   +392
No, its not power consumption that will affect 8k success', its the lack of viable 8k content to watch!

you've already got hdr and 10-bit color under 4k...at this point were just chasing resolution change - for both prerecorded video and video games, 4k is already "good enough"
 

NikoBB

Posts: 99   +60
No, its not power consumption that will affect 8k success', its the lack of viable 8k content to watch!
I'll tell you a big secret that even modern "4k" content has nothing to do with real 4k in terms of resolution. Because the compression is terrible in dynamics and 4:2:0 color coding scheme, which reduces the color resolution by 2 times both vertically and horizontally.

For real 4k, you need at least 4:4:4 (as for computer monitors) and a bandwidth of at least 120Mbps if compressed on the fly and at least 80Mbps if compressed in studio in 2 passes. Only in this case there will be no mess in dynamic scenes. Professionals know it all and see it well. ;)

So "8k" in 4:2:0 is just _true_ 4k, and then, provided that the bitrate is higher than 120Mbps.

This is true for H265(HEVC) codecs. For H266, the analysis has not yet been carried out.

For example, in order to get such an real fhd resolution in a video on a 1920x1080 screen, you need to turn on the mode on YouTube at least 4k. And in order to get something close to real 4k on screen 4k on YouTube, you need to watch only content not lower than 8k...4:2:0 and low bitrates ruined all details...

And if you also remember that most IPS/VA based screens in dynamics lose from 1/4 to half the resolution in a each frame (low pixel response time vs AMOLED) without a high frame rate (minimum 60fps, but better from 100), then everything becomes simply depressing ...
 
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BSim500

Posts: 928   +2,204
"Is energy conservation getting in the way of technological innovation?"
Considering even movie theatres are at 4k for 99% of movies ever made, no "technological innovation" is being held back, just mindless marketing based on hyper-consumer FOMO.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,956   +6,968
The EU also wants to push kilowatt sucking EVs, and power everything with the magic of wind and renewable natural gas.

How long until there are restrictions on how many kilowatts you can shove into your car? 5 years? Anything to avoid upgrading the grid or embracing nuclear power.
Europe got on the "Green" bandwagon WAY to early. Now they can't power their own grid. Hope the US doesn't get infected with too much of this madness.
California, predictably, already has some stupid garbage on their books, which is why some lower end alienware computers cannot be purchased there, they dont consume power efficiently enough to meet government standards because they dont have HDDs.

It's really dumb.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 522   +392
I'll tell you a big secret that even modern "4k" content has nothing to do with real 4k in terms of resolution. Because the compression is terrible in dynamics and 4:2:0 color coding scheme, which reduces the color resolution by 2 times both vertically and horizontally.

For real 4k, you need at least 4:4:4 (as for computer monitors) and a bandwidth of at least 120Mbps if compressed on the fly and at least 80Mbps if compressed in studio in 2 passes. Only in this case there will be no mess in dynamic scenes. Professionals know it all and see it well. ;)

So "8k" in 4:2:0 is just _true_ 4k, and then, provided that the bitrate is higher than 120Mbps.

This is true for H265(HEVC) codecs. For H266, the analysis has not yet been carried out.

For example, in order to get such an real fhd resolution in a video on a 1920x1080 screen, you need to turn on the mode on YouTube at least 4k. And in order to get something close to real 4k on screen 4k on YouTube, you need to watch only content not lower than 8k...4:2:0 and low bitrates ruined all details...

And if you also remember that most IPS/VA based screens in dynamics lose from 1/4 to half the resolution in a each frame (low pixel response time vs AMOLED) without a high frame rate (minimum 60fps, but better from 100), then everything becomes simply depressing ...


video has such low viable differential contrast that they have used 4:2:0 in every video codec since VCD - you cant tell the difference when you have so much going on in a movie scene, but the actual movie content within n a frame all looks so damn similar!


video games actually make better use f of 4:4:4, because many games have much higher differential contrast (within the same frame, you have lots more texture variation, as well as visible artifacts)
 

NikoBB

Posts: 99   +60
Considering even movie theatres are at 4k for 99% of movies ever made, no "technological innovation" is being held back, just mindless marketing based on hyper-consumer FOMO.
Hollywood is already dead anyway. R.I.P. Only games and movies for teenagers remained. I personally (and family) haven't been to the cinema for over 10 years since I bought my first projector. There is no point. So all cinemas are also a vestige of the past - they are dying. And at home, I already don’t turn on the projector for months, because. there is simply nothing to watch. I don’t watch TV shows/serials on principle, and rare good 4-5 films a year, this is not the level of content to invest tens of thousands of dollars in 4k and especially 8k equipment for it. It just became pointless.
 
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NikoBB

Posts: 99   +60
But you can buy 20 4K TVs and that's perfectly legal.

Government regulations to achieve warm fuzzy emotions about being a good person are stupid.
Do not be discouraged - the harsh Nature itself will correct the presumptuous humanity in its unrestrained consumption. Sooner or later.
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 445   +809
Do not be discouraged - the harsh Nature itself will correct the presumptuous humanity in its unrestrained consumption. Sooner or later.
Yet, in reality, actual climate-related deaths have been on a continuous downward trend ever since the industrial revolution.

The difference is in focus: on data of actual deaths vs. theorized hypothetical deaths.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,350   +4,358
Who cares? There isn't even enough 4K content to really warrant the 4K TVs that we already have. The only people who would even consider an 8K TV have more money than brains anyway.

The title of this article is remarkably tone-deaf. What, should Europeans be more worried about having 8K TVs or should they be more worried about their dependency on Russian gas? People in Ukraine are DYING because of the money that Russia received from short-sighted European governments like Germany who use Russian natural gas for electricity production. France should be applauded for its insistence on using nuclear.

The title of this article should be:
"Europe restricting the purchase of high-wattage luxury items like 8K TVs in a show of solidarity with Ukraine as it works to eliminate its dependency on Russian Natural Gas".

Most Europeans aren't whiners like Americans are and the few who are whining that they can't get their "precious" 8K television because of European solidarity with Ukraine should go to Ukraine and see what's going on. Those who aren't sociopathic would quickly shut the hell up and would be ashamed of themselves and their childish behaviour. There are people in Ukraine who don't have electricity at all because of Russian aggression, let alone a fancy 8K TV that does nobody any good.

At the end of the day, 8K TVs aren't important and I find it offensive that someone would write an article like this. Battling climate change and warmongers are of prime importance and yet this article seems to imply otherwise. You know, it used to be that people understood this concept without being told. I'm sorry to see that this is no longer the case.
 
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NikoBB

Posts: 99   +60
Any day now.........just wait........The end is......well, not nigh, but itll be there.......sooon......
The end of humanity is generally a random factor - at any moment, in addition to an impending man-made disaster, any cosmic cataclysm can occur. From banal meteorites and comets, to gamma-ray flashes somewhere nearby. We are sitting here writing messages, and this deadly outbreak is already flying from somewhere (and most likely this is how the life of most civilizations in the universe ended)... All our struggle is based on faith and nothing more than faith. That we and our heirs will be able to overcome all the problems both on the planet, and there will be pure luck with cosmological factors. As always, everything is 50/50 .. in the best scenario for us...

In the end, even the creation of real AI is 100% the end of human civilization, as the king of nature. We will be moved down immediately.
 

Greggs

Posts: 22   +15
It seems an unrealistic standard that 8K would have the same efficiency as 4K sets.

That said, while there were huge and dramatic differences between SD & HD as well as technologies like HDR & OLED, the difference between 1080p and 4K isn't much, especially when streamed. When viewing a 4K BluRay I notice a slight difference compared to an HD picture but most people would not notice any. I stopped saving things in 4K because the huge file sizes aren't worth the small picture improvement in unless storage was much cheaper. Someday that may change.