Why it matters: Even though 4K TVs haven’t been around that long, several companies are touting their 8K television sets as the next big thing. The problem is that content which takes advantage of this resolution is extremely limited. But over in Japan, public broadcaster NHK will soon begin broadcasts of hybrid 4K and 8K programs.
At the recent IFA conference in Berlin, 8K TVs were prominently on show from the likes of Samsung, LG, and Sony. Sharp also had its 8K technology at the event. According to Engadget, the Japanese giant will release a satellite receiver box in November to capture NHK’s Super Hi-Vision 4K/8K broadcasts, which begin on December 1.
It was back in 2016 when NHK first started testing Super Hi-Vision broadcasts during the Rio Olympics—preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which it hopes to broadcast in 8K (7680 x 4320).
We still don’t know how much Sharp’s 8K receiver will cost, but we do know it connects to the LC-70X500 Aquos 8K TV via four HDMI cables and a software update. That’s because HDMI 2.1, which allows a range of high resolutions and fast refresh rates including 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz, isn’t yet supported in TVs. The 70-inch Aquos went on sale in Europe last April with a price tag of around $13,779.
Samsung was another company really pushing its 8K televisions at IFA. The beautiful Q900R series, which uses AI and machine learning to improve upscaling capabilities, was one of our top picks from the event. As for when 8K broadcasts will come to the US, expect a very long wait.