New Delhi: Your nearby electronics store may soon start stocking TVs and projectors that can render visuals at 8K resolution. Earlier this month, at the IFA Berlin exhibition, South Korean companies Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. displayed large-screen TVs that had four times the number of pixels as current 4K TVs. At the CEDIA conference in Los Angeles earlier this month, Japanese company JVC (USA) Inc.unveiled an 8K projector called NX-9.

What it means for users

The 8K standard combines 7,680 horizontal pixels and 4,320 vertical pixels to offer 33 million pixels on the screen. This is four times as many pixels as a 4K screen which combines 3,840 horizontal pixels and 2,160 vertical pixels to provide 8 million pixels. Technically, more pixels mean sharper images and videos. However, it is not the only factor that has a bearing on picture quality. Colour contrast, refresh rate, HDR support and screen size are also important. Bigger screens (65 inches and above) can reproduce the finer details better than smaller ones.

Is the ecosystem ready for 8K?

Just like in the initial years of 4K TVs, there is very little content available for 8K devices, and it may take time for it to develop. Samsung’s 8K TV can upscale 4K content to 8K. However, upscaling often works by stretching the pixels, which means the content will look better than 4K, but not as good as 8K. Users can create 8K content of their own using Insta’s 360 Pro 8K Camera ($3,499, around 2,51,860) cameras and view it on 8K TVs.

The good news is that the ecosystem to support 8K devices is being rolled out simultaneously. Nvidia’s latest graphics processing unit (GPU), the GeForce RTX2080Ti that supports 8K games and videos, was also announced at IFA Berlin. With HDMI 2.1 standard cables already available, users can connect an 8K TV or monitor to a PC and run an 8K game at a refresh rate of 60fps (frames per second). 8K TVs and projectors will invariably be an immensely expensive affair in the first few years. Sharp’s 70-inch 8K TV, which is already in the market, costs $13,000 (around 935,350), while the JVC NX9 can set you back by $17,999 (around 12 lakh).

In sum, while 8K TVs will lift the visual experience to new heights, they are not going to make 4K obsolete anytime soon.