Despite the fact they've only become affordable relatively recently, 4K TVs have been around for a while. Too long, if Sharp has anything to say about it, because it's unveiled the first wave of its 8K TV and monitor range; which are set to go on sale next March.
Well that's next March for all the moneybags consumers in Europe, because the displays are actually going to be released sometime between October and February in China, Japan, and Taiwan.
Despite the announcement at IFA, details are still a bit thin on the ground. A number of the TVs were on display, but aside from the fact they look like big TVs there wasn't much to see. The specification plaque next to the TV I looked at (above) revealed some basic information, including the fact these new displays have 7680 x 4320 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, 12-bit colour support, HDR, and a maximum brightness of 1000cd per square metre. Oh and there's a portrait mode, for people who have tall ceilings or an aversion to landscape displays.
TechRadar also notes that the displays will have four HDMI ports, one of which will support full 8K resolution. The other three apparently support 2K, 4K, and 8K upscaling.
There's no pricing information available right now, but make no mistake it's not like these things are going to be within the average person's price range. Just like 4K, 3D, and Full HD before it, 8K is going to be restricted to industrial use (which Sharp has apparently already been pushing in Japan) and consumers who have a crazy amount of money to burn. Give it time, though, and eventually it'll be ready for us - by which point we might actually see a reasonable amount of 8K content to take advantage of.
Japan's public broadcaster NHK hopes to start broadcasting in 8K by the end of next year, ready for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. There is a waiting game here, but this hopefully means the wait won't be astronomically long. 8K cameras are already available for professional use, after all, and while they're a bit pricey it does mean some production companies can create content for these ultra-ultra-HD displays. [TechRadar]