Shipments of 4K ultra-high-definition televisions are forecast to grow at 13% a year to reach 233 million units worldwide in 2024. Meanwhile manufacturers are already starting to push 8K panels, despite the lack of programming at that resolution. For the moment, most of the audiovisual industry is contending with the demands of 4K but 8K may be nearer than some imagine and viewers may not need to be closer to the screen to appreciate it.

Apart from NHK in Japan, there are no channels broadcast in 8K, although KBS in Korea is aiming to broadcast in the format. Japanese internet company Ratuken is aiming planning to provide 8K programming for its online video service in late 2019.

Samsung, LG, Sony and TCL have announced 8K televisions at between $5,000 and $70,000.

“The cost of 8K TV sets is far from affordable for most consumers. This will limit the sales volume for the foreseeable future, however, we can expect the price points to decline to a more reasonable level over the next several years just as 4K sets have,” said Khin Sandi Lynn of ABI Research.

“For now, 4K will be the dominant format of the flat panel TV market, and of the content ecosystem as a result. 4K TV household penetration will reach slightly more than half of the TV households in mature markets, and with penetration still relatively low in emerging markets, there is significant room for 4K market growth in the years to come.”

As reported by Display Daily, the 8K Display Summit in New York in June aimed to dispel some of the common misconceptions that are often applied to argue against the need for 8K displays.

Average human visual acuity as measured by an eye test chart concerns the ability to resolve separate lines. This does not take into account vernier acuity, or the ability to detect slight misalignment between elements, to which the human visual system is more sensitive.

This allows us to perceive aliasing or ‘jaggies’ even in high-resolution raster images. The effect may be subconscious but can be demonstrated in test patterns and images.

The aim of using higher resolutions is to reduce or remove the impression of viewing an image on a screen at a normal, or indeed any reasonable, viewing distance.