Though 4K so-called “Ultra HD” displays have only recently carved out their market share, the companies responsible are already developing the technology of the future, 8K displays, which offer another 4 times increase in pixel density on top of the already dense 4k display. This incredible resolution will be difficult to ever get content for, as most films are mastered at sub-4K resolutions even today. However, those who can use its potential will be blown away by the technology.
Before tackling the benefits and uses of the technology, it’s first necessary to establish: just what is 8K? At a bare minimum, everyone can agree that 8K refers to a resolution around 8000 pixels wide, typically widescreen. However, beyond this, even manufacturers differ on their technical definition. The 8K Association, one group of manufacturers, mandate in their standard that the resolution must be exactly 7680 x 4320 and support modern HDMI. However, the Consumer Technology Association has a similar standard, just without the HDMI requirement. Meanwhile, the manufacturer LG believes in an even stricter requirement, mandating good contrast and other qualities.
Though consumers can expect a better experience and more detailed picture from TVs following the stricter standards, the result will be the same, even on cheaper models: an incredibly sharp picture and more pixels than the average person knows what to do with. Some cheaper PCs and consoles can’t even output resolutions this high, and if they are capable, it’s still difficult to find content mastered at 8K.
First, 8K displays would be highly useful for users seeking to multitask with just one screen. Tiling window managers, including Windows 10’s new ability to divide the screen into four, allows a user to experience the benefits of four monitors despite owning just one large one. Additionally, by doing the splitting virtually, users can choose an aspect ratio which best benefits them.
Second, these displays will also benefit those in the graphics and photo industries. Where resolution and detail is king, 8K is the future, and represents a technological maximum for the near future when considering file size and video bandwidth. Combined with a large display, users could edit their photos and graphics without necessarily needing to zoom in to achieve 1:1 detail.
Third, for people who need the absolute largest in display size – for example, in a home theater meant to serve many people – 8K media will eventually become the norm and will be required for a quality experience with 80” and higher displays. The sharpness provided by this technology is unparalleled, and even upscaled 8K is enough to impress many.
Outside of these areas, there are many more uses, yet the number of people who would benefit becomes increasingly small; especially when factoring in secondary technology such as holographic imagery. Industries like science, medicine, and 3D digital art could take advantage of the apparent depth provided by holographic displays, but given the system required to provide its information, it’s unlikely to ever reach a consumer audience. Instead, 8k displays and especially those specializing in depth technology will remain a professional luxury for the near future.
Author: Grey Ruessler
Pino, N. (2020, May 26). World’s first 8K holographic display shows everything – except its asking price. Retrieved from TechRadar: https://www.techradar.com/news/worlds-first-8k-holographic-display-shows-everything-except-its-asking-price
Cohen, S. (2020, April 13). 8K TV: Everything you need to know about the future of television. Retrieved from Digital Trends: https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/8k-tv-everything-you-need-to-know/