Want to know is 8K worth it? Let's find out...
Have you heard of the newest technology in TVs? While owning an 8K TV sounds pretty amazing, you might want to think about the purchase. Does it make sense to get one now? If you are considering it, then you should read on.
What Is 8K?
Before this, 4K was the most advanced in TV resolutions. 4K models already doubled the resolution of 1080 screens, from 1920 by 1080 pixels to 3840 by 2160. They also multiply the pixels by 4. 8K TVs, on the other hand, double the specs of 4K screens, up to 7680 by 4320 and 4 times the pixels of 4K (which means 16 times of the older 1080p TV).
These numbers sound impressive but difficult to truly grasp. Just imagine how every tiny pixel looks, then consider how each of these pixels are now divided into 16 smaller pixels. This is the difference in the detail between 1080 and 8K resolution TVs. You can truly expect sharper images when you upgrade.
Is It Time To Upgrade To 8K?
8K sounds truly appealing, especially if you love having the best equipment for your home cinema. But just because the technology is there does not mean you should quickly jump into it. Even when 4K displays started coming out, it took a while before the display technology really took off. Instead, here are some conditions you need to wait for before it makes sense to make the jump.
- When The Price Goes Down
4K TVs were a huge hit, but their cost just was too high for most people at first. The situation is basically the same with 8K displays, simply because the technology is still new and expensive. It is truly impressive, but very few people can and are willing to invest so much money on it. Instead, it makes sense to wait a little longer until the price drops.
Plus, the first 4K TVs were not as perfect in the beginning, so waiting until it is refined is the smart thing to do. You can also see what the future holds, whether 8K will truly be the game-changer that will shape how display technology gets developed.
- When There Are Tons of 8K Content
As mentioned above, you might want to wait and see whether the content (movies and games) will follow the trend. Existing content cannot just be adapted to 8K, and 8K cameras are not yet common nor cheap. The same thing happened when 4K TVs came out, so early 4K adopters had to make do with content that was not really produced or optimized for their high-resolution displays.
Right now, a couple of streaming platforms have 8K content, mostly in Japan and in Europe. But the most common ones (Netflix, HBO, or Hulu) in the US only have 4K. YouTube has some content in 8K, but there is no way to sort the content to easily find them. They are still grouped under 4K.
Unless you have movies to watch or games to play in 8K, shelling out all that money does not make sense at all. There might be some 4K content that is upscaled to be viewed better in 8K TVs, it is still not the same as footage produced in true 8K quality.
- When The Internet Is Faster
The quality of 8K viewing is not just reliant on the TV itself, but also on the content and the way you acquire it. While there are already some platforms with 8K movies or shows, very few people realize that the Internet might not be fast enough to catch up.
For example, streaming 4K HDR movies for an hour uses up 7 GB of bandwidth, plus you would need at least a 25 MBPS connection (faster is better). 8K, on the other hand, has double the resolution of 4K (vertical and horizontal), so this is 4 times the number of pixels. You can then expect about 4 times that data you need to view 8K content. To enjoy watching without issues, you can imagine needing at least 28 GB bandwidth and 100 MBPS Internet connection.
Many countries do have Internet connections that are fast enough for 8K content streaming, but the current infrastructure is definitely not yet ready for tons of houses with 8K TVs. Thus, it is completely possible for you to see tons of issues with your Internet speed and when watching 8K content.
When PlayStation 6 (or 7) Is Released
If you are investing in 8K TVs for gaming, then you might be disappointed to find out that there are no existing gaming consoles optimized for this display yet. Only in late 2020 will the real 4K gaming consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X come out. Before that, existing consoles could work with 4K content, but most games were designed for 1080 resolution.
As it was with the release of 4K displays, technology eventually caught up and 4K eventually became the standard resolution for games and gaming consoles. But if you can imagine that 4K consoles are just coming out this year, then the complete adoption of 8K might also take time. The existing consoles might be adapted to handle 8K, but you can expect this to be limited for now.
The same issue can be expected with computer games. Modern AAA games in 8K will have issues with the framerates. You can technically set it up but you will have to shell out serious money to upgrade your computer. At this point, only the very high-end GPUs can keep a steady framerate in 4K, although this can vary between games. If this is the case, then 8K is even more of a struggle.
Are you too excited about the new 8K displays to wait? If you have the money and are dying to upgrade your TV, then you will benefit from the much better resolution. It does not mean that you will have much to view or play that is actually in 8K quality, so you might find your investment not that fully maximized for the foreseeable future. In the end, waiting out is the wiser option.