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The Role of 8K in 2021

Did you know that 4K was first streamed by Netflix in 2014? Ever since then, the 4K technology has become mainstream and a huge number of Television operators and manufacturers have been developing and streaming movies and television that is equipped with the 4K technology. However, this will change in 2021 as many are making way for the new 8K technology as it gives a better consumer experience with its' sharper image and resolution. Follow Jonatan Medina, AVP of Innovation and Design, as we get to know more about the the 8K Technology and how it will make a difference in 2021.

8K is an image with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels which has four times more pixels that the usual 4K resolution. Prior to that, 8K is now the successor of the 4K and we can refer to it as 8K UHD for now.

The 8K technology has finally kicked in last year, with some display models from manufacturers such as LG and Samsung that was able to produce 8K resolution at the cost on the high side of the balance. However, there are some insights that the manufacturing process of these display models will be improved and will be priced at a lower price point in 2021 with the option to choose from any mode models. Other manufacturers are already looking into this ''futuristic'' technology and are willing to invest in it.

Not only are display manufacturers are working on using 8K, but other TV and streaming operators are also looking to develop shows, movies and even games with 8K UHD content that will provide the best consumer experience. For example, some of the devices that are able to play 8K as for now are PS5 and Xbox X. A shocking fact for the home environment is that there are no previsions to have an 8K Blu Ray enable device or Disc format according to the 8K Association. This means that we will not see a Blu-Ray disc of a film in 8K UHD resolution. However, we have seen a decline on the use of Disc format and more use of the online services such as Netflix. In fact, the H.264, standard for excellence to stream video content over network does not cover 8K resolution yet.

Other devices that is able to do the job of playing at 8K content is the PC and this is not new. It has been quite awhile that the PC is able to support 8K resolutions. Thus, in the professional AV world, there are some investments that are made to produce 8K devices. For example, Extron has just launched a Matrix switcher that is able to support 8K resolution.

What about the HDMI cables? Can these support 8K? Well, the latest HDMI V2.1 can handle a bandwidth of 48 Gb/s and can be used for 8K/60Hz, however the colour sampling is compromised by using a max colour sampling of 4:2:0 if 60Hz or 4:2:2 if 30Hz. Notice 8K is 4 times more information than 4K so it is natural that 4K can support higher combinations of Colour Sampling and colour bit depth when given the same bandwidth. Do note that HDMI V2.1 4K is capable of 120Hz and 8K max 60Hz.

In conclusion, 8K is the future and for 2021 we will see more new 8K capable products. However, it does seem a little too early to have a complete setup that can perform with the 8K technology. Perhaps, after the 3rd quarter of the year, 8K will penetrate more market.



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