BY ERIN LAWRENCE

While many of us are only just buying our first 4K TVs now, 8K TV has already arrived. What’s 8K TV technology, and should you buy an 8K television now, instead of 4K? Let’s dig into the differences and whether it’s a worthwhile investment for your home theatre.

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A quick 8K crash course…

8k refers to the resolution of your TV. Wondering exactly what you’ll see on your TV screen at home? Resolution is the sharpness or the level of detail of the video picture, and it’s made up of pixels. There are millions of pixels in an 8K TV.

BANG + OLUFSEN HARMONY

What will you notice on an 8K video screen?

8K has four times more pixels than a 4K or Ultra High Definition TV and 16 times more than full HD TV. On an 8K TV there are more than 33 million total pixels and they’re now so small you’ll never see them, almost no matter how close you sit to the screen.

Why is 8K TV called 8K? Similar to how 4K TV got its name, 8K or eight thousand is the number of horizontal pixels across the screen. Technically speaking, it’s TV industry shorthand that’s since evolved into an actual name for the technology.

LG 8K

What can I watch in 8K? Not much. Yet.

The number one question people ask about 8K is, what’s there to watch? Similar to the launch of 4K several years ago, the technology is years ahead of the content. Many movie and TV producers are barely making shows in 4K and suddenly this leapfrogs ahead of them.

The truth is there’s not much being made in 8K right now; replacing cameras and editing software is very expensive and producers aren’t looking to upgrade just yet. Particularly since many consumers aren’t ready to adopt 8K yet (yes, this is a bit of a catch 22). The content hole is partly why companies like Samsung developed their 8K TV with Artificial Intelligence upscaling.

SAMSUNG 8K

Upscaling bridges the gap

Put simply, this AI upscaling learns images, and colours over time, so it’s able to quickly delve into an internal memory bank to improve lower resolution content and convert it to 8K viewing. It all happens automatically, in seconds. The effect is actually quite remarkable.

Turn your TV into art

Many of the 8K TVs on the market now also come with a feature called ambient or art mode. This option lets you display realistic looking art, paintings, photography or moving images on your TV when it’s not in use. This has two great functions; it lets your TV hide in plain sight, so you don’t need to have the dreaded ‘black hole’ effect in your living room or home theatre, and it cam make your space seem bigger, by creating a brightening window effect for the room.

SONY 8K

Should I upgrade to 8K now?

If you’ve got the disposable income to upgrade (8K TVs are still at that early adoption phase where they’re significantly more expensive than a comparable size 4K TV), going to 8K now has some plusses. You’ll be years ahead of the curve when TV technology and production does improve, so you’re future-proof. Content is sure to come, and in the meantime, the upscaling effects that some manufacturers are using means all your content is going to look amazing.