Are televisions with 8K resolution currently worthwhile?

TVs with 8K resolution are already available to buy. But are the offers worthwhile at the moment? Are there any media with such a high number of pixels? And are there any good arguments in favor of choosing an expensive TV over the now affordable 4K TVs? Do you even see a difference in everyday use? In this guide I have made it my business to answer these questions.

What does 8K mean? And how many pixels make up the 8K resolution? Here you can find answers to these and other questions about high definition televisions. (Product picture: Samsung)
What does 8K mean? And how many pixels make up the 8K resolution? Here you can find answers to these and other questions about high definition televisions. (Product picture: Samsung)

What does 8K resolution mean?

8K means that the image width is rounded up to 8.000 pixels. In the regular 16: 9 format it is more precisely 7.680 pixels. An 8K picture in 16: 9 format measures 4.320 pixels in height. In total, the Bald of an 8K television is made up of 33.177.600 pixels. How impressive this is becomes clear in comparison with 4K Ultra HD and 1080p Full HD (examples for 16: 9 format):

  • 8K resolution: 7.680 x 4.320 pixels = 33.177.600 pixels
  • 4K resolution: 3.840 x 2.160 pixels = 8.294.400 pixels
  • 1080p Full HD: 1.920 x 1080 pixels = 2.073.600 pixels

Even more pixels can result in the cinema format, which has an aspect ratio of 16: 8,44. Then, with the same number of pixels in height, additional pixels in width are used. Calculation examples and further information that provide a corresponding insight can be found in Guide to 4K UHD resolution.

The official standards for 8K televisions at a glance

If a television is to have the official logo of the 8K Association, it must have certain technical data. The logo with the colorful figure eight may only be used when these minimum requirements have been met. I already gave you details on the topic a year ago in this post summarized. 

Here as an extract the requirements for 8K televisions as an overview:

  • Resolution: 7.680 x 4.320 pixels
  • Input frame rate: 24 fps, 30 fps and 60 fps
  • Screen brightness: More than 600 nits as a maximum
  • Codec: HEVC
  • Interface: HDMI 2.1

Will a TV with 8K resolution be worth it in 2020?

Both 4K and 5K resolutions have long since arrived in TV sets, monitors, displays and iMac screens. Streaming services offer films and series in 4K and video games can now not only be played in Full HD or 2,7K - with the appropriate graphics performance, PCs, consoles and other devices can play them with 4K and 60 fps or even more render. But what about the 8K resolution? What does the offer look like?

Media that can be used on a large scale with 8K are still pending. In the coming years, streaming providers such as Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Disney and Co. will certainly aim to realize productions with corresponding recordings. But it will certainly take a few years before a comprehensive range is available. The same goes for video games - whether for a console or a PC. It remains to be seen whether the upcoming titles for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will deliver a graphical gain. For 2021 it seems that Nintendo has only one time “Only” 4K planned - possibly with a Switch 2.0. 

In short: TVs with 2020K resolution will not really be worth it in 8. Especially since they are also quite expensive with several thousand euros per TV. Then buy a 4K TV and save a lot of money. These devices don't get old that quickly.

So why are there currently 8K televisions?

Current 8K televisions are of course already used here and there. In addition, devices that deliver the signal, or the TV set itself, can upscale the image with the appropriate computing power. This means that the 4K image is "stretched" to 8K. So that it doesn't get pixelated or squishy, ​​an AI calculates the missing image information. As a user, you have to find out for yourself whether this is worth striving for.

Technical details: QLED vs. OLED - What are the differences?

What distance to the television actually makes sense?

The closer you sit to the television, the easier it is to see the individual pixels. If you move away from the screen, the image appears smaller, but also sharper. The effect is similar if the display is actually smaller, because the high resolution is used with a small screen size (whatever is always specified as inches). But which distances are recommended for which televisions?

There is a guide for measuring the distance between viewers and the television screen, so that they can no longer perceive pixels or other resolution details in the picture. The height of the image is used as a yardstick for this help. The factor by which it has to be multiplied in order to calculate the optimal distance depends on the resolution. Overall, the following information results:

  • TV with HD resolution (720p): picture height x 4,8
  • TV with Full HD (1080p): picture height x 3,1
  • TV with 4K UHD resolution: picture height x 1,5
  • TV with 8K resolution: image details become visible when you hold your face in front of it

This means that standard TV sizes of 55 inches, 65 inches or even larger do not provide any real gain for the details in the picture. Because even with Ultra HD, i.e. 4K resolution, a TV 3 meters away would have to have a picture height of 2 meters so that you can begin to recognize the individual pixels. 

Conclusion on the 8K resolution in 2020

Special technical data has been available for 2019K televisions since 8. Some manufacturers, such as Samsung, Sony or LG, already adhere to this in order to be able to offer TV sets with the corresponding number of pixels. But are the expensive Samsung, Sony and LG TVs worth it? Not really, because there is no noticeable difference to 4K UHD in home use. In addition, there is still no real media offer for the devices, and scaled images can also be viewed in the output resolution of 4K in order to enjoy them. There won't be so many films and series in 8K in 2020 either. So we can summarize that it is an exciting development, but you can also save the money.

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