Q. I noticed that the prices of 8K televisions have come down a lot recently. I was thinking of getting one for our living room, but is there anything to watch in 8K TV? Or would this just basically be an empty box? — Larry, Brooklyn.
Larry, you are correct. 8K TV prices have fallen dramatically in the last year. For example, Amazon is now selling a Samsung 65-inch 8K TV for less than $2,400 and a 75-inch model for under $3,500. That’s roughly a 50 percent decrease in the last year or so, and the current prices are comparable to what you would pay for a comparably-sized OLED 4K TV.
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But if you buy a 8K TV, what are you really getting?
Is the picture that much better? Is there anything to watch in 8K?
1. Can be.
2. Not really.
8K TV promises to offer 16 times the resolution of a High-Definition picture. But to truly enjoy those extra pixels, you need a large screen (at least 65 inches, but bigger would be better and be prepared to sit thisclose to the screen) that is displaying an image in 8K. And there is very, very little available in 8K now. YouTube and Vimeo have some travelogue videos in 8K, but that’s about it. There are no U.S. channels in 8K nor 8K Blu-ray discs.
NHK has said it plans to broadcast this summer’s Tokyo Olympic games in 8K, but it’s unknown if it will be available in the format in the United States. (Not to mention whether the Olympics will even proceed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.).
Some videophiles say an 8K TV can significantly enhance a high-def or 4K picture, but that’s debatable as well. Again, you would need an extra-large screen to see any possible improvement.
If all of this sounds familiar, it is. We had the same debate a few years ago with 4K TVs. There was relatively little 4K content to warrant buying a 4K set. While there’s more 4K programming available now, the debate still continues over whether the picture enhancement justifies the upgrade.
So if you buy a 8K TV, even one less expensive than last year’s models, know that you could probably get the same picture with a comparably-priced 4K set.
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Since there still isn’t much 4K content out there, I think it is wrong that all the TV manufacturers stopped making higher end 1080p TVs at 55″ and larger. My current TV is on its last legs and I will need to replace it within a year, and I would much rather get a 1080p equivalent to the Sony 950H, or a 1080p OLED, considering the majority of the content I watch is on DVD or comes from cable TV at 1080i and 720p.
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I have a 4K TV and get my content from U-verse, streaming, and an OTA antenna. Through any of those sources, can I receive the CFB National Championship game or any of the NFL playoff games in 4k? Thanks.
I have a Series 9 65″ Samsung. The upscaling on this tv is so good there’s almost no difference between 4K and upscaled 1080p, or even 720p. I’ve seen 8K displays in Best Buy and see no difference in picture quality to 4K.
I just got a Sony X950H and the upscaling is also insanely good. I am currently limited by my Comcast TV box which is 1080p (waiting for arrival of the 4K box). I was blown away by Sony’s picture quality and motion handling when watching the playoff games last weekend. The 4K cable box will probably take it to another level. I hope we see more native 4K sports broadcasts in the future.