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8K for our homes

The 8k television set announced at CES 2021 is not a first, but it could be the first affordable one for the vast majority of us… Image credit: TLC

It is now about a year (since last CES, the physical one back in 2020, not a virtual one like this year) that 8k television has become available (it has a definition of 7680×4320, vs a 3840×2160 of a 4k television). But you needed big pockets to get one (consider that to make it worth you need to get at least a 75″ screen, anything smaller and you can stick to a 4k, you won’t be able to tell the difference). A Samsung 85″ was priced at over 13,000$.

Now, one year later, TLC, has announced a new line of 85″ 8k televisions set that is expected to have a much lower price, in line with TLC market positioning. Price has not been announced yet but given that the equivalent 4k is priced at 1,599$ it is reasonable to expect something well below the 3,000$ mark (still expensive but way lower than last year Samsung).

The question of course (once you have found both the money and space in your home to place this gigantic screen) is whether it makes any sense to have an 8k definition given that most content is still HD (1920×1080) and only a fraction is available in 4k, with basically none in 8k.

Artificial Intelligence is supposedly taking car of that working on the 4k content and increasing its definition (that requires inventing what is not there!), just like today’s 4k television fill in an HD content to deliver a 4k one. You surely get a better image, although it is a fake image, created artificially!

Another possible use is to display your photos on the television screen. Most photos taken today have a definition that is 8k and higher, even the one taken by a smartphone, and some top of the line smartphones is starting to deliver 8k video.

An interesting application of 8k screens is to simulate windows. Our eyes are not able to distinguish between a real image seen through a window and one shown on an 8k screen, even when you get close to the screen (our eyes angular resolution is lower than the one needed to spot the micro LED used in the screen). Hence these screens could be framed as windows and create the perception of looking out on the savanna, seeing gazelles grazing or being chased by lions, getting in the bustles of a Far East market… You name your pleasure. Of course, these immersive windows can be controlled by a service provider that, based on your preferences, will display interesting scenes. It will be like placing your home anywhere in the world… looking through the window to what is going on in real time…

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.