If you’re looking to up your TV game or find yourself watching a lot more than you have in the past, it’s a great time to explore the 8K TV market. While the world is still catching up to the 4K revolution, you can move ahead of the pack to a TV that offers the absolute highest resolution the human eye is capable of processing.
With 8K (the Ultra High Definition-2 standard), you have 8000 horizontal columns of pixels, or 7680 x 4320 pixels (over 33 million). That’s four times more than a 4K screen. To get the absolute best out of 8K, you need to go big and be close. Your reward will be super-clear images with more realistic-looking edges.
Sports will likely be the first place to “normalize” 8K. The 2020 Olympics featured 200 hours of 8K content. There are deals in place for England’s Premier League to broadcast some matches in 8K. Until then, you’re upscaling 4K content. But no worries, it will look fantastic when upscaled to 8K. Imagine the look on your friend’s faces when they see the most precise images ever on game day.
At the moment, there is very little broadcast in native 8K, but you can try high-end gaming consoles (PS5, Xbox Series X), or PC using an Nvidia RTX3090 or higher, or AMB Radeon RX6800 or higher. You can also shoot your own 8K video, and YouTube and Vimeo have some 8K offerings. Technology is coming to the rescue as the Display Port 2.0 standard pushes 77.4 GB per second, three times what DP 1.4a was capable of, with the same port.
Which models to buy
Once you’ve made a choice to go 8K and prepared yourself for the sticker shock (you’re looking at $5,000-$30,000), it’s time to decide which model to buy. The good news is that, like most cutting-edge high-end markets, most of what you’ll find is high quality. Let’s look at a few of the best:
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Samsung QN900A Neo QLED 8K
The Samsung QN900A Neo might be the most drool-worthy TV you can buy. It comes in 65,75, and 85-inch models, boasts an almost invisible bezel. And its internal AI handles all the upscaling for you, resulting in fantastic clarity. Its Quantum Dot technology offers a “billion shades of colour”.
The QN900A has four HDMI ports that support variable refresh rate, auto-low-latency mode, and 4K@120Hz, making gaming a sight to behold. It has ten built-in speakers and supports external soundbars. It also has anti-reflection technology, making for a wider viewing range with no distractions. The QN900A is a beautiful-looking TV, whether turned on or off.
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LG ZX 8K OLED
LG has made significant inroads in the last decade, becoming a name in the TV game. Their high-end products are widely recommended, and they’ve stepped into the ring with their LG ZX 8K OLED. LG is a leader in OLED technology, and they’ve brought OLED to 8K.
OLED makes for amazing viewing angles, deeper blacks, and crisp pictures, and to have all of that in 8K is a dream come true. LG uses their Alpha 9 8K upscaling, making 4K content look perfect.
You won’t be able to mount this TV on your wall, but it looks stylish with a built-in aluminum stand. This TV is expensive, but everything about it screams quality.
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SONY Z9J 8K Android TV
Sony has been a trusted name in TV since the ’80s, and they’ve moved into the 8K market with a solid TV that will turn heads.
Their Z9J 8K TV (pictured above) uses their XR Triliuminos Pro processing to provide a vast range of colors and contrast to give you fantastic picture quality. They also have XR Motion Clarity, designed to handle movement and avoid blurring with sports and action movies. The Z9J 8K has Google TV and Google Assistant built-in, allowing you to add the TV to your home automation processes. Its strength is how well it plays with audio devices and its ability to support Dolby Atmos.
It also has high-quality built-in speakers. This model might not be the choice for gamers, as it doesn’t support variable refresh rate or auto-low-latency mode, but audiophiles will be lining up for the Z9J.
8K TVs will put you ahead of the game. You can sit and watch amazing quality images while the rest of the world catches up, confident that you already have what they’re only thinking of buying.