The era of 8K TVs and displays is approaching fast as Osaka-based electronics manufacturer Sharp has announced the launch of its first 8K TV series. AQUOS 8K, 8K-compatible smart TV, is set to arrive in stores across China this October and later this year, in December, Japanese customers will be able to purchase it. As for the rest of the world, the TV won’t be available until 2018, with Taiwanese launch in February and European launch the month after that, although that model will be a repurposed 70-inch LV-70X500E monitor. According to Sharp, AQUOS 8K will be the first 8K TV to have a worldwide release, it’ll use the existing LCD technology, and its smart functions will be powered by Android TV.
Sharp has been making a significant push for 8K, that is 7680 x 4320 resolution, for quite a while. Ultra-high definition that’s 16 times greater that Full HD (1920 x 1080), a next logical step after 4K, is something Sharp calls “ultimate reality” that could provide picture with so fine details the naked or untrained eye can’t capture. The company has already released 8K monitors, one 85-inch model in 2015 and a 70-inch model in June this year, has produced an 8K satellite receiver for the ultra-high definition broadcasts and it’s working on accelerating the development of 8K cameras and other equipment so it can bring a full 8K ecosystem to its customers. Its new television set will support HDR, of course, and the content producers like Japanese broadcaster NHK have already begun broadcasting 8K material in HDR like music concerts and highlights from Olympic games.
The world’s first 8K TV, as Sharp has dubbed the AQUOS series, still doesn’t have a price point but it’s safe to expect a rather hefty hit to the customers’ wallets as it usually happens with the major launch of any huge upgrade to display technology. Although it probably won’t cost $100,000 like Sharp’s first 8K monitor, the price is expected to be higher than LG’s premium OLED TV series which retails for around $8,000. Also, the company hasn’t announced American release of the 8K AQUOS TV, even with its parent company Foxconn building a $10-billion-worth factory on American soil that will be specialized in building LCD displays.