Sharp will sell an 8K monitor next year

Who cares about 4K? It’s all about 8K in Sharp’s world. It’s not just talk, though, as the company has announced that it will sell the first 8K display in Europe, with the LV-70X500E monitor hitting shelves in March 2018.

As you may be able to tell from the model name, this monitor is a rather big beast, with a 70-inch screen. From the model number on the front, it appears as though Sharp has taken an existing 8K TV and repurposed it as a monitor.

So, how do you get an 8K image into the LV-70X500E? Sharp calls it an ‘8K input terminal’, which is more generously described as four HDMI 2.0 inputs, each one getting a 4K image to give the full resolution.

It’s not the easiest way to get connected, and the sample model that I saw had each cable neatly labelled, so as not to get the final image the wrong way round. Having to use four HDMI inputs, rather puts this display out of normal people’s hands. The HDMI 2.1 standard has already been set, with support for 8K, but the chipsets aren’t available.

Related: HDMI 2.1 spec announced with Dynamic HDR and 8K support

There are some regular HDMI inputs around the back, too, with the LV-70X500E able to upscale a 1080p or 4K input up to 8K. That would feel like a bit of a waste of resolution, to be honest.

This is one of the thicker TVs/monitors that I’ve seen, and from the side the LV-70X500E looks a little like an early LCD. It’s not terrible and a slightly fatter display as a trade off for such a high-resolution panel seems fair.

Sharp had some 8K sample video running on the display, and it looks rather gorgeous. The definition is absolutely outstanding and even getting right up-close and personal with the screen, I couldn’t see individual pixels. It’s quite impressive.

The lack of 8K content is more of a concern at the moment, as aside from the odd bit of test footage, there’s not a lot floating around. Sharp hasn’t announced a price yet, but my guess is that it is going to be expensive.

(Editor’s note: Sharp has been talking about releasing 8K screens every year for the last few years. Pass the salt, please.)