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UHDTV - 4K And 8K TV Gets An Official Name


Toshiba 55ZL2 glasses-free 3D TV

It's an issue that's kept us all awake at night: just what should we call the new mega high-definition TV standards? Well now we have an answer...

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has agreed that the new standard for high-definition transmissions will be called UHDTV, or Ultra High Definition Television.

"This is the dawn of a new age for television that will bring unprecedented levels of realism and viewer enjoyment. It's a historic moment," said David Wood, Chairman of ITU-R Working Party 6C.

"Some years will pass before we see these systems in our homes, but come they will. The die is now cast, thanks to the untiring efforts of the international experts participating in WP6C."

Hurrah! No longer will there be confusion, you may be thinking, but not so fast. While the standard has a name, the numbers behind the standard seem surprising, as both 4K and 8K TV will be covered by the same umbrella UHDTV name. When the resolution of 8K (7,680 x 4,320 - 32megapixels) is four times that of 4K (3,840 x 2,160 - 8megapixels), it seems odd not to differentiate them, even if there's an argument for saying they're both 'high enough'.

Then again, this is currently only a recommendation so we could well see these names become more granular.

The first consumer grade TV to offer 4K resolution is the Toshiba 55ZL2 glasses-free 3D TV (pictured), while the first projector is the Sony VPL-VW1000ES. Costing £6,999 and £16,799 respectively, they're a strong indicator that it may be some time before the majority of us have to care too much about exactly what 4K is called, let alone give two hoots about 8K.

Invested in the 4K revolution yet or is HD still enough for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Go to comments


May 28, 2012, 10:26 pm

How about 4kHD and 8kHD?

It has a nice ring to my ears. This will be future proof too 16kHD, 32kHD etc..

People commonly use the term "1080p" for full HD and "720p" for HD.


May 29, 2012, 12:21 am

I'm just wondering if there's any benefit to 4K & 8K TV for those of us who use average to small TV sets (40" and below)? Or is this just a technology for those buying new projectors or super large TVs?

Martin 6

May 29, 2012, 1:37 pm

@AlmostDone or maybe just UHD4 and UHD8 either way calling it UHDTV is just as confusing for OPAT's as HD and HD Ready as well as 720p, 1080i & 1080p still is!

@Pbryanw at some point my 46" Plasma will get swapped for something bigger and better I already feel that 1080p is not enough resolution on this TV I know I sit a LOT closer to my 27" 2560x1440 Monitor but I fell the smaller pixels make for a sharper picture by far. Just my opinion not based on fact!


May 29, 2012, 2:22 pm

Thanks, that's interesting - I suspect there's more of a potential market for this technology then stuff like 3D, and it's a technology that needs to be experienced. And then in a couple of years time, maybe we'll have 4K OLED TVs - now that would be a nice surprise.


August 25, 2012, 3:49 am

Instead of these small steps, let's just wait a few more years and miss out 4k and jump to 8k max res for all screen sizes. I read somewhere 8k is near max res for the human eye.

Of course the tech companies want to squeeze our wallets with every step as they have with HD 720p only tvs then 720p & 1080i then adding 1080p and hdmi version 1.2,.3,.4. 3D anyone ha! glasses free is the next spec. Already brought a current 4k projector? oh dear a higher res one is out next week one month before the next res!

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