8K TVs have dominated IFA 2018, with both Samsung and LG launching new models you’ll actually be able to buy at the tradeshow, but you should probably wait before splashing out on the first 8K televisions on the market.
Neither Samsung nor LG have revealed price details for their new 8K tellies, but they’re expected to cost thousands. And prices are unlikely to come down for quite some time.
“In its infancy, 8K is not going to be attainable for everyone,” Bart Kuijten, the sales and marketing director for Toshiba Europe, told Trusted Reviews.
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“It’s not going to be competing with 4K in 12 months. It’s not going to be the same price as 4K next year. It’s for those people who are really concerned about future-proofing themselves”
During its IFA 2018 press conference, Samsung claimed that this marked “the start of a great [8K] era”, adding that, while 4K has only just become established, it “doesn’t believe consumers should wait” for the next major advance in TV technology.
Unfortunately for budding early-adopters, there’s very little 8K content out there at the moment. Until that changes, you’re going to be heavily reliant on 8K upscaling − which might be highly effective, but not perfect.
Kuijten believes this is an issue that could hold 8K back for the foreseeable future.
“Content is the key driver. For true mass-market adoption, you have to have content readily available via whatever source it is. And as of today, it’s not there,” he said.
And he believes we might not see 8K go mainstream for around five years, as was the case with 4K.
“I imagine it’ll be a very similar timeframe, for content to actually become really readily available on a daily or weekly basis. It’ll be a similar life-cycle to 4K, because there’s going to be similar investment from the content providers and the programmers to get it to that level,” he added.
While Samsung has also stressed that it believes 75-inch TVs (and larger) are the way forward for 8K, neither Kuijten nor Toshiba are completely sure about what the ideal size for an 8K TV may be.
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“We’re still exploring that. I can’t definitively answer that as of now. 65-inch is where you’ll probably… start to get the most benefit from it,” Kuijten said. Toshiba unveiled a 65-inch 8K TV concept at the show, with a HDMI 2.1 port and Wide Colour Gamut, HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) support.
“It’s similar with 4K. There’s no point in having a 32-inch 4K TV. So it’s kind of like really identifying at what point that is. And we’re not 100% sure of what that is as of today. At the moment, the market’s been very focused on 84-inch and above.
“I think 65-inch is a minimum requirement, but 55-inch is something we’re looking into too.”
How long do you plan to wait before investing in 8K? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @TrustedReviews.