This year promises to be the one in which 4K finally becomes affordable for the masses, but Sharp’s already moving beyond it towards 8K.
The Sharp Aquos Beyond 4K Ultra HDTV, revealed at CES yesterday, uses some technical wizardry to, as the name would suggest, go beyond 4K. While it has a standard 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160, the display also contains 66 million sub pixels – which, according to Sharp, is 42 million more than you get in any other 4K TV.
Sharp has yet to give the 80in monster a model number or price, but it has said it will go on sale in the second half of 2015. So we’d suggest you start saving now. And probably get a better paid job first.
Sharp was also keen to give us a further glimpse of the future by unveiling an actual 8K TV. If numbers are your thing, then you’re in for a treat. The 8K TV, also sans model number, will be 85-inches and will deliver a genuine resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels (no sub pixel tricks needed), a 120Hz refresh rate and 12-bit colour. We’ll give you time to wipe the saliva from your mouth.
Sharp says it’s the first 8K TV to comply with 8K TV test broadcasts and will hit shelves in Japan some time in 2016. There’s no SA, European or US release dates as of yet, so we’ll just have to make do with 4K and ‘Beyond 4K’ for the time being.
Elsewhere, Sharp announced three new ranges of ‘standard’ 4K TVs, with screen sizes ranging from 43in to 80in. All of them will be able to support Netflix 4K streaming. The UB30 and UE30 entry-level ranges (there’s also a flagship UH30), will run on the Android TV operating system, granting you access to Google’s full Play store of apps, games and movies.
Again, pricing details for these have yet to be confirmed but they’re all due to be released towards the middle of 2015.