Even though the next major successor to current HDTV technology is likely the 4K standard, which is currently being used in many digital theaters, an even higher quality standard has just been approved: Ultra-High Definition TV.
Japan’s NHK has been spearheading UHDTV with its 8K technology, and yesterday the International Telecommunication Union approved NHK’s standard, the Verge reports.
UHDTV sports an eye-blistering resolution of 7680 by 4320, a 120fps frame rate, and a wider array of colors. In comparison, modern HDTVs max out at 1080p quality (1920 by 1080, slightly lower than the 2K standard), and the 4K standard supports resolutions up to 4096 by 2072.
Basically, UHDTV is calling for an insane level of picture quality, and it will likely be years before 8K content is even available. It’s also arguable how necessary 8K resolutions will be in the home, where even the 4K standard may be overkill. At average viewing distances, current HDTV sets work well up to 80 inches, and the benefits of 4K sets will only be apparent beyond that size. That leaves little practical use for 8K UHDTV (unless you happen to have a movie theater in your den).
In the words of CNet’s TV reviewer Geoffrey Morrison, 4K TV sets are just “stupid, stupid, stupid.” That may make 8K TV sets downright idiotic.