World's first 8K TV to go on sale next month
Sharp's 8K TV tech was on show at CES 2015 earlier this year, but until now it hasn't been available to buy. From next month, the company will begin taking orders in Japan for the first ever commercially available 8K TV. The panel, which offers a resolution 16 times that of Full HD, will enter the market at an eye-wateringly high price point.
The IGZO panel features a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320, a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and 176 degree viewing angles. The full 8K resolution, which pushes as many pixels as four 4K panels working together, is achieved through the use of four HDMI 2.0 inputs, each contributing an Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) picture.
If you're familiar with 4K TVs, then you'll know that getting Ultra HD content isn't all that straightforward at the moment. Some streaming services such as Netflix are offering a limited amount of 4K content, but you'll need a pretty decent internet connection to access it. Samsung is also set to release a 4K Blu-ray player, but it's not scheduled to land until next year. That being the case, it's likely to quite some time before worthwhile 8K media makes its way to 8K televisions.
Sharp is therefore aiming the new TV at professionals rather than consumers, and it may be used to help test 8K broadcasts down the line. Which is probably for the best, as it's priced at a somewhat wallet-unfriendly ¥16 million, equivalent to around US$133,000.
The panel is set to go on sale in Japan on October 30, with deliveries expected some three months later.