What is 8K resolution?

Let’s start at the beginning and the most basic, what is 8K. If you are interested in technology it is obvious that you will already know what this 8K is. The simple way to define it is as screens and devices capable of displaying or capturing an image with 7680 x 4320 pixel resolution.

Or put another way, the 8K is to have twice the resolution of a 4K screen or, seen another way, four 4K screens together. Thanks to this increase in resolution some advantages are obtained, but it also implies certain disadvantages. Of course, before continuing, let’s talk about marketing.

8K vs 8K Ready

In the coming months you will see how many manufacturers begin to make allusions to the theme of 8K. Especially as the date of celebration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is approaching. It is well known that the industry takes advantage of this type of events to bet heavily on new technologies and thus revive sales.

The 8K will be one of the big claims, also because the Olympics will be recorded and issued at that resolution. But do not let yourself be “fooled” by marketing, because you will see labels type 8K Ready.

8K and 8K Ready as you can intuit is not the same. If you remember, years ago it was usual to see screens with HD, HD Ready or Full HD labels. Now the same will happen, and that it is “prepared for 8K” does not imply that it complies with what is required of the real 8K. All they tell you is that the content that can arrive via digital signal, internet or through an external storage device and is at 8K resolution can be reproduced.

Playing 8K content requires a greater processing capacity than with current content. This is something that, for example, you can check with your own computer. There are already videos on the Internet at 8K resolution, however, if you use Chrome you will verify that the 8K version is selected, playback will cost you.

Therefore, when you see 8K Ready, what you should be clear about is that it is not an 8K Real device. Moreover, the specifications to be able to use the label that certifies that it is an 8K screen requires:

  • 8K panel (7680 x 4320 pixels)
  • Ability to play native content with a 10-bit color depth
  • Support for BT.2100 color space
  • HDMI connection capable of supporting this video signal
  • HDCP 2.2 support

Anything that does not meet any of these points may not have the 8K UHD tag.

Why jump to 8K? Advantages of the resolution jump

As with 4K, the jump to 8K resolutions offers a clear improvement in issues of sharpness and overall quality from image. But when in addition to playing it is recorded at 8K resolution, other advantages are obtained when editing projects with a lower resolution. But let’s try playback and recording separately.

On televisions the benefits of 8K resolution are linked to its use in large diagonals. Screens 75 inches and up will see how the user is able to visualize them and get a better experience by being unable to appreciate the pixel size over short distances.

If you remember our Sony 8K TV test, you will remember, if we don’t do it, that this was one of the things that we highlighted. Because being a few meters from these screens of 85 and 98 inches and not seeing the pixel is something very striking.

Of course, beyond this, the rest of the added advantages such as the support of wider color spaces is not something exclusive. In the current 4K screens with HDR support we already have it. So, the 8K is really designed for very large screens.

In addition, manufacturing 8K screens with smaller inches is more expensive for now and the benefit is also less. And it would be something similar to what we have seen in 27 ”5K screens, it is true that they look better by having higher density, but it is not better than with 4K screens or a break as breakable as that of 1080p to 4K.

In recording subjects, the 8K again gives many options for content editing in projects that are not going to use that resolution as native. Again, taking the analogy of the jump from 1080p to 4K, having more pixels allows you to frame scenes, take several planes from a single shot, “invent” moving planes such as paneos, etc. And, logically, if you’re going to edit in 4K, doing it with content that scales down from 8K gives a much sharper image.

The problems of 8K

Western Digital

It is difficult and it would really be unfair to say that 8K implies problems, but it is true that there are problems that make you think if it is really worth the jump to devices capable of recording 8K video.

8K cameras had already been on the market for a long time, EPIC NETWORKS are one of them. Equipment with a cinema quality and a price… of cinema too. A camera with these characteristics costs a lot. But now we have seen how Samsung pulls out a phone, three to be exact, capable of recording 8K video.

The new Galaxy S20 They are a demonstration that the 8K is already here, and they are also a tool for the brand to justify its commitment to this resolution in its teles. You can no longer tell them what you want an 8K TV for if there is no content, because they will tell you to record it with the camera in your pocket.

Well, the Galaxy S20 are not the only ones. It is already rumored that the next Canon EBoxS 5R will also allow 8K video and it is more than likely that Panasonic will soon join the party given the good work done with its Lumix S1H. Equally the Lumix GH6 is the first 8K camera of the manufacturer.

But what many are forgetting is the storage requirements that will require such content. Because in the Galaxy S20, a 1 minute 8K video weighs about 600 MB, and the maximum you can record will be 5 minutes. Surely you are already understanding the subject.

The 8K content, and that we are not talking about high bitrates, logarithmic recording, etc., generate files with a lot of information. So the weight is considerable and the storage requirements soar. So, both to store what others produce and what you record yourself, you will need a good storage capacity.

So, this is what you have to keep in mind. In addition, changing TV or betting on an 8K camera will also mean that you may have to update other equipment, cables, etc. Therefore, welcome its 33 million pixels … or almost.