Just as 4K TV prices start to reach an acceptable level, Sharp goes and ruins it by announcing prices for its first 8K Ultra HD panel.
The Japanese manufacturer will be selling its 85-inch LV-85001 monster for ¥16 million (£85,570), more than a little beyond the average pay grade and considerably above the hypothetical asking price Skyworth quoted for its own 98-inch 8K concept TV.
The Sharp LV-85001 will be available to order from October 30 onwards and the first units should start shipping three months after that – almost in time for Christmas.
Related: 4K? Schmore-K: NHK to test 8K Ultra HD TV via satellite in 2016Chances are even if you could afford to drop £85K on Sharp’s LV-85001, it might not be headed to these shores and at any rate, there’s nothing available for you to watch in 8K – there’s barely any 4K content out there.
Japan’s NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai) is the only broadcaster in the world that’s committed to 8K production so far. It plans to broadcast the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in 8K and it shot the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 8K earlier this year.
Broadcasts shot in 8K (7680 x 4320) offer four times the amount of detail you’d get with a 4K TV transmission (3840 x 2160), which is turn provide four times the detail you’d get with a 1080p Full HD broadcast.
So far in the UK there’s just one 4K TV channel – BT Sport Ultra HD – and two streaming services – Netflix and Amazon – that are offering anything in the way of tangible 4K content, whether that’s Premier League football, House of Cards or Mozart in the Jungle.
Delia Bushell, the head of BT TV and BT Sport recently said that an upgrade to 8K was being considered but it’d be years before such a service arrived in the UK. In the meantime, we’re more likely to see things like 5.1.4 surround sound and HDR (High Dynamic Range) supported on TV platforms before 8K arrives.