Are we ready for 8K? Samsung and LG think so

LG introduces “World’s First 8k OLED TV” at IFA 2018. (AFP pic)

Anyone who likes to enjoy watching in high resolution has probably invested in a 4K set and is working their way through the Netflix and Amazon 4K shows that show off the television’s capabilities. While many consider this the latest thing, South Korean tech rivals Samsung and LG have each showed off screen technology at the IFA tech event with even more pixels, brighter colours and unmatched contrasts.

Samsung unveiled the Q900R 8K QLED complete with 8K AI Upscaling, a television that will be available as soon as October in four giant sizes — 65, 75, 82 and 85 inches.

As for LG, it introduced an 8K OLED television that’s even bigger — a whopping 88 inches.

So QLED or OLED, what’s the difference?

In short, QLED — quantum dot technology on an LED panel — is a layer of special particles, sitting in front of the backlight, which can emit their own individual colours. Samsung claims its quantum dot technology can bring over a billion shades to the screen.

OLED on the other hand doesn’t require a backlight as the pixels themselves produce the light, hence the name, ‘organic light emitting diode technology.’ This generally allows screens to be thinner and flexible, attributes that LG have been making the most of, as the company revealed a 77-inch flexible screen earlier this year, as well as demonstrating a rollable 18-inch screen back in 2016.

But are we really ready for 8K?

It’s all very well running to the shop and spending over $10,000 on the latest 80-something inch television, but if there isn’t any 8K content to watch is it really worth it?

For Samsung “8K AI Upscaling” seems to be the brand’s solution to somewhat bridging the gap between the television and non-8K compatible content “regardless of the original source quality or format,” notes the firm. Therefore, as with 4K, those with the means to buy the latest hardware, won’t have the television shows to match — for now.

The Q900R 8K QLED will also feature a Real 8K Resolution capable of 4,000 nit peak brightness – a standard generally met by film studios. And like with all its premium models, there will be just one discrete cable for both the optical cable and power cord, as well as “One Remote” for a clutter-free way to control other connected devices.

Neither brand has given out a price, although there won’t be a long wait for the Samsung Q900R 8K QLED as it’ll be available in stores from end of September. It remains unclear when LG will start delivering their 8K OLED model.