Published on November 8, 2012 10:15 AM

Japanese TV: Who Needs 4K When You Can Go Straight to 8K?

At a time when Panasonic may potentially be releasing its 4K TVs in the near future and Philips is pointing to the possible arrival of glasses-free 3D 4K TVs in around a year's time, major Japanese TV channel NHK may be considering bypassing 4K altogether and switching to 8K instead!

At our recent La Factory tech show here in Paris, Christophe Decloux, Marketing Director of Panasonic France, reminded us that Panasonic had an 8K TV on show at this year's IFA. "Why was it an 8K TV?" he asked. "Because we're working with the Japanese TV station NHK—like Sony, in fact".

Panasonic 8k

NHK is studying the possibility of skipping 4K resolution to go straight to 8K. Equipment should be available at an affordable and therefore viable cost for TV stations within two to three years, explained Christophe Decloux ('affordable' as in, for a TV channel—for you and me it might be different...). "NHK can't invest in native 4K cameras only to have to replace them with 8K cameras later".

Christophe Decloux

This race towards a higher resolution is in some ways reminiscent of the way the digital camera market has been chasing Megapixels. But what does Panasonic think 8K can bring to consumers? Christophe Decloux had a rather surprising answer to that: "it appears that 8K can actually be quite similar to 3D. With definition this high, you get a depth of field and a level of detail which give an impression of depth to the naked eye. Obviously, this isn't 3D as such, but it brings an ultra-high definition that would allow us to skip 4K".

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