While broadcasters are still wrapping their heads around 4K/UHD distribution, Sharp is set to leap forward with the world's first 8K monitor, shipping in October if you have $133K to spare.
The day when 4K/UHD televisions finally dominate living rooms hasn't arrived yet. We've seen a drastic drop in 4K television prices over the year, which bodes well for sales of such units this coming Holiday season. But Sharp has announced the commercial availability of a television for anyone who has ever thought that 8,294,400 pixels isn't nearly enough.
Sharp introduced the prototype 8K Hi-Vision displays at CES 2012, but it's now ready to bring the world's first 8K television to market. Slated to ship on October 30th, the LV-85001 is an 8K (7680 x 4,320 pixel) monitor features12-bit colour, a 120Hz refresh rate and support for high dynamic range video, as the company touts the LV-85001's dynamic brightness and 'mega contrast' capabilities. The unit is aimed at professional use, as there is little 8K content and no distribution system for such high resolution video.
'Lack of content' has been one of the problems holding back 4K/UHD home adoption, so it's little surprise that the first 8K television isn't really a 'consumer' unit, even at the premium/luxury end of that market. And there's the matter of price; if you want to be one of the earliest adopters of 8K display technology, it well set you back 16M yen (approximately $133K).
If you're one of those brave few that takes the plunge and plop down six figures for a television, there are some matters to keep in mind before clicking 'buy'. While the unit does have a TV tuner, it cannot receive 8K transmissions that way, even if they did exist. In order to enjoy 8K content, you'll need to utilize all four of the LV-85001's HDMI ports (and find something to drive that 8K video over those ports). All-in-all, the Sharp LV-85001 is a very specialized product for a tiny niche of potential users. However, it's noteworthy as a first domino, likely leading other manufacturers to debut expensive 8K displays of their own in the near future.