Sharp to Release World’s First 8k TV – Next Month

Sharp will begin selling an 8k TV in October this year – the first-such model to be made commercially available.

Known as the LV-85001, the unit will be an 85″ set costing ¥15.2 million ($125,700) ex VAT. Sharp is targeting the TV at broadcasters and other groups involved in testing the 8k format, rather than consumers.

Abhi Mallick, of IHS, told the BBC that 8k TVs would not become a serious option for end-users until the end of the decade:

“We’re not expecting 8K TVs targeted at consumers to be released until at least 2016, and we don’t expect they will cross one million units until after 2019”, he said, adding, “Japan’s NHK is the only broadcaster so far to announce plans to create and broadcast 8k content”.

Mallick also thought that the relatively small size of Japanese homes would limit interest in 8k TVs. IHS believes that the minimum size for these units would be 65″.

Because of the lack of 8k broadcast content, owners will need to use work-arounds to view video at its maximum resolution. The built-in tuner will not be able to receive 8k broadcasts, so four separate HDMI feeds will be required.

Analyst Comment

A Japanese contact told me at one time that the Japanese government reimburses some R&D costs if companies bring a product to market, which could explain the arrival of this product. If anybody knows if this is still true, do let me know! See our IBC report for more on the NHK 8K demo at IBC. (BR)