8K TV for Tokio 2020?

August 23rd, 2016 Back

So the Rio Games are finished. Time to look forward to Tokio 2020. What can we expect from the country that brought us Sony, Honda or Canon? Well, one thing seems to be sure: Technology will play a critical role in the next Olympics. And not only for the people attending the event, but also for the many of us watching them on TV.

Japanese organizers hope that, for their games, a new TV technology will make the transition to many households worldwide: 8K.

A few months ago, we posted an article detailing 4K TVs, its promise as well as whether it made any sense to purchase them, mainly due to the lack of programs offered using that technology. Well, the Japanese have already started rolling out programming for 8K TVs and have set up the goal to broadcast the games with the new technology.

As you may imagine, offering this technology will encompass many steps, starting with the sale of the television sets, the creating of content in this format, plus a whole set of new compression equipment that will allow them to materialize this promise.

What is 8K?

8K will offer a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, or 16 times the current high definition standards, which will be a huge jump, especially considering that 4K TVs have not made the worldwide impact expected as of 2016. 4K sets first appeared around 2013, with brands like Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic, and have been presented at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for the past few editions. For the current prices, which can run from just under $500 to tens of thousands of dollars, the different is not that dramatic when it comes to picture quality (IMHO), plus the content available is very sparse. On top of that, many consumers had just recently updated their sets to high definition, so it seems a bit early for many to even consider an upgrade.


However, a jump from high def all the way to 8K, assuming programming will be widely available by the time the Tokio Games come around, could make sense for many consumers  who, by that time, may be up for an upgrade. For now, broadcasting in Japan has been limited to public places, just in time for the Rio closing ceremony, and also includes several shows, from arts, music, sports to documentaries, similar to the rollout we have seen with 4K technology.

What kind of internet connection will I need?

What’s more concerning to us at VIDGO TV will be the internet connection required to stream this type of technology. If for 4K technology, you should at least have a 25 megabits per second download speed (compared with 5Mbps for full HD), for 8K you may need a 100 Mbps connection, which is not very common nowadays. So, if 8K technology finally makes it into our households for the next Games, our internet connections will also need an upgrade. And then, we will consider purchasing that new 72 inch (or bigger) 8K set. Until then, hold tight until the time is right.

If you want to check out your real internet connection speed, head to speedtest.net and run the test. The number you are interested in is download speed.

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