During the past few months, many major television manufacturers have released high-end 8K displays. Whenever there's new TV technology in the market, we usually see two responses from our clients. There are the die-hard video lovers that WANT IT NOW and there are the more cautious consumers who understandably think—what, again?!
It seems every year a handful of new acronyms and numbers come out that promise to completely transform your viewing experience. We don't blame some people for growing wary and thinking they can wait out the recent trend until the next one comes along.
As one of the top home AV experts in the Salt Lake City, UT, area we have a lot of people looking for advice when new options become available, and 8K is no exception. That's why we've decided to write this blog, which explains why 8K displays might be a good choice for some. We also go into the audio video distribution solutions needed to really take advantage of this emerging technology.
At its most basic, 8K screens carry four times the pixels as 4K displays. That’s easy to quantify on paper, but it's harder for some people to really visualize. If your recent 4K purchase already offers crisp, lifelike images, then why would you need that many more pixels? That's a fair question and the fact that there is no mainstream 8K video content available right now makes it even easier for many people to disregard the new technology.
Still, that doesn't mean it should be entirely dismissed as some marketing gimmick. There are ways that 8K displays, even without native content, can improve your viewing experience. The increase in pixels won't lead to a massive jump in image quality like you saw going from standard to HD or HD to 4K. What 8K does is allow for much greater flexibility when it comes to how you use your displays.
For one, you'll be able to upscale all existing HD and 4K video content. More importantly, since you have more pixels, there is room for more content. Watch a 4K broadcast with a news ticker or social media feed on the bottom without any dip in video quality. On a busy football Sunday, enjoy multiple games in 4K resolution within the same display with the right setup.
Added pixels will also have an impact on your overall home theater or media room design. With more pixels, you can opt for a bigger display without seeing pixelation. The same is true of the distance between the viewer and the screen. With more pixels, you will be able to sit closer without any image degradation. That means a wide array of display options and configurations open up.
Embracing 8K video resolution involves a lot more than merely buying a new television. Just as vital is offering the right support along the entire signal path from your source to your display. That’s because the increased pixels and frame rates that come with 8K require a lot more bandwidth. Work with a professional so you don't have to worry about wire and component specs.
For any 8K or even 4K video, you want to ensure you're using the right HDMI 2.1 copper or fiber cables for your audio video distribution to be able to carry the data-intensive signals across long distances without interference or loss. These cables should include important compliance with the HDCP 2.2 copyright protection specification. Without this, copyrighted material (virtually all major shows, movies, and TV) will be blocked along the signal path, and you'll end up with a black screen.
During the past few months, companies have also rallied to define the ideal specifications for 8K streaming. Though these won't be a huge factor in your home for a while, it's essential to have them top of mind regardless. By keeping up with the latest advancements, we'll be able to gauge the requirements needed from your network to carry signals once 8K streaming becomes available.
Finally, there's the final step in your audio video distribution installation, and that's the integration into an intuitive control system. We use Control4 because they match their high-end hardware with absolutely stellar OS 3 software available on touchpads, mobile apps and their new Neeo Remote. You’ll be able to pull up content easily—even multiple feeds—to your display of choice with a simple button press.
Now is the perfect time to embrace the latest 8K video distribution as the first significant influx of content will be available this year when the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are broadcast in 8K in Japan. And with the technology still evolving, it’s more important than ever to work with a professional to make sure you take all the right first steps.
If you want to learn more about 8K video resolution and the best ways to bring it into your home, you should set up a one-on-one consultation with our team. Just give us a call at (801) 444-3200, fill out our contact form or chat with us below.