8K UHD Reality Will Overwhelm You
Turning images into reality
—Amazingly high resolution brings realistic depth to the screen
Resolution so high, it looks like the real thing
High resolution 16 times that of Full HD
Today’s digital broadcasts in Full HD (high definition) have a resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels, for 2.07 million pixels in total. 4K UHD (ultra high definition) has a resolution of 3,840 × 2,160, for 8.29 million pixels—four times higher resolution than Full HD. Because the horizontal screen display resolution is approximately 4,000 pixels, this technology is called 4K UHD.
8K UHD—the next step beyond 4K UHD—has now been realized. With a resolution of 7,680 × 4,320 pixels for a total of 33.18 million pixels, 8K UHD gives images that are 16 times more detailed than Full HD. If you get close to a Full HD TV screen, you can distinguish the individual dots. But no matter how close you get to an 8K UHD screen, you can’t see the dots with the naked eye. The images are so realistic that, to your senses, they cease being mere objects on a screen.
2D image with surprising depth
Ultra-high-resolution creates an almost 3D effect
Ultra-high-resolution images on a two-dimensional screen have such depth that they appear to be in 3D. When people look at something with both eyes, they perceive the scene as three dimensional based on how far away objects appear and how different near and distant objects appear.
This way that we look at the world around us can be faithfully reproduced by the ultra-high-resolution images of 8K UHD. Objects may be mere images on a screen, but the sense of depth we get from 8K UHD gives us a feeling of looking at the real thing. Everyone who watches 8K UHD agrees that it’s like looking out through an open window. That’s how real 8K UHD is. Clearly superior to current Full HD images, 8K UHD transports you inside the world on screen and makes you instinctively reach out and try to touch what’s in front of you.
Put yourself on the screen and live the story
Large field of view gives you the most of the big screen
There’s an optimal distance that a person should sit from the screen when watching TV. It’s called the preferred viewing distance*. For Full HD, the preferred viewing distance is three times the height of the TV screen. But 8K UHD has such high definition that you can’t distinguish the pixels, no matter how close you sit. So the preferred viewing distance for 8K UHD is 0.75 times the height of the screen. This difference in preferred viewing distance is manifested in the field of view that the TV screen occupies. Watching Full HD at the preferred viewing distance, the screen occupies 30 degrees of the viewer’s field of view. But when watching an 8K UHD display at the preferred distance, the screen occupies a 100-degree field of view.
Humans are said to have a field of view of 120 degrees, which means that the screen covers almost our entire field of view when we watch 8K UHD. Like watching on a big screen in a movie theater, you feel like you’re right there, immersed in the action. Furthermore, you can’t see the pixels, no matter how close you sit. And the images are practically three dimensional, so what you see before your eyes appears to be the real thing. This is what gives 8K UHD the breathtaking sense of being in the middle of the action. *Preferred optimal distance: The distance at which a person with average visual acuity cannot distinguish the pixels on a screen.
Note: This article refers to 4K UHD and 8K UHD standards for color gamut used in Japan. These standards may differ from those used in other countries/regions. Also, standards may vary depending on the broadcaster.
Colors exactly as they appear in nature
8K UHD color standard (BT.2020)
8K UHD is capable of reproducing a far wider range of color than previous HD. Under the color standard for current HD (BT.709), it’s impossible to reproduce all naturally occurring colors. But under the 8K UHD standard (BT.2020), even colors that don’t occur in nature can be reproduced.
Regarding color depth, which affects color gradation, 8K UHD delivers 12-bit color depth (4,096 shades), compared with HD’s 8-bit color depth (256 shades). This means 8K UHD renders gradations with smooth, natural transitions between the various color shades. For example, 8K UHD can perfectly reproduce the previously hard-to-render colors and gradations of the sky.
Outstanding color gradation for display of entire range from lightest to darkest
Note: This article refers to 4K UHD and 8K UHD standards for contrast used in Japan. These standards may differ from those used in other countries/regions. Also, standards may vary depending on the broadcaster.
Reproducing high contrast with HDR
HDR, or high dynamic range, is the technology for expanding the range between the bright and dark areas of an image. Compared the standard dynamic range (SDR) used in current broadcasting, HDR can display everything from extremely bright to extremely dark shades.
In conventional television images, for example, an on-screen light source such as the sun was so bright that it resulted in blown-out highlights. Conversely, dark portions of an image, such as a dark room, tended to have blocked-up shadows. In the case of extreme differences between light and dark areas in the same image, if adjustment is made towards the bright end, the dark end gets washed out and doesn’t look black. But adjusting to the dark end results in blown-out highlights at the light end.
With HDR, there are no blown-out highlights or blocked-up shadows. Images are reproduced with smooth gradations. Bright parts are clear and vivid, while dark parts appear as dark as they are in real life. The result is outstanding contrast between all the shades of light and dark in the spectrum. This enables the rich expression of highlights and shadows, resulting in meticulously detailed images.
The HDR gamut also accentuates the quality of color production. Contrast has a major influence on color production: the richer the gradation of brightness, the richer the colors will look. To express the greens of nature, you need to show shades such as dark, dull green and light, vibrant green. Thanks to HDR, these and other colors appear rich, vivid, and clear. Colors are reproduced with so much information that it’s almost like looking at the same naturally occurring things in real life. It’s so real, in fact, that you forget you’re looking at an image on a screen.
The fluid, moving images of the future
Note: This article refers to 4K UHD and 8K UHD standards for frame rate used in Japan. These standards may differ from those used in other countries/regions. Also, standards may vary depending on the broadcaster.
Frame rate double that of HD
Video is a string of still images shown one after the other, much like a flip book. The closer these still images are together, the more fluid and natural the movement in the video appears. The number of still images per second that make up a video is called the frame rate. In analog television, the frame rate was 30 frames per second (fps). In today’s HD, video is 60 fps. Although this gives sufficient smoothness to movement, 8K UHD specifications call for 120 fps.
On large-screen TVs, subjects in fast-moving images are sometimes blurred. Increasing the frame rate solves this problem and allows the smooth display of rapid action scenes. This is particularly effective in high-speed action such as sports. However, this brings up another problem. 8K UHD images themselves are high resolution and thus contain a lot of data, so doubling the frame rate further increases the amount of information going through the TV set. This means the TV set must have high performance capabilities in order to process all this data in real time. In the future, we will be able to enjoy such 120 fps, smooth-action video on television.
Note: This article refers to 4K UHD and 8K UHD standards for sound used in Japan. These standards may differ from those used in other countries/regions. Also, standards may vary depending on the broadcaster.
Sound that engulfs you in the experience
Surrounded by stunning 22.2-channel sound
In addition to image quality, 8K UHD represents a major evolution in sound. The sound system employs 22.2 multichannel audio arranged in upper, middle, and lower layers. The upper layer has nine channels, the middle layer has ten channels, and the lower layer has three channels. The lower layer also includes two low-frequency effects (LFE) channels. This means viewers get the sensation of being surrounded by both the on-screen action and the accompanying audio.
While 22.2 multichannel audio nominally requires 22 wide-band speakers and two LFE speakers, such a system would be impractical to install in the average home. But manufacturers will come out with a simplified system that reproduces this 22.2-multichannel sound on fewer speakers. Whichever way you look at it, being surrounded by the images and sound of an 8K UHD system transports us inside the world that we see on screen.