The TV of the future is already in Japan and it feels like real life

Illustration for article titled The TV of the future is already in Japan and it feels like real life

Watching Ultra HD 4K content—with 2,160 lines of vertical definition—on a Ultra HD 4K TV set is impressive. But 8K—four times the total pixels—is so incredibly realistic that it feels like you're looking through a window into real life, as demonstrated by this film screened by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK).


Its name is The Chorus, a choral drama filmed with a still camera that looks into a Wes Andersonian building cutout. According to Kaleem Aftab, watching it is an incredible experience:

What was immediately striking was that the image was so crisp that it was possible to distinguish the leaves on the trees in the background. Rather than making the image seem flat, the clarity gave the picture a depth hitherto unseen on digital projections. The colors were also magnificent. The whites and blacks were stunning.

After the movie screening, the tech crew gave some really interesting insight into what this technology means:

The 8K resolution covers almost the entire range of vision (induced visual field) which influences the human grasp of spatial coordinates. The pixel structure remains invisible to the unassisted eye even when viewed across a horizontal angle.


8K (Super Hi-Vision) should truly come into its own in sports coverage. In a sport such as football (soccer), for example, it is possible to view the whole pitch at once and follow the motion of the ball and every player clearly.

General 8K broadcasting is starting in Japan in 2016, with full implantation expected by 2020. Many other interesting tidbits here.



I heard from a cinematographer who works with engineers at some of the camera companies that 8K is the ultimate goal. Beyond that, most people can't see a difference, even in a movie theater.

Having watched a bunch of content that is 4K acquired and maintained 4K throughout the post production and delivery process, I think higher resolution is going to trump 3D (except for an occasional movie like Gravity.)

The 4K naysayers have their head in the sand. It's already here. Software, cameras, monitors, TV, delivery. It's creeping in just like HD did.