“Wow, 8K resolution televisions are here! Don’t be caught with an old-fashioned 4K TV; it’s time to buy, buy, buy!”
TV manufacturers are inundating consumers with marketing campaigns that evangelize the pure glory of 8K resolution, but do we really need all of those pixels? Not really (Unless your primary goal is to give the Jones’ a serious case of FOMO). You can probably save the $3,000+ and keep watching your perfectly good 4K television. Why? I’m glad you asked!
Hollywood Hasn’t Fully Caught Up With 4K:
Avengers, Star Wars, and other big blockbusters utilize the latest and greatest 4K cameras, but a significant segment of film and television is still shot in lower resolution (usually 2K and sometimes film). Camera equipment has not achieved 8K resolution in any meaningful sense, so having an 8K television won’t yield a significantly better viewing experience the majority of the time – at least not yet. You may have the opportunity to view the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea in 8K UHD, but this is a rare exception.
At This Point, Resolution Doesn’t Even Matter:
Yep, you read that right. Manufacturers are rushing to stuff as many pixels as they can into your televisions, but what good are extra pixels if the pixels don’t actually look any better? High dynamic range (HDR), ultra high dynamic range (UHDR), and wide color gamut will be more meaningful features in the near term. A wider pallet of colors, deeper blacks, and brighter lights, paint a prettier picture for you to ogle at than just adding pixels alone. The sensation over increasing television resolution is more of a marketing tool than anything else. Ask yourself which sounds more enticing, “New Brand XYZ 8K television, now with double the pixels!” or “New Brand XYZ television has made great advances on the the dynamic range of individual pixels in your television, this allows for your television to access more colors to create a more beautiful picture!” Yeah, one of those just doesn’t roll off the tongue.
Prices On Televisions Always Plummet After First Generation:
Pricing on newfangled television trends always follow the same trend: extremely expensive at first, and a few years later they’re so cheap my child’s allowance could pay for it. For example, when Sony released their 55 inch 4K Ultra HD, they retailed for $4,999! Now, a quick google search can find you a similar 55 inch 4K Ultra HD TV for $649 from Best Buy. Add in the fact that 55 inch 4K HD TVs have hit rock bottom prices (see RCA 55″ Class 4K via Walmart.com at $289), and most people would find it hard to justify the heavy price tag involved with 8K TVs (from $3,700 for a 32″ Dell monitor to $19,999 for an 88″ Samsung TV). Just wait a little bit if you really want one, the price is sure to come down.
You Probably Wouldn’t Notice the Difference:
Unless you’re suffering from choice-supportive bias, shouting, “Nah-uh! I can totally see it!” at naysayers, you won’t be able to spot the difference between 4K and 8K. The average human eye, sitting 10 feet away from the most commonly purchased screen size (55”), hardly notices the difference between 1080p and 4K resolution. So you can imagine that the jump from 4K to 8K would be equally as indiscernible. To be fair, if you sit ridiculously close to your TV, you may have an easier time noticing the difference, but who does that?
It’s best to delay your purchase of an 8K TV for a few years until the rest of the entertainment industry catches up. If you are in the market for a new television, look for a 4K television with a high dynamic range and wide color gamut. Then pat yourself on the back for all of the money you just saved – You earned it!