8K TVs could effectively be banned from sales in Europe if EU's updated Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) goes into effect in March 2023 as planned.
The European Union most recently updated its Energy Label in March 2021 which resulted in many TV models being moved to the lowest energy class (G). On March 1, 2023, even stricter requirements including a lower maximum level for power consumption will be imposed on all new TVs produced.
- "If it happens, no more 8K" Marek Maciejewski, Product Development Director for TCL Europe, told FlatpanelsHD at IFA 2022.
Representatives from Samsung Electronics told FlatpanelsHD that they believe it is possible to get 8K TVs to comply with the new regulation, but it will not be easy. Either way, it is bad news for 8K TVs as the regulation will force TV makers to make compromises or give up in the short term.
- "Unless something changes, March 2023 will spell trouble for the emerging 8K industry with the 8K EU Regulatory Ruling. That’s when new EU power consumption regulations are set to go into effect. The power consumption limits on 8K TVs (and microLED-based displays) are set so low that essentially none of these devices will pass," the 8K Association wrote in a post.
March 2023 requirements
Today, OLED TVs are allowed to consume a bit more power than LCD TVs ("LED", "QLED", "miniLED" etc.) while microLED and all types of 8K TVs are exempt from having to comply with the maximum power limit, which is why they can be sold in Europe.
Starting March 1, 2023, there will no longer be exceptions for any display technology or 8K TVs. "The EEI of an electronic display shall not exceed the maximum EEI (EEImax) according to the limits in Table 1", says EU.
EEImax for electronic displays with resolution up to 2 138 400 pixels (HD)
EEImax for electronic displays with resolution above 2 138 400 pixels (HD) and up to 8 294 400 pixels (UHD-4k)
EEImax for electronic displays with resolution above 8 294 400 pixels (UHD-4k) and for MicroLED displays
March 1, 2021
March 1, 2023
FlatpanelsHD has done the calculations for EEImax (Energy Efficiency Index) for various popular TV size classes. Here is what it means for LCD, OLED and microLED TVs, both 4K and 8K.
March 2023: Maximum power for 4K and 8K TVs
EU energy labels for existing 4K and 8K TVs (see table below) provide some context as to why it will be so hard for 8K TVs, both LCD and OLED, to comply. Standard 4K LCD TVs and 4K OLED TVs should pass without changes but some high-end 4K LCD TVs with advanced zone-dimming could also be in trouble.
The requirements relate to the default picture mode that a TV ships with. TVs can still offer other picture modes that consume more power as manual selections that must present on-screen a warning notification making the user aware of the increased energy consumption.
The EU has scheduled a review of the 2023 Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) by the end of 2022 so it remains to be seen if anything changes before March 2023. EU's energy labelling and ecodesign legislation is designed "to eliminate the least performing products from the market", the European Commission said in 2021.