A group of TV makers plus panel manufacturer AU Optronics have formed the 8K Association to promote 8K, to set minimum requirements for 8K performance, and to introduce a logo program. However, key players are missing.
The 8K Association
Walking around CES 2019 it quickly became clear that 2019 will mark the beginning of 8K TVs. There is very little content but most leading manufacturers seemingly feel that the time is ripe.
TV makers Hisense, Panasonic, Samsung, and TCL have formed the 8K Association, or 8KA, together with panel manufacturer AUO. Samsung Display is in the process of joining.
Stated goals are: - Promoting 8K TVs and 8K Content to consumers and - Helping educate consumers and professionals about the 8K ecosystem - Helping secure 8K native content for members - Encouraging service providers (especially OTT) to develop 8K offerings - Facilitating communication within 8K ecosystem to help with commercialization - Developing initial technical requirements for 8K input signals - Developing initial 8K TV categories and minimum specifications for image quality
FlatpanelsHD attended the press event where Chris Chinnock, Executive Director of the 8K Association, conceded that there are many challenges and that it may actually take longer for 8K TVs to reach the mass market than 4K TVs that are now entering the early majority phase 5-6 years after launch. That has to do with factors such as content libraries, larger TV sizes required for 8K benefits, and distributors being hesitant. But of course, no one can predict the future.
The association also made it clear that it intends to define minimum specifications for 8K leading to a logo program for 8K TVs. What those specifications will look like is too early to say but they gave some broad examples such as HDMI 2.1, 8K SoCs, and 8K codecs.
Some big players are missing
Notably missing from the list of members are TV makers such as LG and Sony but also content creators and distributors such as Amazon and Netflix. So what does that mean exactly? Is it just a matter of time or are they disagreeing on something?
One of the previous industry initiatives was the UHD Alliance who seeked to define a set of minimum requirements for HDR performance along with an ‘UHD Premium’ logo. That initiative has failed to impress consumers, partly because the UHD Alliance set the bar too low and promoted edge lit LCD TVs as HDR TVs.
Some of the same companies are founding members of this 8K Association so will it be different this time? Time will tell.
- “The 8K Association will not only provide an effective introduction to 8K technology but will also accelerate the beginning of the 8K era,” said Hyogun Lee, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.
- “The newly founded 8K Association will help drive the introduction of 8K technology in the North American and world market,” said Chris Larson, Senior Vice President of TCL North America.
Now we wait and hope for a set of minimum specifications that have been defined with consumer interests in mind. Look out for an 8KA certification logo. More information can be found on 8kassociation.com.