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Sharp to sell world’s first 8K TV in October, for about $125,000

September 16, 2015, 6:37 PM UTC
A model displays Japanese electronics giant Sharp's 4K and 8K television sets, 8K television has 16 times higher resolution (7,680 x 4,320 pixels) of current high-definition televisions at the CEATEC electronics trade show in Chiba, suburban Tokyo on October 7, 2014. Some 550 companies and organization exhibit their latest products and technology through October 11. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Yoshizau Tsuno — AFP/Getty Images

First there was 1080p. Then there was 4K.

Now, Japan electronics giant Sharp will begin limited sales of so-called 8K televisions next month. The TVs, also called “Super Hi-Vision,” have a resolution of 7,680 pixels by 4,320 pixels—an incredible 16 times that of today’s high-definition sets (4X the 4K models) and better than most movie theaters you’ve been to.

Don’t expect to buy one anytime soon, though—the first sets (model LV-85001) will be offered to TV broadcasters and video production companies beginning October 30. How much, you ask? About $125,000, according to the Japanese newspaper Nikkei.

The extraordinary TVs are a small part of a broader push by Japanese companies to ramp up the quality of broadcast television ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. NHK, a local public broadcaster, already has its order in.

But TVs are only one part of the equation. To realize 8K video, the entire pipeline behind it must also upgrade: the cameras that film the content, the computers that process and store the video, the transmission systems that bring it to businesses and homes.

Sharp, Samsung, and LG each showed prototype 8K displays at CES in Las Vegas in January; Sharp also plans to show an 8K model at Ceatec Japan 2015, a major electronics expo, in early October.

The first 8K televisions for consumers are expected sometime in 2018.

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