TV industry paves way for humongously high-res video

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January 6, 2017
The newest HDMI video technology will deliver 8K video. That’s overkill for the vast majority of us, but it means improvements will also come to color, dynamic range and video smoothness.

If you just got a new TV, chances are good it’s a high-resolution 4K model. But the electronics industry, ever eager to get you to upgrade yet again, has laid important groundwork for televisions that quadruple the pixels of 4K.

The HDMI Forum, a group of electronics companies that includes everyone from LG and Sony to Google and Netflix, has announced plans to release HDMI 2.1 by the end of June. On Wednesday at CES 2017, HDMI backers said it means that TVs and computer monitors will be able to display video at a remarkable 7,680×4,320 pixels.
Dubbed 8K, such screens will offer four times the pixels found in 4K models — and 16 times the pixels in mainstream 2014-era TVs with HD.
If that sounds like overkill, it is. But there are reasons that so many pixels will be useful in some situations.
In the real world, our eyes can distinguish only so much detail. That’s why it’s often hard to perceive the step up from HD video at 1,920×1,080 to 4K video at 3,840×2,160 pixels.