CEDIA Turns Up The Resolution On 8K Future
It seems like we only got started with 4K Ultra HDTV and already the first 8K flat-panel displays and video projectors are starting to emerge for the very high-end home theater market.
The recent CEDIA Expo offered a relatively comprehensive showcase of some of the first 7680×4320 pixel 8K-capable display products that are already available to well-heeled AV entertainment buffs or will be shortly.
As we reported previously concerning the recent IFA international show in Berlin, Germany, Samsung and LG unveiled next-generation 8K flat-panel solutions.
Samsung’s 85-inch 8K QLED LED-LCDTV, model 85Q900F, will be coming to the United States shortly, offering a full-array LED backlight system with a more densely packaged number of dimming zones than the company’s Q9FN models, although exactly how many zones was not disclosed. The company also refrained from discussing a price for the product.
Originally, the executives with Samsung said the 8K QLED was to use a version of microLED technology for the backlight array, but that plan was apparently changed to something closer to current full-array LED technology.
Nevertheless, the demo model shown in San Diego last week was spectacularly bright — the company said it will put out up to 4000 nits of peak brightness for specular HDR highlights and other fleeting moments of brightness — and images were clear with greater dimensions of texture and depth than typical 4K models.
Samsung is offering a range of 8K screen size models in Europe and other markets, but it will limit the selection to the 85-inch model here. In part, this is because the resolution benefits, alone, will be harder to discern on smaller screen sizes. However, most markets outside of North America have more restricted living space conditions requiring sets with smaller footprints.
LG showed as a technology statement an 88-inch 8K OLED display in Germany a few days earlier, but the product did not make it to CEDIA in San Diego. Instead, LG used the showcase to promote the home decore advantages of 2018 4K OLED TV models and its compact HU80KA 4K laser projector through several lifestyle vignettes designed and installed by Scarsdale, N.Y. AV speciality dealer Robert Zohn of Value Electronics, experts from Osbee Industries, and renowned interior designers Kate Rumson and Sarah Sherman Samuel.
Projecting 8K Projection
Much more activity took place in the high-end home cinema projector business, where 8K was taking shape through several technological approaches designed to bring the advanced resolution benefits to really big screen sizes.
Although the companies with products to show are selling very expensive units primarily to commercial markets today, they expect to begin addressing more and more residential applications as 8K becomes popular through the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, where the games will be televised by NHK in 8K in to the Japan market.
JVC e-Shifts Into High-Rez
As previously reported here, JVC made big news with several projector models using its new .69-inch native 4K/UHD D-ILA (LCoS) microdisplay chip.
The high-end JVC Reference Series DLA-RS3000 and Procision Series DLA-NX9 models ($17,999.99 suggested retail each) will use 100mm diameter high resolution glass lenses and JVC’s e-shift technology to quadruple the resolution of the D-ILA imagers by rapidly shifting pixels back and forth diagonally 0.5 pixel. The e-shift technology together with native 4K D-ILA devices produce what JVC said is “an 8K image on the screen.”
The company had previously sold in Japan a DLA-VS4800 D-ILA-based “Super Hi-Vision” projector which was listed has having 8K resolution and e-shift technology, but only had a native 4096×2400 pixel and a doubled image.
The new projectors display an 8K e-shifted image provides much higher resolution than 4K, and is further enhanced using JVC’s Multiple Pixel Control high resolution technology to upconvert Full HD and 4K images to fill the 8K image.
Because native 8K source material will likely remain scarce for some time, the system uses JVC’s upscaling technology to produce clear, bright and sharp pictures from sub-8K content.
Demo’ed images of the near-8K output shown in its booth were remarkably sharp, detailed and textured, with an added sense of depth and realism.
Wolf Joins 8K Pack
High-end specialty home theater projector resource Wolf Cinema, showed its TXF Theater Extreme UHD/8K projector, which uses JVC’s same native 4K .69″ D-ILA chip and sixth-generation e-shift technology to produce 8K resolution images on screen.
The Wolf projector will put its own spin on the delivery of advanced picture quality using a laser-phospher light engine and the company’s referece ProScaler Technology, to upscale lower resolution content to fit the 8K screen.
DPI Insight 8K Digital Projector
Digital Projection Inc. (DPI) unveiled its Insight 8K projector, which was billed as the world’s first DLP-based 8K model. It will produce a full (7680×4320) 33 million pixels and will be powered by a dual laser phosphor light engine with 25,000 lumens of peak brightness.
DPI said it uses Delta technology at the core of the projector for advanced quality and performance benefits.
The Insight 8K is based on DPI’s Insight 4K model, which uses three 1.4 DLP chips, with the addition of Delta signal and optical processing running at a rate of 240 fps.
With one mirror, the unit optically creates four different pixels all at the same time, “so that when 33 million pixels go in you are absolutely seeing 33 million pixels,” the company said.
To produce the high lumen level, DPI is using “dozens and dozens” of blue lasers. Two laser modules create all blue lasers while a dichroic mirror channels some of the blue directly to the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). The second blue light path goes directly to a phospher wheel that glows yellow, and that yellow light is separated into red and green, to create all of the colors in BT.709.
The company said it expects the color pallet to reach beyond Rec. 2020 in the next couple of years.
In fact, the company’s product roadmap shows plans to produce projectors using direct red, green and blue lasers, each capable of 65,000 lumens brightness.
DPI plans to begin delivering the first Insight 8K models in the United States in late October at pricing to be announced and has already sold models to NHK, which is preparing 8K coverage of the 2020 Summer Olympics from Japan.
DPI said it expects to sell models for the residential market as well as the broadcast, theatrical industries, planetarium and flight simulation markets.
Although the projector can take uncompressed 8K sources, such signals are not likely to be available in the home for some time.
The Insight 8K, however, can upconvert lower resolution content, such as 4K and scale it to 8K. The projector can also display four separate full 4K images or up to 16 high definition images on screen simultaneously.
Sony Keeps In The 8K Loop
Sony, which helped launch the 4K market by introducing the first native-resolution SXRD (LCoS) microdisplay-based projectors, has been a little more cautious in its approach to 8K.
Not wanting to disrupted the 4K momentum too quickly, the company limited its 8K involvement at CEDIA to showing a special dual 4K projector configuration that went beyond merely dual stacking units. The dual units present two 4K images on screen along with processing to present 8K pictures. The company rigged the assembly with amplified 8K native image input at the source to cast a glimpse of what might follow from SXRD when its ready to commitment to that market with hardware.
But at this time it was merely a technology statement, as the company continues to enjoy its top market share position in the custom home projector market behind its powerful native 4K SXRD lineup.
By Greg Tarr
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