Even as consumers continue to lament the scarcity of 4K programming, prices for next-generation 8K TVs are descending within reach.
China’s TCL, which has a history of undercutting its Korean and Japanese CE rivals in the smart TV arena, just announced the addition of 8K sets to its popular 6-Series line of Roku-powered QLED TVs, starting with the 65-inch 65R648 model, priced at $2,199.
That’s about $800 less than Samsung’s least expensive 8K TV, the QN800A 65-inch 8K model. New 8K TVs from LG and Sony are in the same price range.
TCL’s 75-inch 8K TV, the 75R648 model, is priced at $2,999. Prospective buyers can pre-order TCL’s 8K sets on Amazon and Best Buy now.
Television sets with 8K resolution deliver a 7680 x 4320 resolution, which is four times as many pixels as 4K’s “Ultra High Definition” 3840 x 2160 native resolution.
As of March, only around 44% of U.S. homes even have a 4K TV. And we remain a long way away from 4K programming becoming ubiquitous, with only big sports events such as the Super Bowl and the ongoing Tokyo Olympics providing live 4K content.
Notably, TCL’s mini-LED-enabled 8K sets can upscale 4K and HD content to 8K resolution.
Beyond struggling to find 8K programming—Japanese broadcaster NHK is presenting the Tokyo Games in 8K, but only in Japan—consumers will need high bandwidth. Over download connection speed of more than 200 Mbps is recommended.
And a 65-inch set is decidedly entry-level for the resolution tech, with only super-large displays able to deliver a discernible experience difference over 4K sets.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.
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