NHK Will Skip 4K; Go Straight to 8K

“Leapfrog” is a well-known business strategy. In many instances, a supplier might decide to skip an evolutionary upgrade (2G to 3G, for example) and skip ahead with a more-radical move (2G to 4G, for example), in an effort to gain advantage.

That is why executives at NHK have been thinking and now saying they will skip 4K and go straight to 8K. NHK said it would do so at the Pacific Telecommunications Council 2015 meeting.

How much impact that will have on consumer experience is unclear. To detect 8K image quality now requires that the viewer be sitting a distance of about 75 percent of screen height. In other words, for a screen height of three feet, the viewer has to sit about 2 feet 3 inches away from the screen.

Nobody is going to do that, routinely, in a home setting. At typical livingroom viewing distances, the 8K image quality will not appear any different than 4K. So it isn’t so clear the value of 8K actually will occur in the consumer display market, but rather in the medical or other imaging settings where such image quality really is useful, and users are very close to the screens.
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