While other electronics companies are producing 4K televisions, Sharp is already focusing on the next milestone in resolution. Today, Sharp announced that its 8K AQUOS televisions would be coming to China and Japan in December, while releases in Europe and Taiwan are prepared for early 2018.
Since 2015, Sharp has already been pushing near-8K screens (7,680 x 4,320), however its first models later that year claiming true 8K had a hefty $130,000 price tag. Nonetheless, the issue was not about accuracy — rather, it was regarding a lack of content recorded at such a high resolution so users can actually enjoy the fancy screens. Watching 4K content is not much different whether users are watching on a 4K or an 8K screen.
The blitz of Sharp’s announcement today also unveiled a company initiative dubbed as “8K Ecosystem” committed to improving the process and tech of editing, storing, broadcasting, and shooting content in 8K. The new TVs of Sharp would not make much of a splash if there is no material that only their screens can display, and currently, there are only very few 8K content.
It is the same as the chicken-egg problem at 4K faced initially, though some pressure from outside the industry could push 8K along. According to The Japan Times, the telecommunications ministry of Japan is pushing for production and broadcasting of 8K technology by 2018 to make sure that systems are ready for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Later this year, Sharp will begin selling its 8K AQUOS TVs in Japan and China. Then by February 2018, it will release AQUOS models as 8K monitors in Taiwan, and in Europe by March — however, there are still no official plans for release in the US. Currently, Sharp has not listed a price for the said screens, but a source informed Nikkei Asian Review that they might start at around 1 million yen (or about $ 9,000)