Scott went to a demo this week of the Olympics being streamed live over the internet via OpenCloud. The noteworthy bit was that the live stream was being done in 8K at 60fps at 100MBps HEVC, and compressing it in real-time before being streamed online. The computer compressing it had 4 Intel Xenon processors to handle the heavy lifting and then outputting it to 8K HLG at 60fps. Scott was watching it on a 75" 8K TV.
During this period of social distancing, everyone is streaming. As such, Netflix has had to lower the resolution quality of streaming down to SD in Europe in order to handle the load. That's a significant degradation if you have a 4K TV. Will it happen here? Scott wouldn't be surprised if it does. As more people shelter in place, they'll be watching more, and streaming more. Coupled with working at home, kids having virtual classes online, internet traffic is going way up. Leo says one way around this is to cache content.
Scott says that TV makers are leading the way to 8K TVs now. But the question is, can the human eye even see the difference between 4K and 8K? Scott says probably not. In fact, Warner Brothers tested 130 people and found that most people either couldn't tell the difference or found 8K TVs only slightly better. And some judged 4K better than 8K. But that could actually be a blind guess. People with 2010 vision sitting 5' from the screen could see the difference, but only slightly. So Scott says we've reached the limit of how the human eye can see the resolution.
Scott joins Leo to talk about all he saw at CES 2020. One of the nifty things he saw was an OLED gaming monitor that was 4K OLED with a variable 360fps refresh rate. 8K TVs were everywhere, including a 292" Wall by Samsung. MicroLEDs are the next generation TV, and while we're a few years away from being affordable, the technology will be the future once they make the production of the MLEDs scalable for production. Another trend was "miniLED." Tens of thousands of dimming zones and LEDs make for more consistent lighting from light to dark. TCL will be offering miniLEDs this year.
Scott says that next week is the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and he expects a ton of 8K TVs will be showcased. But they'll be extremely expensive and there's no real 8K content. So it'll be a while before it's worth investing in an 8K TV. The real improvement will be the new HDMI 2.1 standard. So any new TV should have that component architecture to it, and it will offer an increased bitrate of 48MBps. There will be improved low latency and variable frame rate as well. HMDI 2.1 will require new cables as well, but it will be fully backward compatible.
Over Black Friday weekend, shoppers used their mobile devices to buy over a billion dollars in products. Total retail sales for November is 38 billion dollars. Are TVs better to buy during the Super Bowl, rather than Black Friday? Scott says maybe. They are later in the product cycle and the deals are to clear out models for the new models. So TVs are a better bargain the week before the Super Bowl. But Black Friday deals are pretty good for TVs if you need one.
Scott Wilkinson just got back from the CEDIA show, and the theme this year was 8K in the home! But will we see 8K content with it? Scott says no, not for quite awhile. The 8K TVs that are coming out will be upscaling 4K to 8K. And in reality, the cost of an 8K TV is still in the 5-6 figure range for 8K projectors, and most are being sold for simulators. Sony is working on a technology that will make up to 4 4K projectors work in concert to project an 8K image. But it's still very expensive.
Scott joins us this week to talk about how HDR and 4K is about as good as it gets and moving forward, it's only going to be a "numbers game" as TV manufacturers try to lure you back into the showroom with fancy resolution numbers. But Scott says our eyes can only see so much, and the content is only going to be 4K at best for the foreseeable future.
Scott joins us to talk about a recent article he wrote on AVS Forum about whether 8K is already around the corner. We're going to see them at CES next January, you can bet. Scott says that 8K is a lot closer than we think, but that's only from the perspective of the TV manufacturers who want to sell upgraded TVs. Content is nowhere near around that same 8K corner. Scott says that TV manufacturers can do it so quickly because it won't cost them very much to transition to it in the LED lines.
Scott went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last night and he really liked it. He saw it in Dolby Vision and he's glad he did. Make sure to see the first one before you see this one, though. There's a lot of plot points from the first one.