Sharp to launch Hi-Vision 8K TVs next month

The state-of-the-art 4K Ultra HD televisions could soon be old tech thanks to new technology from Sharp, which plans to launch the world's first Super Hi-Vision 8K monitors on 30 October.

According to Engadget, the massive 85-inch LCD screens would carry a price tag of 16,000,000, or about $133,000 each. It said Sharp's 8K monitors -- boasting video resolution 16 times greater than 1080p HD would be marketed initially to business customers only, since no broadcast or streaming video content was currently being offered in 8K.

Sharp had long held out the prospect of 8K and first showed off a prototype of the futuristic TV in 2012 the IFA tech show in Berlin and CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

In a report at the time, CNET said while Sharp promised "an astounding 7,680 pixels of horizontal resolution," in reality there was no real source of 8K content for would-be viewers to watch.

Engadget estimated it would be at least 2020 before 8K TV became widely available to consumers, along with programming to match.

8K, also called Super Hi-Vision, stands for a resolution of 7,680 pixels by 4,320 pixels-16 times that of today's high-definition televisions.

According to commentators, the high tech TVs formed only a small part of a broader push by Japanese companies to boost the quality of broadcast television ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

However, according to commentators, TVs were only one part of the equation. To realise 8k video, the entire support structure also needed to be upgraded - the cameras that filmed the content, the computers that processed and stored the video, the transmission systems that brought it to businesses and homes.

Sharp, Samsung, and LG each showed off prototype 8K displays at CES in Las Vegas in January; and Sharp also planned to show an 8K model at Ceatec Japan 2015, a major electronics expo, in early October.

The first 8K televisions for consumers would be expected sometime in 2018.