8K resolution refers to the largest ultra high definition television (UHDTV) resolution to exist in digital television and digital cinematography. The term 8K refers to the horizontal resolution of these formats, which are all on the order of 8,000 pixels, forming the total image dimensions (7680x4320). 8K is the display resolution successor to 4K, a resolution of 4,000 horizontal pixels, which is speculated will become a mainstream standard in televisions by 2017.
Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) began research and development on 8K in 1995, having spent over $1B dollars on the resolution since then. Codenamed Super Hi-Vision, NHK also was simultaneously working on the development of 22.2 channel surround sound audio, aiming for mainstream broadcasting by the year 2032. Experimental transmissions of the resolution were tested with the London 2012 Olympic Games, and at the Cannes Film Festival showcasing Beauties À La Carte, a 27 minute shortfilm showcased publicly on a 220” screen. The world's first 8K television was unveiled by Sharp at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2013.
One advantage of high-resolution displays such as 8K, is to have each pixel be indistinguishable from another to the human eye, at a certain distance away. On an 8K screen sized 52”, this effect would be achieved in a distance of 20” from the screen, and on a 92” screen at 3’ away (calculations based on results from http://isthisretina.com/). Another practical purpose of this resolution is in combination with a cropping technique used in film editing. This allows filmmakers to film in a high resolution such as 8K, with a wide lens, or at a further distance from a potentially dangerous subject, intending to zoom and crop digitially in post-production, a portion of the original image to match a smaller resolution such as the current industry standard for High-definition televisions (1080p, 720p & 480p).
Few film cameras have the capability to film in 8K, with innovators NHK being one of the only companies to have created a small broadcasting camera with an 8K Image sensor. Sony and Red Digital Cinema Camera Company are both working to bring larger 8K sensors in more of their cameras in the coming years. Although 8K will not be an accessible mainstream resolution until potentially 2032, a major reason filmmakers are pushing for 8K cameras is to get better 4K footage. Through a process called downsampling, using a larger 8K image downsampled to 4K would create a sharper picture with richer colors than any 4K camera would be able to achieve on its own with a smaller sensor.
8K fulldome is a resolution of 8192×8192 (67.1 megapixels) and is the resolution of top-end modern projection for hemispherical fulldome theatres often seen in planetariums. 8K fulldome projects over 4 times the width and over 7 1⁄2 times the height resolution of 1080p HDTV format, with thirty-two times as many pixels overall. Example:
- width: 1920 × 4.266 = 8192
- height: 1080 × 7.58 = 8192
- Sharp's 8K TV, 7680 × 4320 resolution - International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013
- Definiti 8K theaters, 8192×8192 resolution (apu)
On April 6, 2013, Astro Design announced the AH-4800, capable of recording 8K resolution.
On May 17, 2013, the Franklin Institute premiered To Space And Back; an 8K×8K, 60 fps, 3D video running approximately 25 minutes. During its first run at the Fels Planetarium it was played at 4K, 60 fps.
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- Grabham, Dan. "Super Hi-Vision: the future of TV that's 16x HD". Tech Radar. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Singal, Nidhi. "CES 2013: Sharp showcases world's first 8K TV". Business Today. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Bloom, Phillip. "From Chicago to the Moon: The power of 4K resolution and how to make it work for you creatively". Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Marine, Joe. "NHK Has Finally Shrunk Their 8K Resolution Camera, but How Close Are We to Shooting in 8K?". No Film School. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- "'To Space & Back' latest Planetarium feature". Philadelphia Tribune (Google Cache). Retrieved 14 May 2013.
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