Is There Room For Both Projectors and TVs in the 8K Wild West?
It felt like only yesterday we were accepting 4K panels as the new standard for residential spaces. Much like this article, there was a lot of speculation around what 4K meant for consumers, clients, and integrators. How much would it cost? Who would make it? How good is it? Does my client want that upgrade? What part of my budget shifts to put a 4K TV on the wall? What are the repair costs? Can their internet handle it?
Fortunately, a lot of these growing pains won't be as hard with 8K. What we learned is that 4K didn't take long to become entirely mainstream, and it indeed was adopted faster than the flatscreen phenomenon through the early 2000's. Manufacturers rushed to make their own version of a 4K TV, adding all sorts of gimmicks including excessive sizes and 3D. It was a mess, but now 4K TVs are hitting rock-bottom affordability prices if you don't mind a noticeable difference in quality.
It's humble cousin, the projector saw a lot of the same growing pains. Sony was likely the first to hit the ground with a sub $10,000 4K projector, even if the content wasn't readily available. And just a few weeks after ISE 2018, we have all the details on Digital Projection's 8K laser projector, in a day and age where 8K content just doesn't exist. Projecting at 25,000 ANSI lumens across a 7680 X 4320 resolution, the new projector isn't quite ready for a residential install just yet.
At the core of this argument is can projectors keep up. For a long time, it was an almost accepted fact that projectors produced a better quality picture thanks to advancements in screen production and the blisteringly accurate picture reproduction. But the noticeable difference between 8K and 4K is lost merely not only on the average user but on the human eye as well. Nvidia and AMD have already noted that 8K is about as perfect as it gets arguing that the hardware needed to produce 16K is just not worth it for such minimal gains.
So with 8K being the end goal and TV manufacturers producing lumen and clarity ratings that are just as powerful if not stronger than projectors, does an 8K projector still have a place in the future of CI?