Who Needs an 85-inch 8K TV For $130,000? No One

But that won't stop Sharp from making the first 8K TVs commercially available next month.
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But that won't stop Sharp from making the first 8K TVs commercially available next month.
Next month, Sharp's 85-incher will become the first commercially available 8K TV.

Why do electronics makers insist on playing this cat and mouse game? We've barely warmed up to the idea of one technology (in this case, 4K TVs) when they decide to lay the next thing on us (i.e. 8K, with 16 times the pixels of HD). It's something we don't need, can't afford and can barely conceive.

In all fairness, Sharp began talking about 8K TVs back at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show. And now almost four years later, that admittedly impressive 85-incher will be available for commercial purchase next month, for around 15 to 16 million yen (or roughly $130,000). So, how closely should you be looking at one?

What a cleverly worded question (if we do say so ourselves). You think so too? Great. Let's keep going then.

Figuratively speaking, most consumers are years away from needing to even start thinking about how an 8K TV would fit into their living room. It's even early for broadcasters to consider, with Japan's NHK being the only one so far to announce plans for Super Hi-Vision (or what others may call "Full Ultra High Definition") programming, with eyes on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Literally speaking, the chart below shows how close you need to be to a particular screen size to physically notice the difference between resolutions. Extrapolating for 8K, you'd have to be just a few feet away with an 85-inch screen. (There's a calculator on Carlton Bale's site, for any nerds who are just that curious.)

So what will your "new year's resolution" be? On your TV, most likely still HD or perhaps 4K. But you have to know the electronics manufacturers will be talking even beyond 8K. (Haven't you learned anything from this article?!) Samsung has already announced plans for seemingly imperceptible 11K displays. Not to be outdone, LG and Sony said they'll be coming out with "Infinity Times Infinity"K screens the next day and then stuck their tongues out. It's all very childish.

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Photos by Ethan Miller / Getty Images News