The 8K SmartTV They’ve been with us for a while now. The 2018 IFA was when the main manufacturers began to offer their first models with this resolution. Almost four years have passed since then, and 8K TV sales remain largely stagnant.
Precisely today we have made you a compilation with the best offers for Mi Electro’s TV Week and, despite having a few Samsung Neo QLED 8K Smart TVs on offer, we have not wanted to recommend them. The main reason? It is not worth buying a television with these characteristics.
And it’s not just us who say it, but the Omdia latest reportan agency specializing in market analysis, is simply devastating: it is expected that only 2.7 million 8K televisions will be sold by the end of 2026. Or what is the same: sales of 8K Smart TVs are still anecdotal, and what they will continue to be.
Nobody wants an 8K Smart TV these days
As we said, the report makes it clear that 8K television is not attracting anything to consumers. Omdia has indicated that 8K Smart TV shipments only represent 0.15% of all TV sales in 2021. To give you an idea, it is estimated that a total of 350,000 units have been sold worldwide.
Once again, Samsung is once again the manufacturer that sells the most 8K Smart TVs worldwide, with a 65% share. But the most surprising thing is that the manufacturer has not sold any 8K TVs in Japan. Not even a single one. It should be remembered that the Japanese country is one of the great exponents of this resolution, offer the past Olympic Games in 8K.
According to the report published by Omdia, in the fourth quarter of 2021, 95,500 8K televisions were shipped, an increase compared to 81,900 in the third quarter due to seasonality. Shipments were led by China, although Western Europe and North America also saw significant shipments, despite the no 8K content. Even in Japan, where there is a true 8K channel (from NHK), uptake has been minimal.
And of course, the market analysis agency is very clear about the reason why 8K televisions are not being sold: nobody is interested in a technology that cannot be enjoyed. To give you an idea, sales of Smart TV 8K by Samsung have fallen by 18% compared to 2020.
Also, another very important player is not interested in 8K resolution. We are talking about China, which has made it clear that it is not going to promote the manufacture of this type of panel since the price pressure is very high. For this reason, the Asian giant is working to match its Korean rivals when it comes to manufacturing OLED panels for Smart TVs with 4K resolution, of course…
According to the data collected by Omnia, today no country has a rate higher than 1% in terms of television sales, the minimum figure for a product to be commercially viable. With TV providers struggling with the economics of 4K UHD, it really does seem like the small audience for 8K TVs seems unappealing to content producers.
Less marketing and more content
Evidently, big manufacturers want 8K technology to start taking shape, so year after year they present new models with this resolution. In addition, with each presentation of an 8K Smart TV, the corresponding marketing machinery appears to say that everything will look wonderful and that you will be able to enjoy all kinds of content. Unfortunately, it’s just that, a marketing gimmick.
There are some reasons why hardly any 8K TVs are being sold. The main one is, without a doubt, the lack of content. Let’s leave marketing maneuvers, once again, like when the manufacturer of the day announces that a particular event will be broadcast in 8K. We are talking about very specific situations, not a usual trend.
In this way, you can hardly see anything in 8K. To begin with, platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney + do not currently have any content in this format. We do have a dedicated 8K button on Rakuten TV, but the content is minimal.
We know that Das Boat is being the first series to be recorded in 8K, and it is true that some movies have been released in this format. But are you going to buy a TV to watch a compatible movie or two? Absolutely, it is better to invest in a 4K model.
In short, the only options to watch content in 8K is to turn to YouTube and the few channels that offer real content at this resolution, or bet on your own content that you record with a compatible device. Well, scaling is an option, right? Get ready, curves ahead.
Imagine what SD content upscaled to 8K will look like
And it is that scaling is a very useful solution to improve the image quality of any content recorded at a resolution lower than that of your television. For example, Sony boasts one of the best image processing, achieving a very complete experience. But It is not the same to rescale from SD or HD to 4K than to 8K.
To begin with, heunlike resolution makes the software algorithms have to invert too many pixels, creating true visual aberrations that make it impossible to enjoy quality content. When we had the opportunity to review the Samsung QN950, a Neo QLED 8K model, we noticed that the upscaling of a 4K TV was superior as fewer pixels had to be invented. It is true that the upscaling from 4K to 8K is very decent, but at lower resolutions, it is terrible.
In short, as much as we would love for 8K Smart TVs to become a standard in the sector, until there are more movies and series in this resolution, their sales will be anecdotal. And the DTT at 8K? There are too many years left for that, so the best thing you can do today is to invest in a good 4K TV than to buy an 8K Smart TV that you will hardly be able to take advantage of.