The era of 8K content is still a couple of years away, but screens featuring the resolution are already here and their availability is going to expand in 2018. Sharp started to sell its Sharp Aquos LC-70X500 8K UHDTV in Japan late in 2017, and said that it would gradually expand its availability to other territories throughout this year. Indeed, this month one of the European retailers of professional hardware started to list the LC-70X500E, a European version of the product, at a rather extreme price.

The Sharp Aquos LC-70X500E is a 70-inch UHD TV featuring a 7680×4320 resolution and presumably based on Sharp’s 10-bit IPS/IGZO panel. The latter has a 400 nits typical brightness, a 1000 nits peak brightness for HDR (HDR10, HLG are supported), and a 8 ms GtG response time. The UHD TV uses a full array LED backlighting technology featuring 216 LED zones for dynamic local dimming, so its contrast ratio has to be decent too. Like other premium UHDTVs, this one naturally supports the BT.2020/Rec.2020 recommendations and an appropriate color range. The LC-70X500E has four HDMI 2.0 ports (with 4:4:4 chroma subsampling & HDCP 2.2) and four HDMI 1.4 inputs to connect everything but the kitchen sink. As a bonus feature, the TV is also equipped with a 2.1 audio subsystem.

In Japan, there are experimental 8K broadcasts, so the Aquos LC-70X500 is sold as an ultra-premium UHDTV for ¥760,000 - ¥972,000 ($7,078 - $9,052), according to Kakaku. In Europe, there are no experimental 8K broadcasts, so the Aquos LC-70X500E is aimed primarily at CAD/CAM, medical, DCC, design, engineering, and other professional as well as specialized applications. ProGraphics24.de store is offering Sharp’s 8K UHD TV for €11,899 ($14,715) including VAT. Given the name of the retailer, it is obvious that it sells hardware to various graphics professionals (so don’t be surprised about the price, it is a tool for making money), whereas the letter “E” in the model number of the product indicates that this is an official European version, not a grey import from Japan. In fact, late last year Sharp announced plans to bring the LC-70X500-series to Europe in March, so the German store may be among the first retailers to sell it.

Sharp has been a supporter of NHK’s 8K Super Hi-Vision project for some time. The company built the world’s first 85-inch 8K display in the early 2010s to demonstrate capabilities of the tech and enable content creation. The company also offers the S35MM 8C-B60A 8K professional broadcast camcorder and once demonstrated an 8Kp120 reference display. As a result, it is not surprising that Sharp is the first company to commercialize an 8K UHDTV and price it accordingly.

When it comes to commercially available 8K display hardware for consumers and professionals (i.e., not counting cameras, reference displays, etc.), right now it is possible to buy Dell’s UltraSharp UP3218K monitor (now starts at $3,700) as well as Sharp’s Aquos LC-70X500-series UHD TV. Both are priced well above average, but both are going to face competition later this year. Philips plans to launch its 328P8K 8K UHD LCD in the coming months, whereas AUO intends to start sales of 8K UHD panels for large TVs shortly, enabling TV makers to build 8K UHDTVs.

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  • close - Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - link

    OT.

    "Integer" literally means "whole" in Latin. So a whole integer is an "integer integer". That leaves you with "integers" and "whole numbers" (or "natural numbers").

    Integers: every number with no fractional component (positive or negative: -5, -2, 6, 11, ...).
    Whole numbers: Natural numbers, only positive integers (0, 1, 2, ...)
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    This is fine but I'm waiting to cover my walls with screens.
    The direct led Wall would work for a living room (imax+ @home) but it's got serious limitations: 1)unless you keep it turned on you'll have a giant undecorated wall, 2)if you keep it turned on you've got yourself a pretty nice heating unit (though you could turn on only a few elements but I'm not sure what kind of losses you'd end up with when stretched over dozens of ft² if screen), 3) only one stable setting versus bistable, transflective tech like mirasol (hopeful Apple can get it to work).
    Reply
  • Talkinggod - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    My 2 year old $ 530 Vizio 43" UHD TV can display 8k from my mac book pro thru HDMI. And so can many 4K monitors. Get a 2015 and up MB pro and install SwitchResX . The system pref will read the alternate reaolutions available and 7680 x 4320 will show . My Imac will also drive 8k on the Vizio Reply
  • bji - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    Pretty sure you can also display 4K content on a 480i black and white TV with appropriate downscaling. Who cares? Reply
  • mjeffer - Sunday, April 22, 2018 - link

    I can guarantee you that it's getting downscaled by your mac book pro. It can help produce a better picture at times, but you're definitely no getting it actually displayed in 8k. Reply
  • Diji1 - Friday, April 20, 2018 - link

    Cool, I'll pick one up for every room in the house! Reply

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