​Samsung in dialogue to form 8K standard-setting body

Samsung Electronics will approach 8K TV with an inclusive mindset having been in talks with partners to form a standard-setting alliance that includes all industry stakeholders to promote the budging ecosystem, company officials said.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung Electronics has been in discussions with partners to form a industry alliance focused on 8K resolution that will include all industry stakeholders, company officials have said.

"We believe that 8K requires more cooperation and dialogue between industry players," said David Jung, senior engineer at Picture Differentiation Lab, Samsung Visual Display business, at QLED & Advanced Display Summit in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

"We feel we have to sufficiently explain to industry players in the ecosystem, and most importantly, the consumers, the value proposition of 8K," he said. "4K distribution beat market expectations, but we feel now in retrospect we could have done better in setting standards and educating customers in such things as UHD (ultra high definition) and HDR (high dynamic range)."

South Korean TV manufacturers such as Samsung and LG as well as Chinese counterparts Hisense and TCL have often clashed over whether their premium products were "true" 4K or UHD.

Samsung played a key role in forming the UHD Alliance, inaugurated in 2016, which sets standards on UHD content. Members include content distributors such as Amazon and Netflix, studios such as Universal Pictures and Fox, and manufacturers Samsung, LG, TCL, and Sony, among others. Samsung also formed a HDR Plus Alliance with Fox and Panasonic last year and is delivering HDR10 content with Amazon.

"Resolution is important, but today TV needs to offer added values besides just resolution," said Jung. "To do so, we believe we must cooperate with all stakeholders in the ecosystem, including content makers and distributors. We are keeping an open mind."

The South Korean tech giant has also been working on deploying 8K resolution to ultra-large sized displays, such as its Cinema LED brands for movie theatres and LED scoreboards for stadiums, as well as digital signage. "8K TV will especially shine as big, big screens," Jung said.

"Today, we care less about shipment and more about revenue, because market growth has slowed," said another official, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. "So it comes down to offering added value for a higher price-point.

"We need a different mindset from the past decade where TV manufacturers competed on shipment fiercely, to the detriment of our bottom lines," the official added. "We need to justify to consumers why they should consider 8K over a 4K TV as we can only do that when the industry as a whole come together to foster the ecosystem."

TV manufacturers are leading the way in commercialising 8K. Samsung and Sony are planning to launch new 8K products in the second half of the year, with the South Korean tech giant likely to release brand new 8K TV models at the upcoming IFA tradeshow in September, after first teasing them at CES.

However, content creators have been slower to adopt 8K. "We are in dialogue and open to forming an alliance on 8K with other industry players," said Aaron Dew, director of Product Development, TCL North America.

"The motivation on forming such an alliance will be education," added Chris Chinnock, president of display consultant Insight Media. "8K is inevitable. But there is a lack of information in the market. Content makers are resistant because they worry about rising cost, which is untrue. There are big canvas [TVs] that aren't being filled with original content. Done properly, formation of such an alliance will motivate content makers to better understand 8K."


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