A new consumer 8K TV is scheduled to launch next month.
Though it might seem like the 4K display market is just starting to heat up, Sharp is already set to bring a new 8K TV to stores. The AQUOS 8K-compatible display will first launch in China in October, followed by Japan in December, Taiwan in February 2018, and Europe in March 2018. A US release window has not been announced at this time.
Sharp previously released an 85-inch 8K LCD monitor in 2015, an advanced wideband digital satellite broadcast receiver compatible with 8K UHD broadcasts in 2016, and a 70-inch 8K monitor in June 2017. This new 70-inch AQUOS 8K-compatible display will feature an LCD panel with a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 and edge-lit backlighting technology to dim and brighten different sections of the picture. In addition, the set will also support Dolby Vision HDR and wide color gamut via the display's fluorescent molecular imaging technique.
With all that said, an 8K display is pretty useless without actual 8K content, and to help combat that problem, Sharp is establishing an 8K Ecosystem to push development of 8K broadcast receivers, 8K cameras, and other 8K products. Per the company, "The 8K Ecosystem is Sharp's strategy aimed at sparking innovations in society by creating the seeds of new industries centered from 8K ultra-high-definition technology." Likewise, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) previously conducted 8K test broadcasts in Japan last year through its BS satellite channels, and the company hopes to use the tests in preparation for full public 8K coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The test transmissions featured 8K Super Hi-Vision material with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 and 22.2 channel immersive audio.
Pricing has not been confirmed for Sharp's new AQUOS 8K TV lineup, but a source told the Nikkei Asian Review that the displays could start at around 1 million yen ($9,045). Beyond 8K LCD TVs, Sharp is also reportedly gearing up to produce large screen and small screen OLED panels for TVs and mobile devices. Sharp is now owned by Foxconn, but the US rights to the brand remain with Hisense following an acquisition deal in 2015. With that said, Foxconn is now trying to reclaim use of the Sharp name in the US.