AU Optronics this week has announced plans to start shipments of 8K panels for large UHDTVs in the first half of 2018. The panels will enable TV manufacturers to produce “Super UHD” 8K TVs to compete against LG and Samsung later this year.

The lineup of panels featuring a 7680×4320 resolution will be aimed at ultra-high-end TVs and sizes will range from 65 to 85 inches, said Liao Wei-Lun, president of AUO’s video products business group, at a press conference. The high-ranking executive did not disclose other specifications of the panels, such as luminance and contrast ratio, but given their positioning, it is logical to expect their characteristics to be comparable to 8K UHDTVs to be offered by LG and Samsung.

Multiple TV makers demonstrated various 8K UHDTVs at various trade shows in the recent years, but so far no one has started to sell them. Given the lack of content, it is hard to expect high demand for 8K televisions in the next couple of years, aside from the halo factor - nonetheless, AUO expects 8K panels to account for 10% of its '65-inch and above' panel shipments in 2020. The presumably high-cost of the panels would indicate that in terms of unit shipments this might still be a low-ish number. However, as with 4K displays, someone has to release 8K TVs to stimulate content providers to offer appropriate material. At this year’s CES, Samsung demonstrated its Q9S, its first commercial 8K TV-set, but it did not announce its pricing or availability timeframe. LG and Sony also demonstrated their 8K TVs at CES 2018, but nothing is clear about their plans regarding these products.

Since AUO intends to start mass production of the 8K panels for UHDTVs in the coming months, it is highly likely that it has customers willing to use them for their products already. Because we are talking about volume manufacturing, it is likely that AUO’s partners have already developed their UHDTVs based on the early development panels and we are going to see AUO-based 8K UHDTVs later this year.

With Samsung, LG, Sony and various AUO partners onboard, it looks like 8K UHDTVs will finally start to be commercialized this year.

As for 8K displays for PCs, Dell is currently the only company to offer an 8K monitor (this one is based on a panel from LG, so the latter might introduce its own 8K display at some point). Philips last year promised to start shipments 328P8K monitor in 2018, so expect the product to hit the market in the coming months too.

We saw a number of the 8K PC displays last year at various shows:

Left: Dell 8K, Right: Philips 8K

Related Reading

Source: DigiTimes

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  • StrangerGuy - Friday, February 23, 2018 - link

    By the time these newfangled display standards become mainstream you will find 55" with all those included at <$500. Let the rich and the suckers subsidize us by paying early adopter tax FTW.
  • jjj - Friday, February 23, 2018 - link

    8k will be a hard sell as there is no real need for it and content even for 4k is lagging.
    We need high res in glasses some years ahead but the need for huge displays is coming to an end.

    Hmm, maybe AT should write something on light field displays.
  • Ushio01 - Monday, February 26, 2018 - link

    Just why? Most TV channels aren't even 720p HD yet and 4K is still in test channel status. While for streaming data caps are still an issue.

    I get that flat panel TV's don't wear out as fast as CRT TV's did so the TV makers need something to keep sales up but this is silly.

    Re-mastering old content over and over again is never going to happen for the vast majority of films and TV shows and I can't help but feel it will lead to a huge amount of lost content as who wants to watch a 480p TV show on a HD TV let alone 4K or 8K.
  • mdrejhon - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    Now that resolutions have gone retina, we need refresh rates to go retina too:

    "Blur Busters Law: The Amazing Journey To Future 1000Hz Displays"
  • oRAirwolf - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    I am 100% behind the march of progress and releasing better and better products, however, I have never looked at my 65 inch Samsung 4K TV from my couch and been like "man if only this thing had four times the pixel density everything would just look so much better." I honestly think 8K might be borderlining on absurd and unnecessary. I use a 43 in 4k Sony as my computer monitor and it's probably 4 feet away from my face and I still can't see the individual pixels. I just don't see the value in a product like this.
  • webdoctors - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    Pretty much this. I dont think my eyes are good enough to even notice the difference from 1080p to 4K, but I dont have 20/20 vision.

    I did notice the pic quality is better on my friends 4K TV, even when watching 1080p source, because in addition to higher res, the 4K panels have better HDR/contrast/etc. than the older TVs.
  • iwod - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    HDR, BT.2020, True 120Hz, I thought these things were more important then moving from 4K to 8K.

    And it seems while we have no problem getting consumers to buy 4K and may be in 5 years time 8K screen. All the hardware in production, from TV, Movie, VFX or whatever are still stuck in 2K era.
  • StrangerGuy - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    Because none of those sound as sexy as 8K in marketing.

    And no, most people buy 4K not for 4K, but because they are upsizing to 55+ inchers where 1080p sets at those sizes are already mostly discontinued.
  • PixyMisa - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    I do like that when you look more closely at the screen, you see more detail rather than visible pixels, even if I rarely do that. Helps the illusion of reality.
  • CrazyElf - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    That's one of the things I love about 4k video. If you look closely at a person's face, you can see the finer details of their hair for example - a 4k OLED screen is a very beautiful thing indeed with good video or graphics.

    An 8k screen should be another step up just like 4k was over 1080p.

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