8K Video is Coming Soon to a Screen Near You

Television resolutions are about to get a whole lot better.

The HDMI Forum, which is a group of well-known tech giants representing such companies as Sony (NYSE:SNE), LG (NYSE:LGL), and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), has announced that group members will release HDMI 2.1 by the middle of the year.

This means that TVs and computer monitors will be able to display 8K video, which measures at 7,680x4,320 pixels. That resolution is four times as good as offered by 4K video and 16 times as good as high-definition.

There are plenty of uses for such fine video, even if our eyes have trouble telling the difference between HD video and 4K, never mind 8K.

Virtual reality will be one of the big winners. It takes a lot of bandwidth to record 360 degree views. Video inside of a VR experience can appear pixelated. 8K video will look much better.

It’s also much easier to shoot something in 8K video and then reduce it to support lower quality playback formats.

8K video will broaden the number of colors that can be shown. Today’s high-end video can show 10 bits of color data per pixel. 8K video will be able to show 16.

There’s just one problem. Even today’s best televisions can’t handle 8K video. Monitors are coming on the market that will be able to play it, but they are expensive. Dell plans to introduce one model in March that starts at $5,000.