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Japanese electronics company Sharp has already showcased 8K monitor screens. Indeed, at IBC last September the word got out that its beautiful 85” display, capable of delivering 16x the resolution of ‘ordinary’ HDTV, would be available for an eye-watering $133,000.
In January, at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the concept was again on show, only this time the screen had grown to a massive 110”, although no prices were being quoted!
At Amsterdam’s Integrated Systems Europe show, Sharp was again happy to talk 8K and said that the first mass-market affordable 8K consumer units would emerge in 2018.
Currently Sharp is focusing its efforts on business applications, not least the high-end film and TV production and post-production experts who need to work on extremely high-resolution content, and achieve pin0-sharp accuracy. Sharp’s current 4K portfolio is its PN-H801 80” display, also featuring an extended colour palette. This product combines Sharp’s UV2A LCD technology, a 4K embedded media player, ultra-slim aluminium bezels, and 24/7 reliability, designed to appeal to high-end users.
Sharp is a huge multinational but no longer sells its own brands in North America (where it sold the rights to its name to Chinese-owned Hisense). However, it remains a leading brand in Japan. Samsung owns 10 per cent of Sharp.
Sharp is also in the middle of a take-over bid from Taiwan’s Foxconn. The deal has been under discussion for almost a year but the two parties could not agree a price owing to Sharp’s volatile share price. Reuters is reporting that Foxconn has been granted ‘preferred negotiating rights’ and that a sale price of some $5.6 billion.