Advanced Television

Samsung: “8K is the future”

November 25, 2020

By Chris Forrester

Richard Moreton, from Samsung Electronics’ R&D UK Business Development & Industrial Affairs unit, told delegates to the virtual 4K Summit that 8K is absolutely on Samsung’s agenda.

“We very much see a future for 8K, not just to be selling [TV] panels but in the use of this new technology to enable and grow the 8K market. Our objective is to grow the best 8K ecosystem together with our industry partners,” he said, “which will transition from 4K to 8K.”

He explained that Samsung had created its agnostic ‘ScaleNet’ (in development stage and now looking for commercialisation) which delivered a 50 percent saving in bandwidth. It works by downscaling smartly and then once delivered to a device upscales back to its original. It is thus capable to delivering 8K video on a 4K pipe or even 4K video on a 2K system.

“The potential for producers and broadcasters to deliver better resolution and images is quite powerful, and could be a game-changer,” continued Moreton. “We were all looking forward to the 8K Olympics from Tokyo but sadly that will have to wait.”

Moreton praised the 8K work coming out from France’s The Explorers and explained that Samsung 4K TVs can easily handle the decoding down from 8K material to 4K. “But on an 8K set the content from The Explorers is truly amazing.”

He also reminded delegates that there’s a growing amount of 8K content on YouTube which uses AV1 codecs.

Moreton stressed that there had also been valuable live streamed material in 8K over the past year, such as BT working with Samsung on the Arsenal vs Olympiakos 8K football match back in February which used Sony’s UHC-8300 8K camera and ending with a 70 Mb/s compressed HEVC signal.

Spain’s public broadcaster RTVE had transmitted an 8K DVB-T2 terrestrial signal in October, which was a huge success. “It was only a pilot but the end result was fantastic,” said Morton

“We have to recognise that 8K needs optimisation if it is to become more widely available. AV1 is designed to be royalty free and has been adopted by Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and others. This is a technology to watch for the future. Many 2020 products support AV1,” Moreton said. “There’s also HEVC and MPEG5 and ITU codecs for 8K.”

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