Part of ‘The Rings of Power’ will arrive in 8K. It is the perfect example of why it is failing against 4K

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Samsung introduced the first commercial televisions just four years ago. At Xataka we were able to analyze the star model at the time of its launch. The review headline read “in the absence of 8K content…”. The reality, four years later, is that (almost) nothing has changed.

Yes, on YouTube there is content from independent creators, as well as spectacular demos in that resolution. But where it matters most, whether content is on physical disk or on large streaming platforms, the global availability of content is zero.

The lack of series or movies on 8K televisions is not particularly painful, because 4K content scales very well. But Samsung needs arguments to convince us of the need for the new resolution, and has come to an agreement with Amazon Prime Video so we can see some of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ in 8K.

The offer in 8K will be summarized, for the moment, in trailers and previews of exclusive scenes

rings

Samsung and Amazon are already partners in that, of all the major platforms, the only one that is firmly committed to HDR10+ is Prime Video. The rest offer their content with HDR10, but above that layer choose the dynamic metadata of Dolby Vision.

Now, the announcement is that we will be able to watch in 8K a preview of exclusive content from the series, whose premiere is on September 2. In addition to this content, which has not been explained if it will arrive with each chapter or just once, the South Korean manufacturer has mentioned that the spectacular trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will soon be seen in 8K.

For Samsung, its best televisions of 2022 are the Neo QLED 8K, and not the QD-OLED.  These are your reasons

That is to say, the announcement assumes that only some owners of televisions of this resolution (not those who have purchased models from brands such as LG or Sony) will be able to see small fragments of the new star series, but not the entire series. Nothing more than that.

The perfect reflection of what 8K is today

8K

The news of the availability of certain content in 8K, however tiny, is likely to excite some of the owners of these televisions, as it is a way to amortize the purchase. Nevertheless, it is paradigmatic that four years after the arrival of these televisions the novelty around 8K is this. It could be that from now on, a certain short or smaller series arrives in 8K, or that tests are going to be carried out with some content. But no, trailer and exclusive clips.

As when a new generation of consoles arrives, it is normal that the content takes time to arrive. However, the situation with 4K was very different. If with 8K the moment of arrival of commercial models suitable for domestic living rooms was the end of 2018, that moment with Ultra High Definition came in 2013. The difference is that, compared to 8K, in December 2013, Netflix confirmed that it would broadcast in 4K his great series of the moment, ‘House Of Cards’. So it was, premiered it in that resolution in April 2014.

In other words, although the first models of 4K televisions were not worth much due to the lack of minimum requirements that would guarantee compatibility with the great advance in image quality beyond resolution, HDR or high dynamic range, content there was from very soon.

8K is still without a standard in which the big players in the industry participate. It is essential so that the consumer is not harmed

In 2016, just two years later, Netflix started offering content in 4K HDR (HDR10 and Dolby Vision) in ‘Marco Polo’. That is, three years after the arrival of the first domestic televisions, the public could already enjoy the contents as nowhowever little capable those models were compared to the current QLED or QD-OLED.

The key to the latter is that at the January 2016 CES in Las Vegas, the main players in the industry (Dolby, Netflix, LG, Panasonic, Smasung, Sony, Warner, Disney, etc) reached an agreement on what should be be considered 4K UHD. That is, they established a standard that included aspects that the color arrives within the BT.2020 space, that the content is distributed in a resolution of 3840 x 2160 in 10 bits, etc.

Today, that standard does not exist for 8K. There is no set resolution beyond approximations. No codec has been chosen as happened with HEVC in the 4K era, no mastering brightness or color space specifications, or possible physical formats (if a successor to the current BluRay UHD ever comes). Any. And it is the basis for all manufacturers to agree and for consumers to have a product that is compatible with everything and durable.

All of this at a time when blind studies such as Warner they have not concluded that 8K is very perceivable over 4K, on 88-inch TVs at a distance of between 1.52 and 2.7 meters. That is, with the sizes and distances that people will potentially have in a few years in their living room, at best.

Samsung introduced the first commercial televisions just four years ago. At Xataka we were able to analyze the star model…

Samsung introduced the first commercial televisions just four years ago. At Xataka we were able to analyze the star model…

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