8K vs 4K? A study shows that most people do not appreciate the difference

Everything indicates that 2020 will be the year of the resolution revolution. When there are major sporting events, television manufacturers put the batteries to sell their new technologies, and this year we have two huge events: European football and the Olympic Games. The 8K resolution will be the star of the summer, but one study says that most people do not distinguish between 8K and 4K resolution.

There is a limit on the number of pixels that the human eye can distinguish, especially as the viewing distance increases. It is something that is happening to us with mobiles. We can know if a terminal has 300 pixels per inch or more than 400 pixels per inch, but between 400 and 500 … the thing changes since it is not something so obvious because the density of 400 dpi is already very high.

Does the same thing happen with televisions? Warner Bros. in association with Pixar, Amazon Prime Video, LG and the American Society of Cinematographers wanted to check if the user notices the difference between 4K resolution and 8K. And no, it seems that we have no idea and could well give us a cat as a hare since we would not find out.

Samsung, along with LG, is one of the companies that is betting on 8K TVs. Its top-of-the-range models, such as the spectacular Q950T, are committed to 8K, but you don’t have to go to Samsung’s most expensive TVs to find panels with this resolution.

Now, how was the blind test done? Among the different parts, they selected native content at 8K, fragments of 10 seconds HDR10 from Dunkirk, Bugs, and Brave. Subsequently, downsampling was done at 4K with the Nuke software that is used as a standard in the film industry and, again, they were scaled up (8K) with the same software.

The material for the test was an LG OLED TV 88 “. It is 8K and had an Intel Core i9 18-core PC and a GTX 1080 Ti. Why this hardware? To prevent the player from showing the best quality everything is linked to a BlackMagic 8K Pro interface with 2.1-bit output via HDMI.

Come on, they are files without compression with the highest quality of viewing and each participant was given a scale to indicate if with each change of image he looked better, worse or equal (as when we checked our eyesight at the ophthalmologist, go).

The result? The attendees at the experiment rated the 8K resolution as “slightly better” than the 4K, but it is something that depends on the distance. In several rows, in the first, they noticed a “marginal” improvement in image quality, while in the second few were able to distinguish between 8K and 4K.

Also, it is in computer-animated films that it was easier to distinguish this, something logical if we take into account the number of details that are sought to highlight in these tapes.

The study concludes that, although at a short distance the 8K has a clear advantage, the viewing distance we usually have in the houses is not something that matters too much. It is something that many users have commented on 4K.

When the current generation of consoles (PS4 Pro and Xbox One X) arrived, the resolution was extolled, but the real “game-changer” was the HDR technology that gives better colors and greater richness to the image.

Of course, having said that, this year we are going to get tired of watching 8K TV advertising. Hopefully, at least, this means that the chains start broadcasting, at least, at 1,080p and not at 1,080i …


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