Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor



4K is the buzz word this year yet I do not know anyone who knows how to output 4K. Sony have released a selection of mastered in 4K branded Blu-rays. These are in fact standard 1080p Blu-ray discs which take full advantage of available disc capacity. They have also been mastered with a wider colour range than standard Blu-ray discs.

A 2160p upgrade on the Blu-ray standard is inevitable, of course, which will allow for 4K movies to be sold on disc. In addition, Netflix appears to be making good progress with its 4K streaming plans, expected to reach some sort of fruition in 2014.

YouTube offers a 4K channel, but you’ll require a powerful Mac/PC with a 4K capable graphics card making it an exclusive viewing club so far.

Sky are recording special events in 4K but editing and outputting them in HD meantime till a less cumbersome 4K compression is found and more to the point…customers who are not only willing to pay for such a service but own a 4K TV.


During my trip to IBC 2013 I was intrigued to see various companies showing off the “Future of Television” screens such as this not only built into the fabric of the house but blending with the wall paper as well.

I asked a Japanese technician how they edit 8K pictures as no commercially available NLE can edit 8K as far as I am aware, there was a scurry of technicians but no one knew the answer.

Somewhere in Japan someone has invented 8K editing software and some means of playing it back.

I can see 4K only being beneficial as a mastering format meantime either in native 4096 x 2160 (17:9) or 3840 x 2160 (16:9) either edited in 4K and dropped down to HD or edited on a 1920 x 1080 timeline.

My initial experiments with 4K was to edit the footage in FCPX 10.1 on an HD timeline, thus allowing you to re-frame is a major step forward in HD production but the cost of recording 4K is very prohibitive let alone only having 15 minutes record time on a 32G XQD card.

My last interview at IBC 2013 was a technician from NHK TV who told me that 8K TV was at least 15 years away so don’t expect 8K cameras till 2028.




Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

8 thoughts on “8K…The Future of Television 2028

  1. Don’t you feel this 4k 8k is getting a little stupid? I love my gadgets but even I can see it’s just a ploy for CA$H. If normal HD doesn’t satisfy you for corporate/sports or events, nothing will.

  2. Meanwhile, in the “real” world, my BBC1 HD channel on the Sky platform shows the national news in HD and a blank screen saying “It is not possible to show local news in HD in my area YET”


    This is after me having bought, over the years, an 720p Led, 1080 Plasma, 1080 Led and most recently a 1080 back lit led .

    It’s a joke.

    As for 8k, I expect the BBC might have just got HD working by the time 8k comes out.

  3. Apple don’t even have a 4K display yet.
    I’m definitely waiting it out until the dust settles. If 4K turns out to be a marketing ploy for more sales like 3D – then my money will remain safely in my pocket.

  4. I shot my last feature in 1080p..unscaled to 2k for theatrical and it looked stunning. Check out the Oscar nominated films this year… none shot on RED, nearly all Arri…and nearly all 1080p or sometimes 2.8k on the Alexa… nearly always mastered to 2k for release. 4k is not vital at all…just a luxury we choose to use or not. I will admit that a 4k sensor makes lovely HD pictures though..

  5. I watched a 4 K footage on 4K large Sony TV and it’s quite impossible to see a huge difference for a regular audience.
    Sitting in front of TV at the right distance makes impossible to see an “amazing improvement”
    Yes, some specific footage looks more details but : is it necessary to be able to count the stone on a beach?
    It’s even disturbing to get so sharp image. We may need to slow down some shot to let the audience fully read the image.

    4K may be the maximum limit to broadcast the signal as it. and 8K to crop and zoom inside to export in 4K maybe.

    Broadcasting TV in 8K looks beyond human eyes resolution to me.

    I was hoping to see more 2.7K solution as it’s a good balance between size and cropping option.

  6. In 2012 i went to watch one of the 8k test broadcasts of the olympics conducted by nhk. it was undeniably impressive, yet felt a little pointless at the same time. the screen it was projected on was about 12 foot wide, and you could tell there was a massive difference when compared to 1080, but the level of detail was distracting, being able to discern every last element of the picture it was actually hard to keep focus on the action. (when 8k becomes mainstream expect a huge increase in sales of diffusion filters and fast lenses to combat this, which sort of defeats the object of 8k in the first place…)

    also frame rates were a problem, i think it was shot at 60p, yet due to the hyper level of sharpness there was a jerky staccato effect on pans and shots with stuff moving across the frame horizontally, pretty much the same effect you get shooting 25p or 24p in hd. I reckon for a sports broadcast you’d have to go up to at least 100 frames a second to get a smooth picture and we’re going to have wait till petabyte sized hard drives are invented before shooting at that kind of bandwidth is practical.
    also, scaling the picture down to the 42 inch’s most people have in their living room, and you’d struggle to tell any difference in detail at normal viewing distances. Don’t get me wrong, once the kinks are ironed out 8k is a great idea for large screen, big audience kind of events; world cup matches on massive screens in town squares, av departments in big arenas and stadiums etc, but for the home it seems utterly pointless, 4k seems like the sweet spot for watching tv and films in my opinion.

  7. @james: seriously? You are complaining about too much detail? Because in the real world when you watch any object you get distracted by too much details? …WHAT ?? Please… What the heck are you babbling about?
    Anyway an 8K camera at 4Kg has just been produced by NHK as an R&D expect studios to start shooting movies in 8K in a few months…
    And Japan will being broadcasting 8K H.265 85Mbps on digital terrestrial in 2016.. so..

  8. I read or heard somewhere that a TV resolution of 8K is as much the human eye can resolve. An average human eye, I imagine is what they meant.
    The detail is so fine that ‘it is as good as real-life’. Sounds like a good advertising slogan but I hope you can see the point. A resolution higher than 8K would be superfluous as the avaerage human just wouldn’t be able to process the extra information.
    Would you agree with this?
    Along the same lines, would the ‘average’ TV viewer be able to discern the difference between the various HD formats when sat in their armchair watching their TV from the far side of the room?
    I wear glasses for watching TV so they would appear to be the limiting factor. Am I right in thinking this or not?
    Very interesting site, by the way.

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