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We’ve barely started the switch to 4K, and now 8K TVs are already on the market. Are they worth it? Should you care? Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is 8k? How Does It Compare to 4K and HD?

You might think that an 8K TV is double the resolution of a 4K TV, but because of the complicated method for measuring resolution, this isn’t true. The term 8K refers to the horizontal resolution of the TV—that is, how many pixels run across the display left to right. 8K TVs have twice as many horizontal pixels, but they have four times as many total pixels as 4K—and 16 times more than 1080p—when you look at the entire surface area. It’s a lot of pixels.

The different terms can be confusing:

  • A 720p TV (or HD) is measured at 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall.
  • A 1080p TV (a.k.a. Full HD or FHD) is measured at 1920×1080 pixels.
  • A 4K TV (a.k.a Ultra HD or UHD) is measured at 3840×2160 pixels.
  • An 8K TV is measured at 7680×4320 pixels.

One thing that’s easy to spot with these resolutions is that after 720p with each new standard, both the horizontal and vertical pixels doubles. It’s this doubling in both directions that lead to such a vast jump in overall pixel count. 8K TVs are just packed full of pixels.

Should I Buy an 8K TV?

Short answer: No.

4K TVs are finally starting to take hold and come down to affordable pricing. HDR may still be in a war of standards, but more and more TVs are offering both options. And HDR does remain a separate factor from resolution, so it will still be up to the manufacturer to implement them. If you’re going to buy a new TV, it should be a 4K HDR TV; you don’t need to wait for 8K for several reasons.

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