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Skyworth Introduces 8K STB

Skyworth Digital announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind commercial 8K STB in partnership with China Mobile earlier this month. The companies will roll out 40,000 units in the He Nan province of China in 2024. Moreover, China Mobile and Skyworth are also planning to expand this 8K device to other provinces.

The STB features a "4GB+64GB" configuration and the device supports Dolby Vision+Dolby Atmos technology.

China is continuing to drive the adoption of the latest 8K technology.

NAB Show Panel to Explore 8K Tech and Its Impact on the Production Process

The 8K Association has arranged a panel at the forthcoming NAB 2024 show to discuss the value of 8K in delivering high quality content. Panellists will be from the Association, Red Digital, Imax and Spin Digital. More details are here.

The session will be held on Monday, April 15 from 12:15 to 12:45pm at the Connect Zone Theater located in the West Hall near Futures Park. The Association will have a booth in the Futures Park and will welcome visitors.

Sigma’s Cine Primes Are so Good They’re Official Test Lenses

The Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA), which last week held its Expo in Los Angeles, has selected Sigma Cine lenses as its new standardized test lens. We reported on Sigma's lenses after our visit to the BSC Expo in London recently.

8K Association Comment

Lenses are by their nature, analog devices. As such, their performance can be harder to characterize than digital devices. However, without great lenses, results from 8K content will be less good than they should be. In the early days of 4K, many of the lenses on 4K projectors were really not good enough to display the images well, but this was hard to understand without stringent tests. The GCSA will need really great lenses to make the most of the content in their members' planetariums and other large format display venues.

Pixera Powers Huge Video Wall for Oscar Winnning Virtual Production

Austrian server developer Pixera supported a huge LED-based video wall for a virtual production on the set of 'Poor Things' which went on to win four Academy Awards at this year's Oscars after receiving 11 nominations. The set had a 'staggering' 23K (23,040px × 3840px) resolution, driven by four servers. The technical details are surprizing:

  • 600m² (60m × 10m) of INFiLED INTI 2.6mm LED wall
  • more than 1,500 amplifiers (outputting a peak power of 360kW)
  • 5.5km of cabling
  • Weight of more than 21 tonnes!
Spin Digital Explains NHK 8K Streamed Concert

Spin Digital has released details of a project that it undertook with NHK of Japan on 26th December 2023. In this collaboration, 8K video (7680×4320 pixels at 60 frames per second) and 3D audio (22.2 channels with MPEG-H 3D Audio) were used to create an immersive viewing and three-dimensional sound experience, with the aim of giving the viewer the impression of sitting in the best seat of the concert hall. The concert was streamed live over the Internet to viewing locations in Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Berlin.

(We plan to follow up with Mauricio Alvarez Mesa of Spin Digital to get more details on this project - Editor)

Alfalite Expands LED Walls to 8K

Alfalite has announced its UHD Finepix LED system. The company has options down to 0.6mm pitch, with cabinets supporting 960 x 540 (16:9) resolution. This means that the firm can support 8K with an 8 x 8 array of cabinets. We calculate from the firm's data that this would mean a diagonal around 217" for an 8K display. The company can support resolutions above that for even more pixels.

Huge Video Wall has 23K Resolution

Austrian AV server maker AV Stumpfl provided its technology to power a virtual production of the Oscar-nominated 'Poor Things' that used a huge LED wall with a total resolution of 23K (23,040px × 3840px), Four servers were used and the scale of the installation was huge:

  • 600m² (60m × 10m) of INFiLED INTI 2.6mm LED wall
  • more than 1,500 amplifiers (outputting a peak power of 360kW)
  • 5.5km of cabling.
  • More than 21 tonnes of LED wall
Nvidia Supports Dual 8K Displays but No DisplayPort 2.1

TechRadar reported on the Nvidia RTX 2000 ADA Generation graphics processor which supports up to two 8K 60Hz displays using two of the four DisplayPort 1.4 ports. Each port can also support up to 4K 120Hz. The article notes that Nvidia is not offering DisplayPort 2.0 or 2.1 on the card.

Various rumours put the launch of the Nvidia RTX 50 series, which is rumored to be supporting DP 2.1 as at the end of 2024 or early 2025.

Sony X-OCN Workflow Guide

Will digging around to learn more about the codecs used in the latest Sony Burano 8K camera, we spotted this interesting article from Sony Professional in the UK that digs into the uses of Sony's X-OCN professional codec. The guide shows how to use the codec in DaVinci Resolve to edit 8.2K content. The site said:

Zoom, slow-mo and replays: How Fox 4K & 8K cams were used in NFC title broadcast

The Detroit News reported that the game between the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara on Sunday 28th January saw a boost from one to four in the number of 4K cameras used to capture the action. However, it also had a pair of 8K, panoramic cameras in play, one near the top of the stem of each goalpost.

The high resolution of the cameras allows multiple parts of the captured image side by side, using software for re-framing, with perfect synchronization.

As Des Carey of Samsung said in a panel at the recent Cedia Expo:

“if you haven’t seen sports in true 8K, you really don’t understand what you are missing”.

(Note, the image attached to this article is not from that game, but you can see a picture of the camera installation here.)

2024 Poised to be a Breakout Year for Versatile Video Coding — Justin Ridge, MC-IF

The Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) around a 'Mile High Video' event in Denver, has been promoting the developments of the latest VVC codec which was finalized in 2023 and is already seeing significant activity. In a press release, the Forum highlighted the development of the next generation technology and emphasized its approval by SBTVD, DVB, SCTE and ATSC (where it is in-progress).

8KA Comment

VVC is a significant development for 8K as it will offer the possibility of lower bit rate streams as well as building in support for basic streams with enhancement layers, which could be a real enabler for those that want to provide a wider range of quality while minimizing the increase in bandwidth needed.

6 Zeiss lenses
ZEISS introduces the Nano Prime family of high-speed cine lenses for mirrorless full frame cameras

Lens specialist, Zeiss, has introduced a full range of 'Nano Prime' T1.5 lenses for professional cinematic video. Each of the lenses in the set has the same focus control and filter size and they are designed for Sony E-mount lenses, although some expect later versions to have different mount settings. They are designed to have a similar look to the top-of-the-line Supreme Prime series, but are intended for more budget conscious users or for 'B' reel footage.

8K Association Comment

This should assist those with ambitions of creating truly cinematic 8K content using Sony's mirrorless cameras. The lenses cost around $26,000 for a set, so are not cheap, but are attainable.

AMD Unveils Industry-First FPGAs and Adaptive SoCs Conforming to DisplayPort™ 2.1 8K Video Standard

AMD's FPGA business has been supportive of 8K and the firm's semiconductors were the first to support DisplayPort 2.1 outputs. Now, the FPGA business has announced that it is making DisplayPort 2.1 ip available for inclusion in its customers' designs.

Revolutionizing ProAV Networks: intoPIX Unveils TicoXS FIP for Unmatched 4K & 8K AVoIP Excellence at ISE 2024

'The Codec company for those that don't want to use a codec', IntoPIX, said that at ISE it would show:

Lightweight TicoXS FIP FPGA sub-system IP cores and software (to) enable the distribution and extension of 4K & 8K audiovisual content with ultra-low latency and impeccable quality, whether over existing Cat5e cables or cutting-edge wireless technologies.

The FPGA cores and the software demonstrated at ISE were to include indeed the support of the new JPEG XS TDC profile released in 2024. The 4K/8K encoder and decoder sub-system FPGA IP is available on AMD and Intel FPGA and FPGA SoC platforms, facilitating the design of AV-over-IP products onto a single chip.

8K Association Comment

The increasing use of networking technology for the distribution of high quality video content is developing rapidly. Simplifying the integration of this technology into SOCs and other chips will reduce the cost and complexity of supporting 8K in this application.

France Brings 4K to Free-to-air Terrestrial TV

France Télévisions has introduced 4K Free-to-air Terrestrial TV in most of the country and nine overseas territories using the France 2 channel. On July 10th it will extend the service to the France 3 channel although it is unclear that France 3 will continue after the Paris Olympic Games.

Intially, broadcasts will be available in the Paris, Nantes and Bordeaux regions, before being extended to Toulouse and Rennes on February 27. Over 70% of homes have 4K TVs in the country, it has been estimated.

8KA Comment

It is positive to see that as the technology becomes more accessible and capable of transmitting more resolution using newer and better codecs, broadcasters are looking at boosting the quality of their output.

Apple Uses 8K 3D content for Vision Pro

9to5Mac reported on the use by Apple of 'Apple Immersive Video'. Apple Immersive Video features 180-degree 3D 8K recordings Apple said.

8KA Comment

Technical details of the video format do not appear to have been published yet. Although each of the eyes sees a 4K x 3K image, they are effectively 'windows' onto a 180-degree canvas of content, so the viewer can move their head to reveal different parts of the image. That means that the capture format has to have much higher resolution than either eye if the full level of detail is to be shown to the viewer.

Samsung Adds More 8K Video to Galaxy S24

Samsung's new Galaxy S24 range has boosted the capture of 8K video. The S23 model included a 'periscope' 10X optical zoom but with only a 10 megapixel sensor. The new S24 Ultra includes a lower optical zoom level of 5X but the imager has been dramatically boosted to 50 megapixels. This means that the 5X telephoto sensor is now able to capture native 8K video. 10X zoom is now available via digital zooming. Another 3X telephoto still uses a 10 megapixel sensor.

Android Authority reported Samsung as saying that 3X and 5X zoom were the most frequently used zoom levels on previous models.

As well as the boost in 8K capture, the S24 Ultra now has peak brightness of 2,600 cd/m2 and is protected with new Corning Gorilla Armor cover material which reduces reflections by up to 75%.

BOE 3D Display Uses 16K Panel

At CES, the world's largest display panel maker, BOE of China, announced a 32" 'Light Field' (or autosteroscopic 3D for use without glasses) display that us built on a '16K' LCD panel. (This kind of display uses tiny lenses to send different pixels to the two eyes for one or more 3D views - editor)

It also announced a curved 45" '9K' Oxide LCD with miniLED backlight for automotive applications. At the show was also a Geely Galaxy E8 which has a 45" 8K LCD one piece display.

LG’s 8K OLEDs ‘blow away Mini-LED TVs’

At CES 2024, LG Display (the panel division) showed its latest 77" and 88" 8K OLED panels which use the firm's META 2.0 panels that have a special algorithm and a micro lens array (MLA) to boost peak output to up 3,000 cd/m2. Toms Guide reviewers were 'blown away' by the performance.

Editor's Comment

We have heard reports (via analyst firm DSCC) that the new blue OLED materials from UDC have not yet met the lifetime targets of major customers, so it seems likely that the introduction of the materials will not be until 2025, later than planned. The use of these materials should boost OLED output by a further 25%.

Intel Introduces Thunderbolt 5-Supporting Processors

At CES 2024, Intel introduced new Core HX and U-series mobile processors and a complete lineup of Intel Core 14th Gen desktop processors at the 65-watt and 35-watt levels for mainstream desktop, All-in-One and edge devices.

Some of the HX series processors feature options for Thunderbolt 5 with up to 80 Gbps of bi-directional bandwidth and 120 Gbps in Bandwidth Boost mode. Thunderbolt 5 can support dual 8K displays.

Hisense Boosts 8K Projection TV Performance at CES 2024

Hisense highlighted large TVs in its CES presentation. The company said that after introducing more large TVs in 2023, its sales of 85" and above sets grew 18-fold. As well as large miniLED TVs up to 115" (and with a lot of backlight dimming zones and high brightness), the firm highlighted its 8K laser projection TVs. The firm emphasized that consumers are looking for the best details, clarity and contrast in their sets. The firm has new dynamic light steering technology (based on technology developed by Barco) to get deeper blacks (by 50%) and up to 500% improvement in brightness. The company said that on screen brightness is 2,000 cd/m2 using the laser projectors.

Userful Can Aggregate Multiple Streams to 8K60FPS

Even the most sceptical analysts about the value of 8K in domestic TV can see that the technology has great opportunities in large video walls where more detail makes experiences and viewing more immersive. Userful, a company that has been developing IP-based systems for addressing video walls for a number of years announced that it has developed a new encoding system for 8K 60FPS that allows the aggregation of multiple sources into a single 8K stream for delivery through 8K LED controllers and/or to 8K LED walls and LCD displays.

VESA Updates DisplayPort to Version 2.1a for Longer Cables

VESA has updated DisplayPort to Version 2.1a to boost the output to 54Gbps when four lanes are being used over a two meter passive cable (twice the length seen before) and has a new DP54 UHBR cable specification that supersedes the existing DP40 cable specification. VESA confirmed that existing certified DP40 cables are also compliant with DP54.

The DP54 cables with four lanes of UHBR13.5 can suppport 8K x 2K at 240 Hz for wide screen gaming or 8K x 4K (full 8K) at 120Hz.

At CES, the organization also updated its Adaptive Sync test specification to support displays that can operate with two distinct resolutions/frame rates (e.g. 4K/144Hz and 1080p/280Hz)

VESA also added a new Automotive Extension specification for error checking on DP usage in vehicles.

DJI Updates Ronin 4D with Zenmuse X9-8K camera

DJI has excited the video world with a new camera for its Ronin 4D stabilization system. The new Zenmuse X9-8K camera extends the resolution from 6K in the previous version (which is still available) to 8K. The camera is a full frame device that can support up to 8K with 75fps, support for ARRI color and ACES workflows.

Check out the articles here and here for more.

Detailed Examination of Resolution in Cinema Cameras

The Australian Cinematography Society has collaborated with Pawel Achtel to test is 9X7 digital camera against models from ARRI, RED, Sony, and Blackmagic Design. We have been reporting on the work done by Achtel for a couple of years (look here, here and here for more) and the tests confirmed the leading status of his device in terms of a key parameter for resolution, that of MTF. The article contains a link to an 18K (232 MP) image of over 700MB!

Red Combines V-RAPTOR RHINO 8K S35 Camera with Broadcast Lens

Red has published a picture of an unusual rig - a V-RAPTOR RHINO 8K S35 camera, combined with a Fujinon 25-1000 (!) broadcast camera box lens and connected it via fiber.

Blackmagic Design OLPF Improves Virtual Production

We reported a while ago on the variation of the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K camera which includes an optical low pass filter (OLPF). The aim was to reduce the moiré effects that can sometimes be seen in virtual production. Now a review has been published that backs up the claim to improve the issue.

MainConcept Releases Real Time Encoding of 8K VVC/LCEVC

8K Association, MainConcept GmbH, has released the latest version (3.4) of its Live Encoder software, which includes support for the live encoding of LCEVC and VVC/H.266. Encoding is supported for resolutions up to 8K.

8K Association Comment
This development is a significant step towards wider distribution of 8K content. 8K live encoding with VVC has been demonstrated before, but now it is available in released software.

We interviewed MainConcept in September.

Mediatek Dimensity 9300 Challenges Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

After a number of rumours and leaks, Mediatek has officially released its Dimensity 9300 which is offering a real challenge to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Both chips are capable of supporting 8K video capture at 30fps. The Qualcomm chip can also support 8K external displays at 30Hz.

Most application processors use a mixture of small, medium and high power cores, with Qualcomm adopting a 1 + 5 + 2 architecture. Mediatek on the other hand, has chosen to miss out an efficiency core, but support a 0 + 4 + 4 configuration. Specialists believe that this could give Qualcomm an edge in battery life while Mediatek should have more power. The first smartphone to use the Qualcomm chip is the Xiaomi 14 series (in China) and the first to use the Dimensity will be the vivo X100 series, due for launch in mid-November in China. Once they are both out, there will be a better chance to compare the performance.

A Deep Dive on Sphere’s 18K ‘Big Sky’ Sensor

Petapixel has published a deep dive, based on an intriguing technical paper that outlines the technology and manufacturing processes used. We are in touch with Sphere following the Cedia Expo panel and plan a follow up article.

Multiple 8K Nominations in DEG Entech 3rd Annual Awards

DEG Entech announced its nominations for its 3rd Annual Technology awards and highlighted two groups working in 8K.

In the Technology Leadership Award category, it identified Intel, NBCU and COSM based on work creating "The World’s first Immersive 8K VR Livestream for XXIV Olympic Winter Games Team"

In the Emerging Technology Award, it highlighted the work by Ravindra Velhal (Intel), Mauricio Mesa (Spin Digital) and team in "Pioneering 8K/60FPS/HDR VVC (Versatile Video Codec/H.266) Live Streaming"

Congratulations to both groups for their nominations.

Deep Render Claims Huge Boost in Video Compression

A start-up by scientists from Imperial College, London and other universities, has claimed that it can improve the compression efficiency of current codecs by 5X using AI-based techniques, but believes that it can achieve 'up to' 50X reductions in file size eventually. The firm's software-based codec is said to be very flexible and 'fine-grained'.

Of course, better codecs always help higher resolution and higher quality content such as 8K, but it's unclear from the firm at the moment whether there is a big overhead in the computational power needed for each of the pipeline (the typical trade-off in more sophisticated codecs). It is also not clear to what extent the processes can be implemented in optimized hardware. If they need large general purpose processors for decompression, that could be a barrier to widespread use.

The company earlier this year raised $9 million in funding and has received EU grants.

Cedia Panel Highlights 8K Content

At the Cedia Expo in Denver. Colorado, the 8K Association sponsored a panel on the Smart Stage that talked about 'Understanding the Content Perspective' for 8K.

The panel was moderated by Des Carey, Global Head of Cinematic Innovation, Samsung who talked to:

  • Greg Ciaccio, Senior Director, Post Production Original Content & Image Capture, IMAX
  • Dominic Glynn, Senior Scientist, Pixar
  • Paul Breen, Senior Director, Playback, Sphere Entertainment Company

Topics included the changes post-Covid and the chance that gave to re-think how to tell stories more effectively and the change in immersion with bigger displays, enabled in part by the boost to 8K resolution.

Pure Fi Has Modular HDMI Concept Cable

A couple of years ago, the writer had to install a new cable in a wall. Finding an HDMI cable that would fit through the ducting needed for electrical safety regulations in the UK was a real challenge. So I was impressed when I saw a new modular concept cable from Pure Fi that was launched at the Cedia 2023 event. The cable uses a 0.2" (5mm) optical (HDMI 2.1 Actice Optical Cable - AOC) cable that can be fitted with different connectors. The architecture means that if HDMI is superseded by another standard in the future there is the possibility of fitting different receivers and transmitters without the need to change the optical cable.

8K ProRes Editing ‘Like Butter’

The Nofilmschool.com website tested the new Fujifilm GFX100 II and one of its conclusions was that the output in Prores "... graded and edited like butter on a M1 Mac. Even the 8K footage". That's good news for those thinking of using the camera for 8K capture!

8K Developers Nominated for DEG Award

The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) has announced that nominations for its third annual awards include a nomination for "Pioneering 8K/60FPS/HDR VVC (Versatile Video Codec/H.266) Live Streaming / Ravindra Velhal (Intel), Mauricio Mesa (Spin Digital) and team" in its Emerging Technology category. Congratulations to them!

Allegro IP Cores Now Support up to 8K120

Allegro DVT of France announced at IBC that it has new video encoder IP built upon a higher performance architecture with support for resolutions from 4K60 up to 8K120. The cores support multiple video formats by sharing resources between H.264, HEVC, VP9, AV1 and JPEG compression standards to minimize power consumption and silicon area. The firm said that the E300 series also includes many features to meet the requirements of a wide range of applications such as professional and consumer video surveillance applications, automotive, application processors and cloud video transcoding and gaming.

Canon Prime Lenses Rated for 8K & HDR

Canon has released a range of new prime lenses that are intended to support both 4K and 8K content capture. They support the RF mount and range from 14mm to 135mm. There's a video from Canon here.

Sony Adds New Burano 8K Camera

Sony has added a new 8K camera in its Cine Alta professional range, the Burano. It follows on from the successful Venice product but is intended to be lighter and smaller. The camera has a 41.9 megapixel full frame 35mm sensor and can store video data in Sony's XAVC H format which uses the H.265 HEVC codec.

Aurora Multimedia Explains TPG-8K Test Pattern Generator/Analyzer

Aurora Multimedia attended Cedia and the Commercial Integrator Expo and explained how its TPG-8K Test Pattern Generator/Analyzer which allows the latency and frame drops of AV over IP. RAVE Pubs were there to capture the explanation on video.

News on an 8K Processor from IFA

Chris Chinnock of Insight Media went to IFA and spoke to Hisense of China about their 8K video processing chip. He recorded a YouTube video about the discussion.

Bitmovin Publishes a Guide to Codecs

Video compression specialist, Bitmovin, has published a guide to codecs. If you are new to the subject, it is a handy round up of the field.

TCL CSOT Shows 8K Light Field Display at IFA 2023

TCL CSOT, the Chinese panel maker, has shown what it calls an 8K Light Field Display* at the recent IFA trade show in Berlin. the firm said that the panel allows the human eye to directly perceive a realistic 3D image with more than 60° of viewing angle and 120 viewing points, without the need for any additional auxiliary equipment.

The application is perfect for 8K displays which can provide the high number of pixels to support multiple different images on the display at the same time.

  • Display purists would not describe this as a light field display, but as an autostereoscopic display.
New Sensor can shoot 8K 60p video

Gpixel of China has developed a 43 megapixel APS-C style sensor that is aimed at cinematography, drones, production video, astronomy, and scientific imaging. The new sensor sports a backside-illuminated (BSI) design. It can support 8K with 60fps and HDR.

Hisense Debuts 8K Tri Laser TV Solution

Hisense showed its 8K Tri Laser TV at the recent IFA trade show in Berlin. The company is looking at starting to sell the TV in the US and Europe following the launch in China. Chris Chinnock of Insight Media saw the image quality from a 4K native chip with 'wobbulation' to create 8K and was impressed with the visual quality.

Samsung is adding Auracast to its wireless earbuds and 8K TVs

Samsung said that it was bringing support for Auracast to its wireless earbuds and its 8K TVs. This reinforces the view held by, among others, the 8K Association, that brands often put their highest specifications and functions into their flagship TVs.

Auracast has been described as "... a clever way of turning Bluetooth devices like phones and TVs into mini radio stations that are able to broadcast audio over Bluetooth to an unlimited number of nearby wireless headphones, speakers, etc — without the hassle of Bluetooth pairing".

ViewSonic VG3281 8K IPS monitor with 96W USB-C power delivery unveiled

ViewSonic has released a new 8K IPS monitor with USB-C and the ability to charge a host notebook in China. The ViewSonic VG3281 is a 31.5-inch 8K model and uses an IPS LCD. There are details of the specification in the linked article.

CE Pro Looks at 8K Installations

CE Pro talked to industry specialists including Mike Fidler from the 8K Association about the support of 8K in high end AV installations.

Atomos Adds 8K ProRes RAW Support to new Ninja Ultra

Atomos has been one of the companies that has helped to democratize high quality content creation and its latest Ninja Ultra monitor/recorder has added support for up to 8K30p ProRes RAW for high quality capture from 8K cameras. Check for more details here.

Spin Digital Upgrades its VVC Encoder

8K Association member, Spin Digital, released news that it has new versions of its HEVC and VVC codecs and now  the VVC/H.266 encoder has been optimized to enable 8Kp60 10-bit HDR compression in real-time. It also has reduced the bitrate needed for 8K video in VVC by 12% from its previous version.

(the graphic shows bitrate savings in percentage for the same quality of the new version of the VVC encoder (SDK 6.1) relative to the previous version (SDK 6.0).)