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September 26, 2023

8K Ecosystem Continues to Grow & Develop

Recently, the 8K Association’s Executive Director, Mike Fidler, gave a talk to a group of consumer technology senior executives to bring them up to date on the developments in the 8K ecosystem. We thought that readers might be keen to also be brought up to date with the current state of play. In the end, to give a viewer a great experience means capturing great content, processing and storing it, delivering it and displaying it. You need the whole ecosystem.

As we highlighted in this recent article, the last year has seen a significant boost in the development of 8K capture and compression systems. These technologies are essential to the ability of content creators to increase their use of 8K systems.

This year’s IBC event in Amsterdam saw the release of two new high end cameras that support 8K native content, the Sony Burano, a lighter and smaller camera in Sony’s CineAlta series that includes technology from the firm’s Venice line and the Kinefinity MC8020 Live Broadcast Camera System. The Kinefinity re-configures an existing camera that was optimized for cinema to be suitable for live broadcast. It can capture content up to 8K 70fps and includes 12G SDI interfacing.

Content creators are increasingly realizing that capturing content in 8K has advantages even if you are then delivering in a lower resolution. Having 8K content allows cropping to high quality 4K windows and also allows better 4K to be produced using sampling.

Developments in Encoding

As well as these cameras, IBC saw further developments in 8K encoding using VVC by Spin Digital and MainConcept, while IntoPIX highlighted the integration of 8K support in its JPEG XS technology. ( Intel has also confirmed the details of its Thunderbolt 5 interface which will enable multiple 8K displays to be supported with a single connection.

The display end of the ecosystem has been developing more slowly, but part of the reason for this is that TV set makers are having a hard time in the market. Many consumers bought new TVs during Covid and are not yet ready to come into the market again, so makers are nervous about committing to more high end models at the moment. An increasing flow of content from the new cameras will help them to get more confident about investing in new designs.

Below is our table of the main players in the 8K ecosystem. However, we may have missed somebody – so if you know of a company that has been missed, please contact our editor and let him know.

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Pawel Achtel, ACS
8 months ago

Most of the cameras in the capture column do not actually resolve 8K. Notably, one that comfortably does is missing. 🙂

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