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February 5, 2022

Sharp Releases 32” 8K Monitor to European Market

Sharp reports that it will now expand the distribution of its 32” professional color management monitor beyond Japan to the EU market. The 8M-B32C1 is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) 8K (7680×4320) resolution monitor with 1000cd/m² of peak luminance and a 10-bit color management solution. 

The company says the display delivers the next step-up in accurate picture reproduction, with precise imaging and high-quality color consistency for professional environments in photography, broadcasting, post-production, imaging, medical education, CAD studio, defense, and gaming production.

Sharp 32” 8K Monitor
Sharp’s 8M-B32C1 32″ 8K Monitor

According to Peter Heins, Senior Product Manager Large Format Displays at Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe GmbH, the peak luminance is measured using a 3×3 checkboard pattern (ANSI contrast). That is effectively a 50% window. Luminance in a more typical 10% window was not specified. Heins further clarified that the full-screen white luminance was 800 nits, which is relatively high.

Heins did not think the backlight used miniLEDs, which would likely deliver very bright specular highlights. It does offer 512 zones for dimming, however.

The display features Sharp’s advanced Uniformity Calibration Correction Technology (UCCT) software. This factory calibration measures and corrects inconsistencies in chroma, luminance, and hue values, storing correction values stored in an on-board LUT to deliver uniform white and colors. Users can quickly restore these settings because of drift or manual changes.

Sharp also supplies its own Display Calibration Utility software for PC. Users can adjust the color more precisely using an external X-Rite sensor (X-rite i1Pro or X-rite i1Pro PLUS) to maintain luminance and color values over time. These sensors were chosen because of the high luminance values. The display does not support calibration using CalMan software, however.

Practical production features include luminance clipping, gamut warning, marker, focus peaking, and false-color display. The display offers both uncompressed and compressed bandwidths using the newest HDMI2.1 connectivity, supporting the latest professional production workflows and a full range of ultra-high-definition features.

Product literature states that the Sharp 32” 8K monitor can identify colors outside the Rec. 709 color gamut in gray whether the signal is in BT.2020 coordinates or DCI-P3 coordinates. The monitor can clip those colors to fall within the target Rec. 709 gamut for SDR content. It is unclear if the monitor will identify colors outside the DCI-P3 color gamut and clip those for HDR content.

The 8M-B32C1 offers a color gamut coverage of 85% of BT.2020 or 96% of DCI-P3.

As for connectivity, the HDMI 2.1 port is a 48 Gbps connector to support incoming signals of 8K/60p 4:2:0. However, many professional applications for 8K will want a 4:2:2, 4:4:2, or 4:4:4 signal level. This requirement is supported via the 4xHDMI2.0 interface (the HDMI 2.1 interface does not have DSC support for these signals).

Broadcast applications will more likely feature 8K signals on a 12G SDI network. Heins said this could be accommodated by converting the SDI signal to HDMI using the BlackMagic Teranex 12G-SDI to HDMI converter. This converter only supports a DCI-4K output on HDMI 2.0, so four of them would be needed.

“We are proud to be leading the development of 8K technology with the latest addition to our 8K ecosystem,” said Heins. “The new 32-inch 8K display supports a range of demanding professional applications and creates exciting opportunities by producing high-quality imagery with the utmost precision and clarity at an incredible value.”

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