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Who is Buying 8K TVs?

To answer the question in the title and more, we reached out to Robert Zohn who runs the retail store Value Electronics in Scarsdale, NY. Value Electronics also recently organized a “shoot-out” for 4K TVs, 8K TVs, and ultra-short-throw projectors to crown a winner in each category. Below are the questions we asked via email and Zohn’s responses.

Who is buying 8K TVs:

Buyers who are looking for luxury or premium products and who are thinking long-term are interested in buying an 8K display. The video enthusiast/hobbyist would also gravitate towards the high-end TVs and is more likely to purchase an 8K TV. They want a future-proofed purchase that they can enjoy for many years to come and get the benefits of the 4x pixel density and smaller, more detailed pixels that deliver smoother transition when the images have circles or curved objects. Smaller and more densely packed pixels can make a smoother circle and follow the details in a curved object. 

There is 8K content available now with streaming, like YouTube, and people can create their own 8K content with an 8K camera or even an 8K cell phone.  Also, the TV manufacturers integrate a dedicated 8K scaler with extra memory to take care of the best possible up-conversion from all lower resolution content.

Another category of 8K TV buyers is photographers and videographers.  My son got married last year, and I borrowed Sharp’s 8K camera to capture footage of the wedding.  We then played it back on LG’s 88″ ZX 8K OLED TV in our store. It was amazing to see such a special event for us in 8K quality and to have the opportunity to share it with our family.  

Another one of our customers who recently purchased an 8K TV is a photographer and looks forward to getting an 8K camera to create their own content such as family videos that they will be able to play back on their 8K TV.  

Tell us about the sales process:

We have a good selection of 4K and 8K TVs on display to view in our store in Scarsdale, NY. Customers who visit us see the TVs next to each other and compare the differences. Some customers come in with some models in mind or a relative price range, and then we focus on what they are looking for.  

If the customer comes in looking for recommendations without having any preconceived notions, then we first try to find out what their room is like (ambient light for day and nighttime, windows, off-angle or straight-on viewing). Then, we ask what content they will be watching (movies, gaming, etc.) and how far away they sit from the screen. These questions will help us narrow down the choices that are best matched for our customer’s application.  

We like to show customers the 8K TVs and explain to them that an 8K TV will up-convert all content to make it cleaner and more detailed.  The manufacturers have 8K demo content built-in to the TVs that we also like to show our customers. They can then see gorgeous native 8K and lower resolution sources that are up-converted. We will often demo native 8K YouTube and some native pictures and video I personally shot to demonstrate how consumers can create their own native 8K HDR content. 

What factors influence them to buy a 4K vs 8K TV? 

Ultimately customers are influenced to buy an 8K TV if the appeal of it and/or the demo in our store resonates with them. Customers who can see and appreciate the value in getting an 8K display are more inclined to step up to an 8K TV purchase. It does require the customer to be the right type of buyer who understands all the benefits.  

Those who are getting an 8K TV are also getting the highest-end model that has many other advantages such as an upgraded processor, scaling with a more detailed image, and typically high peak luminance. These combine to offer image quality enhancement with a larger dynamic tonal range and full-color volume.

An in-person demo is one of the most useful and effective ways to show all the advantages in stepping up to a new 8K TV and to persuade customers to upgrade. Explaining the advantages beyond resolution, including higher pixel count, and the density of pixels will also help convince them. The customer can then understand and enjoy what our visual system can perceive in picture quality enhancements.