Sharp is sporting an 85-inch 8K4K display at IFA 2011, but don't expect market saturation until after 2020.
Now that 1080p HDTVs are saturating the market at a comfortable level (financially), what's next for the general consumer? Graphics so sharp and life-like that eyes will melt and brains will suddenly ignite into flames? No, try jacking up the resolution to 7680 x 4320 (33 million color dots), or 8K4K, like Sharp has done with an 85-inch display it's currently showcasing at IFA 2011 in Berlin.
While many home theater junkies my simply drop in giddy delight at the sight of such a monstrous display, Sharp points out in the video below that currently there's no content to support an 8K4K display. As it stands now, Sharp had to use a special camera in order to capture compatible footage, and supposedly a special "recorder" to store the footage and pipe it to the display. Unfortunately, Sharp wouldn’t specify the actual size of the stored video files -- we can only imagine.
Trusted Reviews, which got an up-close-and-personal view of the 8K4K screen, had this to say about the viewing experience:
"The quality of the native 8k4k material on Sharp's screen almost defies description. You could see levels of detail in people's faces, the ground, the tree, or actually any part of the image that the event being shown felt so tangible you felt you could just step forward and join the madness. Never before, in other words, has the idea of HDTV giving you a 'window on the world' been so accurately realized."
So when will consumers begin to see 8K4K HDTVs roll out to retail shelves? Given that the market is still living in a 1080p world, it may be a long, long time. Various reports indicate that experimental broadcasting on 8K4K content won't even begin until 2020.