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If 4K isn’t good enough, will 8K do?

Yes, 4K is really coming... and 8K might not be far behind.

This 4K TV from TCL has a retail price of $999.

There’s been a lot of talk about the impending arrival of 4K cameras and displays but as of today, the technology is just trickling out. More than a year ago, JVC was the first to announce an affordable 4K camera, and several manufacturers now have 4K cameras, monitors and editing products.

In fact, I use video editing software from Corel (VideoStudio Pro X6), which came out about about a year ago. This is semi-pro software that costs less than $100, and it is capable of editing 4K video. (Rumors say that the beta version of VideoStudio X7 even enhances the software’s 4K capabilities.) So, 4K is out there and slowly creeping into the hands of producers at all levels.

Today, Grass Valley announced that it is demonstrating 8K support for its EDIUS editing software. Just like 4K has four times the resolution of HD video, 8K has four times the resolution of 4K. EDIUS, which is already capable of 4K editing, is targeted at professionals. And its price (around $500 online) is still quite affordable. Grass Valley is not saying that it’s ready to ship an 8K version of EDIUS, just that it is demonstrating the technology. Still, it’s pretty impressive that you might be able to get professional $500 software to edit 8K video.

Finally, TWICE magazine (This Week In Consumer Electronics) is reporting that a company called TCL has a 50-inch 4K TV priced at $999 retail. Really. If you thought 4K TVs were too expensive, how does 1,000 bucks sound for a 50-inch set? By comparison, in 2007, I bought a 47-inch 1080p HDTV for $1,600 — and it was by far the lowest-cost 1080p set at that time.

So it looks like 4K is really coming, and it’s probably coming faster than you think. Just in time for me to replace my aging 1080p set from 2007.

Bob Kovacs