Samsung is combining two of today's most cutting-edge technologies to create the world's first 5G-ready 8K TV – as we knew it eventually would.
The idea is that the 8K TV will be able to stream images with four times as many pixels as 4K (the 8K resolution is 7680 x 4320) over a super-fast 5G network thanks to the higher bandwidth capabilities it brings.
The firm has partnered with a fellow South Korea-based company, telecoms firm SK SK Telecom, for the TV. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly develop and commercialise the TV. It will use SK Telecom's ultra-low latency and ultra-wideband 5G network. SK Telecom will use mobile edge computing and network-based media processing to stream over its 5G network.
The current dearth of 8K content doesn't seem to be phasing either firm. The TV will upscale HD and 4K content, as Samsung's current 8K TV range is capable of, promising to display it with a ton more detail, brightness and sharpness. It will also equip its current 8K TVs with a 5G dongle, so early adopters don't need a 5G telly in order to benefit.
At launch, viewers in South Korea will be able to watch 8K content from POOQ, a subscription service jointly run by South Korean terrestrial broadcasters. Content will also come via mobile media platform Oksusu.
It's said that 5G will also help as the two companies develop new user experiences. These include eSpace (SK Telecom’s hyper-space platform for replicating the real world in cyberspace) and 5G Sero TV, a 5G TV that can be positioned in portrait orientation to be used like a smartphone.
"The 5G-8K TV is the culmination of ultra-low latency 5G networks combined with ultra-high definition TV technology," said Park Jin-hyo, chief technology officer and head of ICT R&D Center at SK Telecom. "5G technology will help make the world of hyper media a reality."
Samsung isn't the only firm investigating 5G for the delivery of 8K. Sharp recently announced its 8K+5G initiative, which sounds very much like Samsung's plan to use the super-fast network as a means to deliver 8K video content. Huawei is also reportedly prepping an 8K 5G TV for launch this year.