In a recent press release that has since been deleted, though recovered thanks to the popular Google Cache program, technology giant LG stated that Apple was in the midst of preparing an iMac 8K computer sometime later this year, and that this device would possess a super-high resolution display. LG then claimed that this was something that Apple would consider to be one of their crowning achievements out of everything that is planning to be unveiled this year around the world. For instance, in Japan, a test broadcast on an 8K SHV is being planned, while at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea, 8K broadcast demos will be showcased. And, as for LG themselves, they has previously unveiled an 8K panel of their own at the recent Consumer Electronics Showcase event.
Did LG leak it for a reason?
Does this mean that Apple is essentially planning on handing over its amount of lead time to all of their competitors? The answer to this question is a simple “maybe” on account of the fact that no one can truly prove that LG simply decided to leak what was to be a major announcement from Apple; however, it has been pointed out as of late that there are some major issues with this particular projection.
As the old saying goes, the first problem is generally the most obvious problem. LG, along with other various electronics manufacturers, can talk all they want about bringing 8K technology demo units to events such as the Consumer Electronics Showcase, but they fail to talk about the one thing that’s most important to a lot of consumers, and that’s both market availability and the price point for devices with 8K compatibility. It’s also clear that Apple really likes being front and center with these kinds of things, but the problem with this is that if they make the decision to jump to an 8K display, they will need to invest in a lot of time in terms of custom engineering.
Those individuals who are in support of 8K technology have repeatedly cited that the Japanese-based NHK company has been researching this very technology for approximately a decade now, even going so far as to improve its implementation technology in the process. They point to this as proof that 8K technology is not as far away as some people may think. This is where it’s important not to confuse demoing technology and marketing that same technology for consumers, such as cameras. NHK appears to be the only company currently marketing these devices, though generally, there are not many of these kinds of cameras around. Even worse is the fact that not many filmmakers are demanding 8K cameras, choosing to concentrate instead on aspects such as faster frame rates and better color reproduction.
8K cameras are often seen as the first big step in bringing this kind of technology to the general consumer market; however, at the same time, it can also create a big case of lag since most broadcasters are currently concentrating more on 4K technology. This means, obviously, that shifting from 4K to 8K is a process that would happen very, very slowly. In addition, Blu Ray technology was only recently updated to allow Ultra HD Blu Ray discs to be played on up to 4L technology rather than 8K.
In terms of PCs, there currently is no proverbial rule of thumb stating that resolutions of these monitors are supposed to track the wider LCD industry due to computer screens currently possessing the ability to run content on 1080p as opposed to the previous 480p DVD standard of old. Nowadays, the PC market itself seems to have synchronized with the rest of the display market, and while it’s entirely possible to invest in displays that showcase higher resolutions, it’s also required that you pay more money for this kind of thing.
8k Gaming? I’d rather not…
When it comes to gaming, it’s also worth noting that 8K technology is something that gamers can expect to not see anytime soon. In fact, 4K is the absolute highest resolution that gamers can run content at; however, if they wish, they can also choose to run things at resolutions that are lower than this. It’s also important to note that even though 4K is the highest resolution that gamers can run content at, even something like the GTX Titan X cannot run something at a 60 frames per second rate at high detail levels with 4K technology. This means that if overall pixel counts are increased by approximately 4x what they should be, this will significantly slow down gaming performance.
Meanwhile, back to Apple. The company could still release an 8K iMac, but companies such as Samsung or even LG would need to be the ones to construct the panels for such a device. Content streams, however, would definitely not come around right away. As for the product itself, it’s one that would generally appeal more to those individuals who enjoy editing videos and filmmakers rather than someone who simply wants to watch a video on Netflix or YouTube ina high quality.
If Apple were to make a jump from 5K to 8K to 12K within the span of only one year, this would be an incredible feat for them to accomplish. This is largely due in part to the fact that 8K technology contains much less content than 4K technology does. The proposed 8K iMac would essentially become a computer the size of a television as well, which makes it less likely that we will be seeing one of these anytime soon.