8K Technology – Climbing the Quality Ladder

Illustration of different resolutions 1080p, 4k, 5k, and 8k

During my recent stay at Tribe Pictures, I was honored to join Michael Chomet in attending the “Experience Japanese Craftwork and the Innovative State of the 8K Ultra High Definition Technology” event at the Residence of Consul General of Japan in New York. The event was about a new video format called 8K.

When we look at resolution and video quality today, the highest is called 4K. That refers to how many pixels you will find on the horizontal line of the picture. 4K is starting to be used on some computer screens, digital cinemas and at some exhibition screens. So even before 4K has made it to our living rooms, the next step has been taken up the resolution ladder. 8K means the double amount of pixels on the horizontal line, but all in all it becomes 4 times larger than 4K.

Sorry for being technical, let’s look into what ways this astonishing quality can mean. Whatever the resolution, the challenge is always to tell a good story and make a human connection. A great resolution might help to make it a more real experience, but it won’t help a bad film.

The approach during the presentation was very technical, suggesting ways of showing fine details in art and craft, for instance in a museum. You can actually experience 8K at the MAD (the Museum of Arts and Design) Japanese Kōgei | Future Forward exhibit from October 20, 2015 to February 7, 2016.

According to the Japanese industry representatives, 8K will be used for broadcasting the Olympic games in Japan 2020. Unfortunately for us, it can only be viewed in Japan in 8K due to the limitations of the U.S. broadcasting infrastructure.

How can we use it?
At Tribe we think every technical improvement is great if it helps our clients connect better with their audience. 8K might compete with cinema produced with a much lower budget and a great audience experience. We can also see great possibilities in the field of medical education, interactivity (you could zoom in and still perceive a great quality picture), and capturing Sports events.

We also believe in Occam’s razor when it comes to new technology. Occam’s razor states that, “all things being equal, simpler ways are generally better than complex ones”. If 8K or any other technology makes it easier to connect and elicit greater emotions when showing to a huge audience, then that is the technology we would employ. We would not use it for the sake of just using it or because it’s new.

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