SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics will jointly develop and commercialize what is reportedly the world’s first 5G-based 8K television. The device will directly receive 8K video over SK Telecom’s low-latency, high data rate 5G network.
SK said it plans to apply mobile edge computing and network-based media processing to its 5G network in order to transmit 8K video seamlessly while Samsung will apply its 8K artificial intelligence upscaling and code technologies to upgrade full HD and 4K images to 8K resolution. Samsung will also include 8K TVs with 5G dongles to support direct transmission of 8K video content.
Additionally, the companies will jointly work to further 8K TV experiences including eSpace, SK Telecom’s hyper-space platform to replicate real-world cyberspace and 5G Sero TV, which will allow streaming of 8K content to be rotated horizontally and vertically similar to smartphones.
While 4K television is taking off, it is still not widespread and is regulated mainly to streaming services at the moment. However, content is growing quickly on the home video side as well. 8K resolution (7680 x 4320 resolution) is said to be the highest resolution in existence, a fourfold increase in ultra-HD (4K).
Eventually, 8K will be the next big thing in televisions and companies are already pushing the technology as evident from this year’s annual CES tradeshow where a number of new innovations were introduced.
SK Telecom has been very aggressive with its rollout of 5G services, having recently launched roaming services in Switzerland while working with Swisscom to expand service to users. The company has also started experimenting with different ways to use 5G services beyond just for smartphones. This includes demonstrating next-generation television broadcasting in future cars with a 5G network and ATSC 3.0, developing HD maps for autonomous vehicles that automatically update road information and hazards, and testing how 5G networks can bring new services to small villages by demonstrating the network in an isolated village in Korea's Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).