TV used to be the entertainment center of the home, but as mainstream technology has evolved to include smartphones, streaming, and smart speakers, the television has become less essential for many consumers.
This is something Toshiba hopes to rectify with its latest range of high-spec TVs, including its first ever 8K TV concept model.
Although it is not predicted to go to mass production anytime soon, we got a first look at the trailblazing TV at Berlin's IFA conference.
Toshiba's aim is to bring the 8K TV to the mainstream market, by developing an 8K TV that is more accessible for a wider variety of users and homes.
Many 8K TVs are in excess of 80", so Toshiba's 65" model is more suited to a range of living spaces, with the narrower width offering a higher pixel density for even clearer viewing.
Like the majority of Toshiba’s latest range, its 8K model has a sleek and unobtrusive design, with super thin edges for unobstructed viewing, and a discreet silver stand that will blend in to any style of decor.
We saw the TV mounted to the wall, but it can be placed on a TV stand - however, even at a lower than usual width of 65", it would take up a huge amount of space in most people's living areas, plus it definitely looks more impressive when wall-mounted.
Toshiba’s 8K model is an HDR TV, so colors are extremely vivid, the contrast is sharp and precise, and the picture clarity is astounding. As the screen is smaller than most 8K models debuted at IFA, the pixel density is so rich that it’s impossible to see the pixel structure with the naked eye. The result? It looks absolutely stunning.
Although there is very little 8K content available at present, the TV comes with an 8K upscaler so you can elevate your lower-res content. Also, with an HDMI 2.1 input built-in, you will be able to watch 8K content as soon it becomes available.
When we saw the TV Toshiba were only displaying still or slightly animated images, so it was hard to tell how moving footage (in sports or film for example) would measure up to other 8K models debuted at the conference.
However, even the still images were breathtakingly precise, with rich, vibrant color thanks to its wide color gamut, which can handle around 1024 shades for each color, as well as Dolby Vision for accurate imaging.
It’s always difficult to review televisions without ‘living’ with them for awhile - after all, seeing silent TVs at a tech conference isn’t exactly the most natural way to watch TV.
That being said, we were blown away by the image quality, and would be surprised if a similar level of care hadn’t been put into the sound.
Don't hold your breath...
If you’re itching to get your hands on this TV right away, you’re going to be disappointed - as it is only a concept model, it’s unlikely to go to mass production anytime in the near future.
Pricing is also yet to be confirmed, however Toshiba has suggested that it will be one of the more affordable models available.
Toshiba’s first foray into the world of 8K TVs appears to have resulted in a stunning product, but of course it’s difficult to say exactly how well it will perform until there is more 8K content available.
However, we were able to see just how crisp the image quality was, and were blown away by the color precision and lack of any discernible pixels.
We also liked the subtle design of the monitor, which is likely part of Toshiba’s plan to make the 8K TV more accessible for a wide variety of homes and customers. That being said, the true measure of accessibility will be the price, with some of the other recently announced 8K TVs expected to cost well into the thousands - whether Toshiba can genuinely make this product affordable remains to be seen.
- IFA 2018 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they're announced.