Samsung and friends will recommend these specs for your 8K TVs

(Image credit: Samsung)

The future of 8K TVs is coming into even clearer focus, as proponents of the ultra-high panel resolution have released a set of guidelines for ensuring 8K displays look as good as they should.

Despite a lot of chatter around 8K, and most major TV brands now releasing flagship 8K TVs in their annual product ranges, the technology is still in its infancy, and manufacturers are still figuring out what exactly an 8K TV should need to perform to a baseline standard.

The 8K Association – a community of TV makers that include Samsung Electronics, Panasonic, Hisense, TCL, and AU Optronics – has put forward a set of criteria for 8K TVs, so that consumers shopping around for an 8K panel can be assured it meets that baseline criteria.

Other TV-tangential companies such as Tencent, Xperi, Intel, and Chili have also joined the 8K Association, showing an expanded desire by technological organizations to invest in (and shape) the development of the advanced panel resolution.

The association's executive director, Chris Chinnock, wrote in a press release that “Defining the key attributes for an 8K TV specification demonstrates the 8KA’s focus to quickly define a critical step in the growth in next-generation video technology.

“To reach this milestone is a great testament to the cooperative spirit the members of the 8K Association enjoy along with our shared enthusiasm for the 8K ecosystem expansion.”

What are these criteria?

The 8K criteria includes 8K resolution (naturally), up to 60fps frame rate (for refreshing those 33 million pixels enough for a smooth picture), minimum 600 nits peak brightness, and HEVC Codec video compression. The sets will also need HDMI 2.1 ports for showing 8K at 60fps, or 4K at 120fps – given the 2.0 standard can't transmit 8K video.

There are "additional performance and interface specifications" – meaning that these 8K TVs will need to aptly handle HDR (high dynamic range) images, while providing a smart TV platform that isn't overly difficult to navigate. Similarly, the Netflix Recommended TV standard requires easy access to streaming apps to get the Netflix stamp of approval.

This list won't be a requirement of all 8K TVs being released to market, though. The 8K Association will be looking to create a dedicated logo for 8K sets meeting the standard, much in the vein of Ultra HD Premium – a similar standard that ensures 4K TVs are of a certain quality.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.