The 8K TV revolution may have to be put on hold, after it emerged that the next wave of power-hungry displays could be banned in some parts of Europe.
Business Website FlatspanelHD (opens in a new tab) he stressed the issue to manufacturers, noting that the European Union was preparing to introduce strict energy requirements for TVs from March next year.
The new rules set for the 2023 Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) include a minimum level of energy consumption set to be enforced on all new TVs being produced, with industry insiders fearing that the increased energy requirements of 8K TVs will push them further. The limit, effectively barring TVs featuring the latest high-resolution panels, such as Samsung’s QN800B, is sold in the region.
To explain the headache that the new requirements may cause for manufacturers, the industry body The 8K Association posted a statement on its website, saying: “Unless something changes, March 2023 will spell trouble for the growing industry of 8K and 8K EU Regulatory Ruling. regulations. The new EU energy policy is set to come into force.
“The power consumption limits for 8K TVs (and displays based on microLED) are set so low that none of these devices will pass. Not only does it mean a failing grade but the requirement that these devices cannot be sold in the EU. has a very negative impact on all the players working developing an 8K ecosystem, including consumer access to equipment and creativity will now be limited.”
The European Union is set to review the 2023 EEI at the end of this year, meaning there is still a chance that future energy requirements may not be revised.
This will not stop other manufacturers from making contingency plans, with reports that some manufacturers hope that the ruling will only apply to the default picture mode of the display (as it is now).
If so it would mean that manufacturers could go beyond new limits by using out-of-the-box settings with reduced brightness on new TVs, while providing advice when users try to reach better performance settings, warning of increased brightness. required energy requirements.
Analysis: Now is not the time for the 8K era to shine brightly
The arrival of 8K has been somewhat hampered by a number of factors.
According to market analysts Omdia, 8K TVs will account for 0.15% of all TV shipments in 2021, which works out to as little as 350,000 units sold worldwide – 65% or about 227,500 units are models of Samsung and most shipped to China.
The supply chain problem and the lack of compelling content in the format have been obvious issues to consider. While the first of those problems has begun to disappear, the second issue remains a stumbling block in making early 8K TV adoption seem worthwhile.
Few TV broadcasters or streaming services around the world have a roadmap to begin mainstream 8K broadcasting, most of which haven’t even scratched the surface with 4K HDR at this stage.
Major sporting events such as the Olympics often spur demand for greater TV and the advancement of new images. But while the 2006 World Cup helped usher in the HD era for broadcasters in a big way, it’s notable that the coverage of this year’s tournament in Qatar is being shown in 8K and hasn’t progressed much beyond the broadcast test offered during Brazil 2018.
None of the big five streaming services currently seem to be in any kind of rush to implement high-definition content, with the likes of Hulu still at the stage of offering HDR in limited amounts of their library.
These bellwethers all show why the world is not yet ready for the 8K revolution, but the proposed new EU law points to an even bigger issue of 8K adoption and consumer technology computing in general.
Most consumers today will buy new products knowing that there is an environmental cost to replacing their appliances and are upgrading with more consideration before sending their appliances to landfills.
But the cost of living crisis coupled with the dramatic rise in energy prices across Europe means that there is now a growing concern from consumers about how much energy a new, bright, melting TV will cost them when their electricity bill comes in, making this intervention from the EU perhaps overdue. appropriate.
While these new rules may hurt manufacturers, they will certainly discourage brands from allowing ineffective devices to hit the market which will ultimately benefit everyone.
It’s clear that the technology and ecosystem around 8K needs to mature – its time may come, but now is probably not its time to shine. We certainly expect this year’s Black Friday TVs to continue to be dominated by the best 4K TVs.