8K TV Upgrade: Environmental Impact

In our previous post we touched on 8k television’s dramatic increase in resolution, but is it worth the money? More importantly, is it worth the environmental cost? We can acknowledge that this extremely high resolution could be utilized in surveillance and scientific applications, however the companies that put out these televisions advertise them to appeal to home buyers. Having seen these displays firsthand, I for one cannot see the difference between 4K and 8K.

  1. Television Waste

The rapid evolution of television technology has consumers discarding HD for UHD. Another wave of higher definition will have some buyers keep up make wast. Any technology that is not disposed of properly, ends up in landfills as e-waste. If those landfills happen to be in places with extreme heat, they begin to melt and release dangerous chemicals into the groundwater, polluting vegetation and wildlife. Additionally, some e-waste gets burned. It releases smoke into the atmosphere that contributes to global warming, as well as releasing carcinogenic dioxides that directly affect humans.

2. Infrastructure Waste

The equipment and infrastructure needed to deliver 4K is high enough, let alone 8K resolution support. The networks, data center equipment, and routers would all need upgrades to support 8K, creating even more waste. There are recycling solutions, but the risk remains for e-waste to be mishandled and pollute the environment.

3. Computing Power

8K television won’t only require special fiber cabling for streaming, but the storage and processing required for 8k media is ridiculous. An uncompressed (raw), 100-minute movie in 8K video can be up to 20,000GB. That creates an immense burden on film production considering most hours aren’t used after final edits. The story isn’t much better for the consumer after compression. A 100-minute video can range from 40GB to 70GB. The server capacity, storage capacity, direct power requirements for the equipment, increased cooling power in data centers, and power for the in-home equipment is immense. This is perhaps the most compelling argument to ditch consumer 8K.

4. Misdirected Opportunity

Consumer electronics manufacturers continuing down the path of higher resolution technology is a terrible waste of engineering resources. There are so many other opportunities to enhance the technology with color, dimension, sound, and even the form factor of the equipment. We as consumers need to be aware that data has environmental impact and that there is a limit to what the human eye can detect.

It is our opinion that 8K for in-home entertainment is wasteful, unnecessary, and environmentally unsustainable. This doesn’t mean we think the technology is completely useless. The resolution could be crucial for surveillance and scientific research, and our next article will explore the how and why.

8K TV Upgrade for Home Entertainment: Is it worth it?

Technology is constantly advancing, and when it comes to television and how we watch TV, it feels like upgrades are always available. Imagine the days when the TV was a tiny box with two large antennas sticking out of the top. Now, you can have a cinematic experience in the comfort of your own home.

We wanted to explore some different aspects relating to the latest TV available, the 8k television. In this series we’ll discuss environment, surveillance, and begin with entertainment.

8k For Home Entertainment

8k has 16 times the pixels that a standard 1080p television has. This sounds like a huge difference, but it’s a difference so large that we can’t really notice the difference anymore. There’s hardly any native content in 8k because of the extremely high costs of filming.

Is this an example of technology advancing just to advance? For people who have just invested in 4k TVs, it might be irritating to find out there is already something better out there. However according to Forbes magazine, this resolution boost on a household television only makes a difference on a 65 inch TV if you sit 2 feet away from the television, which could be harmful to your eyes. And more importantly, how can you kick back, stretch your legs, and really be comfortable while getting the full effect and benefit of 8k technology?

CNET even goes as far to answer the question of “Do you need 8k?” with “Not even a little”. The human eyes are limited, therefore any extra pixels beyond what they can actually see aren’t really necessary for entertainment purposes.

Unless you are going to a technology trade show and seeing 8k on a larger-than-life screen, this technology is not bringing much distinct entertainment value to a household. The domino effect of purchasing one is that your old TVs will get thrown out and create more waste on earth, which we’ll touch on more next in our 8k: Environmental Impact post. Our advice? Hang tight to your television unless it’s absolutely broken beyond reasonable repair.