If you want to showcase 8K for clients, the time is now!
CES 2019 was the big coming-out party for 8K TVs. Sony, LG, Samsung, Sharp and TCL all showed their new 8K displays, and judging from the throngs crowded around them in Las Vegas, the TVs were well received.
But every integrator knows that other than the demo material there is no 8K content. CBS has announced it will use several 8K cameras in the end zones with “augmented reality” during Super Bowl LIII on February 3 (as well a 16 4K cameras from its total 115 cameras on site.)
NBC has announced the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be shot in 8K.
But according to CE Pro 100 integrator Tom Campbell, corporate director/chief technologist at Just One Touch/Video & Audio Center in Los Angeles, the lack of content is a weak excuse for integrators to not offer 8K TVs to their clients… now!
Just One Touch has already sold 103 85-inch Samsung 8K displays at $14,999 a pop since the sets debuted last October. That’s $1.5 million for those of us who are math-challenged… at solid margin by the way. But the real windfall for Just One Touch from offering 8K sets has come in its the 4K display sales.
“We were concerned that selling 8K displays would impair our 4K TV sales, but just the opposite has happened. It has spurred out 4K TV sales. Because the price points for 4K sets are substantially lower than 8K, customers go for it after they see the 8K,” says Campbell.
“The high cost of 8K has increased the value of 4K. 8K has enhanced our 4K sales… no doubt about it. When a customer sees a gorgeous 8K TV but it costs $15,000, they compare it to a 4K TV that they can purchase for about $2,000, and they go with it.”
“Remember, 4K was just introduced two years ago. Back then, we said the same thing about lack of 4K content that we are saying about 8K content now,” remarks Campbell.
At CES, Samsung announced five new 8K TV sizes that are all due out in the spring at 65-, 75-, 82-, 85-, and a monster 98-inch 8K unit. The 65-inch has a retail price of just $4,999, but Campbell is not worried. Even that $5,000 price point is well above the 4K price points.
At Just One Touch, the sales team upconverts a 4K signal to the 8K sets for demos. Campbell admits the market for 8K is primarily among affluent, early adopters only right now.
In the run-up to the Super Bowl, Just One Touch is holding an 8K “Big Game Event” in a private location in tony Bel Air, Calif. The company will be setting up 8K TVs and inviting its top clients and celebrities for an all-day catered event.