Yesterday, Sharp took the wraps off a wide variety of TVs it'll be selling this year, but today we got a chance to check out some technology that's decidedly not ready for consumers. Sharp has shown off a massive 85-inch 8K concept TV, but this year they've upped the ante and also built a version in partnership with Philips and Dolby that supports glasses-free 3D. As you might expect from a TV supporting a resolution that's completely unsupported and far beyond the bleeding-edge 4K TVs that are flooding CES this year, this prototype isn't exactly ready for prime time.
The 85-inch, 8K 3D model showed a clip from Life of PI and the trailer for Disney's Frozen, and I had zero desire to watch either for more than a minute or two. To get the 3D effect to work, you need to hold your head quite still and line up two dots at the bottom of the set — any movement outside that radius means the effect doesn't come through. That might be just as well, because the 3D caused some serious blurry visuals and smearing — not exactly something you'd want to see out of a TV with such a high resolution.
Strangely enough, the 3D display seemed more pixellated than the other, 3D-free prototype — it certainly didn't feel like looking at a TV with a 7,680 x 4,320 display. On the other hand, the demo footage running on the 3D-free display looked shockingly good — you could put your head right up to the screen and barely discern a pixel. It really did feel more like looking at a glowing piece of paper. Of course, a display running this resolution that a normal human being can buy is years away, but it's still fun to get a glimpse of what your TV of the future could be like.
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