SEOUL -- LG Electronics has developed the world's first 8K television using organic light-emitting diode technology, with the product expected to hit the market as early as this year.
The South Korean manufacturer on Wednesday unveiled the TV, which boasts four times the resolution of the now-common 4K models. It plans to showcase an 88-inch version at the IFA trade show opening Friday in Berlin.
"We will be a leader in the upscale market segment by combining OLED and 8K," said an LG executive. The massive televisions will feature 33 million OLED elements to produce optimal colors for the image on screen, the company added.
Japan-based Sharp rolled out the world's first 8K liquid crystal display TV in China last October and in Japan last December, while South Korea's Samsung Electronics is expected to release its 8K LCD model by year-end.
LG has a global market share of 16% in flat-screen TVs, trailing just Samsung's 21% in 2017, according to U.K.-based Euromonitor International.
The market for 8K TVs is still limited, with annual sales expected to be in the 60,000-unit range this year. But the tally is forecast to surge to 5.3 million in 2022.
"While it may be difficult for consumers to tell the difference between OLED and LCD displays, there in no question about the difference in the image quality between 8K and 4K," said an official at a South Korean electronics company.
LG did not specify a release date for the new TV, although it is expected to be available as soon as 2018. Next year could mark the dawn of an 8K boom, if other manufacturers like Japan's Sony and Panasonic jump into the fray. The technology may become the mainstay of large flat-screen TVs in just a few years.