In a move that crams a whole lot of industry buzzwords into one sentence, Huawei is reportedly planning a 5G-enabled 8K television for release later this year.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, which cited sources familiar with the plans, Huawei’s idea is to build a 5G module into its televisions, which would eliminate the need for wired connections and pay TV set top boxes. That 5G connectivity could also make the TV a router for other connected devices in the house.
A 5G TV with an 8K resolution (7680 × 4320) could also handle high-bandwidth content like, of course, 8K, but also 360-degree and virtual reality content. The report doesn’t include information on how those formats would work with a large, stationary device like a TV.
8K is already becoming an important battleground for TV makers.
Last year, IHS Markit predicted that shipments of 8K televisions will total more than 430,000 in 2019, up from fewer than 20,000 in 2018. By 2020, the volume of 8K TVs shipped will near 2 million, and more than half of those will be 60-inch or larger models.
Plenty of TV OEMs that Huawei would like to catch up with already have 8K TVs in the works. At this year’s CES in Las Vegas, Samsung, Sony and LG were all among the companies to announce new 8K TVs.
The availability of 8K TVs does not, however, guarantee the availability of 8K content. In the U.S., major video providers like Amazon, Netflix, DirecTV and Comcast are still trying to get more 4K content onto their platforms.
As the report points out, there’s also the question of when 5G networks will be ready to support a 5G 8K TV. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile all have plans to offer 5G nationwide, but as of April, AT&T is only offering 5G to mobile customers in 19 U.S. cities. Verizon plans to launch 5G services in at least 30 cities this year. T-Mobile also plans to launch 5G services later this year.