Sony ups the ante with 16K MicroLED display
Realistically speaking, the jump from 4K to 8K barely makes any sense as far as home theater displays are concerned, since the screen size remains the same (normally between 55-inch and 70-inch) and viewers usually stay at least 6.5 feet away from the display. However, large resolutions do become relevant for industrial screens or billboards that measure tens of feet in diagonal. These colossal screens usually come with a very low pixel density, as pixels are made of backlight LEDs. With Sony’s new advancements in MicroLED technology, these big screens can now benefit from resolutions as high as 16K and pixel densities in excess of 50 ppi.
At the National Association of Broadcasters trade show recently held in Las Vegas, Sony announced that it managed to build a 63 feet x 17 feet screen with 16K resolution integrating the latest MicroLEDs with Crystal LED tech that is said to be brighter than OLEDs. The pixel density is not as fine as what we get with consumer-grade home theater screens or monitors, while the 16K resolution of Sony’s screen comes with an unusual aspect ratio that seems to be even larger than 21:9. Of course, up close, viewers would easily spot the LED patterns, but these huge screens are meant to be beheld from a certain distance in order to experience a quasi-virtual reality experience.
The first iteration of the 16K MicroLED display was bought by Japanese cosmetics group Shiseido and it looks like the screen will span the first and second floors of the company’s new research center in Tokyo. 8K native content is just breaking onto the Japanese broadcast market, so we have to wonder when exactly Sony is going to introduce cameras that can record at native 16K to take advantage of such high resolutions.