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SK Telecom, Samsung Electronics to Launch 5G-based TV Services
Combining 5G Technology with 8K TV
SK Telecom, Samsung Electronics to Launch 5G-based TV Services
  • By Michael Herh
  • September 9, 2019, 10:13
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SK Telecom will partner with Samsung Electronics to develop and commercialize the world's first 5G-based 8K TV services.

SK Telecom will partner with Samsung Electronics to develop and commercialize the world's first 5G-based 8K TV services. 8K ultra-high definition (UHD) has the horizontal resolution of 7680 pixels and the vertical resolution of 4320 pixels, four times as many pixels as 4K UHD.

SK Telecom plans to transmit 8K UHD videos wirelessly to Samsung 8K TV using ultra-low-latency, ultra-broadband 5G technology. Users will be able to enjoy all pictures in 8K quality instead of a section of the screen by zooming in on it. In particular, the number of 8K content is expected to rise drastically when full HD videos of OTT services are upgraded to 8K through 5G technology and services.

First of all, users will be able to enjoy full HD and UHD videos of Pooq and Oksusu in 8K quality on TV. To this end, SK Telecom will apply mobile edge computing and network-based media processing (NBMP) technology to 5G networks to seamlessly transmit high-capacity 8K video data to 8K TVs. Samsung Electronics will upgrade full HD and UHD images to 8K quality with its 8K upscale technology based on AI and next-generation codec technology. In addition, the 8K TV will be equipped with a 5G dongle which will support direct reception of 8K videos.

In addition, SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics will also develop the “5G Sero TV” to allow users to enjoy 5G-specialized services such as multi-view broadcasts with TVs as easily as with their smartphones. The Sero TV already launched by Samsung Electronics can rotate its body horizontally and vertically by following the moves of a smartphone, providing the same user experiences (UXs) as those of smartphones. In addition, by linking SK Telecom's 5G network with ultra-low-delay multi-view relay technologies including S-Tile and MMT, viewers will be able to watch high-definition multi-view videos without interruptions on TV.

The two companies are expected to generate technological synergies in the fields of AR and VR contents. They plan to expand AR and VR contents by jointly developing interworking technology between SK Telecom's digital virtualization platform “eSpace” and 8K TVs. An 8K TV has 33 million pixels so can provide high immersive and three-dimensional effects compared to the current image quality. Therefore an 8K TV is suitable for viewing digital virtual contents.

SK Telecom plans to actively respond to global demand for 8K TVs growing rapidly through this partnership. The 8K TV market will expand to 300,000 units this year, 1.42 million units by 2020, and 3.46 million units by 2021, industry sources say. Recently, increasingly more and more companies have been joining the 8K Association, an 8K council established by TV makers including Samsung Electronics and Panasonic earlier this year.

SK Telecom garnered much attention by introducing technology for 5G connected screens at a Motion Picture Experts Groups (MPEG) conference held in Sweden in July. As a result, the mobile career was selected as chairperson for technology standardization and will lead international standardization research. Samsung Electronics will also work closely with SK Telecom as vice chairperson.

The two companies have decided to develop and promote new B2B businesses linking 5G and TVs and displays in various fields such as smart offices and digital signage.