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Huawei is releasing an 8K TV with 5G – really?

Rumours have it that Huawei is planning to enter the TV market this year: with an 8K TV that has 5G connectivity. What is the smartphone giant intending? Let’s take a look at Huaweis's plans.

Before the year ends, Huawei will have launched the world's first 5G television. At least that’s what sources close to Huawei have reported in the international edition of the Japanese daily Nikkei Asian Review.

What’s it all about? The Chinese smartphone manufacturer is said to be working on an 8K TV. What’s special: it’s equipped with a 5G module that serves as a router for other electronic devices. What’s so special about this is that it could potentially solve the biggest problem with 8K resolution in home cinema: most households have insufficient internet bandwidth.

Background informationHome cinema

UHD, 4K und 8K: Die wahre Bedeutung der Datenübertragung

In other words: even if many movies were available in 8K resolution, the question remains how to get these movies onto home TVs in the streaming age of Netflix, Amazon Prime and the upcoming Disney Plus.

Connecting to the 5G mobile network could change this. What’s exciting about this development is what the 5G-capable 8K television might reveal about Huawei's cross-product strategies.

5G network: the future of the internet?

No TV with a built-in 5G module is yet available; Huawei would be the first manufacturer to take this step and outsmart all other TV manufacturers. According to Swisscom, 5G in Switzerland will make surfing at up to 2 Gbit/s possible initially, with speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s following at a later point. This is between two and ten times faster than current upload and download speeds on the fibre optic network.

Not that fibre optic network wouldn’t allow streaming 8K content – Swisscom claims to have given over 3.95 million homes and offices ultra-fast broadband with more than 50 Mbit/s. That’s just about enough to stream 8K content.

It seems the infrastructure is there, but it’s not always used: According to the state of the internet report published in April 2017 by Akamai, page 14, the average speed Switzerland surfs at is around 21.7 megabits per second. This is enough for UHD, but not for 8K content. Nevertheless, Switzerland ranks 5th in the international speed comparison.

Top 10 average internet speeds in 2017
Akamai State of the internet report, April 2017

What about globally? The above Akamai report says: The ranking of average surfing speeds shows the US in 10th place with 18.7 megabits per second, Germany in 25th place with 15.3 megabits per second and China in 74th place with 7.6 megabits per second. That’s too few potential viewers for film and series producers to invest in 8K content, which is expensive to produce.

The problem with fibre optic cables is that laying cables is expensive and takes a lot of time – through cities, into the countryside and to remote villages. No so with 5G networks: all it takes is radio antennas to spread internet with great bandwidth via air interface. This is why 5G is regarded as the pioneering technology of the future, in which the so-called Internet of Things – i.e. connecting (household) appliances with the internet – is likely to pave the way for new business models. Need I say more than: Smart Home.

Huawei seems to have recognised this. With the spread of the 5G standard in the next few years, the global average surfing speed is likely to increase massively. This would give Netflix, Disney and Co. more reasons to produce such content. And with a TV that integrates directly into the 5G network, it would be possible to ensure that bandwidth is no obstacle to streaming – although this doesn’t answer the question whether it’s worth having 8K resolution in your home cinema.

<strong>Pixel-Manie</strong>: Warum sich 8K-TVs nicht lohnen
OpinionHome cinema

Pixel-Manie: Warum sich 8K-TVs nicht lohnen

So the Chinese smartphone manufacturer probably has the answer to the question of how 8K content will be streamed on home TVs in the future: via 5G network. But why is Huawei, now the second largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world after Samsung, trying so hard to establish a base in the previously unknown TV business?

Huawei wants to be everywhere

Switzerland doesn't participate in the development nor the production of 5G network components, so it is dependent on foreign suppliers. Huawei works with Sunrise, while Swisscom purchases the 5G technology from the Swedish company Ericsson. This development doesn’t make everyone happy.

Sunrise and Huawei’s 5G tower on Crap Sogn Gion in the Canton of Grisons

Critical voices fear that network suppliers are installing possibilities to infiltrate the mobile network in their components. In the case of Huawei, the Chinese government is even supposed to be behind this plan. Of course, Huawei has denied this and emphasised their independence from the government.

Either way, Huawei is striving for global supremacy in 5G, which is perceived as a threat by many. But that's not all: in addition to entering the TV business, Huawei also aims to be one of the five largest PC manufacturers in the world by 2021. The Chinese manufacturer has been in the laptop business since the end of 2017 and runs its devices with Intel processor chips. Deliveries are expected to triple this year and Huawei PCs are planned to be equipped with processors developed in-house.

Huawei s going for global supremacy in 5G.

Huawei therefore intends to expand its ecosystem, especially its Smart Home range. This requires a similarly strong brand presence as Samsung or Apple. The Chinese giant hopes to gain enough brand presence to overcome this hurdle by expanding into sectors that are crucial for consumer electronics such as TVs, laptops, notebooks and computers – combined with its already advanced 5G know-how and the already popular smartphone segment.

Only a closed brand ecosystem ensures that buyers of a Huawei smartphone think twice about whether they should buy a household appliance that isn't produced by Huawei. This is a strategy to enforce brand loyalty – one that we know from Samsung and Apple. Will it work for Huawei? We’ll see.

So what does this mean for the TV market?

Although the expected 8K 5G TV will be Huawei's first TV, the Chinese company is by no means a complete newcomer to the industry.

The chipsets, for example, are provided by Hisilicon Technologies: the Huawei subsidiary, based in Shenzhen, currently acts as a supplier for well-known brands such as Hisense and Sharp. Huawei will also produce the 5G modem chips in-house. As analysts suspect, however, the 8K displays will come from Samsung. This means, Huawei will probably rely on the LCD-based QLED technology. However, there is no reliable information on this yet.

Will Huaweis's first TV look like this Honor Smart TV?

Despite the seemingly bright future for all fans of 8K resolution, Huawei's entry into the TV industry will not have a major impact in the medium term. Why? The global 5G infrastructure is not there yet. It doesn't help that countries such as the US, Great Britain, Germany, India and Italy have expressed concerns about cooperating with Huawei and other manufacturers. New Zealand has even banned any collaboration with Huawei. On top of this, the Chinese manufacturer relies on the advancement of efficient 8K cameras, television processors, encoders and decoders. The market for this is relatively small, so it's likely to take a few more years.

Huawei won't be too bothered. With its smartphones, the Chinese giant has been proving for years that they have almost infinite money and can afford to be patient. If Huawei's pricing strategy for TVs is as aggressive as that for smartphones, the competition is likely to be in for a tough battle.

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Avatar

Luca Fontana, Zurich

  • Editor
I'm an outdoorsy guy and enjoy sports that push me to the limit – now that’s what I call comfort zone! But I'm also about curling up in an armchair with books about ugly intrigue and sinister kingkillers. Being an avid cinema-goer, I’ve been known to rave about film scores for hours on end. I’ve always wanted to say: «I am Groot.»

15 comments

3000 / 3000 characters

User Hugoboss

Ich bin überzeugt das sich 8K nicht durchsetzt da es wie viele andere Technologien unseren Bedürfnissen im Jahr 2019 nicht gerecht wied und es keinen interessanten Markt gobt im Moment für 8K.
Was uns fehlt sind die hohen Internetgeschwindigkeiten über Kabel und passende Inhalte in 8K.
Wir brauchen etwas Besonderes was unser Verlangen nach Information auf dem TV-Display revolutioniert und unsere Sinne berührt.

06.05.2019
User honestopinion

Der asiatische Kontinent ist im Punkto 8K viel weiters als der westliche Teil der Welt.

06.05.2019
User choconinja

8k wird evtl in 4-5 Jahren was... Bis dahin sind diese Wunder der Technik "Krücken" nicht zu gebrauchen. Dann aber mit Dolby Ultra Vision +, Hdr2000, 4D und natürlich das alt bewährte 24p....

06.05.2019
Answer
User DSola

Pre-order? :-)
It just works, right?

16.05.2019
User Anonymous

Je cite : "La 5G devrait dans un premier temps permettre une bande passante de près de 2 gigabits par seconde, pour atteindre les 10 gigabits par seconde à l'avenir. Cela représente des débits ascendant et descendant de 2 à 10 fois plus rapides qu'avec la fibre optique."

Aujourd'hui Salt (fiber.salt.ch/) propose en Suisse aux particuliers de la fibre à 10 Gb/s. Ensuite par ondes radio, la bande est partagée avec tous ceux qui se trouvent à proximité. Et les chiffres annoncés sont souvent dans des conditions idéales sans interférences. Quant à la fibre optique, les interférences elle y est totalement insensible. Dans les datacenters aujourd'hui les équipements fibre optique à 40 Gb/s, 100 Gb/s et même 200 Gb/s sont loin d'être rares (nVidia ne s'est pas offert Mellanox pour des prunes). Que certaines personnes à l'avenir se passent de réseau fixe, y compris pour la TV, je peux l'imaginer. Que les réseaux par ondes radios rattrapent la fibre que ce soit en terme de bande passante ou de latence j'ai de sérieux doutes.

16.05.2019
User patrickobe1

Was leider wieder einmal vergessen geht, 5G ist eine geteilte Technologie. Wenn 1000 Handys, Router oder TVs an der selben Zelle hangen (meistens viel mehr), dann teilen die sich diese angebliche ~2 Gbps. Wenn davon nun 10% in 8K TV schauen möchten, oder Daten herunterladen, reduzieren sich diese 2 Gbps bereits auf 200 Mbps (natürlich noch immer genug). Nur sind es vermutlich nicht nur 1000 Clients pro Zelle, sondern einige mehr. Auch sind die 2 Gbps nur bei perfekten Signalen möglich, sobald die Distanz etwas grösser ist, oder Hindernisse im Weg sind (Wände, Metaldampf beschichtete Scheiben (Standard bei Minergie Bauten)) sinkt die Datenrate weiter, für die meisten verbundenen Clients die auch gerne Daten übertragen möchten.
Glasfaser hingegen ist meistens nicht geteilt, wobei dies für Salt nicht zutrifft, die teilen auch, ich glaube mit bis zu 30 Kunden pro 10 Gbps. Dort kriegt man dann die 1 Gbps teilweise garantiert für sich alleine (bis zum nächsten Hop).

08.05.2019
User Mr. Digitec

Wir haben ja noch nicht mal 4K Tv Sender. 🤔

01.06.2019
User humus995

Ich würde nie ein Gerät einer staatlichen chinesischen Firma mit Internetverbindung kaufen. Die Amis haben schon genug meiner Daten, da brauchen es die Chinesen nicht auch noch.

10.05.2019
User roqueriz0r

Zuerst sagt der Bund NEIN zu 5G und dann plöetzlich JA?

Ich bin gegen 5G, aber es werden sicherlich Studien folgen :-) Das erste Mal, dass ich gegen einen Masten in meinem Dorf stimmen werde.

Integriertes Abhören durch China ^_^

09.05.2019
User jaceneliot

Ca vous arrive chez Digitec un peu de remise en question ? Par exemple sur les coûts écologiques et l'utilité de la 8K ? Déjà celle de la 4k se discute. Ca vous arrive de remettre en cause la 5g et de probables problèmes de santé ?

14.05.2019
User hocus pocus anonymus genius

Glaubt Ihr etwa an Apples Werbung, dass eure Daten sicher sind nur weil die jetzt einen Werbespot mit einem Schloss auf dem Apfel lanciert haben?! Eure Daten werden automatisch an die NSA, CIA, FBI.... übermittelt. Und natürlich boykottieren alle pro Amerikanischen Länder Huawei, schliesslich sagte Trump dass Huawei eng mit der chinesischen Regierung arbeitet. hm.. Woher er das bloss wieder weiss *think* Vlt weil seine Geheimdienste dasselbe tun?
In einem neutralen Land wie die Schweiz freue ich mich schon auf die PCs ab 2021 und hoffe dass es bald Laptops mit 5G gibt! Diese Erfindung vermisse ich echt! Und ich wünsche mir einen Digitec der ebenfalls neutral ist und keine Diginews aus Zeitungen ;)

06.05.2019
User roqueriz0r

Schau mal bei deinem android rein welche 3rd party software dabei ist :-)

hat sogar ein offizielles NSA schreiben XD

09.05.2019
Answer
User Anonymous

Noch mehr Strahlung in der Luft. Logisch wäre erst wissenschaftlich anerkennt Unbedenklichkeitsstudien durchzuführen, bevor wir neue Standards einführen.

06.05.2019
User Anonymous

Dass Handystrahlung gesundheitsschädlich sein soll, wurde schon mehrmals wissenschaftlich geprüft und es konnte nie bestätigt werden.
Das Problem ist, dass man nie wissenschaftlich bewiesen kann, dass es zu 100% keinen Zusammenhang zwischen Handystrahlung und Gesundheit gibt (obwohl dies sehr wahrscheinlich ist).

Siehe auch hier:
youtu.be/hcmSh9cerv8

06.05.2019
User —_—.

Die unmittelbare Handystrahlung ist schlimmer als jedes 5g Metz

07.05.2019
Answer