Tech Tent: Are you ready for an 8K telly?

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Media captionWATCH: Samsung and LG show off rival 8K TV tech

You may have just got used to HD, you might be thinking about upgrading to 4K while wondering if there will be anything to watch. But at the Ifa consumer tech show in Berlin this week, the new, new thing in TV is 8K, and on Tech Tent we ask whether we are ready for yet another way of watching television.

"Open your mind to innovation" was the order from the stage at the Samsung press conference in Berlin.

There was much talk of the impact of artificial intelligence on everything from washing machines to ovens, but it was a QLED 8K TV which was the only standout new product to be unveiled.

As ever, we heard big claims about the amazing new experience this television would deliver - "perfect reality" is the slogan Samsung used to describe the picture quality. Yes, you get four times as many pixels as with a 4K set, 16 times the resolution of HD.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Samsung plans to put its 8K TV on sale in September

But Samsung is also promising a much brighter picture.

You may not have heard of nits - one nit represents the amount of light a 19th Century whale oil candle would have emitted.

They are used to measure the brightness of a TV picture, and apparently this 85in (216cm) television has 4,000 of them.

"It's the beginning of a revolution for depth and detail in content," says Guy Kinnell, Samsung's vice-president for TV.

Ah, I hear you say, but there is barely any content even for my 4K TV, so there will be nothing to watch on my giant telly if I trade up to 8K at a price which is likely to be above £4,000 when the new sets go on sale in late September.

Mr Kinnell is ready with an answer - upscaling. In other words, the set can make any old fuzzy pictures look fabulous using, you've guessed it, AI.

"It's the addition of artificial intelligence to our upscaling mechanism which generates pictures that are always in 8K, whether it's a source that's in 4K or full HD," he said.

A demo on the Samsung showed scratchy old footage of a news broadcast being "upscaled" so that you could now detect a mole on the newsreader's cheek - I will let you judge whether that is an exciting vision of the future of TV.

But Samsung is not alone in touting 8K, as we found when we visited its South Korean rival LG, which has taken over a whole hall at Ifa and filled it with robots, domestic appliances and demos of the way AI will change your kitchen and living room.

On display here was LG's OLED 88in 8K TV.

Image copyright LG
Image caption LG claims its use of OLED screen technology makes its TV superior to Samsung's even though it has fewer nits

The company's communications chief Ken Hong conceded it did not have as many nits as Samsung's version but insisted that everyone knew that OLED was better than LED.

Here the promise was darkness not light - "You're going to find the blacks are pitch black like a black hole - there is no greyishness about the black."

But unlike Samsung, LG is not planning to put this TV on sale any time soon.

Mr Hong says they have brought it to Ifa to assess "whether or not it makes business sense at the moment" and he wonders whether people will buy a TV for which there is no content available.

It is clear that LG believes the answer to that is no.

Samsung is gambling that the promise of "upscaling" will persuade people to buy its 8K sets in the autumn - but beyond the small number of early adopters who must have the latest thing, it's hard to see many taking the plunge.

We have more from Ifa in Tech Tent, including Somnox the sleep robot, a cross between a pillow and a cuddly toy designed to cure your insomnia.

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Media captionWATCH: Would you sleep with this robot?

And live from Techspace Kreuzberg, a new working space for technology start-ups, we explore Berlin's ambitions to be Europe's leading tech hub.