Consumer 8K TVs have yet to take off despite being around for several years now. Cost and the lack of native 8K content have stifled the adoption, despite the efforts of TV makers. Sharp, which was the first manufacturer to show off an 8K TV back in 2013, launched its Aquos The Scene 8K TV (DW1X series) earlier this year. And after spending several weeks with the Sharp, I believe it's still too early to get an 8K TV. Despite some progress on the content front, it's just not worth it except maybe for bragging rights.
- 8K resolution with HDR10
- 2x HDMI 2.0 ports, 2x HDMI 2.1 ports
- Comes in 60″ and 70″ (tested) sizes
- Android TV platform with Google Assistant and Chromecast built-in
Unlike earlier models, the DW1X supports 8K videos from YouTube. However, these videos tend to focus on nature or cityscapes. And while 8K videos have that touch of verisimilitude that enhance the realism of the scene, there are only so many I can watch before I get bored. In addition, the streaming nature of YouTube means that the video quality fluctuates with your internet connection. You can expect the occasional dropped frames, as well as the resolution switching between 4K and 8K from one moment to another. Alternatively, you can create your own 8K content (many new phones can shoot 8K videos) and play them from a USB drive plugged into the TV. Like other 8K TVs, the DW1X will also upscale lower-resolution content to 8K. However, the 4K Netflix videos I tested have a certain softness in the images that you won't find in native 8K videos.
Aside from its 8K resolution, the DW1X is above average for an LED TV when it comes to picture quality. There's barely any banding or dirty screen effect when viewing scenes with uniform colours like a clear blue sky. I also liked the display's anti-glare finish that significantly reduces reflections and makes blacks look darker. HDR videos have that extra visual pop, though the specular highlights are not as bright as some LED TVs. However, the Sharp only supports the HDR10 standard, not HDR10+ or Dolby Vision. There is also blooming from the TV backlight, especially during opening or closing credit scenes. But it isn't that noticeable outside of these scenes. There is some colour shift when viewing from the sides due to the TV's VA panel. This is somewhat mitigated by its 70-inch size. Hence, viewers are likely to be watching the TV directly and not from the sides.
My 70-inch review set has a large table-top stand that takes up quite a bit of space. The TV is rather chunky at the back and runs fairly warm. There are four HDMI ports, two of which support the newer HDMI 2.1 standard. The built-in speakers pack a wallop, though the sound does get muddy at higher volumes. A good soundbar like the Sonos Beam is still recommended. I liked that Sharp has a full complement of buttons at the side to control the TV if the remote control dies or runs out of battery. This remote control supports voice commands via Google Assistant. More importantly, the DW1X runs Android TV, which has the widest range of apps, especially for streaming video. From Apple TV to Viu, you can find it on the Google Play Store. The interface itself feels reasonably snappy, thanks to a quad-core MediaTek chip.
At S$7,499 for the 70-inch model (and S$5,999 for the 60-inch), the Sharp Aquos The Scene 8K TV is not cheap. But that's the going price for an 8K model, though you can probably negotiate it down slightly at the store. But the crux of the matter is that you're paying a premium for 8K despite the relative lack of native content. I don't see video streaming providers upping to 8K anytime soon, though analysts are more optimistic. And while the Sharp is a very good TV, you can get better visuals (if not resolution) for less with a 65-inch 4K OLED TV like the ones from LG or Sony. But if you are dead set on an 8K TV, pick the larger 70-inch version if you can to fully experience the higher resolution. You can get it on Amazon, Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Sharp.
Any purchase you make through our links may generate a commission. It supports our work, but does not dictate our editorial reviews. See our FAQ here.