SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics MOU for 8K TV connected via a 5G Network

SK Telecom (SKT) today announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Samsung Electronics to jointly develop and commercialize the world’s first 5G-8K TV.  SKT said the 5G-8K TV will revolutionize users’ television-watching experience by directly receiving 8K video over SK Telecom’s ultra-low latency and ultra-wideband 5G network.

SKT launched its 5G service simultaneously with its rival Korean cellular carriers in early April.  Korea’s largest mobile operator by subscribers said it reached the 1 million 5G subscriber milestone on 21 August.

*8K (7680×4320 resolution) is the highest resolution currently in existence, a fourfold enhancement of UHD standard.

SK Telecom plans to apply Mobile Edge Computing and Network-Based Media Processing to its pre-standard 5G network to realize seamless transmission of 8K video. Samsung Electronics will apply its 8K AI Upscaling and next-generation codec technologies to upgrade full HD and UHD images to 8K resolution. The company will also equip 8K TVs with 5G dongles to support direct transmission of 8K resolution video content.

Park Jin-hyo, second from left, who heads SK Telecom’s ICT Technology Center, and Lee Hee-man, right, who heads Samsung Electronics’ VD Service PM Group, with other officials after signing a MOU to develop 8K TV powered by 5G networks. / Courtesy of SK Telecom.

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Viewers will be able to watch video content of POOQ* and oksusu at 8K resolution.

*POOQ is an over-the-top video subscription service offering programs on terrestrial TV. It is a joint platform of Korea’s terrestrial broadcasters.

The two companies have also agreed to jointly evolve 5G-8K TV further to deliver a new user experience by working together in the areas including eSpace, SK Telecom’s hyper-space platform for replicating the real world in cyberspace, and 5G Sero TV, a 5G-based television that can be rotated both horizontally and vertically to provide a smartphone-like UX for TV users.

Moreover, they plan to develop B2B business models in areas of smart office and digital signage by adding 5G connectivity to televisions and displays.

SK Telecom introduced technologies related to ‘5G connected screen’ at an MPEG held in July 2019 and was designated as the NBMP (Network Based Media Processing) chair company to lead international standardization of 5G connected screen related technologies. To this end, SK Telecom will newly open Hyper Media Lab under its ICT R&D Center.

“The 5G-8K TV is the culmination of ultra-low latency 5G networks combined with ultra-high definition TV technology,” said Park Jin-hyo, Chief Technology Officer and Head of ICT R&D Center at SK Telecom. “5G technology will help make the world of hyper media a reality.”

Samsung Electronics will utilize artificial intelligence features that upscale lower-quality content to appear close to 8K resolution.  Samsung will equip its 8K TV with a small piece of hardware, called a dongle, to support wireless reception of 8K images. 

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