Huawei has set its sights on the biggest screen in the house, planning to launch a 5G-equipped 8K TV, according to a report from Nikkei.
The aim is to expand the brand's reach, moving from being a dominant player in telecommunication and smartphones into another consumer sector. We've seen Huawei making this move with laptops over the past few years, with some great devices like the MateBook X.
A move into TV might make more sense than you actually think. Starting at the bottom, Huawei has been in the television business for a number of years as a supplier of set-top boxes. In 2017, it was one of the first to market with a Dolby Vision-enabled STB, for example, so this isn't new to the company.
Huawei also makes a lot of its own silicon hardware, currently supplying brands like Hisense, Skyworth, Changhong and Sharp according to Nikkei. Through its HiSilicon chip company it has demonstrated that it can create powerful hardware - used in its smartphones - and this knowledge can easily be applied to a new segment.
Exactly where the panels would be sourced from remains an unanswered question, but the aim is obviously 8K resolution, although we wouldn't be surprised to see a range of sizes with different resolutions. There's little native 8K content at the time of writing so 4K might have more immediate appeal - but Japanese broadcaster NHK is planning to supply the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in 8K and we're seeing a number of manufacturers starting to release 8K products in 2019.
So what's this talk about 5G? Nikkei suggests that embedding a 5G modem would allow cordcutters to get a fast connection for even higher data rates. This might mean direct streaming to the TV without the need for a cable box, with the suggestion that services could supply 360-degree video on demand, for example.
Having a 5G TV would also mean it could act as a hub for other devices, perhaps negating the need for a conventional broadband router.
There's no timeline on when Huawei might be looking to make this move into TV, but it could certainly shake the market up. Whether Huawei would target affordable masses or pixel-peeping perfection, remains to be seen.
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