So you’ve decided 4K is old-school and you want to step up to 8K but you don’t have a lot of money. Why not build an 80″ 8Kx4K video wall with off-the shelf components to display 32-megapixels in all their glory:
- 4 40″+ UHD 4K screen with HDMI 2.0 @$400 each
- 1 AMD FirePro W4300 quad DisplayPort EyeFinity graphics card @$280
- 4 Plugable mini-Displayport 1.2->HDMI 2.0 adapters @$20 each
- 4 6 foot HDMI cables @$7 each
Total cost: $1988+tax
[Image from http://mlm-s2-p.mlstatic.com]
Just add these components to any standard PC with a 500-watt power supply (with 2 75-watt PCI-E 6-pin connectors) and you’ll have an 8K video wall that measures to 80″ diagonal. Because you’re sticking 4 panels together, there will be a slight gap in the middle of the image due to the bezel. But you can just use the AMD EyeFinity bezel compensation tools to tune it so it doesn’t look weird. HDMI 1.4 limits the 4K refresh rate to 30Hz, so this will be just fine for videos and slideshows, but perhaps not so the best for interactive applications. A single Pitcairn 7870 GPU won’t be enough to do high frame rate 3D graphics with this many pixels, but video playback and other regular stuff will be just fine. You can always add a few more cards in Crossfire mode to boost 3D perf per Gaven Gear’s Extreme Windows blog.
Amazon only lists 6 different screens with 4K resolution *and* 70-inch panel size or larger and the prices are $5800 and up. So this solution has 4X the resolution at less than half the price. Why isn’t anybody using stuff like this to build trade-show walls? All the industry video wall components seem to be standardized on 32″ panels at 1366×768 or 1920×1080 (~69dpi) Sure those panels come with 3-5 year warranties and very high brightness. But they are 4-10X the cost of a Seiki with 1/4 the pixels. Even if the Seiki panels are not top-notch and don’t last long, you can keep a couple spares around just in case and still be way ahead of industry video wall solutions on price and resolution. I think the value-add here is scenarios where customers may be walking within a couple feet of the video wall. With the high-dpi screens, its a lot harder to see individual pixels. Also its 8K. By next year there won’t be as much value in riding the 4K buzzword, so better make the jump to 8K right away.
So… anybody want to give me $2000 so I can build this and make a video? It would be great to borrow a RED dragon or CineAlta F65 to shoot in 8K too 🙂
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