Socionext S8 Media Player Supports 8K HEVC Videos, 22.2 Channels Audio

4K still feels like a new technology, but 8K is also coming as HDMI 2.1, superMHL, and DisplayPort 1.4 all support 8K QUHD (Quad Ultra HD) resolutions up to 60 or 120 fps. So at some points will need some SoC, media players, and TVs support the new higher resolution.

Socionext is working on this with their S8 media player powered by the company’s proprietary 8K HEVC SC1400A decoder chip, and that will be offered to “operators and service providers of video streaming for various applications including public viewing and digital signage”, starting in March 2018.

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Socionext S8 8K media player specifications:

  • Video Codec – 8K H.265/HEVC 4:2:0 10bit, 4K H.264/MPEG-4 4:2:0 10bit
  • Audio Codec – 2ch / 5.1ch / 22.2ch AAC-LC 16bit 48kHz
  • Container TS/MP4/MMT (Optional)
  • Resolution – 8K (7680 x 4320)/60p, 4K (3840 x 2160)/60p
  • Video Output – 4x ch HDMI2.0; Up-conversion of 4K to 8K supported
  • Audio Output – 3.5mm Stereo, S/PDIF, I2S (for 22.2ch)
  • Media Storage – Via USB flash drive (a 15-minute HEVC 8K video can be stored on a 16GB memory)
  • Power Supply – 50W
  • Dimensions – 410mm (W) x 220mm (D) x 60mm (H)
  • Weight – 2.5kg

The company’s claim that S8 is the “world’s smallest and lightest 8K / 4K compatible media player” clearly shows that it’s quite early for 8K, as the device is rather large, heavy and power hungry, and relies not on a single HDMI 2.1 port, but instead four HDMI 2.0 ports. The audio subsystem is also impressive with 22.2 channels I2S audio (I had to read that twice).

Price confirms that the device targets businesses for now, as a sample is said to cost around 2,500,000 JPY (roughly @22,000 US). The company also provides an 8K HEVC real encoder system, built with four units of 4K/60p HEVC encoder MB86M31 SoCs allowing for streaming of live events.

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