During its press conference at the IFA 2018, Samsung announced its foray into 8K with the unveil of the Q900R QLED 8K complete, with 8K AI Upscaling.
Given that 4K has been with us for some years, leading to 4K TVs being available for under $1000 (although not with all the bells and whistles of premium brands like Samsung), 8K television technology and resolution has clearly come of age – it's just the content we're lacking for the time being, although Samsung has a solution for that.
Available in four ultra-large screen sizes (65”, 75”, 82” and 85”), Samsung says its "QLED 8K TV will feature several 8K-ready enhancements, including Real 8K Resolution, Q HDR 8K and Quantum Processor 8K, all created to bring 8K-quality images to life. The new Samsung QLED 8K will be available in stores from end of September", although the "specific date and model may vary by region/country".
It also beats TCL to market which plans to bring 8K TVs to retail in 2019, meaning there's sure to be 8K TVs sold this Christmas to those with plenty of coin to drop on the very latest and greatest.
Jongsuk Chu, senior vice-president of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, said: “At Samsung, we’ve worked tirelessly over the years to move the industry forward when it comes to premium picture quality, and the introduction of our QLED 8K with 8K AI Upscaling is an integral component as we look to the future of displays.
“We’re thrilled to introduce the Q900R to consumers and are confident that they will experience nothing short of brilliance in colour, clarity and sound on our new 8K-capable models.”
Hass Mahdi, head of Audio Visual, Samsung Electronics Australia, said: “Samsung is dedicated to delivering the best possible home entertainment experience for Australians. We have continually introduced new TV technology to market for over a decade by continuing to break new ground in design and innovation.
“We want to improve the way Australians experience entertainment, whether through TVs that transform into paintings with The Frame, surround sound from a single soundbar, or the immersion of 75-inch QLED screens that have become the new normal for many households.
“We are always striving to develop the next innovation that enhances the home cinema experience for Australians. This is why we have not only developed 8K display technology, but also provide upscale features in order to support a beautiful and refined experience for all forms of content resolution across the latest TVs from Samsung.
“With so many people buying larger TVs, the higher resolution rate can take picture quality to the next level, allowing you to sit closer but still see the content look just as it was intended, no matter the size or format.”
“Samsung 8K TV technology will open a fantastic experience for people seeking to ensure they well placed to view the evolution of content into higher resolution formats", Mahdi concluded.
So, what's some of the technical detail behind Samsung's 8K achievement?
Well, to achieve 8K-quality images, Samsung tells us its "Q900R features Real 8K Resolution capable of 4000 nit peak brightness – a standard met by most film studios.
"This feature allows TV to produce four times more pixels than a 4K UHD TV and 16 times more pixels than a full HD TV. Q HDR 8K powered by HDR (High Dynamic Range) 10+ technology which optimises the TV’s brightness levels and produces pristine colors and images is also incorporated to deliver pictures as intended by creators.
"Samsung’s proprietary 8K AI Upscaling technology based on artificial intelligence also comes equipped with picture and sound quality to a level compatible with 8K regardless of the original source quality or format.
"Whether a user is watching content through a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB or even mobile mirroring, the Quantum Processor 8K recognises and upscales the content to appear in 8K quality.
"In addition, the Q900R features Direct Full Array Elite for enhanced contrast and precise backlighting control, and also 100% Colour Volume, enabling users to witness billions of shades of colour for the purest colour accuracy to-date.
"Focusing on user efficiency, the Q900R features a slate of new functions that enable consumers to use their TVs differently while maintaining the highest quality in picture and sound.
"For example, the TV recognises and analyses a number of connected entertainment devices like audio devices connected via optical cable with One Remote, then auto switches the TV’s image source and audio output for an optimised viewing experience.
"Lifestyle features, such as Ambient Mode, have been enhanced to seamlessly blend the TV in the surrounding space by showcasing beautiful images, weather, news and more on the screen.
"The One Invisible Connection, which comes standard at 5 meters, incorporates the optical cable and power in one seamless cord, giving users more freedom to decide where and how they place the TV.
"Smart enhancements, such as SmartThings, further add to the Q900R’s ability to provide users with greater access to information and make their lives easier, and the Universal Guide provides personalised recommendations to easily find live and OTT content on TV."