The next generation of TV is already here. Trust us, you need to hear about Samsung QLED 8K.
Danger warning: it might make you want to throw away your current TV.
Upcoming Samsung QLED 8K TVs are likely to be the best we’ve ever seen, for a whole range of reasons, and we at TechRadar have seen an awful lot of TVs over the years.
This year’s new resolution
The first special feature is right there in the name. These are 8K TVs, with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels, which is 33.2 million pixels in total.
That’s more than four times the number a 4K TV has. And it leads to sets so sharp you can barely see the pixels with your eyes a few centimetres from the panel.
This is the kind of territory where the line between reality and a flat image starts to blur. It’s an incredibly immersive experience.
While the world catches up
Sure, you might say it will be years before we start seeing streamed 8K HDR video on services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Samsung QLED 8K has a solution for that too.
Artificial intelligence-infused upscaling enhances “current-gen” video, whether it’s 4K, 1080p, 720p or even lower. This ensures Samsung's QLED 8K panel isn’t wasted as everyone else scrambles to get up to speed with this amazing TV technology.
The artificial intelligence is used to create detail not there in the original video feed. Noise reduction is then applied to keep the footage smooth, and sharp edges are restored to offer the crisp impact of a true 8K image.
QLED 8K panels can also cover 100 per cent of the DCI-P3 colour range, which is a pretty astonishing feat. But what is DCI-P3?
When you see gamuts discussed in relation to a TV or laptop, it normally refers to the sRGB colour standard. This is traditionally used to judge printers and computer screens. DCI-P3 features much deeper tones, and is the colour spectrum the film industry’s colour graders use to choose exactly how blue that sky should look in the latest action blockbuster.
Samsung QLED 8K offers true cinematic colour, with empirical evidence to prove it. It’s the only LCD TV with this grade of colour performance.
Just as important, contrast is amazing too. Most LCD TVs use a universal backlight that shines behind the whole display. This makes it hard for the set to show truly deep-looking blacks in a darkened room. There’s always a hint of visible light.
Samsung QLED 8K uses micro-LED dimming, letting the TV control the brightness of each little area of screen space. Even in a cinema room, the blacks of the many space scenes in Gravity will look just as inky as they should. Much darker even than they would in most UK cinemas too.
Of course, most of us haven’t painted the walls of our living rooms black for the cinema “bat cave” effect, and Samsung QLED 8K is prepped for that reality. The contrast auto-corrects for ambient light conditions and is even ready for full-on direct sunlight. Because even if you are watching a movie indoors, who wants to keep the curtains closed on a beautiful sunny day?
A truly dynamic image
Very high peak brightness is partly to thank for Samsung QLED 8K’s ability to deal with sunlight. These are some of the brightest consumer displays in the world.
Add very deep blacks with ultra-bright whites and you have the perfect formula for the best HDR footage ever seen.
Some of you still might not have seen high dynamic range footage in person yet, and Samsung QLED 8K offers just about the best we’ve experienced. HDR video retains more information in the brightest areas, and 10-bit colour allows for deeper, richer tones.
Movies and TV shows look more vibrant, more alive, without the cartoonish look that results from simply ramping-up colour saturation.
Samsung QLED 8K support HDR 10+, for even better preservation of highlight and colour detail. You just can’t beat the detail and realism of an HDR video stream.
Living room ready
The Samsung Q900R is built for a real-life living room too, not one that has had everything sacrificed in favour of the cinema experience. Its One Connect box lets you keep attached devices out of sight, with just a single “near-invisible” cable coming out of the TV itself.
It pares down lounge clutter too. The Q900R’s One Remote can control your other entertainment gear. All those old remotes are ready to be filed away in a drawer.
You don’t have to tap away at buttons for control either. Just press the voice assistant button and you can ask for content using the remote’s mic. The TV learns your tastes, and offers recommendations based on what it thinks you’ll like.
It’s a pro at looking great on the wall as well. The Ambient mode creates an image for the display that fades into the same colour as your walls. No longer does your TV have to be a big black hole in your lounge. Plus, it switches off when no-one’s about to avoid wasting power.
The Samsung Q900R’s room-ready ability goes even further. Artificial intelligence optimises the sound to suit the shape and acoustics of your room, so it will sound great no matter where you place the set.
All this sounds like tech of the future. But it is here now. You’ll get all the benefits of QLED 8K with Samsung’s Q900R TVs. Prices start at a £4999, which is surprisingly realistic when you consider the generational leaps made.
The appeals of this next-gen TV never seem to end.