Samsung’s 85-inch Q9S QLED TV uses AI to upscale content to 8K

Samsung Q9S QLED TV

The new 85-inch Q9S QLED TV will be Samsung’s first commercial 8K television … well, at least its first ‘upscaled’ 8K TV. According to Samsung, the TV will use a proprietary algorithm to take traditional 4K and even HD content and upscale it to an unbelievable 7680 x 4320 resolution. Samsung announced the TV to a restricted media audience at its First Look event at CES 2018, along with a new MicroLED TV - another first for the company. 

According to Samsung, the Q9S will continuously learn from itself, each day better understanding how to upscale content to look more natural - and stunning - in 8K. 

You could make the point that Samsung’s 8K TV is too far ahead of its time - after all, most TV stations still aren’t capable of even broadcasting in 4K. But the beauty of Samsung’s latest set is that it doesn’t require native 8K content.

The flipside of this argument is that because it's no easy task to convert HD or 4K content to 8K, Samsung’s algorithm will have to basically work overtime to upscale content in a way that doesn’t merely multiply the number of pixels and instead works to fill in information that simply doesn’t exist.  

And yes, it’s still a QLED 

Although it’s going to sit in a class of its own in terms of resolution, the Samsung Q9S is still considered a QLED TV by Samsung - which, if you remember from last year, are what became of Samsung’s SUHD series of TVs from 2015-2016. 

QLED promised better high dynamic range (HDR) performance thanks to a peak brightness of 2,000 nits, and exceptional color reproduction through the use of metal quantum dots. (See: last year's Samsung Q9F QLED TV.)

It seems the only way the South Korean panel manufacturer could top itself this year was to make another leap in resolution - a move that will likely ruffle some feathers of folks who still aren’t quite ready to embrace 4K as the new native resolution for streaming and gaming. 

We’ll find out if the world is ready for 8K when Samsung releases its Q9S QLED TV later this year for what we can only assume will be a ludicrous sum of money. 

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.