In a Samsung boardroom somewhere is a chart that has an X-axis for pixel count and a Y-axis for screen size, and a line that goes up, exponentially off the grid to realms unknown, forever. And somewhere on that chart is the 98-inch, 8K Q950R TV, which has just been given a UK and European release window.
Samsung’s CES 2019 QLED showstopper will hit stores in March, with the range including sizes that drop as low as 65-inches in size. Pricing is still to be determined but, lets be honest – if you need to ask, you probably can’t afford it.
Thankfully, Samsung has also revealed the European line up for its more budget-friendly ranges, including its 4K QLED line up.
Samsung's European 2019 line up
Showcasing its wares at the Alfandega Porto Congress Centre in Porto, Portugal for its annual Samsung Forum event, Samsung revealed that the 4K Q90R, Q85R, Q80R, Q70R and Q60R models (ranging from 43-inches to 82-inches in size) will also be hitting Europe in March.
New versions of The Frame and Serif TV will launch in 2019 too, all now making use of QLED tech, ranging in size from 49 to 55 inches. They’re designed to fit in seamlessly with their surroundings thanks to an ‘ambient’ mode which measures the TV’s surroundings and mimics it on the display when in standby mode. They’ll be hitting stores in April.
The focus is very much on big-screen TVs for Samsung, with the company expecting sales of TVs 75-inches or bigger to grow by 43% to 3 million units this year and to 5.8 million units by 2022.
“We have witnessed our customers’ unfaltering confidence and affection towards Samsung QLED TVs within the past year,” said Jongsuk Chu, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.
“This year, our QLED 8K and 4K line-ups are addressing the growing demand in the market for ultra-large TVs and we are proud to be able to deliver our most innovative and immersive line-up to date.”
HDR 10+, iTunes and Bixby
It’s not all about the pixels and the inches though – Samsung’s got a rich feature set for its 2019 screens, too.
All 2019 QLED models will feature a new ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ technology, reworking the backlight to ensure improved contrast and colour accuracy even at tighter angles – a necessity given the ever-growing screen sizes. All but the entry level models will be making use of Direct Full Array tech too, allowing for greater control over contrast levels.
Trickling down from the 8K models is Samsung’s Quantum Processor engine, which promises to squeeze 4K-like detail from even standard definition sources. All the QLED TVs for the year will make use of HDR 10+ for brighter whites and darker blacks, but you’ll need one of the 8K screens if you want something that takes advantage of the HDMI 2.1 standard.
A dedicated iTunes app will be coming to Samsung’s 2019 smart screens too, along with AirPlay 2 support. And, if you’re looking to control your TV via voice, an updated version of Samsung’s Bixby AI assistant will sit alongside Google Assistant and Alexa voice controls, letting you bark commands at your screen.
Pricing for the rest of the range, like the 8K models, is yet to be revealed. But we’ll be passing on the details, along with our first hands on impressions, shortly.