It's tough at the top. Just when you think you've got the best 8K TV around, Samsung ups the ante by launching a brand new flagship 8K TV. The new Samsung QN990C is a Neo QLED with a 98-inch panel, which uses a mini-LED backlight with zone dimming, a 6.4.4 120W sound system with Dolby Atmos and the familiar super-slim Infinity One design.
There's no news of an official US or Europe release just now but with IFA 2023 only a few weeks away, we think it's highly likely that Samsung will give an update about the global rollout of this new flagship set then.
If you want one, you'd better start saving though. With a price tag of 49.9 million won in South Korea, which works to be about $38,100 / £30,000 / AU$58,000, this is nearly four times the price of the 4K 98-inch Samsung Q80C.
Considering that we finally became fans of 8K after testing Samsung's QN900C range earlier this year, then this new flagship set is sure to make the whole high-definition experience even more immersive and could likely join our best Samsung TV roundup once we've had a chance to review it. Now we just need more 8K content to follow!
TCL is quietly cornering the 98-inch TV market
The new Samsung 98-inch TV gets its panel from TCL, who are quietly cornering the market for 98-inch 4K LCD televisions. According to Jun Zhao, CEO of TCL CSOT (China Star Optoelectronics Technology): "We have noticed a growing preference for large-screen televisions among consumers in recent years, and the 98-inch panel in particular has become the new standard for large-screen TVs with better border effects, power consumption performance, and picture display." TCL also highlights its panels' anti-reflective properties and what it calls "soft light technology" to reduce ambient light reflection.
TCL reckons it has the edge thanks to its production lines, which are more efficient than the previous generation that was built to manufacture 100-inch panels. That efficiency means that despite their fairly small difference in physical size, there's a very large difference in price tags. And while the most expensive panels are still very expensive – such as the one in Samsung's new flagship – we're starting to see a variety of big panels at different price tags.
That's clearly attractive not just to Samsung, but to a whole host of big brands. TCL says that Sony, Xiaomi, Changhong and Haier have also adopted the firm's panels when making big-screens of this size. Chances are, if you're buying a 98-inch TV in the foreseeable future, it could very likely have a TCL panel inside. But more immediately, it could mean that more TV makers jump on the 98-inch bandwagon thanks to TCL.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.