This story is part of CES 2020, our complete coverage of the showroom floor and the hottest new tech gadgets around.
My buying advice for 8K TVs is basically “don’t,” but Samsung is debuting an 8K model that’s about more than resolution at CES 2020. The world’s biggest TV maker’s best new 2020 TV, the Q950TS, has a superthin frame around the picture. When I looked at it straight on, it was really tough to make out any bezel at all. The effect replicated a disembodied moving image, except this was a bright TV, not a projector. Samsung says the set is 99% picture compared to 95% for most TVs, and yes, that 4% made a big difference.
Samsung achieved the superthin 2.3mm bezel by eliminating the black matrix around the edge of the panel so the picture goes basically right up to the metallic edge. The TV itself is only 15mm deep, despite housing a full-array local dimming LED backlight — the hallmark of a good LCD TV, QLED or otherwise.
Don’t care about 8K resolution? Try this
So yeah, 8K TVs are expensive, the image quality improvement they provide over 4K models is modest, at best, and the kicker: There’s no 8K content available now and little possibility of it coming this year (2020 Olympics, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X notwithstanding). Those are some of the reasons experts expect 8K sales to remain tepid for the next few years.
To make its 8K TVs more appealing Samsung isn’t just touting the extra resolution, it’s talking up other picture-quality improvements, too.
- That FALD backlight has new “local power distribution” tech that improves peak brightness by more than 20% and controls blooming (stray illumination) better.
- Improved quantum processor 8K with better AI upscaling, which will have a deep learning neural network that can, yes, can start teaching itself algorithms to improve the picture.
- The Q950TS also has the same superb antiglare and improved viewing angle screens found on the company’s flagship 2019 models.
Whether any of these extras will allow Samsung’s 8K QLED TVs to match the image quality of OLED televisions is an open question.
Samsung did not announce pricing or availability on the Q950TS.
CES 2020 preview: Surprise booths, slim screens and smart…