Samsung has a lot to say about its Q-Series of premium 4K TVs, but at a media event today (March 7), we also got a few new details on Samsung’s Q9S, billed as the first consumer-level 8K TV, and The Wall, Samsung’s modular monster display that boasts microLED technology.
The Wall Comes Closer
Samsung showed off The Wall, the 12-foot home theater display that Samsung first demonstrated at CES. While new information was limited, the company did announce that The Wall would be available to consumers this August.
The monster display uses Samsung’s new MicroLED technology, an OLED competitor that uses nano-scale LEDs for per-pixel illumination. It’s like a Jumbtron brought into the living room, but with 4K resolution, brilliant color and the sort of perfect blacks you could only get on OLED displays in the past, it’s a giant step forward in display technology.
And The Wall is not limited to any one size or aspect ratio. Thanks to a modular design made up of small 4-inch tiles, the display can be assembled to match any needs. It’s way outside the mainstream, and Samsung hasn’t even announced pricing yet, but it’s an exciting development in consumer display technology.
Samsung Q9S: 85 Inches of 8K Glory
In a closed door product demonstration, Samsung showed off the upcoming Q9S, which is poised to be the first 8K display available to to the masses.
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To make 8K displays viable in a market where 4K resolution is just going mainstream, Samsung has focused its efforts on upscaling technology, and claims to have cracked how to make any source resolution look clearer and sharper on an 8K display. While TV manufacturers have years of reference material for full HD and 4K resolution to serve as the basis for upscaling algorithms, 8K is uncharted territory for pretty much everyone.
Using machine learning to analyze 8K resolution video and other content over time, Samsung’s upscaling promises better picture now with even more improvements down the road as it expands its own reference library and refines the algorithms used for smoothing, edge detection, noise reduction and all of the other polishing that goes into making a 720p or 1080p video look great at 7680 x 4320 resolution.
Samsung is also borrowing a key technology from it’s other outside-the-box product, The Wall, by adapting MicroLED technology for improved backlighting on the Q9S. full array backlight and local dimming are common on today’s 4K TVs, but most TVs offer a few dozen individual backlighting zones, letting the TV raise or lower the backlight for a portion of the screen to improve contrast and reduce the halos and illumination blooms that LCD displays often create.
The Q9S, however, uses a variant on Samsung’s MicroLED technology to offer more than 22,000 dimming zones, offering a dramatically improved version of the technology. The result is a picture that offers HDR-style illumination without the light blooming seen on even the best LED TVs.
The Samsung Q9S will be available this fall, but specific date and pricing information has not been announced.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about these two new products, but it turns out we won’t have to wait a whole lot longer.