Samsung has now detailed more about some of the tech behind the improved picture on its 2019 TVs including improved viewing angles, more effective upscaling and sound that adapts to your room.
Using a new 7nm Quantum 4K processor, Samsung has introduced several new enhancements to 4K sets, not just the showier 8K-toting Q900 series.
The 2019 QLED series - Q950, Q90, Q85 and Q80 - is available for pre-order from Wednesday 13 March and will go on general sale from 27 March.
- Samsung 4K and 8K QLED TV choices for 2019: Q950R, Q90R, Q85R, Q80R, Q70R, Q60R differences compared
Samsung TV engineer Min Carlos talked up Samsung’s upscaling tech, which uses machine learning to analyse images and create an updateable offline database that helps categories and process certain characteristics such as texture and finding and restoring edges in images. Noise is also able to be more effectively reduced.
Carlos suggested that while “every manufacturer says they are using AI technology, the difference here is how you divide [image types] by class.” Samsung’s database can quickly identify the type of image being processed and categorise them accordingly. This can also come in handy with streaming content if the available bandwidth reduces and the image quality drops.
Samsung has also worked hard to improve the viewing angle on its 2019 QLED TVs thanks to a change in the panel structure; a light concentration layer reduces light leakage. This results in the same colour and detail being seen wherever you are in the room.
Also new this year, HDR images are also more accurately rendered using the luminance and colour information of each frame to improve accuracy. Detail in predominantly dark images has also been worked on versus the 2018 sets.
And sound handling has also been enhanced. When you take a 2019 QLED TV out of the box, you can set up the sound depending on your room; the set will detect the acoustic environment around your TV and compensate automatically.
We saw the new enhancements in action at a showcase demonstrating Samsung’s new QLED TV lineup – the technologies showcased in the top-end 4K Q90R model will drip down to the Q85R, Q80R and Q70R, too.
The 2019 QLED models offer Bixby as well as selected control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant provided you have an existing smart speaker device. Apple's iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps are coming to Samsung’s sets as well as those from other vendors, but we’re expecting an Apple announcement of what that actually means (probably alongside Apple’s TV and Movie streaming service) before third-party vendors offer it. We also know that Samsung will support AirPlay 2, too.
When asked when the Apple integration would come, we were told it would be the first half of this year, so expect it soon.
For 8K, the quantity of content continues to be a challenge, says Carlos: “At CES many manufacturers released 8K products with others coming soon but the problem is of course [native 8K content]. NHK has started 8K broadcasting in Japan and will be developing more around the [2020 Tokyo] Olympic Games.”
Whereas around 200,000 8K TVs were sold last year according to analyst HIS, that’s expected to leap up in the coming years with around 1.3 million sold this year, three million in 2020 and 4.5 million in 2021.