Samsung will be the first brand to bring 8K TV to consumers when it launches its Q900R QLED 8K series in mid-October.
Unveiling the headline-grabbing, ultra-high-definition TV – double the resolution of what is currently available – at this year’s IFA show in Berlin, Samsung said that the groundbreaking screen will use artificial intelligence (AI) to upscale content that will be “compatible” with the 8K screen.
LG and Toshiba also jumped on board the 8K bandwagon at the show.
LG introduced its prototype 88in 7680 x 4320 8K OLED TV and Toshiba launched a 65in model. But neither brand gave a date for commercial release.
Jongsuk Chu, senior vice-president of Samsung’s visual display business, said: “At Samsung, we’ve worked tirelessly over the years to move the industry forward when it comes to premium picture quality, and the introduction of our QLED 8K with 8K AI upscaling is an integral component as we look to the future of displays. We’re thrilled to introduce the Q900 to consumers and are confident that they will experience nothing short of brilliance in colour, clarity and sound on our new 8K-capable models.”
The TV, which the company said will have a ‘film-quality’ picture, will be available in 65in, 75in, 82in and 85in sizes, but some analysts question whether the world is ready for 8K resolution when the market is still adapting to 4K.
Paul Gray, consumer electronics analyst at IHS Markit, believes that the move was more about PR and competitive pressure in a “mature” industry and said that the “content is a way off”.
He said that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be available in 8K and that could be the litmus test of consumer attitudes to the technology.
The 85in model was the showpiece of Samsung’s IFA booth.
Samsung also used its press conference at IFA to underline its commitment to developing household appliances and other products that it said would “shape the next era of connected living”.
HS Kim, president and CEO of the consumer electronics division of Samsung Electronics, said: “Samsung is uniquely positioned to provide consumers with a full range of cutting-edge AI and IoT products and services based on our wide-ranging portfolio of TVs, displays, audio, home appliances and of course mobile devices.”
Samsung said it would have about 1,000 “renowned” researchers working in its R&D facilities globally by 2020, designing and developing user-centric AI to power its products.
Bart Kuijten, the sales and marketing director at Vestel in Europe, where the company is licensed to sell Toshiba, said that 8K “is set to “redefine our TV viewing experience”.
He said: “Making TV more interactive and immersive than ever before, it opens the door to new and exciting possibilities, even offering the kind of high resolution required for viewers to one day be able to zoom into the on-screen action.”