IFA 2018: Up Close with Samsung’s 8K TV

The IFA show happening right now in Berlin, Germany is as much about home appliances as A/V electronics — I’ve never seen so many refrigerators in one place in my life. Still, there are interesting products to report on, particularly the new 8K TVs from Samsung and LG.

We posted news about Samsung’s Q900FN 85-inch 8K QLED TV earlier this week . Today, I had a chance to sit through an extensive demo of the new set, which is scheduled to arrive in October. Samsung’s demo emphasized the Q900FN’s upscaling capability—no surprise given that actual 8K content will be tough to come by for many years out. The company’s Quantum Processor 8K uses “machine learning” to transform regular 2K HD and 4K programs for 8K display, employing texture creation, edge restoration, and noise reduction in the process. The upscaled images looked strikingly 3D-like on the set’s ultra-high-resolution screen, with distinct separation of foreground objects from backgrounds, and crisp resolution with motion images. The significant benefit of the Q900FN’s 4,000 nits brightness could also be seen in a direct comparison with one of the company’s current Q9 Series Ultra HDTVs, which maxes out at 2,000 nits light output.

Other parts of the demo included HDR and color comparisons of the Q900FN with an industry-standard Sony OLED monitor used for mastering. In both instances, the Samsung 8K TV provided a remarkably close match to the image being shown on the professional monitor. Lastly, Samsung showed off the Q900FN’s low input lag for gaming and its FreeSync feature, which provides smoother motion when playing 1080p games with a PlayStation or Xbox console.

Other Q900FN information gleaned at the show included the news that Samsung’s 8K TVs will ship in 65-, 75-, 82-, and 85-inch screen sizes outside the U.S. No info on when we can expect to see the full range of Q900FN screens in North America was made available.

Billy's picture

Call me a grumpy old man, but I think 8K is where the line has been crossed between fantasy and common sense. Unless the price drops crazily like 4K has, or this will be the modern equivalent of 3D. People are going to walk into a BB and see this, then look at a 4K and scratch their heads wondering what the difference is. From an average distance, even a 1080P looks fantastic, esp if it is a quality set. I have an 8 year old 52 inch Sony in our bedroom that looks just as good as any of my 4Ks, far as I can tell. Now, I sit ten feet back from it, if I had a small room and wanted to sit real close, maybe the 4K wins, but otherwise not. The human eye is only so good until we all become cyborgs.