Samsung Makes Its Case for 8K at IFA 2019

Samsung’s big 8K announcement at IFA 2019 was, curiously, a new TV with a modest-size 55-inch screen. The latest addition serves as an entry point to the company’s Q900 series, which also consists of 65, 75, 82, and 98-inch models.

Available now with a price listed at $2,500 on Samsung’s website, the QLED Smart 8K set features a direct full-array backlight, quantum dot tech for extended coverage of P3 color space, Ultra Viewing Angle to improve off-center viewing, and support for the HDR10 and HDR10+ high dynamic range formats.

Some readers may be wondering why anyone would need a 55-inch TV packed with 7,680 x 4,320 pixels—16x the resolution of regular HDTV—and the question is a good one. But at a press-only session that Samsung conducted at IFA, the company did make a strong case for 8K displays, even at reasonable sizes.

One takeaway was that having more pixels to play with gives the Quantum Processor 8K feature in Samsung TVs the flexibility it needs to reduce noise while restoring the detail and diagonal edges in images. Another came from a demo conducted by video expert Florian Friedrich that used custom-made test pattern to show how 8K resolution eliminates flickering noise with native 8K and upscaled content and enables the pixel structure of images to disappear.

A final 8K argument made by Samsung in the session was more basic: 4K was met with some resistance out of the gate but has now become a widely accepted standard. Will 8K follow the same path? It’s hard to say for certain, but after sitting through Samsung’s demo I’d say the prospects look good, though you may want a screen larger than 55 inches to view it on.