If that happens, it would indeed be a monumental shift in the TV universe. However, if you already had the foresight to see that change coming, you would likely already have an 8K set sitting in your living room.
Sure, you probably overpaid because this tech is still in the early innings, but you did successfully future-proof your set. If this sounds like you, make sure to get a panel that’s going to be relevant for the next five to ten years—and it appears that Samsung has the perfect solution.
The 85-inch Q950TS QLED 8K TV is huge and expensive. There is no question that an 85-inch panel will still be looked upon with awe in five years, but the price will definitely need to be more reasonable.
This beast is currently retailing for $13,000, but there has been hints of 10% off sales events popping up in other international markets. So, it would be smart to keep an eye out if and when those discounts will roll into the U.S.—a solid bet is perhaps as soon as the Christmas shopping season.
The Q950TS is the Korean tech giant’s best TV of 2020. Its appearance is just gorgeous, as you can barely even make out any bezel at all when looking at it straight on. The panel also boasts top-notch image-quality specs, including the much-coveted full-array local dimming and the aforementioned 8K capability, which flaunts sixteen times more resolution than a regular HDTV. In short, on planet Earth, only LG’s OLED TVs offer a better viewing experience than this QLED beauty.
Equipped with the AI Quantum Processor 8K, the Q950TS comes with a strong feature called Adaptive Picture, which can optimize the screen to both ambient conditions and individual images. The processor also helps power Samsung’s open smart-home platform Tizen—a mixed bag for some, but a system that has made noticeable strides in recent years.
Further supporting the picture quality of the Q950TS is the adoption of AV1 codec, allowing for improved compression rates. This also enables the support of HDR10+ technology, image dimensionality, brightness optimization and contrast ratio.
However, when it comes to 4K content, know that Samsung’s 8K TVs can only do so much. Yes, the Q950TS has built-in 8K AI upscaling and deep-learning capabilities that can automatically upscale non-8K content by adding in the “missing” pixels—but this will never be a substitute for the real thing. Here’s hoping that there is more 8K content to work with in the near future, so that the Q950TS can really showcase its full potential.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.