8K televisions: a reality for Samsung

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Alexis Rolin is Head TV, audio and video Product Marketer for Samsung France. The manufacturer’s first Ultra HD 8K TVs have just been released and Alexis Rolin agreed to discuss the benefits of 8K technology.

Alexis Rolin

S.V: What are the tangible benefits of the ultra-high-definition 8K format?

A.R : There’s a real demand from consumers for increasingly large screens. When we ask people what the most important factor is when buying a TV, the size of the screen always comes out on top. Also, if we want to head towards larger sizes without compromising on picture quality, we have no other choice than to improve the screen’s definition (the number of rows and columns of any given resolution being fixed).When you go from UHD 4K to 8K, the number of pixels is multiplied by four, which brings us from almost 8 million to 33 million pixels. This way, you avoid having larger pixels.  8K definition promises to give people the most realistic, immersive picture possible, without having to sit far away from a large screen.

Is QLED technology compatible with 8K resolution?

Qled technology is the best possible technology for 8K resolution. Our goal is to give the consumer the best image quality experience possible. Large screen sizes ensure a particularly immersive experience for the users. But the colorimetry and the HDR management (dynamic range – ed) need to be flawless so that the result is really perfect, without the risk of image retention or screen lag (even more visible on very big screens!).

Will you also be offering conventional LED 8K televisions?

No, not at the moment. Our desire was to offer a television with the best image quality possible, so the natural thing to do was to associate the precision and definition of 8K with the colorimetric accuracy and light intensity of Qled technology.

Why offer 8K televisions if hardly any content exists?

The goal isn’t to say that 8K is going to replace all other technologies. But while we want bigger and bigger screens, mathematically you have to enhance the picture quality to avoid pixelation. Even if native 8K content isn’t available just yet, technological advances have allowed us to develop a new upscaling procedure based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. More specifically, after analysing millions of 8K images reduced to inferior resolutions, the artificial intelligence developed hundreds of mathematical formulas to re-establish the initial quality of these images. Depending on the type of image shown on the screen, the Quantum 8K processor integrated in the television will decide which filter to apply, in order to reproduce an image close to an 8K image on the screen, no matter what the source. In other words, if you place two 75” televisions side by side, the 8K television will always have a better picture quality than the 4K television.

Do you think future 8K content will be available in physical format or through streaming platforms?

The devices that will be able to handle 8K content will be those with adequate bandwidth. Clearly, in the near future, satellite and fibre connection will ensure 8K data stream transmission. 8K format content will also be available on physical format via devices equipped with HDMI 2.1 controllers. The evolution towards 5G also has huge screening potential.

Will your televisions be equipped with HDMI 2.1 controllers from the time they are released or will we have to wait for an update?

At Samsung we’ve developed a technology that enables us to move all connections to an external box called the “One connect”. As soon as the HDMI 2.1 standard is approved in the beginning of 2019, we’ll be able to update this box. Those who have already bought a Qled 8K television will therefore be able to upgrade their TV to benefit from the HDMI 2.1 standard.

When will Micro LED televisions be available? What will the benefits of this technology be? Will they be 8K compatible?

Micro LED technology is something that Samsung has been working tirelessly on. In our opinion, when associated with Quantum Dots, Micro LED technology is clearly the ultimate display solution. It combines the benefit of being able to turn off each pixel with the advantage of the luminosity and very long lifespan (inorganic technology) inherent to Qled televisions. These are screens that should be available in the not too distant future.

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