Samsung has a full line-up of 4K and 8K "QLED" LCD TVs, including the unique, almost bezel-less Q950TS. The 8K LCDs feature an HDMI 2.1 port and advanced zone-dimming whereas the 4K models have been downgraded. FlatpanelsHD brings you an overview of Samsung's 2020 TV line-up.
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Samsung 2020 TV line-up
After having introduced its first "QLED TVs" - LCD TVs with a quantum dot film - a few years ago in 2017, Samsung has been gradually expanding its line-up of Q models to cover more affordable and more expensive models. In 2020, the line-up includes three 8K ranges and lots of 4K ranges.
The new Q950TS 8K flagship has an impressive, almost bezel-less design and a slim profile, despite a full array local dimming (FALD) behind the LCD panel. It also represents other "firsts" from the South Korean brand; Samsung's first TV with WiFi 6 (ax), first TV with AV1 decoding, and first TV with an ATSC 3.0 tuner. This is also reflected in the price. Q950TS is one of Samsung's most expensive LCD TVs to date.
On the other hand Q950TS is equipped with only one HDMI 2.1 port. It also lacks support Dolby Vision, and lacks support for Dolby Atmos (internal and output).
Advanced "QLED" technology is reserved for 8K LCD TVs
Samsung will offer two lower-priced, but still quite expensive, 8K LCD ranges in the form of 900TS (= Q950TS without the One Connect box) and Q800T. The latter has a scaled-down FALD system, which will affect contrast and overall picture performance.
Stepping down to more approachable 4K LCD models, this is where it gets a little controversial. While Q95T/Q90T on paper look like the direct successors to last year's Q90R, these two 2020 models come with a significantly downgraded FALD system (with far fewer dimming zones) and are more comparable to last year's Q80R range. This structure continues as you step down into lower priced models; Q80T (2020) is comparable to Q70R (2019), Q70T (2020, now with edge LED) is comparable to Q60R (2019). In other words, Samsung has downgraded its 4K LCD TVs in 2020 and now reserves its most advanced LCD technology for its much more expensive 8K TVs.
Also read: Samsung's most advanced "QLED" LCD tech is now reserved for its 8K TVs
It is also worth noting that none of the 4K models come equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports for next-gen gaming in up to 4K120 from PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. This is surprising considering that some of Samsung's main rivals such as LG and Sony will offer 4K TVs with HDMI 2.1 this year. A few optional HDMI 2.1 features are supported in Samsung's 4K models. This includes HDMI eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). Samsung's 2020 TVs also support AMD FreeSync.
Also read: HDMI 2.1 supports 8K, 10K, dynamic HDR and requires a new cableUpdate 27.4.2020: Samsung has confirmed to FlatpanelsHD that several 4K TV ranges will also be equipped with an HDMI 2.1 port and offer support for VRR. Here are the details.
In addition, Samsung is launching a refreshed line-up of mid-range 4K LCD TVs (TU ranges) as well as its lifestyle TVs; The Frame. The Serif TV will carry over from 2019 - now in additional sizes. The Sero, the rotating TV, will launch later this year. Curved TVs proved to be a dud and have been discontinued.
The TVs come with support for three HDR video formats; HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG. HDR10+ was developed by Samsung and launched in partnership with Panasonic and 20th Century Fox. Panasonic has since switched its attention to Dolby Vision while 20th Century Fox - the only studio not to put its weight behind Dolby Vision - has been swallowed by Disney. Does HDR10+ have a future? Perhaps but it is not enjoying the same strong momentum that Dolby Vision is, meaning that most of the time your HDR viewing on a Samsung TV will fall back on the HDR10 base format.
The 8K models are equipped with the 'Quantum Processor 8K' that uses machine learning for upscaling and picture enhancement. The 4K models use a similar concept, although with a slightly less powerful chip.
Samsung 2020 TVs feature the latest version of the Tizen operating system (version 5.5), which offers access to streaming services such as Apple TV+, Disney+, Netflix, HBO, and YouTube. As usual, Tizen 5.5 is reserved for the 2020 models. Previous models will not be updated to Tizen 5.5.
Samsung has partnered with Apple to offer AirPlay 2 in its TVs. AirPlay 2 allows you to push video, music and photos from an iOS or macOS devices wirelessly onto the TV. The TVs also come with built-in support for Bixby, Samsung's own voice assistant, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Three models in 2020 will come with the external One Connect box; Q950TS, Q95T (Europe only) and The Frame.
Behind the scenes, Samsung is exploring new display technologies such as microLED, QD-OLED and QNED. The company has said that it will bring "home ready" modular microLED TVs to the market in the second half of 2020 but we expect these to be very expensive. QD-OLED TVs are not expected until 2021 at the earliest.
Samsung is introducing a new 'Object Tracking Sound+' system in its high-end TVs that can "recognize moving objects in the video and move the sound along the speakers mounted on the TV".
The TVs have built-in DVB tuners (Europe) for cable, satellite, and antenna TV and many models are equipped with dual tuners for recording. Samsung's high-end TVs will be amongst the first to offer an ATSC 3.0 tuner (USA). A few of the high-end TVs also have built-in WiFi 6 (ax) for the first time, while the others come with WiFi 5 (ac).
Samsung is expected to add inexpensive 6 and 5 series TVs to the line-up later this year and the TV line-up overview will be updated continuously to reflect any changes. Below we have noted suggested retail prices for those TV models that have yet to launch. Once the TVs become available, the model name and size will become an active and clickable link to price comparison or retailers.
You can tell Samsung 2020 TVs apart from previous years’ models by the letter 'T' in the model name for the broader LCD line-up. High-end models are labeled Q*T. As a reminder: TU/T/Q*T = 2020, RU/R/Q*R = 2019, NU/N/Q*FN = 2018, MU/M/Q = 2017, KS/KU = 2016, JS/JU = 2015, HU/H = 2014, F = 2013.
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