This year, Samsung will launch upgraded 8K LCD TVs with HDMI 2.1. They will be available in 65, 75, 82, 85 and 98-inch sizes and are likely to be introduced as the Q950 series.
8K Samsung TVs with HDMI 2.1
Samsung used IFA 2018 in Berlin to launch its first 8K TVs. That happened in September 2018. At CES 2019, Samsung has unveiled upgraded 8K TVs that at first glance look unchanged. The design is identical but the are several technical changes under the hood.
The new models are likely to be introduced as Q950 (not final) and have been confirmed in 65, 75, 82, 85 and 98-inch sizes. The biggest change compared to the current Q900R is that the new TVs will feature HDMI 2.1 capabilities. Samsung confirms to FlatpanelsHD that the 8K TVs will be capable of receiving 8K60 inputs via HDMI. However, it is not full 48 Gb/s bandwidth so there will be some limitations relating to specific combinations of 8K, 60Hz, bit depth, and chroma (HDMI 2.1 bandwidth chart here). Like other manufacturers, Samsung is currently awaiting HDMI 2.1 certification.
The TVs will be sold as "8K QLED", which is Samsung's marketing term LCD panels with quantum dot technology. The new models will also feature full array local dimming, which in hardware is comparable to the current Q900R. They also employ the improved dimming algorithm that was introduced through firmware on Q900R recently.
Samsung explains that the LCD panel has been upgraded resulting in much wider viewing angles. This has been achieved by implementing a new panel structure with a prism layer in the stack. Samsung showcased LCD TVs with improved viewing angles a few years ago but it never materialized in the consumer models. This year, it will happen, the company stressed. We have seen the TVs in action and will publish our first impressions soon.
Q900R box upgrade & 8K content
We asked if the upgraded One Connect box with HDMI 2.1 capabilities is compatible with the current Q900R, which is currently limited to HDMI 2.1. Samsung cannot confirm or deny at this point but they are exploring the options for the various regional markets, company officials said.
Samsung has not announced new 4K LCD TV ranges at CES 2019 where it is focusing on 8K LCD TVs and microLED display technology. The full 2019 TV line-up will be announced later.
And 8K content? Nothing yet. The UHD Blu-ray is limited to 4K and streaming providers such as Amazon and Netflix have yet to announce plans.
The company did not announce pricing details but based on the European pricing strategy for last year's models, we expect the 65 and 75-inch models to be within grasp while the 85-inch will be very expensive and the 98-inch will be reserved for the super rich. The Samsung "Q950" 8K TVs will launch in the US and Europe.