Samsung has unveiled its second-generation 8K “QLED” LCD TVs with two key upgrades. Q950R has wider viewing angles and is equipped with HDMI 2.1 capable of 8K60 input.
Samsung Q950R 8K TVs
Samsung launched its first 8K TVs, Q900R, at the IFA in September 2018. As reported by FlatpanelsHD at CES, the company is planning an upgraded Q950R for 2019. The Q950R with “the new 2019 QLED innovations” has just been unveiled at the company’s 2019 launch event in Portugal.
- "The key products unveiled in the 2019 QLED line-up include a suite of 8K and 4K TVs, including the 8K Q950R that ranges from 65-inch to 98-inch in size," the company announced in Portugal.
The first key upgrade is ‘Q Ultra Wide Angle’, which is also included in Samsung’s high-end 2019 4K models. It is a new LCD panel structure that improves viewing angles. We laid eyes on the new technology at CES 2019 and it looks promising so we look forward to getting our hands on review samples.
The other key upgrade is HDMI 2.1. According to Samsung, Q950R comes with an updated One Connect Box that supports up to 8K60, meaning 8K resolution at 60 frames per second. Samsung did not detail other HDMI 2.1 features such as VRR, eARC, and ALLM but we are chasing details.
The previous Q900R shipped without HDMI 2.1 but an upgrade kit has been made available in some regions.
Airplay 2, iTunes, Bixby & more
Of course, the new 8K TVs come loaded with the other new features for 2019, including Apple Airplay 2 and iTunes, an upgraded Bixby voice assistant, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibility, and an updated Ambient mode.
Like the 2018 Q900R, the 2019 model features an 8K LCD panel with full array local dimming LED and an external box for connecting cables. It supports the HDR10, HDR0+, and HLG formats but Samsung continues to ignore Dolby Vision.
From a design standpoint, Q950R is identical to Q900R. It can be placed on furniture or mounted on a wall.
The company had nothing to announce in regards to actual 8K content and is still drumming up its 8K upscaling engine. In our review of Q900R, we found it to be mostly an exercise in applying artificial sharpness and concluded that it had little effect. To enjoy improved picture quality from an 8K TV you must have access to 8K content.
Samsung Q950R will be available in 65, 75, 82, and 98-inch sizes in the first half of 2019. At this time, it has been confirmed for Europe only.