Ahead of CES 2020, Samsung has unveiled a new flagship Q950TS 8K LCD TV with an 'infinity design' that "eliminates the screen bezel". It also features AV1 decoding for 8K video and new audio technology.
'Zero bezel' Samsung 8K TV
The TV leaked earlier this week so we knew what to expect, but Samsung has now officially unveiled the TV as Q950TS and provided some additional details.
The "QLED" LCD TV features 8K resolution but the headlining feature is an 'infinity design' that eliminates the bezel on three sides, leaving only a slim bottom bezel with a logo. Samsung says that it is 99% screen and that it is just 15mm thick despite housing a full array local dimming (FALD) LED system behind the LCD panel. Samsung has yet to detail how it has achieved this level of thinness in a FALD-based LCD TV.
- "The 2020 QLED 8K features an infinity design that eliminates the screen bezels, making it possible to utilize up to 99% of the screen, offering outstanding immersion and elegant design. In addition, the 15mm ultra-slim design and a completely flat backside set the bar for luxury screens with Infinity design," the company said.
AV1 for 8K streaming
With the announcement, Samsung confirmed that at least some of its 2020 TVs will support AV1 decoding, which enables YouTube's 8K video streaming. LG's new 8K TVs for 2020 will also support AV1. Last year's 8K TVs were not capable of streaming YouTube in 8K.
AV1 was developed as a royalty-free video format for HD, 4K, 8K, and HDR video by a group of industry heavyweights, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Netflix.
Samsung further explained that the new flagship Q950TS will be equipped with an 'AI quantum processor' that uses machine leaning to enhance sharpness and color. A new 'Adaptive Picture' feature "provides optimized brightness and contrast in any viewing environment", presumably based on input from the built-in light sensor.
Another new feature is "AI ScaleNet technology that reduces original data loss during video streaming. The technology will be applied to the Amazon PrimeVideo app in collaboration with Amazon".
Samsung highlighted that it made a number of improvements to its speaker system. A new 'Object Tracking Sound Plus' (OTS+) system can "recognize moving objects in the video and move the sound along the speakers mounted on the TV".
Samsung claims that this enables its new TVs to deliver a 5.1 surround effect. In 2020, Samsung TVs will also be able to use the TV speakers in combination with a connected soundbar to deliver better TV audio as part of a 'Q Symphony' system. Together with high-end soundbar, the system delivers 9.1.4-channel audio, Samsung said. This feature has received a CES Best of Innovation Award.
A new 'Active Voice Amplifier' (AVA) system "allows the TV to recognize the ambient noise and adjust the volume of the video speaker's voice".
Lastly, Samsung highlighted its smart features such as Universal Guide, TV Plus, screen mirroring from a mobile device, and Bixby voice assistant as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support. The same features were available in Samsung's 2019 TVs.
With the announcement of the Q950TS flagship, it is clear that Samsung in 2020 will continue to focus on quantum dot-enhanced LCD TVs at a time were many competing brands are transitioning to OLED technology. Little emphasis was put on picture quality but Samsung is expected to reveal more details, including screen sizes, at CES 2020 next week. We are chasing more information.