Recently, we were invited to the Samsung QA Labs in New Jersey to take a closer look at the new products Q950R 8K QLED TV and learn in detail how exactly an AI-based quantum processor is used to scale content to 8K.
Although the visit was instructive, it raised a number of questions about the number of people actually wants to buy 8K TVs, As we metaphorically dismantle their televisions to understand why they are ticking, Samsung engineers also gave us an overview of why they believe the TV market is ready for an 8K explosion and how 8K is ready with other new screen technologies could fit together.
Will 5G networks, the Hollywood buy-in and the printing of 8K TV parts manufacturers be the new standard, or will the apathy of broadband television content creators and expensive 8K TVs remain a novelty for years to come? Here are the best questions we asked about 8K adoption and what we found out.
Is 8K an inevitability or a fad?
What we are currently aware of is that three of the major 8K televisions on the US market are for sale: the Samsung Q950R, his 2018 predecessor to the Q900R, and the Sony Master Series Z9G, All three received 5-star ratings from Trustedreviews editors, with the Q950R and Q900R receiving best-in-class ratings. As the TV makers return to the 8K class, we'll have to see if Samsung retains its first place in the championship.
Although the timing and prices for upcoming 8K televisions are not fully defined yet, we know that the majority of major TV makers will either launch their first 8K devices or bring exclusively Asian 8K devices to North America and Europe by 2020.
LG will bring its 88-inch 8K OLED (OLED88Z9) to western markets later this year, Panasonic has already built a 8K TV in 2012 and recently joined the 8K Association (8KA) with Samsung to set guidelines for 8K hardware and content; So you can say with certainty that it will soon be back in the 8-km fight.
TCL and Hisense have also joined the 8KA and have their own 8K sets in the works, but with uncertain schedules. At CES 2019, the TCL 8-series 8K QLED Roku TV impressed our editors as a visually superior, cost-effective 8K option during their hands-on experience. While the 8K 8 Series is expected to be released in 2019, the TCL is the last press release only confirms that the 4K 8 series will be sold this fall – the 8K should now be sold "soon". On the other hand, Toshiba (a Hisense brand) showed one 8K concept model This blew us away with its color gamut and pixel quality last year, but has not officially confirmed its intention to mass-produce it.
Japanese manufacturer Sharp has sold 8K monitors in Europe and Asia since last year and recently acquired his license back from Hisense to sell in the United States. So you can bet that a flashy 8K TV could be a way for Sharp to get back in the heads of the TV buyers.
What does that mean? It shows that almost every TV manufacturer – including Samsung – 8K means very seriously.
Can I buy 8K Blu-rays?
Asked if Samsung wants to sell an 8K Blu-Ray player in the future, the engineers said they could not give a definitive answer, but did not think it would ever happen. They suggested that Hollywood studios and the marketplace share the goal of streaming as the best way to distribute content-meaning that the demand for an 8K player was not high enough to cover the cost of creating one to justify.
We should take this prognosis with a bit of salt: Samsung has stopped the production of 4K UHD Blu-ray and 1080p players earlier this year, which shows that his company has lost confidence in this market. However, other companies such as Sony and Panasonic still have high hopes for 4K disc players, so they could very well choose to produce 8K discs well, if they ever wanted to.
Nothing like this has been announced, but it is possible: Show dailyBlu-Ray discs may contain 8K content for approximately 2 hours, but are licensed for the Japanese market only. So it is possible that it will not reach any American or European market where discs have lost popularity.
Can I stream 8K videos?
Samsung was much more content with the plans of its content partners to bring 8K content to their apps. According to her, it is very popular with filmmakers to shoot scenes in 8K for a later 4K release. During an 8K summit held by Samsung, the filmmakers discussed how 8K makes post-production so much easier because they can choose between four 4K streams so they do not miss a shot.
Samsung engineers now expect filmmakers to adapt to using 8K cameras for their original purpose and producing native 8K content for 8K screens. The Samsung Universal Guide may display movie icons that indicate when a movie was made in native 8K.
This will not be a widespread practice. Filmmakers would be annoyed at losing the flexibility that would downgrade them to less stringent resolution standards. But some celebrated directors like Peter Jackson and Christopher McQuarrie have already taken 8K. Channels and apps that can offer these high-resolution movies for their platform definitely have an advantage.
How are 8K videos coded?
Even if you buy an 8K TV or an 8K monitor, you probably have not seen a lot of native 8K content yet. Amateur filmmakers can upload 8K videos to YouTube or Vimeo, as in the video above, but the quality depends on your Internet bandwidth and the video's compression codec.
Watch this video in your YouTube app on the Q950R, and your service provider decompresses it with HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding). An HEVC, so the people of 8K Video Summit At the beginning of this year, an "average minimum bitrate of 84 Mbps" is required, which is just below the average of 95 Mbps for US households. In fact, the industry's recommendation for successful decompression 120 Mbps, well above the average household maximum.
For comparison, Samsung was very optimistic that you only need 40 MB bandwidth for 8K.
Mauricio Alvarez-Mesa, a spokesman for the summit, made a more realistic forecast: 8K televisions need to use a new codec like Versatile Video Coding (VCC), otherwise a lot of the TV owners may not benefit from 8K content. VCC is reportedly approved as HEVC in 2020, so we can see some streaming improvements next year.
Will 5G play a role in 8K technology?
5G networks Download speeds of 1 Gbps are slowly approaching, at least in urban areas, and could significantly impact the feasibility of 8K streaming.
Samsung also said so during its presentation, claiming that 5G would significantly improve access to 8K content for a number of households.
Currently, however, only one company explicitly builds its 8K TV for 5G: Huawei. The Chinese manufacturer, famous for its mobile devices, has never made a TV yet – just TV parts for other manufacturers like Hisense. Now, Huawei plans to combine its 5G expertise with a next-generation television and ensure that its content always works smoother than televisions that are limited by their terrible home Wi-Fi.
Are the prices for 8K televisions dropping?
For the 5-star 8K sets that are now for sale, you pay a premium for quality.
The Sony 8K costs $ 12,999 for the 85-inch device and a shocking $ 69,999 for the 98-inch device. Samsung's Q900 series 82- and 98-inch models cost $ 14,999 (£ 14,000) and $ 69,999 (£ 80,000), respectively, but only after one Price reduction of $ 30,000 to better match the Sony prices.
For mere mortals, it's better to spend 3,000 USD / 3,000 GBP for a 65-inch Q900R or 4,999 GBP for a Q950R.
Of course, these prices are only economical for a wealthy minority of buyers; For everyone else, three to five giants for a TV with very little native content can only be described as a luxury purchase, no matter how impressive the technical data is.
Competitive price cuts make 8K affordable for a larger minority of TV buyers. Although, given the powerful specifications of 8K TVs and the fact that most of them are 75 inches or larger, manufacturers are unlikely to get too much discounts and still make a profit.
If a company made 8Ks more accessible to everyday use in 2020, TCL and the Roku 8 series would be a safe bet … but that's not a guarantee either. TCL's 4K 8 series is expected to sell for $ 1,999. So you can bet that the 8K will be closer to the Q900R price than we might want.
Are people buying REAL 8K TVs right now?
As a result, Broadband TV News After selling TVs in 2018, consumers bought 221 million televisions last year. Of these, 99 million were UHD devices and UHD sales first exceeded regular HDTV revenues in the fourth quarter of 2018.
For comparison, 8K televisions sold 18,600 copies worldwide in 2018, with most of those sales only going to Japan, according to the report. Note, however, that IHS Markit predicted 8K sales would rise to 430,000 this year and to 3.6 million in 2020. By comparison, Samsung's team members predicted that the market for 2019 would "move closer to 100,000 units."
How exactly these numbers are depends to a large extent on how many customers invest in the idea that they have to upgrade from 4K despite the high costs. Until they shop, content creators may be reluctant to create 8K content for such a small user base.
To what extent do Samsung and LG have control of the market?
Samsung admitted during its panel that switching to a new TV format is always a chicken-egg situation. You need to make 8K TVs, even if the market is not ready, because the market will not be ready until more people have 8K TVs.
Why should you sell it now? One reason could be the pressure from third-party companies that manufacture your televisions. The Samsung representatives suggested that panel manufacturers, for example, need to further improve their panel types to maintain their profitability.
So the market could see fewer and fewer HD and 4K televisions, not because they are not selling well, but because 8K offers more market opportunities for higher profits per manufactured TV. Huawei's sudden move into the TV game is just one example of how the manufacturing market has shifted to make 8K a priority, whether it's a good or a bad one.
Will Netflix ever stream 8K videos?
Asked about the lack of 8K content to support the new influx of 8K televisions, the QA Labs team stated that the free market and consumer choice would soon resolve it. With the advent of new streaming services like Disney +, other services would stand out from the competition by adding as much 8K video as possible.
How likely is that? It has ever been Rakuten TV in the case of the rental app. The CEO, Jacinto Roca, said in an interview that the app "in the second half of this year" will contain 8K content and will add more over time. In return, 8K TVs can add their own Rakuten button to their remote controls, directing users directly to 8K content.
Will other streaming services follow Rakuten? Netflix seems unlikely: In an interview with Digital SpyNeil Hunt, CPO of Netflix, said, "8K is only interesting if you're too close to the TV," and the company's focus was on HDR. Much may change in three years, but 4K HDR may well be as far as the service goes for the moment.
With 8K televisions performing an astonishing upscaling performance, these services do not have much pressure to prioritize shooting in 8K as they become more expensive. At least until more people have actually bought 8Ks.
Does this affect the 4K OLED prices?
This was not exactly covered by Samsung, but it seems clear to us that 2020 will not be all about 8K Samsung QLED TVs. We have recently learned that the cost of manufacturing OLED TVs will increase fall by up to 25% thanks to a new process of "printing" OLED panels between glass panels on the TV until next year.
These savings will be passed on to consumers, making OLED a more attractive and affordable alternative as 8K replaces it as the highest quality and lowest priced TV on the market.
The price written on this page is true as the time it is written. It may change at any moment.