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8K TV battle heats up between Samsung and LG

8K TV battle heats up between ...
LG's new TVs meet the 8K Ultra HD definition set by the Consumer Technology Association
LG's new TVs meet the 8K Ultra HD definition set by the Consumer Technology Association
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LG has unveiled a new 65-in model of its 8K NanoCell TV
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LG has unveiled a new 65-in model of its 8K NanoCell TV
LG has unveiled a new 75-in model of its Signature OLED 8K TV
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LG has unveiled a new 75-in model of its Signature OLED 8K TV
Samsung's new QLED 8K TVs have a slim profile, measuring just 15 mm (0.6 in) thick
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Samsung's new QLED 8K TVs have a slim profile, measuring just 15 mm (0.6 in) thick
Samsung's new Q950TS 8K TV has a screen-to-body ratio of 99 percent
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Samsung's new Q950TS 8K TV has a screen-to-body ratio of 99 percent
LG's new TVs meet the 8K Ultra HD definition set by the Consumer Technology Association
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LG's new TVs meet the 8K Ultra HD definition set by the Consumer Technology Association
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While many consumers have just settled into life with 4K TVs, the industry is already charging ahead to 8K. At CES 2020 this week, the race is beginning to heat up as Samsung and LG both show off their latest 8K TVs.

Samsung’s new flagship 8K QLED TV model is the Q950TS, and its specs are pretty impressive. Besides the visual fidelity, the display itself measures 85 in diagonally with a screen-to-body ratio of almost 99 percent. That means the bezels – the black bars around the edges – are almost non-existent. Samsung says that makes for a “more immersive viewing experience,” but in practical terms it just looks a bit nicer.

The whole beast also has a very slim profile – at just 15 mm (0.6 in) thick, it should sit basically flush against a wall.

LG, meanwhile, is showing off new entries in two of its ranges, the Signature OLED 8K TVs and NanoCell TVs. The first measures 77 in and the second 65 in.

Both companies claim their new TVs are kitted out with artificial intelligence algorithms that help upscale FHD and 4K content to 8K, as well as making other visual and audio tweaks. LG’s models can automatically boost speech to make dialogue clearer, while Samsung’s TVs will make similar adjustments when it hears background noises like vacuum cleaners.

Samsung's new Q950TS 8K TV has a screen-to-body ratio of 99 percent
Samsung's new Q950TS 8K TV has a screen-to-body ratio of 99 percent

Samsung’s TVs can also apparently track the movements of objects on screen and direct sound through its speakers to make it sound like the sound is following the visuals. LG says it can recognize faces and text on-screen and sharpen those areas to make them stand out.

All of these TVs can also be voice controlled through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, while Samsung also throws in its own proprietary Bixby assistant.

Since 8K is so new, so far there haven’t been a standard for certifying devices, but as of January 1 this year that has now changed – although as has so often been the case when it comes to standards there seem to be two different organizations doing similar work. Both companies’ TVs meet the 8K requirements put forward by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), while Samsung's will also be among the first certified by the 8K Association (8KA) – a group that includes Samsung, Hisense, Panasonic and TCL, but which LG hasn't signed up to, preferring instead to follow the specs laid out by the International Committee for Display Metrology (ICDM).

Although the two companies are pushing it hard already, we’d expect 8K adoption to be fairly slow, at least for the next few years due to the price and the fact that there’s just not much 8K content out there yet. But those factors will no doubt change, perhaps even as soon as this year – the Tokyo Olympics will be broadcast in 8K in some places, and the Xbox Series X will have some 8K capabilities when it launches towards the end of the year.

Sources: LG, Samsung

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8 comments
guzmanchinky
There is a noticeable difference between 1080 and 4K, even at a normal viewing distance (10 feet for a 60 inch screen). Is there a noticeable difference between 4K and 8K at 10 feet?
Grunchy
I don't notice any difference between 1080P and 4K, in fact I find 720P content to be perfectly watchable! What is a drag however is high-compression artifacting, which is obviously going to happen more the greater the resolution. I think I'd prefer low-compression 720P than any high-res feed that has compression artifacting. (Also, have you seen how cheap 1080P sets are nowadays? Blimey!)
Kpar
You guys have struck upon the real question- can the human eye tell the difference between 4K and 8K? Many people cannot tell the difference between HD and 4K- I have both, and the difference isn't noticeable. OLED is the next step- thinner screens (roll-up?) and supremely high contrast ratios.
Signguy
You can't get much of anything in 4K NOW, so how's this going to pan out?
JerryDobson
The difference in the resolutions just means you can sit closer to your screen without pixelation occuring. The big difference has come in HDR and the depth of color reproduction. I definitely notice a difference in that department.
neoneuron
If it can't make the response time of 1ms. to me, the resolution is useless. I, personally, don't like watching smear.
Gannet
Surely we have reached (or passed) what the human eye can discern? Is there anyone out there complaining 4K is not good enough? The companies caught up in a race and forgotten the point of it? Oh, and 3 different "standards" bodies? That's not going to help.
foxpup
At 15ft a 10ft 4K image starts to become noticable and reaches full effective at ~8 feet. Therefore a 10ft 8k image starts to become noticable at 7.5 feet and reaches full effect at 4 feet from the screen. I think most would agree with me that sitting closer than 4 feet from a 10ft screen is pretty silly so I would expect 8K to be the final practical doubling of regular video resolutions. Afterwards manufacturers will have to work on other imrovements like infinite contrast, frame-rates, latency, rollability (so you can actually bring a 10ft TV home from a big-box store), silence, energy efficiency, 3D?-remember 3D?, and curved surfaces to further envelope the viewer. We have a 170 degree field of vision to take care of. Imagine an image so wide and enveloping that you cannot see the bezel no matter how thin it is because it is beyond your peripheral vision....sure would make immersion more fantastic and jump-scare films more extreme. You would want to be sitting down during flying scenes. :-) People would never go outside.